• Allometric scaling of uphill cycling performance

      Jobson, Simon A.; Woodside, J.; Passfield, L.; Nevill, Alan M. (Georg Thieme Verlag, 2008)
      Previous laboratory-based investigations have identified optimal body mass scaling exponents in the range 0.79 - 0.91 for uphill cycling. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate whether or not these exponents are also valid in a field setting. A proportional allometric model was used to predict the optimal power-to-mass ratios associated with road-based uphill time-trial cycling performance. The optimal power function models predicting mean cycle speed during a 5.3 km, 5.4 % road hill-climb time-trial were (V O (2max) . m (-1.24)) (0.55) and (RMP (max) . m (-1.04)) (0.54), explained variance being 84.6 % and 70.5 %, respectively. Slightly higher mass exponents were observed when the mass predictor was replaced with the combined mass of cyclist and equipment (m (C)). Uphill cycling speed was proportional to (V O (2max) . m (C)(-1.33)) (0.57) and (RMP (max) . m (C)(-1.10)) (0.59). The curvilinear exponents, 0.54 - 0.59, identified a relatively strong curvilinear relationship between cycling speed and energy cost, suggesting that air resistance remains influential when cycling up a gradient of 5.4 %. These results provide some support for previously reported uphill cycling mass exponents derived in laboratories. However, the exponents reported here were a little higher than those reported previously, a finding possibly explained by a lack of geometric similarity in this sample.
    • Are there limits to swimming world records?

      Nevill, Alan M.; Whyte, Gregory P.; Holder, Roger L.; Peyrebrune, M. (Georg Thieme Verlag, 2007)
      The purpose of this article was to investigate whether swimming world records are beginning to plateau and whether the inequality between men and women's swimming performances is narrowing, similar to that observed in running world records. A flattened "S-shaped curve" logistic curve is fitted to 100-m, 200-m, and 400-m front-crawl world-record swimming speeds for men and women from 1 May 1957 to the present time, using the non-linear least-squares regression. The inequality between men and women's world records is also assessed using the ratio, Women's/Men's world record speeds. The results confirm that men and women's front-crawl swimming world-record speeds are plateauing and the ratio between women's and men's world records has remained stable at approximately 0.9. In conclusion, the logistic curves provide evidence that swimming world-record speeds experienced a period of "accelerated" growth/improvements during the 1960 - 1970s, but are now beginning to plateau. The period of acceleration corresponded with numerous advances in science and technology but also coincided with the anecdotal evidence for institutionalised doping. Also noteworthy, however, is the remarkably consistency in the women's/men's world record ratio, circa 0.9, similar to those observed in middle and long distance running performances. These finding supports the notion that a 10 % gender inequality exists for both swimming and running.
    • Bone status in professional cyclists

      Campion, F.; Nevill, Alan M.; Karlsson, M. K.; Lounana, J.; Shabani, M.; Fardellone, P.; Medelli, J. (Georg Thieme Verlag, 2010)
      Professional cycling combines extensive endurance training with non weight-bearing exercise, two factors often associated with lower bone mineral density (BMD). Therefore BMD was measured with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry in 30 professional road cyclists (mean (SD) age: 29.1 (3.4) years; height: 178.5 (6.7) cm; weight: 71.3 (6.1) kg; %fat mass: 9.7 (3.2)%; V˙O2max: 70.5 (5.5) ml·kg−1·min−1) and in 30 young healthy males used as reference (28.6 (4.5) years; 176.5 (6.3) cm; 73.4 (7.3) kg; 20.7 (5.8)%). Adjusting for differences in age, height, fat mass, lean body mass, and calcium intake by ANCOVA, professional cyclists had similar head BMD (p=0.383) but lower total body (1.135 (0.071) vs. 1.248 (0.104) g·cm−2; p<0.001), arms (0.903 (0.075) vs. 0.950 (0.085), p=0.028), legs (1.290 (0.112) vs. 1.479 (0.138); p<0.001), spine (0.948 (0.100) vs. 1.117 (0.147) g·cm−2; p<0.001), pelvis (1.054 (0.084) vs. 1.244 (0.142), p<0.001), lumbar spine (1.046 (0.103) vs. 1.244 (0.167), P<0.001), and femoral neck BMD (0.900 (0.115) vs. 1.093 (0.137), p<0.001) compared to reference subjects. Professional cycling appears to negatively affect BMD in young healthy and highly active males, the femoral neck being the most affected site (−18%) in spite of the elevated muscle contractions inherent to the activity.
    • Effect of Leg Length on ROM, VJ and Leg Dexterity in Dance

      Wyon, Matthew A.; Nevill, Alan M.; Dekker, K.; Brown, D. D.; Clarke, Frances; Pelly, J.; Koutedakis, Yiannis (Georg Thieme Verlag, 2010)
      We investigated the associations between leg length and specific ballet movements in different skill groups. Volunteers were from an undergraduate dance programme (n=18), a pre-professional school (n=43) and from an elite classical ballet company (n=45). Individual data were collected for anthropometry, vertical jump, leg dexterity, and leg active and passive ROM. ANCOVA identified both main effects as significant with regard to vertical jump (gender P<0.001 and skill P=0.017); leg length was also identified as a significant covariate (P=0.023). Analysis of leg dexterity identified no significant effects with gender, skill or leg length. Active and passive range of motion noted gender (P=0.001) and skill (P<0.001) differences. Leg length was found to be negatively associated with both active and passive ROM (P=0.002). In conclusion, the present data highlight the diverse and conflicting effects of leg length on fundamental ballet skills. The longer legs that benefit vertical jump have a negative influence on range of motion and leg dexterity except for highly skilled skilled dancers, who through skill, seem to have overcome the effects of some of these dichotomies.
    • Fitness in contemporary dance: a systematic review.

