New insights into respiratory muscle function in an athletic population

Kroff, Jacolene (2008-12)

Thesis (PhD (Sport Science))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.


The aims of this study were (1) to determine the effect of concurrent respiratory muscle training (RMT) on respiratory muscle (RM) function and aerobic exercise performance in women competitive field hockey players, (2) to determine the effect and time duration of RM detraining on RM function in those who underwent RMT, and (3) to determine the predictors of RM strength and endurance in an athletic population. Twenty two women hockey players underwent a series of kinanthropometric and respiratory muscle function measurements, and were then randomly assigned to an experimental group (EXP, n = 15) who underwent concurrent RMT, and a control group (CON, n = 7) who underwent sham training. Twenty subjects took part in the RM detraining study. Significant improvements in pulmonary function and RM endurance (5 – 9%) were found in both groups after the HT-RMT and HT-ST interventions, while EXP also showed a significant improvement in RM strength variables (13% in MIP, 9% in MEP). MEF50% was the only variable that showed a significant difference in the changes over time after 20 weeks of DT between EXP and CON. RM strength in both groups remained relatively unchanged over the DT period. RM endurance in both groups remained unchanged after 9 weeks of DT, but decreased significantly after 20 weeks of DT in EXP. It was concluded that the intensity and duration of both the HT-RMT and HT-ST programmes were adequate to elicit training adaptations in the RM. In both groups there was a complete reversal in lung volumes after 9 weeks and a tendency of a reversal in RM endurance after 20 weeks of DT. It is suggested that a RMT programme should be incorporated every 9 weeks in the training schedule of field hockey players, to maintain improved RM function.

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