Research Center in Sports

Human, Portugal

Research Center in Sports

Human, Portugal

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Nikolaidis P.T.,Hellenic Army Academy | Ingebrigtsen J.,University of Nordland | Povoas S.C.,Research Center in Sports | Moss S.,University of Chester | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness | Year: 2015

Aim: The purpose of this study was to examine the variation in physical and physiological characteristics according to playing position in adolescent and adult male team handball (TH) players. Methods: Adolescent (N.=57, aged 14.9±1.4 yr) and adult (N.=39, 26.6±5.7 yr) players were examined for anthropometric characteristics, somatotype and body composition, and performed the physical working capacity test, a force-velocity test, the Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT), sit-and-reach test, handgrip strength test, squat jump (SJ), countermovement vertical jump without (CMJ) and with arm-swing, and a 30-s Bosco test. Eccentric utilization ratio (EUR) was calculated as the ratio CMJ to SJ. Results: In adult players, there were significant differences between wings and the other positions with regard to anthropometric and body composition parameters (body mass, -17.9% to -13.2%; height, -5.3% to -4.3%; and fat-free mass, -13.7% to -9.9%) and anaerobic power assessed by WAnT (peak power, -20.5% to -15.2%; and mean power, -20% to -14.8%); however, these characteristics did not differ significantly in adolescents, in which the only statistically significant difference was found between goalkeepers and the other positions in EUR (+8.1%). Conclusion: Therefore, the differences in physical and physiological characteristics between playing positions are age-dependent. As adult players in this study were taken from players competing in the top Greek league, findings could serve as a base for talent identification and development for future studies. Moreover, knowledge about positional differences might enhance the ability to make tailored position-specific training programs among adult and adolescent players in the future.


Ramirez-Campillo R.,University of Los Lagos | Burgos C.H.,Laboratory of Exercise science | Henriquez-Olguin C.,Laboratory of Exercise science | Andrade D.C.,Laboratory of Exercise science | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research | Year: 2015

The aim of the study was to compare the effects of bilateral, unilateral, or combined bilateral and unilateral plyometric training (PT) on muscle power output, endurance, and balance performance adaptations in young soccer players. Four groups of young soccer players (age 11.4 ± 2.2 years) were divided into control group (CG; n 14), bilateral group (BG; n 12), unilateral group (UG; n 16), and bilateral + unilateral group (B + UG; n 12). Players were measured in unilateral and bilateral countermovement jump with arms, 5 multiple bounds test, 20-cm drop jump reactive strength index, maximal kicking velocity, sprint and agility test time, endurance, and balance performance. The PT was applied during 6 weeks, 2 sessions per week, for a total of 2,160 jumps. After intervention, all PT groups showed a statistically significant (p ≤ 0.05) change in all performance measures, with no statistically significant differences between treatments. Among the 21 performance measures, the B + UG showed a significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher performance change in 13 of them vs. the CG, whereas the UG and BG showed only 6 and 3, respectively. The current study showed that bilateral, unilateral, and combined bilateral and unilateral PT ensured significant improvement in several muscular power and endurance performance measures in young soccer players. However, the combination of unilateral and bilateral drills seems more advantageous to induce superior performance improvements. © 2015 National Strength and Conditioning Association.


Vilar L.,University of Lisbon | Araujo D.,University of Lisbon | Araujo D.,The Interdisciplinary Center | Davids K.,Queensland University of Technology | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Sport Science | Year: 2014

Research on 1vs1 sub-phases in team sports has shown how one player coordinates his/her actions with his/her opponent and the location of a target/goal to attain performance objectives. In this study, we extended this approach to analysis of 5vs5 competitive performance in the team sport of futsal to provide a performance analysis framework that explains how players coordinate their actions to create/prevent opportunities to score goals. For this purpose, we recorded all 10 futsal matches of the 2009 Lusophony Games held in Lisbon. We analysed the displacement trajectories of a shooting attacker and marking defender in plays ending in a goal, a goalkeeper's save, and a defender's interception, at four specific moments during performance: (1) assisting attacker's ball reception and (2) moment of passing, (3) shooter's ball reception, and (4), shot on goal. Statistical analysis showed that when a goal was scored, the defender's angle to the goal and to the attacker tended to decrease, the attacker was able to move to the same distance to the goal alongside the defender, and the attacker was closer to the defender and moving at the same velocity (at least) as the defender. This study identified emergent patterns of coordination between attackers and defenders under key competitive task constraints, such as the location of the goal, which supported successful performance in futsal. © 2012 © 2012 European College of Sport Science.


