National Institute of Physical Education (INEFC)
Recent publications
Despite the importance of doubles tennis, there is little research on this modality of the game, especially as per women play. The aim of this study was to analyse the structural variables and the way points ended in women's doubles, as well as to observe the differences between surfaces and between winning and losing teams. Twenty-one WTA doubles matches from three Grand Slams played on three different surfaces were analysed. Players played 2.0 ± 0.3 sets, 19.9 ± 3.2 games, 130.4 ± 25.3 points, 0.2 ± 0.6 tie breaks per match (PM), 9.5 ± 1.0 games and 62.6 ± 7.9 points per set, and 6.6 ± 0.6 points per game (PG). 33.5% of the points ended with a winner (Wn), 43.6% with a forced error (FE) and 22.8% with an unforced error (UE), with the Wn shot being the variable that most discriminated between winner and loser teams. It was also shown that the way more points were finished was with FE, followed by Wn and UE. There were no significant differences between surfaces in structural variables or point ending. These results showed that in women's doubles playing Wn shots and avoiding UE is crucial to successful performance, so that aggressive play and taking the initiative in the game has a positive influence in the result.
This study examined the alterations induced by a simulated tennis competition on maximal isometric voluntary contraction (MVC), peak rate of force development (PRFD) and rate of force development (RFD) at different stages of contraction. Twenty junior tennis players performed an 80-minute simulated tennis match and two (pre and post) muscular performance tests. Variables tested included MVC, PRFD and RFD at 50, 100, 150 and 200 ms while performing a 90º shoulder internal rotation (IR90), 90º shoulder external rotation (ER90), shoulder horizontal adduction (ADD), shoulder horizontal abduction (ABD) and isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP). Serve velocity (SV) was also registered. No significant changes were found regarding MVC, PRFD or SV. Non-significant moderate effect size (ES) towards a decrease in the IR90 RFD at 50 ms could be observed (16%; ES = 0.5) alongside an increase in the ADD and IMTP RFD at 150 ms (-15.8%,-8.2%; ES =-0.53,-0.54) and IMTP RFD at 200 ms (-13%; ES =-0.54). Results indicate that MVC, PRFD, RFD at different time intervals and SV are unaltered following an 80-minute simulated match, possibly due to insufficient alterations triggered on key factors affecting the tested variables.
The main objective of this study is to analyse sub-maximum intensity periods (SubMIP’s) manifested by professional soccer players during official matches (number of events and time spent in each event), according to the player position, match halve and match, and also to group the players according to their SubMip values during the competition. Methods We collected a total of 247 individual records of 14 players using Global Positioning System (GPS) during 15 official league matches (Azerbaijan Premier League 2019–2020). We calculated both the number of SubMIPs events and the time each player spent in the SubMIPs zone (threshold of 85% MIP). We analysed the possible independence of the variables with the Kruskal–Wallis test and the possible specific relationships between the groups using a post-hoc analysis with Dunn’s test. In order to explore the possible distribution of physical demands in homogeneous groups, a cluster analysis was performed. Results The statistical analysis showed significant differences between the individual variables in the number of events and in the time spent by the player above the threshold in distance covered at speed >19.8 km/h (HSR), distance covered at speed >25.2 km/h (Sprint), acceleration density (AccDens), mean metabolic power (MetPow), metres per minute (Mmin) and high metabolic load distance >25.5 W/kg (HMLD). Differences were also found according to the playing position in MetPow, Mmin and between halves in AccDens, MetPow, Mmin. In the clustering based on the time spent by the player in SubMIPs, three main groups were described: (1) the centroid was located in lower values in each of the variables; (2) there were an accentuation of the AccDens variable; (3) all the variables, except AccDens, were accentuated. Conclusions The main differences with regard to SubMIPs were related to the player’s individual physical performance and not to position. However, the player’s position could act as an attractor and show significant differences during matches.
The goal of this study was to investigate side-to-side differences and asymmetries regarding muscle characteristics in young tennis players. Thirty-four participants performed contractile property measurements (stiffness, tone, elasticity and time to relaxation) on the dominant and non-dominant extremities including nine muscle groups involved in the kinetic chain of main tennis strokes. Significant differences (p ≤ 0.05) and small-to-moderate effect sizes for greater stiffness and tone were found for the dominant biceps femoris (-11.1% and-5.6%; ES = 0.53 and 0.54) and the non-dominant vastus medialis (5.4% and 3.2%; ES =-0.33 and-0.41), while greater tone was present in the non-dominant pectoralis major (4.0%; ES =-0.56). Time to relaxation was increased in the dominant biceps femoris (10.3%; ES =-0.58), the non-dominant pectoralis major (5.1%; ES =-0.56) and the gastrocnemius (9.1%; ES =-0.5). The non-dominant infraspinatus and dominant rectus abdominis showed greater elasticity than contralateral muscles (9.9% and-8.0%; ES =-0.58 and 0.6, respectively). These results reflect the existence of small-to-moderate differences when comparing side-to-side values of contractile characteristics in a small amount of the muscle groups tested. However, passive measurements of a relaxed muscle do not seem to fully reflect possible adaptation and changes derived from gameplay in young tennis players.
