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      Effects of Plyometric Training and Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Maximal-Intensity Exercise and Endurance in Female Soccer Players


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          Plyometric training and beta-alanine supplementation are common among soccer players, although its combined use had never been tested. Therefore, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted to compare the effects of a plyometric training program, with or without beta-alanine supplementation, on maximal-intensity and endurance performance in female soccer players during an in-season training period. Athletes (23.7 ± 2.4 years) were assigned to either a plyometric training group receiving a placebo (PLACEBO, n = 8), a plyometric training group receiving beta-alanine supplementation (BA, n = 8), or a control group receiving placebo without following a plyometric training program (CONTROL, n = 9). Athletes were evaluated for single and repeated jumps and sprints, endurance, and change-of-direction speed performance before and after the intervention. Both plyometric training groups improved in explosive jumping (ES = 0.27 to 1.0), sprinting (ES = 0.31 to 0.78), repeated sprinting (ES = 0.39 to 0.91), 60 s repeated jumping (ES = 0.32 to 0.45), endurance (ES = 0.35 to 0.37), and change-of-direction speed performance (ES = 0.36 to 0.58), whereas no significant changes were observed for the CONTROL group. Nevertheless, compared to the CONTROL group, only the BA group showed greater improvements in endurance, repeated sprinting and repeated jumping performances. It was concluded that beta-alanine supplementation during plyometric training may add further adaptive changes related to endurance, repeated sprinting and jumping ability.

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          Neuro-musculoskeletal and performance adaptations to lower-extremity plyometric training.

          Plyometric training (PLY) is a very popular form of physical conditioning of healthy individuals that has been extensively studied over the last 3 decades. In this article, we critically review the available literature related to lower-body PLY and its effects on human neural and musculoskeletal systems, athletic performance and injury prevention. We also considered studies that combined lower-body PLY with other popular training modalities, as well as studies that applied PLY on non-rigid surfaces. The available evidence suggests that PLY, either alone or in combination with other typical training modalities, elicits numerous positive changes in the neural and musculoskeletal systems, muscle function and athletic performance of healthy individuals. Specifically, the studies have shown that long-term PLY (i.e. 3-5 sessions a week for 5-12 months) represents an effective training method for enhancing bone mass in prepubertal/early pubertal children, young women and premenopausal women. Furthermore, short-term PLY (i.e. 2-3 sessions a week for 6-15 weeks) can change the stiffness of various elastic components of the muscle-tendon complex of plantar flexors in both athletes and non-athletes. Short-term PLY also improves the lower-extremity strength, power and stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) muscle function in healthy individuals. These adaptive changes in neuromuscular function are likely the result of (i) an increased neural drive to the agonist muscles; (ii) changes in the muscle activation strategies (i.e. improved intermuscular coordination); (iii) changes in the mechanical characteristics of the muscle-tendon complex of plantar flexors; (iv) changes in muscle size and/or architecture; and (v) changes in single-fibre mechanics. Our results also show that PLY, either alone or in combination with other training modalities, has the potential to (i) enhance a wide range of athletic performance (i.e. jumping, sprinting, agility and endurance performance) in children and young adults of both sexes; and (ii) to reduce the risk of lower-extremity injuries in female athletes. Finally, available evidence suggests that short-term PLY on non-rigid surfaces (i.e. aquatic- or sand-based PLY) could elicit similar increases in jumping and sprinting performance as traditional PLY, but with substantially less muscle soreness. Although many issues related to PLY remain to be resolved, the results of this review allow us to recommend the use of PLY as a safe and effective training modality for improving lower-extremity muscle function and functional performance of healthy individuals. For performance enhancement and injury prevention in competitive sports, we recommend an implementation of PLY into a well designed, sport-specific physical conditioning programme.
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            Effects of β-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis

            Due to the well-defined role of β-alanine as a substrate of carnosine (a major contributor to H+ buffering during high-intensity exercise), β-alanine is fast becoming a popular ergogenic aid to sports performance. There have been several recent qualitative review articles published on the topic, and here we present a preliminary quantitative review of the literature through a meta-analysis. A comprehensive search of the literature was employed to identify all studies suitable for inclusion in the analysis; strict exclusion criteria were also applied. Fifteen published manuscripts were included in the analysis, which reported the results of 57 measures within 23 exercise tests, using 18 supplementation regimes and a total of 360 participants [174, β-alanine supplementation group (BA) and 186, placebo supplementation group (Pla)]. BA improved (P = 0.002) the outcome of exercise measures to a greater extent than Pla [median effect size (IQR): BA 0.374 (0.140–0.747), Pla 0.108 (−0.019 to 0.487)]. Some of that effect might be explained by the improvement (P = 0.013) in exercise capacity with BA compared to Pla; no improvement was seen for exercise performance (P = 0.204). In line with the purported mechanisms for an ergogenic effect of β-alanine supplementation, exercise lasting 60–240 s was improved (P = 0.001) in BA compared to Pla, as was exercise of >240 s (P = 0.046). In contrast, there was no benefit of β-alanine on exercise lasting <60 s (P = 0.312). The median effect of β-alanine supplementation is a 2.85% (−0.37 to 10.49%) improvement in the outcome of an exercise measure, when a median total of 179 g of β-alanine is supplemented.
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              Explosive-strength training improves 5-km running time by improving running economy and muscle power.

              To investigate the effects of simultaneous explosive-strength and endurance training on physical performance characteristics, 10 experimental (E) and 8 control (C) endurance athletes trained for 9 wk. The total training volume was kept the same in both groups, but 32% of training in E and 3% in C was replaced by explosive-type strength training. A 5-km time trial (5K), running economy (RE), maximal 20-m speed (V20 m), and 5-jump (5J) tests were measured on a track. Maximal anaerobic (MART) and aerobic treadmill running tests were used to determine maximal velocity in the MART (VMART) and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max). The 5K time, RE, and VMART improved (P < 0.05) in E, but no changes were observed in C. V20 m and 5J increased in E (P < 0.01) and decreased in C (P < 0.05). VO2 max increased in C (P < 0.05), but no changes were observed in E. In the pooled data, the changes in the 5K velocity during 9 wk of training correlated (P < 0.05) with the changes in RE [O2 uptake (r = -0.54)] and VMART (r = 0.55). In conclusion, the present simultaneous explosive-strength and endurance training improved the 5K time in well-trained endurance athletes without changes in their VO2 max. This improvement was due to improved neuromuscular characteristics that were transferred into improved VMART and running economy.

                Author and article information

                J Hum Kinet
                J Hum Kinet
                Journal of Human Kinetics
                De Gruyter Open
                1 August 2017
                September 2017
                : 58
                : 99-109
                [1 ]Rosas of Buenos Aires Sport Club , Buenos Aires, Argentina
                [2 ]deptDepartment of Physical Activity Sciences, Research Nucleus in Health , Physical Activity and Sport , universityUniversidad de Los Lagos , Osorno, Chile
                [3 ]Laboratory of Exercise Sciences , deptMEDS Clinic , Santiago, Chile
                [4 ]deptDepartment of Physical Education , Sport and Recreation , universityUniversidad de La Frontera , Temuco, Chile
                [5 ]Laboratory of Physiology and Biomechanics , universityUniversidad Autónoma de Chile , Temuco, Chile
                [6 ]Laboratory of Physiology , deptDepartment of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences , universityUniversidad Andrés Bello , Viña del Mar, Chile
                [7 ]Laboratory of Exercise Sciences, Movement Solutions , Viña del Mar, Chile
                [8 ]Canadian Sport Institute Pacific , Vancouver, Canada
                [9 ]Canadian Soccer Association , Ottawa, Canada
                [10 ]Centre for Sports and Exercise Science , deptSchool of Biological Sciences ,universityUniversity of Essex , Colchester, United Kingdom
                [11 ]The College of Healthcare Sciences , universityJames Cook University , Queensland, Australia
                [12 ]deptDepartment of Medicine and Aging Sciences , university“G. d’Annunzio” University of Chieti-Pescara , Chieti, Italy
                [13 ]Nucleus of High Performance in Sport - NAR , São Paulo, SP, Brazil
                [14 ]Faculty of Physical Culture, Sport and Recreation , universitySanto Tomás University , Bogotá, DC, Colombia
                [15 ]deptDepartment of Health Sciences , universityPublic University of Navarre , Navarra, Spain
                Author notes
                [* ] Mikel Izquierdo, PhD Department of Health Sciences Public University of Navarra (Navarra) SPAIN Campus of Tudela Av. de Tarazona s/n. 31500 Tudela (Navarra) SPAIN Tel + 34 948 417876 mikel.izquierdo@ 123456gmail.com

                Authors submitted their contribution to the article to the editorial board.

                © 2017 Editorial Committee of Journal of Human Kinetics
                Page count
                Pages: 11
                Section II - Exercise Physiology & Sports Medicine

                muscle strength,strength training,ergogenic aids,female athletes


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