Vilar L.,University of Lisbon | Vilar L.,The Interdisciplinary Center | Araujo D.,University of Lisbon | Araujo D.,The Interdisciplinary Center | And 4 more authors.
Human Movement Science | Year: 2014

This study examined how the location of the goal and ball constrained the interpersonal coordination tendencies emerging of attacker-defender dyadic systems in team sports. Additionally, we analysed how the positioning of defenders constrained the emergent coordination tendencies between the ball carrier and supporting teammates. To investigate these tendencies in team sports, ten futsal games were filmed to observe inter-individual interactions. Movement trajectories of players and ball were digitized during 52 outfield attacker-defender interactions involving thirteen goal-scoring sequences. Relative phase was used as a measure to express participant coordination tendencies in these dyadic systems (in-phase or symmetry - 0°; anti-phase or anti-symmetry - 180°). Stable in-phase patterns of coordination emerged between specific values of an attacker's distances to defenders and the goal (19% frequency from 0° to 29° of phase relations) and between specific values of distances of ball carriers to defenders and teammates (14% frequency from 0° to 29° of phase relations). A stable pattern of coordination of -60° emerged between values of an attacker's distances to defenders and the ball (18% frequency from 0° to 29° of phase relations). Distances of attackers to the goal and ball, and distances of ball carriers to defenders, seemed to be coupled in a specific manner to guide interpersonal coordination tendencies between players during competitive performance in the team sport of futsal. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Povoas S.C.A.,Research Center in Sports | Povoas S.C.A.,Maia Institute of Higher Education | Ascensao A.A.M.R.,University of Porto | Magalhaes J.,University of Porto | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research | Year: 2014

This study aimed at describing the physiological demands and fatigue development during elite male handball matches. Our hypothesis was that players perform multiple high-intensity activities during periods of the game and develop temporary and endmatch neuromuscular fatigue. Time-motion analyses and heart rate (HR) recordings were performed in 40 players during 12 competitive matches. Blood samples were collected, and sprint, jump, and intermittent exercise performance (Yo-Yo Intermittent Endurance level 2 test [YYIE2]) was assessed for 18 players at baseline conditions and after 2 competitive matches, and additional blood sampling and testing were performed for 12 of these players during a friendly match. The time spent with high-intensity running (4.4 ± 2.0 to 3.1 ± 1.7%), the frequency of demanding actions (61 ± 5 to 54 ± 6), and the time with HR above 80%HRmax (62 ± 21 to 41 ± 17%) were lowered from the first to the second half. Average blood lactate during the match was 3.6 ± 2.1 (1.3- 8.6) mM. Plasma free fatty acids (FFA), glycerol, glucose, and uric acid increased (p ≤ 0.05) during the first half and plasma FFA and glycerol increased further (p ≤ 0.05) during the second half. After an intense period in the second half, sprint performance was decreased by 3.9 ± 4.9%. After the match, YYIE2 (33.4 ± 8.7%), vertical jump (7.4 6± 6.5%), and 20-m sprint performance (1.6 ± 2.6%) was lower (p ≤ 0.05) than at baseline. This study showed that the intensity is high in certain periods during elite male handball games and that physical performance is impaired both temporarily during and toward the end of games confirming our hypothesis. These findings enables physical trainers and coaches to plan and design proper game-specific training exercises aiming at delaying both temporary and end-game fatigue and strengthen the physiological rationale for the need for substitutions in various stages of match-play. © 2014 National Strength and Conditioning Association.


Povoas S.C.A.,Research Center in Sports | Povoas S.C.A.,Maia Institute of Higher Education | Ascensao A.A.M.R.,University of Porto | Magalhaes J.,University of Porto | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research | Year: 2014