In the field of sports psychology and more specifically within elite sports, the influence that mood states have on performance is of great interest. This study investigated the relationship between professional basketball variables and mood profile throughout a competitive period. Twelve professional players were divided into two groups: starting players (SP) and rotation players (RP). The Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire was administered weekly for 5 weeks. The individual training load and individual match performance were controlled. The results showed that mood, energy index and game performance remained stable. The training load varied in the assessment period but did not have an influence on the player's mood. Regarding the team role, the SP scored higher POMS results than RP. There was a positive relationship between the before-match assessment of mood and performance in competition (p = .019). No relationship was found between player’s performance and mood 48 h after the game (p = .93).
Bullying is a social problem that has been studied most in schools but affects other social contexts. However, there is a general lack of studies on bullying in sports. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of bullying among youth soccer players. Participants were 1,980 soccer players (88.2% boys) aged 8 to 13 years (Mage = 10.5, SD = 1.68) from 25 clubs in Catalonia, Spain. An ad hoc questionnaire was administered to analyze the prevalence and characteristics of bullying from the perspective of victims, bullies, and bystanders. The overall bullying victimization rate was 8.9%, with higher rates observed in the younger categories (p < .001); 5.2% of victims experienced bullying in both their soccer club and at school. The bullying and bystander rates were 14.8% and 34.7%, respectively, with significant differences between boys and girls (15.5% of boys and 9% of girls were bullies [p < .05], while 36.4% of boys and 21.9% of girls were bystanders [p < .001]). Verbal bullying was the main type of bullying reported. The locker room and pitch were the most common locations, and victims were more likely to deal with bullying on their own than to ask for help. Bullying is present in grassroots soccer, and anti-bullying programs are needed to instill ethical and moral values in athletes and equip coaches with the necessary skills to prevent, detect, and address bullying situations.
Overspeed-based training is widely used to improve athletes’ maximum running speed and towing systems are one of the most frequently employed methods for this purpose. However, the effectiveness of this modality has not been thoroughly determined. This review analyzes the acute effects of overspeed conditions with towing systems in sprinters. The articles were searched, analyzed and selected following the PRISMA methodology in the PubMed, SPORTDiscus and Google Scholar databases. Sixteen studies were included, with a total sample of 240 men and 56 women (14 to 31y; 1.73 to 1.82m; 66.2 to 77.0kg). The main acute responses found were: 1) an increase in maximum running speed (ES=1.54, large), stride length (ES=0.92, moderate), flight time (ES=0.28, small) and stride rate (ES=0.12, trivial); and, 2) a decrease in contact time (ES=0.57, small). However, analysis of the reported ground reaction forces and electromyography data did not provide enough consistent evidence to conclusively determine whether the changes are due to a greater muscular response of the athlete or the effect of the towing system. Future research should focus on studying the mechanisms responsible for the observed acute effects.
This study aimed to investigate the acute and delayed effects of medicine ball throws and resistance training in ball velocity and accuracy of serve, forehand and backhand in young competition tennis players. A crossover-randomized design was used with 10 competition tennis players (6 girls and 4 boys between 14 and 18 years old). The subjects performed 6 stroke test sessions, 3 for each strength protocol. The velocity and accuracy of strokes were measured before (basal situation), 3 minutes, 24 and 48 hours after the protocol. Medicine ball throws protocol was performed by accomplishing 3 sets of 6 repetitions using a 2 kg ball, throwing it at maximal speed. Resistance training protocol was performed by accomplishing 3 sets of 6 repetitions at 75% one-repetition maximum, lifting the load at maximal speed of bench press, dead lift, one hand row and half squat. There were no significant (p > 0.05) differences in all strokes, regarding ball velocity and accuracy after each method and each recovery time, compared to the basal situation. These results suggest that medicine ball throws and resistance training methods have no acute and delayed detrimental effects on stroke velocity and accuracy in young competition tennis players.
