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Abstract

As there are few data available, we aimed to assess the development of the cardiorespiratory system of young female athletes following a two-year training program (2y-TP) and explore the game position-specific changes.

Methods

Before and after the 2y-TP body compositions of young elite female handball players (age: 14.2 ± 0.5 years, n = 33) were investigated by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). The morphological changes of the heart were assessed by echocardiography, and cardiorespiratory values were investigated by spiroergometry.

Results

Compared to initial values, after the 2y-TP, significant increases were found in body mass (by 8.8%), skeletal muscle mass (by 7.7%), and body fat (by 11.3%), power (by 7.8%), VO2 (by 10.6%), VCO2 (by 8.3%), oxygen pulse (by 13.8%), ventilation (by 13.4%), tidal volume (by 13.7%), left ventricular mass (by 24.8%), stroke volume (by 21.2%), and stroke volume normalized to the body surface (by 16.4%). Heart rate decreased (by 2.9%), whereas respiratory frequency, load time, relative power, and relative VO2 did not change. During the test, the goalkeepers run for a shorter time than the wing players at the initial time point and after the 2y-TP. Also, the maximum heart rate did not change in goalkeepers, whereas it decreased in wing players after the 2y-TP. Thus, the goalkeepers had a higher initial VO2 value at VO2peak than wing players, and differences, which were maintained after the 2y-TP, as well. In contrast, in goalkeepers, the relative VO2 at the VO2peak was initially lower than in wing players, which remained lower after the 2y-TP, as well.

Conclusions

In adolescent female handball players, the 2y-TP significantly improved skeletal muscle mass, which corresponded to significant improvements of cardiorespiratory function, which were more accentuated in wing players, compared to goalkeepers, likely due to the different loads during trainings and matches.

Open access
Physiology International
Authors:
P Szablics
,
K Orbán
,
S Szabó
,
M Dvorák
,
M Ungvári
,
S Béres
,
AH Molnár
,
Z Pintér
,
K Kupai
,
A Pósa
, and
Cs Varga

Introduction

The quality and function of movements undergo deterioration due to weight gain. Aerobic training normalizes body weight, improves the health status, and in addition, it is expected to improve the dynamics of movements. The aims of this study were to prove the beneficial effects of recreational physical activities on the movements.

Methods

Participants were divided into five different age categories: second childhood, adolescence, mature age I, mature age II, and aging. Squatting and vertical jumping of the participants were measured at the beginning and at the end of a 5-month training program. These movements simulated ordinary daily movements. Changes in the body were determined by InBody230. APAS 3D system was used for movement analysis.

Results

The results showed significant improvements in body weight, fat mass, muscle mass, fat mass–body weight ratio, muscle mass–body weight ratio, body mass index, body fat percentage, and waist–hip ratio. During jumping, the lifting and sinking of the center of gravity’s (CG) position and its velocity and acceleration were improved. In case of squatting, the results showed significant improvements in the velocity and acceleration of dynamical characteristics of the CG. Other correlations were observed between changes in body composition and the dynamics of movements.

Discussion

The research proved that recreational training optimized body composition and improved the characteristics of CG’s dynamics. The study suggests considerable connection between body composition and the characteristics of the movements’ dynamics. From this point of view, our training program was the most effective in the working age groups.

Open access