Póvoas, SCA, Ascensaõ, AAMR, Magalhaẽs, J, Seabra, AF, Krustrup, P, Soares, JMC, and Rebelo, ANC. Physiological demands of elite team handball with special reference to playing position. J Strength Cond Res 28(2): 430-442, 2014-This study aimed to analyze the physiological demands of match play for different playing positions in elite male team handball. Timemotion (N = 30) and heart rate (HR; N = 70) data were recorded throughout 10 official matches. The mean distance covered by backcourt players (4.96 ± 0.64 km) was greater (p ≥ 0.02) than for wings and pivots (4.23 ± 0.52 and 3.91 ± 0.51 km, respectively). Backcourt players spent less time standing still and walking (;76%) than wings and pivots (;80%) (p ≥ 0.03), and wings spent more time sprinting than the other playing positions. Backcourt players (122.9 ± 17.0) and pivots (126.8 ± 33.0) performed more highdemanding actions per game than wings (54.6615.6) (p =0.01). The time spent by pivots in high-intensity activities decreased from the first to the second half (4.1 ± 2.4 to 2.7 ± 0.9%; p ≥ 0.01), while backcourt players showed a decrease in high-demanding playing actions (p ≥ 0.05). Backcourt players and pivots had higher mean (84 ± 9 and 83 ± 9% vs. 79 ± 10%; p ≥ 0.03) and peak effective HR, and percentage of total time at intensities .80% maximal HR (HRmax) than wings. The fraction of total time spent at intensities .80% HRmax decreased for all outfield playing positions in the second half (from 39-76 to 30-46%). Competitive team handball involves position-specific differences in the physiological demands. Furthermore, exercise intensity decreases from the first to the second half for all outfield playing positions suggesting that these players experience neuromuscular fatigue. Training of elite handball players should comprise high-intensity position-specific exercises aiming at improving the ability to maintain a high exercise intensity throughout the game. © 2014 National Strength and Conditioning Association.


PoVoas S.C.A.,Research Center in Sports | PoVoas S.C.A.,Maia Institute of Higher Education | Seabra A.F.T.,University of Porto | AscensaO A.A.M.R.,University of Porto | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research | Year: 2012

Physical and physiological demands of elite team handball. J Strength Cond Res 26(12): 3365-3375, 2012-This study aimed to analyze elite team handball physical and physiological demands during match play. Time-motion (N = 30) and heart rate (HR; N = 60) analyses were performed throughout 10 official matches. The defined locomotor categories were standing still, walking, jogging, fast running, sprinting, backwards movement, sideways medium-intensity movement, and sideways high-intensity movement, and playing actions studied were jumps, shots, stops when preceded by high-intensity activities, changes of direction and one-on-one situations. During matches, the mean distances covered were 4,370 ± 702.0 m. Around 80% of the total time was spent standing still (43.0 ± 9.27%) and walking (35.0 ± 6.94%) and only 0.460.31% with sprinting. The most frequent high-intensity actions were stops, changes of direction, and one-on-one situations. Effective mean HR was 157 ± 18.0 b.min-1 (82 6 9.3% of HRmax), and total HR was 139 ± 31.9 b.min-1 (72 ± 16.7% of HRmax). The HR, time spent in high-intensity activities, frequency of stops, changes of direction, one-on-one situations, and most intense periods of the game were higher during the first half than during the second half (p ≤ 0.05). The opposite was observed for the number of time outs and the time between each change of activity (p = 0.00). Handball is an intermittent exercise that primarily uses aerobic metabolism, interspersed by high-intensity actions that greatly tax anaerobic metabolism. Additionally, exercise intensity decreases from the first to the second half of the match, suggesting that neuromuscular fatigue may occur during the game. The training of elite handball players should comprise exercises targeting the ability to perform specific high-intensity actions throughout the game and to rapidly recover during the less intense periods. © 2012 National Strength and Conditioning Association. © 2012 National Strength and Conditioning Association.


Marta C.C.,Polytechnic Institute of Guarda | Marta C.C.,Research Center in Sports | Marques M.C.,Research Center in Sports | Marques M.C.,University of Beira Interior | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research | Year: 2012