The aim of this study was to compare the immediate effects of cold-water immersion (CWI) and hot-water immersion (HWI) versus passive resting after a fatigue-induced bout of exercise on the muscle contractile properties of the Vastus Medialis (VM). We conducted a randomised cross-over study involving 28 healthy active men where muscle contractile properties of the VM wer recorded using Tensiomyography (TMG) before and after CWI, HWI or passive resting and up to one-hour post-application. The main outcomes obtained were muscle displacement and velocity of deformation according to limb size (Dmr and Vdr). Our results showed a significant effect of time (F(3.9,405) =32.439; p <0.001; η²p =0.29) and the interaction between time and temperature (F(7.9,405) =5.814; p <0.001; η²p=0.13) on Dmr but no for temperature alone (F(2,81) =2.013; p =0.14; η²p=0.04) while for Vdr, both time (F(5.2,486) =23.068; p <0.001 η²p = 0.22) and temperature (F(2,81) =4.219; p = 0.018; η²p= 0.09) as well as the interaction (F(10.4,486) =7.784; p <0.001; η²p =0.16) were found significant. Compared to CWI, HWI increased Dmr post-application and Vdr both post-application as well as 15 and 45ʹ thereafter. These findings suggest that applying HWI could be a valid alternative to CWI to promote muscle recovery.
Objective To analyze the effect in the blood metabolome of trail running, a demanding sport that takes place in the natural environment, places considerable strain on both muscles and joints. While metabolic responses to aerobic exercise have been analyzed in-depth, few studies have focused on trail running. Design Observational study to analyze changes in 35 different metabolites -representative of aerobic exercise-induced by a simulated 21-km trail race with an uphill gradient of 1400 m. Methods We performed a semiquantitative metabolomics study consisting of capillary blood microsampling and targeted screening with liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to analyze, in 33 licensed athletes, changes concerning 35 metabolites. Results: We observed significant changes in many metabolites, including increased acetyl-carnitine and taurine concentrations (false discovery rate–corrected paired t-test p = 1.63, E-13, and p = 5.021, E-12, respectively) and decreased carnitine and proline concentrations (p = 6.33, E-10, and p = 1.21, E-9, respectively). Metabolic responses to trail running were largely independent of sex but were influenced by the level of training, with runners with a higher level showing resistance to exercise-induced changes in taurine, 1-methyl histidine, acetyl-carnitine, and hypoxanthine concentrations. Performance (measured as race time) was inversely correlated with changes in specific metabolites (including taurine, serotonin, and hypoxanthine) and directly correlated with increases in glutathione. Conclusion Our findings demonstrate the usefulness of metabolomics studies for analyzing exercise-induced physiological changes and show individual differences associated with the level of training and performance.
In this work, the position of the goals was modified to analyze the effects on the exploratory behavior and the team tactical pattern, which can be meaningful variables to study creativity in team sports. Twenty-four male soccer school players under the age of 12 participated in this study. Participants were divided into four teams of one goalkeeper and 5 players. Each team played six small-sided games of 5 min in three different goals positioning situations. The positioning-derived data of each player were collected using 10 Hz GPS units, were exported, and then computed using Matlab® dedicated routines. The positioning-derived variables were: team length and width, sector and corridor, centroid speed and its distance to the own goal, the centroid angle, and the speed of spread rate. They were analyzed by means of a PCA and the dynamic overlap order parameter. Results showed that changing the position of goals did not affect significantly the exploratory behavior. PCA analysis and Tucker’s Congruence Coefficient revealed that the task constraints could be characterized by a high mutual atypicality, and hence, originality. The use of the dynamic overlap, the PCA, hPCA, andTucker’s Congruence Coefficient to assess the degree of creativity in team sports were discussed. In conclusion, modifying the position of the goals can foster original behaviors of young athletes and increase the tactical repertoire of players.
In team sports, load management has become one of the most common areas of investigation, given that effective control over load is the key to being able to optimize performance and avoid injuries. Despite the constant evolution and innovation in the latest theories, we can see a clear tendency in load management that focuses on physiological and mechanical aspects and neglects its cognitive character, which generates the variability inherent in the performance of athletes in a changing environment. Indicators of response that inform methods of control over cognitive load can include cognitive, physiological and behavioral indicators. However, limited investigations exist to support the reliability of each indicator regarding cognitive load. For this reason, the objective of this literature review is to present strategies used to manage cognitive load in team sports, as well as the indicators utilized for such a proposition and their relationships in specific contexts.
