[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS) is a heritable disorder of the connective tissue characterized by excessive joint movement, musculoskeletal pain and neurophysiological deficits (i.e. decreased proprioceptive acuity, altered neuromuscular reflexes). Such deficits may affect body balance thus increasing the risk of injury. The present study aimed at examining static and dynamic body balance following challenge of the visual and vestibular systems in individuals with JHS.
The sample consisted of 21 females with JHS and 20 controls without signs of JHS. Static body balance was assessed by the degree of anteroposterior and mediolateral deviation of the center of pressure, during 20-sec single-leg stances with eyes opened (EO), eyes closed (EC) and eyes opened with head extension (EO-HE) using a foot pressure platform. Dynamic body balance was assessed by the number of landing and balance errors committed during a multiple single-leg-hop-stabilization test.
Nonparametric analysis showed that the JHS-group demonstrated significantly greater (a) mediolateral deviation during single-leg-stance with EO (p < 0.01), (b) mediolateral and anteroposterior deviation during single-leg-stance with EO-HE (p < 0.05), and (c) number of landing errors (p < 0.05) compared to the control group.
Poor static balance following challenge of the vestibular system may be justified by vestibular deficiency and/or insufficient proprioceptive capabilities of the neck. Impairments of dynamic balance in individuals with JHS may be attributed to proprioceptive deficits, which can alter feedforward and feedback mechanisms.
No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Journal of bodywork and movement therapies
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Ankle sprain is an extremely common injury in soccer players. Despite extensive research, the intrinsic cause of this injury under noncontact conditions remains unclear.
To identify intrinsic risk factors for noncontact ankle sprains in professional soccer players.
Cohort study; Level of evidence, 2
One hundred professional soccer players were assessed in the preseason for potential risk factors of noncontact ankle sprains. The assessment included (A) ankle joint asymmetries (right-left) in isokinetic muscle strength, flexibility, proprioception, and stability; (B) somatometric asymmetries; (C) previous injuries; and (D) lateral dominance traits. Noncontact ankle sprains were prospectively recorded and diagnosed for a full competition period (10 months).
Seventeen of the players sustained at least 1 noncontact ankle sprain. Logistic regression revealed that players with (A) eccentric isokinetic ankle flexion strength asymmetries (odds ratio [OR] = 8.88; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.95-40.36, P = .005), (B) increased body mass index (OR = 8.16; 95% CI, 1.42-46.63, P = .018), and (C) increased body weight (OR = 5.72; 95% CI, 1.37-23.95, P = .017 ) each had a significantly higher risk of a noncontact ankle sprain. A trend for younger players (OR = 0.28; 95% CI, 0.061-1.24, P = .092) and for players with ankle laxity asymmetries (OR = 3.38; 95% CI, 0.82-14.00, P = .093) to be at greater risk for ankle sprain was also apparent to the limit of statistical significance (.05 < P < .10).
Functional strength asymmetries of the ankle flexors and increased body mass index and body weight raise the propensity for ankle sprains in professional soccer players. Age and asymmetries in ankle laxity are potential factors worth revisiting, as there was an indication for younger players and players with ankle instability to be at higher risk for ankle injury. Proper preseason evaluation may improve prevention strategies for this type of injury in soccer.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · The American Journal of Sports Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The present study revisited the problem of estimating Olympic success by critical demo-economic indicators. The sample consisted of the 75 winner countries at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games (not previously analyzed). Medal totals were log-linearly regressed on land, population, GDP, urban population, inflation, growth rate, unemployment, labor force, health expenditures, ex-host, and team size. Multiple regression assumptions were tested with proper diagnostics including collinearity. Olympic team size was the best single predictors of Olympic medals (R2=0.690, p
No preview · Article · May 2012 · Sport Management Review
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Soccer players possess various degrees of functional footedness. Their lower limbs are subjected to consistent asymmetrical workloads and neuromuscular adaptations, and as a result develop asymmetrical patterns of musculoskeletal function. This study focused on the myodynamic profile of the knee and ankle joint in professional soccer players. Special emphasis was put on the multivariate quantification of three types of asymmetry: directional (left vs. right), fluctuating (dominant vs. non dominant) and absolute (left vs. right).