      Angioi, Manuela; Metsios, Giorgos S.; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Wyon, Matthew A. (Georg Thieme Verlag, 2009)
      It has been suggested that dancers are less fit compared to other athletes. However, the majority of studies make their arguments based on data deriving mainly from ballet. Therefore, the aim of the current review was to investigate: a) aerobic and anaerobic fitness, muscular strength and body composition characteristics in contemporary dancers of different levels, and b) whether supplementary exercise interventions, in addition to normal dance training, further improves contemporary dance performance. Three databases (Medline, Cochrane and the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health research database) were searched to identify publications regarding the main fitness components of contemporary professional and student dancers. At a professional level, it appears that contemporary dancers demonstrate higher maximal oxygen uptake and higher scores in muscular endurance than ballet dancers. However, contemporary dance students are equally fit compared to their ballet counterparts and their body composition is also very similar. Only two studies have investigated the effects of supplementary exercise training on aspects of dance performance. Further research is needed in order to confirm preliminary data, which suggest that the implementation of additional fitness training is beneficial for contemporary dance students to achieve a better performance outcome.
    • Pre-exercise alkalosis and Acid-base recovery.

      Siegler, J.C.; Keatley, S.; Midgley, A.W.; Nevill, Alan M.; McNaughton, Lars R. (Georg Thieme Verlag, 2008)
      The aim of this study was to observe the influence of pre-exercise sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO (3)) ingestion and varying recovery modes on acid-base recovery from a single bout of supramaximal exercise. Nine male subjects completed four separate, randomized cycle ergometer exercise trials to volitional fatigue at 120 % maximum power output, under the following conditions: 0.3 g . kg (-1) BW NaHCO (3) ingestion with passive recovery (BICARB P), 0.3 g . kg (-1) BW NaHCO (3) ingestion with active recovery (BICARB A), placebo ingestion with passive recovery (PLAC P) and placebo ingestion with active recovery (PLAC A). Capillary blood samples were obtained every minute for 15 min during recovery. Significant main effects for pH were observed for time (F = 42.1, p < 0.001), intervention (BICARB and PLAC) (F = 1117.3, p < 0.001) and recovery condition (F = 150.0, p < 0.001), as the BICARB condition reduced acid-base perturbation. Significant interaction effects were observed between conditions (BICARB and PLAC) for active and passive recovery modes (F = 29.1, p < 0.001) as the active recovery facilitated H+ removal better than the passive condition. Pre-exercise alkalosis attenuates blood acid-base perturbations from supramaximal exercise to exhaustion, regardless of whether the recovery mode is active or passive. These findings suggest that individuals may benefit from introducing a pre-exercise alkalotic condition while including passive recovery during high-intensity training protocols.
    • Submaximal fatigue and recovery in boys and men

      Hatzikotoulas, K.; Patikas, D.; Bassa, E.; Hadjileontiadis, L.; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Kotzamanidis, Christos (Georg Thieme Verlag, 2009)
      We examined the effects of a sustained submaximal isometric contraction on fatigue and recovery rates in untrained prepubescent boys and men. Fifteen prepubescent boys and 15 men executed an isometric plantar flexion at 20% of their maximal voluntary contraction for 10 min. During the fatigue protocol, surface electromyogram of the soleus, medial gastrocnemius, and tibialis anterior muscles were obtained. Following the fatigue protocol, maximal voluntary contraction data were also obtained every 3 min throughout a 15-min recovery period. During the fatigue protocol, agonist and antagonist surface electromyogram increased gradually to a similar extent in both groups. Following fatigue, torque and surface electromyogram during a maximal voluntary contraction decreased compared to prefatigue values and recovered in a similar manner in both groups. However, boys showed faster recovery in torque and surface electromyogram during the third minute of recovery period. It is concluded that a low-intensity sustained isometric fatigue protocol induces similar fatigue levels in boys and men. However, there is evidence that boys can recover faster than men.
    • Vibration training improves balance in unstable ankles.

      Cloak, R.; Nevill, Alan M.; Clarke, F; Day, S.; Wyon, Matthew A.; The University of Wolverhampton, School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure, Walsall, United Kingdom. r.cloak@wlv.ac.uk (Georg Thieme Verlag, 2010)
      Functional ankle instability (FAI) is a common condition following ankle injury characterised by increased risk of injury. Ankle sprains are a common acute form of injury suffered in dancing and loss of balance can affect not only risk of injury risk but also performance aesthetics. Whole body vibration training (WBVT) is a new rehabilitation method that has been linked with improving balance and muscle function. 38 female dancers with self reported unilateral FAI were randomly assigned in 2 groups: WBVT and control. Absolute centre of mass (COM) distribution during single leg stance, SEBT normalised research distances and Peroneus longus mean power frequency (f(med)) where measured pre and post 6-week intervention. There was a significant improvement in COM distribution over the 6 weeks from 1.05 ± 0.57 to 0.33 ± 0.42 cm² (P<0.05), and 4 of the 8 planes of direction in the SEBT Ant, Antlat, Med and Antmed from 77.5 ± 7.1 to 84.1 ± 5.8% (P<0.05) compared to control groups during the course of the 6 week training intervention. There was no evidence of improvement in peroneus longus (f(med)) over time (P=0.915) in either group. WBVT improved static balance and SEBT scores amongst dancers exhibiting ankle instability but did not affect peroneus longus muscle fatigue.