How you prepare for competition on the pitch can make a big difference in your performance. A study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness compared the effects of static stretching to other warm up protocols.
Analyzing 27 peer-reviewed papers published between 1995 and 2015, researchers determined that using dynamic stretching or postactivation potentiation-based exercises enhanced on-field performance by 3.46% and 4.21% respectively while the FIFA 11+ warm up increased strength, jumping, speed and explosive performance by between 1% and 20%.
Postactivation potentiation practices and multidirectional speed drills were also considered effective half time re-warm up protocols. Static stretching either before the game or at half time reduced performance.
It’s easy to see how texting or talking on a cell phone during exercise could reduce the impact of the effort. A study published in the journals Computers in Human Behavior and Performance Enhancement & Health suggests multi-tasking with your phone can also have a negative effect on balance.
Researchers had 45 college students text, talk and listen to music on their cell phones while exercising. Texting reduced postural stability by 45%. Talking reduced this measurement of balance by 19%, but just using the phone to listen to music has no impact on balance.
The Branched Chain Amino Acids are Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. They are sometimes included as components of intra-workout supplements because they can help spare muscle tissue during extended training. A study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness tested their ability to attenuate decreases in power production after strength training.
Researchers assessed the countermovement jumping and seated shot put throwing performance of 11 men with weight room experience. Some were given 20 grams of BCAAs while others received a placebo before and after a session of compound barbell exercises. Although there were no differences in muscle soreness 24 hours after training, BCAAs did help reduce typical decrements in functional power a day after the workout.
Losing just 2% of your body weight through perspiration can have a negative impact on athletic performance. Do you have a strategy for keeping up with hydration needs? A study of 289 competitive athletes published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness shows a tendency to drink less than what’s recommended.
Subjects participating in international, national and regional events drank an average of 0.25 liters of water per hour. Analysis of survey results found that 23 subjects met or exceeded the recommended fluid intake while 150 drank less than the average reported in the surveys.
Engaging in regular High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an effective way to improve your level of fitness while promoting cardiovascular health. A new study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggests there are no age barriers to the benefits of HIIT.
Researchers recruited 72 men and 22 women between the ages of 20 and 70 years old. All exercised the typical amount for their age bracket, and all subjects performed supervised HIIT workouts with a targeted intensity of 90% to 95% of maximum heart rate 3 times a week.
Compared to before the 8-week intervention began, all age groups experienced between 9% and 13% increases in maximal oxygen consumption, an indicator of fitness. These improvements were not significantly different between age groups.
There’s more than one way to get in a solid upper body workout. What’s the best chest press technique for bringing up a weak point? It depends. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research offers insight with a comparison between barbell, Smith machine and dumbbell workouts.
Twenty seven men with weight room experience were randomly assigned to chest press with barbell, Smith machine or dumbbells. All subjects performed 8 sets using 10 rep max resistance with 2 minutes of rest between sets. A couple days after training, soreness in the pecs was similar between groups, but there was no triceps soreness in the dumbbell group and recovery from elbow extensor soreness look longer when using a barbell.
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Running is a popular type of endurance exercise, and a study from Liverpool John Moores University suggests runners who typically put in high mileage experience different benefits compared to active adults who run about one third of that distance. Findings were published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
Researchers measured thigh muscle activity and calculated knee joint motion in runners with at least 6 months of experience who typically ran 9 miles a week or more than 27. They found that longer distance runners showed less thigh muscle activity, higher knee stiffness and spring like tendon action compared to shorter distance runners. The difference in muscle activity increased with speed. This might reduce energy expenditure with faster running.