One-hundred professional soccer players (mean age 23.4 years, weight 73.3, height 177.6) were tested isokinetically for concentric and eccentric isokinetic muscle strength (1) of the knee flexors and extensors, and (2) of the ankle dorsal and plantar flexors. Knee flexion-extension was tested at 60o, 180o and 300o/s for the concentric mode of contraction and at 60o and 180o/s for the eccentric. The ankle joint was tested only at 60o/s for both the concentric and eccentric action.
MANOVA showed significances for all three types of strength asymmetry (joint and action combined): directional (Wilks' Λ=0.66, F=2.957, P=0.001), fluctuating (Wilks' Λ=0.61, F=2.957, P=0.007), and absolute asymmetry (Wilks' Λ=0.47, F=116.26, P=0.000). Several significant asymmetries were also revealed at the univariate level of analysis (P<0.05).
It seems that the lower limbs of professional soccer players are characterized by significant compound muscle strength asymmetries. These findings substantiate the idea of asymmetry in the myodynamic adaptations that take place at the knee and ankle joint of soccer players during the game. Individual modification of the training load, targeting in strength asymmetry correction, should be taken into consideration for injury prevention.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: To identify the intrinsic risk factors of non-contact strains in the hamstrings and quadriceps muscles of professional soccer players via a cohort prospective design.
A total of 100 professional soccer players (aged 19.4-27.8 years) from four professional teams underwent a composite musculoskeletal assessment at preseason. Intrinsic risk factors included dichotomies of asymmetries in muscle strength, flexibility, proprioception, anthropometry and knee joint stability, and of previous injuries. Muscle strains were prospectively monitored during the subsequent season using questionnaires. The data were analysed via binary logistic regression.
Thirty-eight percent of the players sustained one or more lower-extremity muscle strains. Sixteen (42.1 %) and seven (18.4 %) of them were clinically diagnosed as having non-contact muscle strains at their hamstrings and quadriceps, respectively. Players with eccentric hamstring strength asymmetries (OR=3.88; 95% CI 1.13 to 13.23), functional leg length asymmetries (OR=3.80; 95% CI 1.08 to 13.33) and no previous hamstrings injuries (OR=0.15; 95% CI 0.029 to 0.79) were at greater risk of sustaining a hamstring muscle strain. Players with eccentric strength (OR=5.01; 95% CI 0.92 to 27.14) and flexibility asymmetries (OR=4.98; 95% CI 0.78 to 31.80) in their quadriceps as well as heavier (OR=10.70; 95% CI 0.73 to 156.37) and shorter players (OR=0.08; 95% CI 0.00 to 1.35) were at greater risk of sustaining a strain in this muscle group.
Professional soccer players with functional asymmetries possess a higher risk of sustaining hamstring strains. Previous injury seems not to constitute a risk factor. The systematic isokinetic evaluation of the lower extremities during the preseason period can provide therapists and trainers with valuable data regarding the predictive elements of non-contact hamstring strains in professional soccer players.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · British Journal of Sports Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Kicking and cutting skills in soccer are clearly unilateral, require asymmetrical motor patterns and lead to the development of asymmetrical adaptations in the musculoskeletal function of the lower limbs. Assuming that these adaptations constitute a chronicity-dependent process, this study examined the effects of professional training age (PTA) on the composite strength profile of the knee and ankle joint in soccer players. One hundred soccer players (n=100) with short (5-7 years), intermediate (8-10 years) and long (>11 years) PTA were tested bilaterally for isokinetic concentric and eccentric strength of the knee and ankle muscles. Knee flexion-extension was tested concentrically at 60°, 180° and 300 °/sec and eccentrically at 60° and 180 °/sec. Ankle dorsal and plantar flexions were tested at 60 °/sec for both the concentric and eccentric mode of action. Bilaterally averaged muscle strength [(R+L)/2] increased significantly from short training age to intermediate and stabilized afterwards. These strength adaptations were mainly observed at the concentric function of knee extensors at 60°/sec (p = 0. 023), knee flexors at 60°/sec (p = 0.042) and 180°/sec (p = 0.036), and ankle plantar flexors at 60o/sec (p = 0.044). A linear trend of increase in isokinetic strength with PTA level was observed for the eccentric strength of knee flexors at 60°/sec (p = 0.02) and 180°/sec (p = 0.03). Directional (R/L) asymmetries decreased with PTA, with this being mainly expressed in the concentric function of knee flexors at 180°/sec (p = 0.04) and at 300 °/sec (p = 0.03). These findings confirm the hypothesis of asymmetry in the strength adaptations that take place at the knee and ankle joint of soccer players mainly along with short and intermediate PTA. Players with a longer PTA seem to adopt a more balanced use of their lower extremities to cope with previously developed musculoskeletal asymmetries and possibly reduce injury risk. This has certain implications regarding proper training and injury prevention in relation to professional experience in soccer. Key pointsMuscle strength increased from the low (5-7 years) to the intermediate professional training age (8-10 years) and stabilized thereafter.Soccer practicing and competition at the professional level induces critical strength adaptations (asymmetries) regarding the function of the knee and ankle musculature.Soccer players with long professional training age showed a tendency for lower isokinetic strength asymmetries than players with intermediate and short professional training age.