This article provides a vision of the importance of the recovery process for the prevention of injuries in young athletes. From a sports psychology perspective, it presents a proposal for an optimisation programme to reduce the negative impact of exertion and subsequent risk of injury. The 4BR programme consists of three sub-programmes (technician advice, vulnerability detection, and the implementation of four recovery habit blocks). An interdisciplinary approach is taken to configure the four healthy blocks: nutrition–hydration, relaxation–rest, social life and personal moments. It demonstrates the importance of personalised adaptation to the sports context and moment in order to achieve maximum effectiveness of the proposed 4BR programme, which comprises workshops, exercises, evaluation systems and information feedback. The presented programme facilitates recovery, optimizes the return to training and reduces the risk of intrinsic injuries in young people. The conclusion drawn from the study is that there is a need to conduct further research to find empirical evidence of the positive effects of applying the 4BR programme to different sports.
Purpose To publish the Spanish translation of Version 12 of the sports injury classification system called Orchard Sports Injury Classification System and propose a modification to include a numerical code that reflects the impact of the injury on sports functionality. Methods The members of the working group on the epidemiology of sports injury, of the Group for the Study of the Muscle-Tendon System (GESMUTE), and of the Spanish Society of Sports Traumatology (SETRADE), carried out a bibliographical review on the epidemiological classification systems of injuries, 3 face-to-face consensus meetings, and various online pieces of work, following the Delphi work methodology. Results The Spanish translation of Version 12 of the Orchard Sports Injury Classification System is fully accessible and free of charge at . The current project proposes to add, at the end of the current coding system of Version 12, a numerical code (0: No Functional impairment; 1: Limits Sports Activity; 2: Prevents Sports Activity; 3: Limits Daily Life Activities), to indicate any functional repercussions caused by the injury. Conclusion We present the Spanish translation of Version 12 of the Orchard Sports Injury Classification System. We propose as an improvement the inclusion of functionality criteria in sports injury classifications; more specifically, our proposal could be an improvement to the Orchard Sports Injury Classification System Version 12.
Exercise is related to many individual health outcomes but impact evaluations of exercise programmes are seldom conducted. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the feasibility of an exercise prescription intervention in primary health-care settings (CAMINEM Programme) located in two socially disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The CAMINEM was a pragmatic-driven intervention with opportunistic recruitment. It followed the 5As framework for health promotion and also the exercise training principles. Feasibility was evaluated using the RE-AIM framework (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance). Patients with non-communicable chronic diseases participated in a 12-month home-based moderate-intensity exercise program, counselled by exercise physiologists. Participants were grouped according to their physical activity behaviour at baseline and 6-month adherence. CAMINEM reached 1.49% (n = 229) of the eligible population (N = 15374) and included a final sample of 178. Health outcomes for adhered participants followed positive patterns. Non-adhered participants visited their practitioner more compared to adhered participants. Thirty-three practitioners (40%) referred patients. Nurses referred four times more than physicians (81% and 19% respectively). The delivery of exercise prescriptions proved to be easy to complete and record by participants as well as easy to monitor and adjust by the exercise physiologists. One out of four participants adhered during the 12-month intervention. This intervention has been feasible in primary care in Catalonia, Spain, to safely prescribe home-based exercise for several conditions.
BACKGROUND The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between power output and relative power output at the functional threshold power, ventilatory threshold and respiratory compensation point in road cyclists. METHODS Forty-six road cyclists (age 38 ± 9 years; height 177 ± 9 cm; body mass 71.4 ± 8.6 kg; body mass index 22.7 ± 2.2 kg·m-1; fat mass 7.8 ± 4%, VO2max 61.1 ± 9.1 ml·min-1·kg-1) performed a graded exercise test in which power output and relative power output at the ventilatory landmarks were identified. Functional threshold power was established as 95% of the power output during a 20-minute test. RESULTS Power output and relative power output at the functional threshold power were higher than at the ventilatory threshold (p < 0.001). There were very large to near perfect correlations for power output (95% CI for r from 0.71 to 0.9) and relative power output (95% CI for r from 0.79 to 0.93) at the functional threshold power and respiratory compensation point. Mean bias in power ouput and relative power output measured at RCP compared with FTP was not significant (mean bias 95% CI from -7 to 10 W and -0.1 to 0.1 W/kg, respectively). CONCLUSIONS Power output and relative power output at the functional threshold power are higher than at the ventilatory threshold. Power output and relative power output at the functional threshold power and respiratory compensation point are strongly related, but caution is required when using both concepts indistinctly.
The aim of this study was to identify how positioning the goals in diagonal configurations on the pitch modifies the external training load and the tactical behaviour of young football players during smallsided games. Four teams of five outfield players and a goalkeeper played six small-sided games of five minutes’ duration in three different scenarios: 1) Control: goals placed one in front of the other; 2) Right diagonal goals: goals placed in the right-hand corner of the offensive half-pitch; and 3) Left diagonal goals: goals placed in the left-hand corner of the offensive half-pitch. The positioning-derived data from each player were collected with 10-Hz GPS units and were used to compute external load and tactical variables. Regarding the external load variables, differences were mainly focused on distance covered while walking in defence and game pace (variability), with higher values for the diagonal scenarios. Also, the length/width ratios in offence and defence were most likely lower in diagonal scenarios. In conclusion, the results showed that players’ adaptations to the environmental constraints of positioning the goals diagonally were the enhancement of the width team variable and the variability of the length.
