Effects Of Pre-Competitive Preparation Period On The Isokinetic Muscular Characteristics In World Class Handball Players

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The aim of this study was to describe the effects of eight weeks of pre-competitive period preparation (Pc2P) on the isokinetic muscular characteristics in world-class handball players. Nineteen male professional players (age: 26.6 ± 5.4 years) participated in the study. Two bilateral isokinetic tests of knee joint flexors (H; Hamstring) and extensors (Q; Quadriceps) were performed before and after Pc2P to determine the peak torque (PT), the mean power (MP) and the ratios (agonist/antagonist, dominant/non-dominant and combined). For the PT, Q at low angular velocity (60°.s-1) in concentric mode revealed no significant increase for the dominant nor non-dominant legs. For H, results showed a significant increase for both legs (p < 0.001). At the higher angular velocity (240°.s-1), Q was significantly increased for the dominant (p < 0.005) and non-dominant legs (p < 0.002) as well as H for both sides (p < 0.001). Eccentric mode (30°.s-1) showed a significant increase for dominant (p < 0.005) and non-dominant legs (p < 0.01). For MP, results showed significant increase at low angular velocity (p < 0.003) and high angular velocity (p < 0.01) for both legs. In eccentric mode, values showed a significant increase following Pc2P for dominant (p < 0.001) and non-dominant legs (p < 0.02). The ratios showed significant increase for the agonist/antagonist ratio (AAR) at 60°.s-1 for dominant leg (p < 0.003) as well as the non-dominant leg (p < 0.01). At 240°.s-1 the values showed a significant difference for both side (p < 0.02). From an injury risk perspective, in addition to optimizing performance, these results demonstrated that eight weeks of Pc2P increased the maximum strength and muscle power of international handball players, even if the ratios of the knee joint muscles did not change during this period.

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