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Journal of sports science & medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: This study investigated selected structural correlates of fencing performance. 33 elite fencers were tested on (a) selected anthropometric, flexibility, and strength-power related parameters, and (b) specific lower extremity functional fencing tests. Multiple regression showed that drop jump and thigh cross-sectional area were best predictors of lunge time and distance of squat jump on the shuttle test. When the two performance variables were expressed per Lean Body Mass, lunge time was significantly predicted only by the performance on the arm-driven counter-movement jump, while time on the shuttle test was best predicted by three noncollinear significant predictors: squat jump performance, thigh circumference, and percent body fat. Lunge time and time on the shuttle test were predicted by explosive power, while none of the nontrainable anthropometric measures or years of training seemed to be important in performance of fencing-related skills.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2010 · Perceptual and Motor Skills
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The present study aimed at investigating the differences in selected anthropometric, strength-power parameters and functional characteristics of fencing performance between elite and sub-elite fencers. Thirty-three fencers (18 females and 15 males) from the Greek National Team, (age 19 ± 3.5 yr, body height 175.6 ± 7.6 cm, body mass 66.1 ± 9.1 kg, systematic training 8.4 ± 2.9 yr) were classified as elite and sub-elite, according to their international experience. Subjects underwent a detailed anthropometric assessment and performed selected leg power and fencing-specific tests. Significant differences were observed between the two groups in sitting height, triceps, subscapular, and quadriceps dominant skinfold thickness, absolute and body mass-dependent expressions of leg functional power characteristics of fencing performance: "time of lunge" and time of the "shuttle test". Anthropometric traits, such as height, body mass, percent fat and limb length were not different among elite and sub-elite fencers. Although technical and tactical factors are good indicators of fencing success, the observed differences in functional fencing performance tests among different levels of fencers are useful for the design of effective talent development and training-conditioning programs for competitive fencers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Excessive subtalar pronation causes significant changes in the biomechanics of the lower leg, adversely influences proprioceptive feedback and neuromuscular reflex behavior and consequently, affects stability of the foot. However, the changes in muscle strength, caused by hyperpronation are unclear.
The purpose of the present study was to compare the evertor and invertor peak torque between hyperpronated and normal individuals as well as between their dominant and non-dominant foot.
20 healthy male participants volunteered for this study. Leg dominance was assessed on the basis of a questionnaire and navicular drop measurements were used to classify participants into two groups: hyperpronated (> or =10 mm) and normals (5-9 mm). Isokinetic concentric eversion and inversion muscle group strength was tested at 30 degrees and 120 degrees/s using the Con-Trex MJ isokinetic dynamometer.
In all cases, inversion peak torque was greater than eversion peak torque and declined with increasing angular velocity. No significant differences were found for inversion and eversion concentric strength at both speeds tested, neither between normal and hyperpronated individuals neither between their dominant and non-dominant foot.
These results indicate the need re-evaluation of navicular drop values in order to identify normal and abnormal subtalar pronation. The assessment of eccentric contractions is also proposed when examining invertors and evertors isokinetic strength.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Several studies have been carried out in order to investigate the effect of ankle bracing on ankle joint function and performance. However, no study so far has examined the role of skin-brace interface pressure in neuromuscular control. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different skin-ankle brace interface pressures on quiet single limb balance and the electromyographic (EMG) activation sequence of four lower limb muscles.
