Purpose. For schools, the increasingly imposed requirement to achieve well in academic tests puts increasing emphasis on improving academic achievement. While treadmill exercise has been shown to have beneficial effects on cognitive function and cycling ergometers produce stronger effect sizes than treadmill running, it is impractical for schools to use these on a whole-class basis. There is a need to examine if more ecologically valid modes of exercise might have a similar impact on academic achievement. Circuit training is one such modality shown to benefit cognitive function and recall ability and is easily operationalised within schools. Methods. In a repeated measures design, twenty-six children (17 boys, 8 girls) aged 10–11 years (mean age 10.3; SD ± 0.46 years) completed the Wide range Achievement Test (WrAT 4) at rest and following 30 minutes of exercise. Results. Standardised scores for word reading were significantly higher post exercise (F(1,18) = 49.9, p = 0.0001) compared to rest. In contrast, standardised scores for sentence comprehension (F(1,18) = 0.078, p = 0.783), spelling (F(1,18) = 4.07, p = 0.06) mathematics (F(1,18) = 1.257, p = 0.277), and reading (F(1,18) = 2.09, p = 0.165) were not significantly different between rest and exercise conditions. Conclusions. The results of the current study suggest acute bouts of circuit based exercise enhances word reading but not other areas of academic ability in 10–11 year old children. These findings support prior research that indicates acute bouts of exercise can selectively improve cognition in children.
Key words: acute exercise, academic achievement, children
Purpose. The aim of this study was to determine the dependency between somatic parameters of selected Kenyan marathon runners and results achieved in long-distance runs (marathon, half-marathon, 10,000 meters). Methods. The research study was conducted on a sample of 9 top-level long-distance Kenyan runners whose results in Poland correspond to International Masterclass. All runners’ (mean ± SD) age: 23.67 ± 4.41 years, weight: 55.98 ± 4.84 kg, height: 169.18 cm ± 4.15cm. All participants had their anthropometric measurements taken: length, width, size and sum of three skin-folds. Having taken those anthropometric measurements, Body Mass Index (BMI), Arm Muscle circumference (AMc), Waist to Hip ratio (WHr), body mass and body fat (FM) (%), fat free mass (FFM) were calculated using the Durnin-Womersley method. Results and conclusions. significant relations (significant correlation, important dependency) were observed in dependency between 10,000 meters results and the foot breadth (r = 0.765) and torso length (r = 0.755). similar relationships occurred between marathon results and the arm length (r = 0.73), forearm length (r = 0.75) and hip width (r = 0.77).
Key words: somatic characteristics, body composition indices, Kenyan runners
The unique architecture of the foot system provides a sensitive, multi-tensional method of communicating with the surrounding environment. Within the premise of the paper, we discuss three themes: complexity, degeneracy and bio-tensegrity. Complex structures within the foot allow the human movement system to negotiate strategies for dynamic movement during athletic endeavours. We discuss such complex structures with particular attention to properties of a bio-tensegrity system. Degeneracy within the foot structure offers a distinctive solution to the problems posed by differing terrains and uneven surfaces allowing lower extremity structures to overcome perturbation as and when it occurs. This extraordinary structure offers a significant contribution to bipedalism through presenting a robust base of support and as such, should be given more consideration when designing athletic development programmes.
Key words: foot, degeneracy, bio-tensegrity, robustness
Purpose. The aim of this study was to examine the dependencies between support scull kinematics and body stability in the vertical position. Methods. The study involved 16 synchronized swimmers. Twelve markers were placed on the pubic symphysis, head, middle fingers, and transverse axes of upper limb joints. Support scull trials were recorded at 50 fps by cameras placed in watertight housings. calculated measures included: excursion of the sculling movement; flexion and extension angle of the elbow and wrist joints; adduction and abduction angle of the shoulder joint; adduction and abduction angle of the forearm to/from the trunk; ranges of movement of the wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints; range of movement of forearm adduction towards the trunk; and the range of movement of shoulder adduction towards the trunk. Results. The length of the trajectory taken by the marker on the pubic symphysis was longer if the range of movement of the wrist joint was larger. The movement of the body in the right-left and upwards-downwards direction increased together with a greater range of movement of the wrist joint. It was also found that a greater sculling angle produced greater body displacement in the forwards-backwards direction. The head marker was characterized by a significantly larger range of displacement in the forwards-backwards and right-left directions than the pubic symphysis. Conclusions. The findings indicate that the ability to maintain body stability in the vertical position is associated with the range of movement of the radial wrist joint, angle of forearm adduction, and a newly-introduced measure – sculling angle.
Key words: sculling, vertical position, swimmer
Purpose. Configuration of bicycle components to the cyclist (bicycle fitting) commonly uses static poses of the cyclist on the bicycle at the 6 o’clock crank position to represent dynamic cycling positions. However, the validity of this approach and the potential use of the different crank position (e.g. 3 o’clock) have not been fully explored. Therefore, this study compared lower limb joint angles of cyclists in static poses (3 and 6 o’clock) compared to dynamic cycling. Methods. Using a digital camera, right sagittal plane images were taken of thirty cyclists seated on their own bicycles mounted on a stationary trainer with the crank at 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions. Video was then recorded during pedalling at a self-selected gear ratio and pedalling cadence. Sagittal plane hip, knee and ankle angles were digitised. Results. Differences between static and dynamic angles were large at the 6 o’clock crank position with greater mean hip angle (4.9 ± 3°), smaller knee angle (8.2 ± 5°) and smaller ankle angle (8.2 ± 5.3°) for static angles. Differences between static and dynamic angles (< 1.4°) were trivial to small for the 3 o’clock crank position. Conclusions. To perform bicycle fitting, joint angles should be measured dynamically or with the cyclist in a static pose at the 3 o’clock crank position.
Key words: bike fitting, joint kinematics, photogrammetry, videogrammetry
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of training at different ranges of motion during the squat exercise on joint-angle specific strength adaptations. Methods. Twenty eight men were randomly assigned to one of three training groups, differing only in the depth of squats (quarter squat, half squat, and full squat) performed in 16-week training intervention. Strength measures were conducted in the back squat pre-, mid-, and post-training at all three depths. Vertical jump and 40-yard sprint time were also measured. Results. Individuals in the quarter and full squat training groups improved significantly more at the specific depth at which they trained when compared to the other two groups (p < 0.05). Jump height and sprint speed improved in all groups (p < 0.05); however, the quarter squat had the greatest transfer to both outcomes. Conclusions. Consistently including quarter squats in workouts aimed at maximizing speed and jumping power can result in greater improvements.
Key words: vertical jump, speed, squat depth, performance enhancement, sports conditioning
Purpose. Investigate free radical production and antioxidant buffering in military pentathletes’ saliva after their performance of a standardized, running-based anaerobic sprint test (RAST). Methods. Seven members of the Brazilian Navy pentathlon team were recruited to perform a running-based anaerobic test (~90 sec). The participants provided samples of saliva before and after the test that were analyzed for biomarkers of oxidative stress such as lipid peroxidation, total antioxidant capacity and the quantity of two specific antioxidants, glutathione and uric acid. Results. The lipid peroxidation increased ~2 fold after RAST, despite an increase in total antioxidant capacity (46%). The concentration of reduced glutathione did not change, while the uric acid concentration increased by 65%. Conclusions. The evaluation in saliva following a sprint test that lasted no more than 90 sec was sensitive enough to reveal changes in redox state.
Key words: saliva, physical exercise, oxidative stress, GSH, lipid peroxidation
University School of Physical Education in Wrocław
al. I. J. Paderewskiego 35
51-612 Wrocław, Poland