Time-Motion Analysis, Heart Rate, and Physiological Characteristics of International Canoe Polo Athletes

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Forbes, SC, Kennedy, MD, and Bell, GJ. Time-motion analysis, heart rate, and physiological characteristics of international canoe polo athletes. J Strength Cond Res 27(10): 2816–2822, 2013—To evaluate the time international canoe polo players spend performing various game activities, measure heart rate (HR) responses during games, and describe the physiological profile of elite players. Eight national canoe polo players were videotaped and wore HR monitors during 3 games at a World Championship and underwent fitness testing. The mean age, height, and weight were 25 ± 1 years, 1.82 ± 0.04 m, and 81.9 ± 10.9 kg, respectively. Time-motion analysis of 3 games indicated that the players spent 29 ± 3% of the game slow and moderate forward paddling, 28 ± 5% contesting, 27 ± 5% resting and gliding, 7 ± 1% turning, 5 ± 1% backward paddling, 2 ± 1% sprinting, and 2 ± 1% dribbling. Sixty-nine (±20)% of the game time was played at an HR intensity above the HR that corresponded to the ventilatory threshold (VT) that was determined during the peak V[Combining Dot Above]O2 test. Peak oxygen uptake and VT were 3.3 ± 0.3 and 2.2 ± 0.3 L·min−1, respectively, on a modified Monark arm crank ergometer. Arm crank peak 5-second anaerobic power was 379 W. The majority of the time spent during international canoe polo games involved slow-to-moderate forward paddling, contesting for the ball, and resting and gliding. Canoe polo games are played at a high intensity indicated by the HR responses, and the physiological characteristics suggest that these athletes had high levels of upper body aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels.

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