Thirty three male physical education students who volunteered to take part in the study were measured under three ankle brace conditions: i) without brace, ii) with brace and 30 kPa application pressure and iii) with brace and 60 kPa application pressure. Single limb balance (anteroposterior and mediolateral parameter) was assessed on the dominant lower limb, with open and closed eyes, on a force platform, simultaneously with the EMG recording of four lower lower limb muscles' (gastrocnemius, peroneus longus, rectus femoris and biceps femoris) activation onset.
The results showed that overall balance (total stability parameter) was not significantly affected in any of the three ankle brace conditions. However, the anteroposterior centre of pressure excursion and centre of pressure excursion velocity were significantly increased with the application of ankle brace, both with 30 and 60 kPa application pressures. Furthermore, it was found that single limb balance was significantly worse with closed eyes compared to open eyes. EMG measurements showed that the sequence of lower limb activation onset was not affected in any of the three ankle brace application conditions. The results of this study showed that the application of an ankle brace with two different skin-brace interface pressures had no effect on overall single limb balance and the sequence of lower limb muscle activation.
These findings suggest that peripheral joint receptors are either not adequately stimulated by the brace application and therefore are not able to alter the balance control strategy of the CNS, or that they play a less important role in the control of single limb balance. Further research is needed in this area with more dynamic and functional measurements, before the safe use of ankle bracing can be widely recommended.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2007 · BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: This study examined the effects of a typical fencing training program on selected hormones, neuromuscular performance, and anthropometric parameters in peripubertal boys. Two sets of measurements, before training and after 12 months of training, were performed on 2 groups of 11- to 13-year-old boys. One group consisted of fencers (n = 8), who trained regularly for the 12-month period, and the other group (n = 8) consisted of inactive children of the same age. There was no difference in Tanner's maturation stage of the 2 groups before (controls, 2.5 ± 0.3; fencers, 2.1 ± 0.3) and after the 12 months (controls, 3.0 ± 0.3; fencers, 3.0 ± 0.3). Serum testosterone, growth hormone, sex hormone binding globulin, free androgen index, and leptin changed significantly over time, reaching similar values in the 2 groups at the end of the study. Significantly greater increases in body mass (16 ± 3%) and leg cross-sectional area (CSA) (32 ± 7%) were observed only in the fencers' group, and these differences disappeared when height was set as a changing covariate. Although there was a greater increase in height for the fencers compared to the control group (8.6 ± 1.2 vs. 3.6 ± 0.9 cm, p < 0.01), the height reached at the end of the study was almost identical in the 2 groups (controls, 163.6 ± 5.1; fencers, 165.4 ± 2.8). Arm CSA, handgrip strength, and vertical jump performance changed significantly over time for both groups, with no differences between groups. It was concluded that a typical fencing training program for peripubertal boys did not have any effect on selected growth and anabolic hormones and did not influence the normal growth process, as this was reflected by changes in selected anthropometric and neuromuscular performance parameters. This may be because of the characteristics of the present fencing training program, which may not be adequate to alter children's hormonal functions in such a way as to override the rapid changes occurring during puberty.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2006 · The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: We evaluated whether quadriceps and hamstrings weakness depended on chronicity in amateur athletes with anterior cruciate ligament deficiencies. We hypothesized that the weakness would not recover to the level of healthy control subjects without structured rehabilitation. Secondarily, we asked whether quadriceps and hamstrings side-to-side percent asymmetry in strength was consistent at different stages of chronicity. Thirty-six male amateur athletes forming equal groups of short, intermediate, and long chronicity (mean, 4, 12, and 56 months, respectively) were tested isokinetically against control subjects at 60 degrees per second. Weakness was substantial in both muscle groups and at all times ranging from 32% to 21% compared with the control subjects. However, side-to-side deficits revealed a linear trend of lessening with time. The quadriceps had greater side-to-side asymmetry that ranged from 23% to 10%, whereas the hamstrings asymmetry ranged from 14% to almost 0%. Acquiring symmetric strength earlier than 1 year after injury only occurred in the hamstrings. It can be inferred that participation in organized rehabilitation would minimize the detrimental effects of anterior cruciate ligament rupture on thigh muscle strength. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Prognostic Study, Level II.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2006 · Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Muscle strength asymmetries have been investigated in athletes under the assumption of their connection to functional discrepancies and injuries. In volleyball, which is a highly asymmetric sport, this assumption becomes a well established research hypothesis. Given the almost complete lack of scientific evidence on this hypothesis, the present study focused on the detailed multivariate quantification of muscle asymmetries in offensive volleyball players. Twenty-four elite athletes (age 24.71±4.44 years, weight 84.62±6.24, height 190.08±5.58) were tested for concentric isokinetic muscle strength (a) of the internal and external rotators of the shoulder and (b) of the quadriceps and hamstrings of the knee at 60/s. Significant multivariate results were found for absolute (Max-Min) asymmetry in the upper (Hotteling's T =8.801, F=7.447, P=0.001) and the lower limbs (Hotteling's T =16.382, F=13.862, P=0.000), for fluctuating asymmetry (Dominant-Non Dominant) in the upper limbs (Hotteling's T =5.584, F=4.296, P=0.013) and for directional asymmetry (Left-Right) in the lower limbs (Hotteling's T =3.593, F=3.041, P=0.036). It appears that the upper and lower limbs of offensive volleyball players present significant composite muscle strength asymmetries, which should be taken into consideration in training and rehabilitation.