Aim: The present study aimed to analyze if the exergaming exercise produces the same acute effects as conventional training. Methods: The Nintendo® Wii was chosen as the stimulus for this study. Participants should conduct a physical training session under Exergames Training (ET) and Conventional Training (CT). Both training conditions use two aerobic exercises and six strength exercises, which were always performed in the same sequence. The study group was composed of 30 young adults (16 men and 14 women, mean age of 23.7±3.7 years). Results: Our findings showed significant results between pre and post-tests: the heart rate (HR) and the double product (DP) were higher in the post-exercise period, while the systolic blood pressure (SBP) was lower. Further analysis revealed that ET and CT conditions had no significant differences. ET condition showed to present similar results as CT condition to women (regarding HR, diastolic blood pressure - DBP, and DP), and to men (HR, SBP, and DBP). Conclusion: The present research showed that exergaming provides the same acute effects in physiological variables as conventional exercises. Thus, this kind of exercise can be a reliable way to improve the lifestyle of young adults.
Nuell, S, Illera-Domínguez, V, Carmona, G, Macadam, P, Lloret, M, Padullés, JM, Alomar, X, and Cadefau, JA. Hamstring muscle volume as an indicator of sprint performance. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2021-This study aimed to compare mechanical properties and performance during sprinting, as well as thigh muscle volumes (MVs), between national-level sprinters and physically active males. In addition, the relationships between thigh MVs and sprint mechanical properties and performance were investigated. Seven male sprinters and 9 actives performed maximal-effort 40-m sprints. Instantaneous velocity was measured by radar to obtain theoretical maximum force (F0), the theoretical maximum velocity (V0), and the maximum power (Pmax). For MV assessment, series of cross-sectional images of each subject's thigh were obtained by magnetic resonance imaging for each of the quadriceps and hamstring muscles and the adductor muscle group. Sprinters were faster over 10 m (7%, effect size [ES] = 2.12, p < 0.01) and 40 m (11%, ES = 3.68, p < 0.01), with significantly higher V0 (20%, ES = 4.53, p < 0.01) and Pmax (28%, ES = 3.04, p < 0.01). Sprinters had larger quadriceps (14%, ES = 1.12, p < 0.05), adductors (23%, ES = 1.33, p < 0.05), and hamstrings (32%, ES = 2.11, p < 0.01) MVs than actives. Hamstrings MV correlated strongly with 40-m sprint time (r = -0.670, p < 0.01) and V0 (r = 0.757, p < 0.01), and moderately with Pmax (r = 0.559, p < 0.05). Sprinters were significantly faster and had greater V0 and Pmax than active males. Larger MVs were found in sprinters' thighs, especially in the hamstring musculature, and strong correlations were found between hamstring MV and sprint mechanical properties and sprint performance.
This study aimed to analyze and compare the match running performance during official matches across four seasons (2015/2016–2018/2019) in the top two professional leagues of Spanish football. Match running performance data were collected from all matches in the First Spanish Division (Santander; n = 1520) and Second Spanish Division (Smartbank; n = 1848), using the Mediacoach® System. Total distance and distances of 14–21 km·h−1, 21–24 km·h−1, and more than 24 km·h−1, and the number of sprints between 21 and 24 km·h−1 and more than 24 km·h−1 were analyzed. The results showed higher total distances in the First Spanish Division than in the Second Spanish Division (p < 0.001) in all the variables analyzed. Regarding the evolution of both leagues, physical demands decreased more in the First Spanish Division than in the Second Spanish Division. The results showed a decrease in total distance and an increase in the high-intensity distances and number of sprints performed, although a clearer trend is perceived in the First Spanish Division (p < 0.001; p < 0.01, respectively). Knowledge about the evolution of match running performance allows practitioners to manage the training load according to the competition demands to improve players’ performances and reduce the injury rate.
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133 members
Marta Castañer
  • University of Lleida
Xavier Iglesias
  • Sport Sciences Research Group INEFC Barcelona
Oleguer Camerino
  • Human Motricity Laboratory INEFC-Lleida
Mercè Mateu
  • Department of Physical Education
Eloisa Lorente-Catalán
  • Department of Physical Education
Barcelona, Spain