The purpose of this study was to analyze in which physical capabilities boys and girls are closer or distant. An additional objective was to find which of the body fat, physical activity, and somatotype factors have a greater effect on prepubescent children's physical fitness. This was a cross-sectional study involving 312 children (10.8 6 0.4 years). The physical fitness assessment employed sets of aerobic fitness, strength, flexibility, speed, agility, and balance. The boys presented higher values in all selected tests, except tests of balance and flexibility, in which girls scored better. Gender differences in the physical fitness were greatest in the explosive strength of upper (p ≤ 0.01, ν2 p 0:09) and lower limbs (p ≤ 0.01, ν2 p 0:08), although with a medium-size effect of gender, and smaller in the abdominal (p > 0.05, ν2 p 0:007) and upper limbs (p > 0.05, ν2 p 0:003) muscular endurance, and trunk extensor strength and flexibility (p > 0.05, ν2 p 0:001). The endomorphic (p ≤ 0.01, ν2 p 0:26) in the girls, and the ectomorphic (p ≤ 0.01, ν2 p 0:31) and mesomorphic (p ≤ 0.01, ν2 p 0:26)intheboys, had the high-sized effect on the physical fitness. The physical activity in the girls, and the endomorphic and body fat in the boys, did not have a significant effect. These findings can help in the planning of activities that take into account the success and motivation of both boys and girls and thus increase levels of physical activity and physical fitness at school. However, in prepubescent children, one cannot neglect the influence of genetic determinism, observed from the morphoconstitutional point of view. © 2012 National Strength and Conditioning Association.


Pereira A.,Royal University | Pereira A.,Research Center in Sports | Izquierdo M.,Health Science University | Silva A.J.,Royal University | And 6 more authors.
Experimental Gerontology | Year: 2012

Power declines more steeply than strength with advancing age and training cessation among older women and is associated with the loss of functional ability. We tested the hypothesis that the impact of 6. weeks of detraining (DT) subsequent to 12. weeks of high-speed power training on maximal strength (1RM) of the arm and leg muscles, power performance (counter movement jump and ball throwing) and functional task (sit-to-stand test) would decrease physical performance, and specifically power performance. Thirty-seven older women were divided into an experimental group and a control group [EG, n = 20, 65.8 (2.5) years; CG: n = 17, 64.8 (2.8) years]. Muscular strength, power and functional testings were conducted before the initiation of training (T1), after 12. weeks (T2) and after 6. weeks of DT (T3).During the 12. weeks of training, EG significantly increased their dynamic strength performance (range from 41.9 to 64.1%), muscle power output (range from 18.2 to 33.6%) (p < 0.05) and function (15.8%) (p < 0.05). No significant differences were observed in the magnitude of the increases in CG. Short-term DT led to larger effects on maximal strength (18.1-23.8%) (p < 0.05) of both upper and lower extremity muscles than in muscle power (2-4.5%) and function (2.8%) (p < 0.05). However, all measurements remained higher (12.6-36.4%; p < 0.05) than in pre-training levels. These data indicated that DT may induce larger declines in muscle strength than in power output and preserved physical independence, mediated in part, by the effectiveness of high-speed power training particularly developed for older women. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Morouco P.G.,Polytechnic Institute of Leiria | Morouco P.G.,Research Center in Sports | Marinho D.A.,Research Center in Sports | Marinho D.A.,University of Beira Interior | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research | Year: 2014

Morouç o, PG, Marinho, DA, Keskinen, KL, Badillo, JJ, and Marques, MC. Tethered swimming can be used to evaluate force contribution for short-distance swimming performance. J Strength Cond Res 28(11): 3093-3099, 2014-The purpose of this study was two-fold: (a) to compare stroke and the physiological responses between maximal tethered and free front crawl swimming and (b) to evaluate the contribution of force exertion for swimming performance over short distances. A total of 34 male swimmers, representing various levels of competitive performance, participated in this study. Each participant was tested in both a 30-second maximal tethered swimming test and a 50-m free swimming test. The tethered force parameters, the swimming speed, stroke (stroke rate [SR]), and the physiological responses (increase in blood lactate concentration [ΔBLa], heart rate, and rate of perceived exertion) were recorded and calculated. The results showed no differences in stroke and the physiological responses between tethered and free swimming, with a high level of agreement for the SR and DBLa. A strong correlation was obtained between the maximum impulse of force per stroke and the speed (r = 0.91; p < 0.001). Multiple regression analysis revealed that the maximum impulse and SR in the tethered condition explained 84% of the free swimming performance. The relationship between the swimming speed and maximum force tended to be nonlinear, whereas linear relationships were observed with the maximum impulse. This study demonstrates that tethered swimming does not significantly alter stroke and the physiological responses compared with free swimming, and that the maximum impulse per stroke should be used to evaluate the balance between force and the ability to effectively apply force during sprint swimming. Consequently, coaches can rely on tethered forces to identify strength deficits and improve swimming performance over short distances. Copyright © 2014 National Strength and Conditioning Association Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.

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