No preview · Article · Mar 2006 · European Journal of Sport Science
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to establish an anthropometric profile of young fencers separated into four different age groups and to examine the degree of upper and lower limb asymmetry. Selected anthropometric characteristics were measured in 152 fencers (84 males and 68 females) during the Greek fencing championships. Fencers were divided into 4 age categories (boys/girls, cadets, junior and senior) according to the International Fencing Federation rules. The larger differences in anthropometric characteristics of both males and females were observed between the very young group (10-13yrs) and the older groups, while for most parameters, there were no differences between the two older groups (18-20yrs and >20yrs). There was no significant difference between the 10-13yrs groups of males and females in almost all anthropometric characteristics. Somatotype ratings were relatively stable across age groups. The mean somatotype of male fencers was 3.1-2.6-3.2. The female fencers were mainly situated in the ectomorph -endomorph region, and had a mean somatotype of 3.8-1.8-3.3. Arm CSA was higher in males compared to females in all age groups, except for the 10-13yrs group. However, leg CSA was not different between genders in all age groups. Significant CSA asymmetries were observed between the dominant and the non-dominant sides in the arm and leg in both genders. Arm asymmetries were evident from an early age, while leg asymmetries were not observed in the younger group. The lack of significant differences between males and females for the 10-13yrs groups in most of the anthropometric characteristics, should be taken into account in talent selection.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2006 · Journal of Human Movement Studies
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Nineteen untrained preadolescent males (11-13 years old) were randomly placed into an experimental trained group (STG, n = 9) and a control group (n = 10). Informed consent was obtained from the children and their parents. The STG was submitted to a 2-month resistance-training program (6 exercises, 3 x 10 repetitions maximum [RM], 3 times per week), followed by a 2-month detraining program. The effectiveness of the resistance program was determined by measuring pre- and posttraining and detraining differences in isometric and isotonic (10RM) strength and hormonal responses in testosterone (T), sex hormone binding globulin, and free androgen index (FAI). Their maturation stage was evaluated according to Tanner. Significant posttraining isometric strength gains (17.5%) and mean T and FAI value increases (p < 0.05-0.001) were observed in STG. Detraining resulted in a significant loss (9.5%, p < 0.001) of isometric strength whereas the hormonal parameters of STG remained practically unaltered. The relative (delta%) postdetraining hormonal responses correlated significantly with the respective isometric strength changes. In conclusion, the resistance training induced strength changes independent of the changes in the anabolic and androgenic activity in preadolescent males. Further research is needed to fully clarify the physiological mechanisms underlying the strength training and detraining process.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2004 · The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The torque-time curve patterns of concentric isokinetic knee extension in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) deficient patients usually present mid-range irregularities associated with the level of anterior tibial translation. The purpose of this study was to compare the smoothness in isokinetic torque production between the ACL deficient and the healthy knee. Thirty ACL deficient soccer players performed bilaterally five trials of maximum concentric knee extension-flexion at 60 degrees /s on a Biodex dynamometer. The three middle trials (a total of six curves) were retained and submitted to further data processing. Maximum frequency values contained within the 90%, 95% and 99% level of the signal power were calculated for each extension and flexion curve. The frequency content of the ACL deficient side proved to be statistically higher compared to the intact side at all levels of the power spectrum. The percentage differences in the frequency content were 18.8%, 10.6% and 40.0% for knee extension, and 49.5%, 24.5% and 16.3% for knee flexion, for the respective power levels. This indicated higher oscillations and, therefore, more unstable mechanical output of the injured knee. An overall biological interpretation of the present results is based on the notion that disturbed motion is generally connected to poor level of joint functionality.