BLOGS

BRIEF REVIEW: Beta-alanine and sodium bicarbonate supplementation in combat sports

B

Due to the repeat high intensity burst nature of combat sports, they are highly reliant on glycolytic mechanisms for energy production. Glycolysis results in intramuscular H+, which needs to be buffered via intracellular (phosphates, carnosine) and extracellular (bicarbonate) buffers and a dynamic buffering system.  Supplementary Sodium Bicarbonate and Beta Alanine have both been shown to...

BRIEF REVIEW – Weight Cutting in Muay Thai

B

Within the process of rapid weight loss (RWL)/rapid weight gain (RWG) to make weight for combat sports, there is always a trade-off between the advantages of being heavier than the opponent, and the disadvantages of impaired performance and potentially serious negative side effects.  21 competitive male (16) and female (5) Italian Muay Thai athletes underwent a supervised RWL/RWG protocol to...

BRIEF REVIEW: Energy Systems in BJJ

B

Physical preparation for any sport requires a thorough understanding of the specific physical demands and dominant energy systems. BJJ is a sport consisting of repeated, intermittent, high-energy bursts of activity, and as such, requires contribution from all energy systems.  This study sought to investigate the relative energy systems contribution using a sample of 10 male international-level...

Brief Review: Mouthguard Measurement of Head Impact in MMA

B

Concussion is an extremely prevalent condition in contact sports and is one with potentially serious long-term consequences. In other sports where concussion has been identified as a major issue, such as American Football, head kinematics has been studied with the use of helmet-based accelerometry.  An alternative for measuring head impact in MMA athletes, who do not wear helmets during...

Lower Limb Power is Correlated with Punching Speed in Karateka

L

Previous studies have shown correlations between lower limb force and power outputs, and punching speed and power in individual strikes from a static position. This study sought to investigate whether such correlations exist with punches thrown in combination, and also with punches thrown from more dynamic, fight-specific positions.  10 national-level male Italian karate athletes underwent 3...

Affect of Training Area and Sparring Partners in Taekwondo

A

Changing the spatial characteristics of a sporting environment may change the demands on the athlete, and potentially influence the outcome of the competition. Specific reduced competition size training drills (i.e. small-sided games in soccer) have long been utilized as a training means in other sports. Researchers in Italy compared the physiological (heart rate, blood lactate) and psychological...

Grippin’n’Grapplin

G

Grip strength is an important physical characteristic of successful grappling athletes from all disciplines, with higher handgrip measurements seen in high-level, compared to lower-level athletes in BJJ, judo and wrestling. Furthermore, grip strength may also be seen as an important factor in injury reduction in these sports.  The high-intensity nature of gripping actions in grappling is...

COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 14 – Hand and Wrist Strengthening 

C

Grip strength was discussed in part 11, and if there are deficiencies here then they should be addressed. The power grip can be trained with a simple gripper, and if an adjustable gripper is available, this can allow for a more incremental progression of load. Using a thicker grip, such as a towel, or a fat gripz handle, while performing traditional resistance training exercises can also be...

COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 12 – Load Tolerance Assessment 

C

Another useful test for wrist and hand injuries is a measurement of load tolerance. In the general population we typically measure the load taken through the palm, however with combat athletes, we also need to measure the amount of pressure tolerated through a fist.  A simple, low-tech way of assessing this is with the use of an analogue scale. With the scales placed on a bench or table, and...

COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 11 – Grip Assessment

C

Grip strength is an important functional measure in both diagnosis and evaluation of progress. A 10% difference in grip strength between sides is within the limits of normal, however more than a 20% difference between sides may indicate either a strength deficiency that could have contributed to the development of the injury, or more commonly a loss of strength secondary to the injury. A 50% or...

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