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2004 · Journal of Biomechanics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture causes instability to the knee joint which leads each patient to a different degree of disability. The purpose of this study was to examine the strength of the quadriceps and the hamstrings in ACL-deficient amateur soccer players at different levels of functional status. Thirty male amateur soccer players were separated into three groups according to their Lysholm score; the high-L1 (Lysholm > or =84), the intermediate-L2 (84> Lysholm > or =72) and the low-L3 (Lysholm <72) knee function groups. The control group consisted of 12 amateur soccer players. The strength of the quadriceps and hamstrings was assessed isokinetically at 60 degrees/s. The quadriceps demonstrated significant deficits of the injured knee compared to the intact knee in all groups, whilst the hamstrings showed significant weakness only in the low function group. Respective percentage deficits in groups L1, L2 and L3 were 13.7%, 16.0% and 18.6% for the quadriceps and 2.4%, 5.6% and 19.2% for the hamstrings. All groups had significant quadriceps weakness which did not differ between the groups. In contrast, the strength deficit of the hamstrings was an indicator of poor knee function, since they were significantly weak only in group L3, which represented patients who clearly failed to compensate for instability symptoms. In groups L1 and L2 the side-to-side differences were within the area of asymmetry measured in the control group. Clinical importance of the results is discussed.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2004 · Knee Surgery Sports Traumatology Arthroscopy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was two fold a) to determine the levels of hormonal parameters which are related to growth and sexual maturation (T, SHBG, FAI, GH) in 66 pre-pubertal and early-pubertal boys (11-13 years old) who systematically engage in individual and team sports activities of endurance, strength, speed and skill, respectively, and b) to investigate the effect of two different forms of exercise namely aerobic (AG) and weight training (WG) on androgen levels in 19 sedentary pre-pubertal boys. The control groups (CG) consisted of boys of the same age who attended only the school physical education programmes. The individuals included in the study participated voluntarily after their parents had been informed and had given their written consent. Hormonal concentrations were determined using radioimmunoassay and immunoradiometric assays. No differences were observed among the various athletes' groups as regards Tanner stages, height and weight. The mean T and FAI values of the control group did not differ from those of the corresponding athletes group. Significant differences were observed among the groups regarding BMI, % body fat, T, SHBG, FAI and GH (p<0.05). T and FAI values in the WG group were significantly higher than the corresponding concentrations: a) in the AG group by 338 and 609%, p<0.05 and b) in the control group CG by 91 and 96%, p<0.05, respectively. The hormonal differences detected among the various groups of athletes must be attributed as much to the type of physical exercise and to developmental factors as to the selection criteria used for the different athletic talents. The importance of the specificity of training stimulus in the hormonal adaptations of pre-pubertal sedentary subjects was demonstrated.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: We investigated hormonal regulators of growth and development, leptin levels, body composition, neuromuscular performance, and the associations among them in trained prepubertal athletes (experimental group [EG]) and an untrained control group (CG). Informed consent was obtained from the children and their parents. Their maturation stage was evaluated according to Tanner's criteria. There were no differences between EG and CG in physical characteristics, body mass index (BMI), lean body mass, testosterone (T), sex hormone-binding globulin, free androgen index, growth hormone (GH), hand grip strength, and jumping performance. Leptin levels and percent fat of the EG were significantly lower than those of the CG (p < 0.05-0.005). Leptin levels were significantly correlated to body fat and BMI for both the EG and the CG (r = 0.51-0.79). There is little evidence that leptin has a positive effect on growth and anabolic factors. Sex hormone-binding globulin and GH may explain the variation of leptin in athletes with low T (R(2) = 0.43) and in CG (R(2) = 0.35), respectively. Leptin seems to be a permissive factor for the onset of puberty, and the training background needs an optimal biological maturation to produce significant differences in muscle and power performance.
No preview · Article · Mar 2003 · The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research