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The purpose of this study was to examine possible differences in cardio respiratory functional capacity between perimeter and post elite basketball players. The subjects included 42 highly trained basketball players subdivided into groups of perimeter and post players. Point guards, shooting guards and small forwards were involved in the group of perimeter players, while power forwards and centers represented the group of post players. All players performed a standardized exercise test to evaluate maximal oxygen uptake using a cycle ergometer and automated breath-by-breath system VMAX229C. Collected data of power, heart rate, pulmonary ventilation and gas exchange were compared between the groups of perimeter and post players. Significant differences in anthropometric features between the investigated subgroups were observed. Post players were heavier and taller. Therefore, the perimeter players had significantly higher values of VO2max and relative power. VO2max was related to relative power. Relations between those variables can be described by linear regression. Given regressions can be used as a source of typical values for male basketball players. The results indicate that the empirical repartition of basketball players into perimeter and post players has not only a morphological but a physiological basis as well.
Despite extensive data regarding the demands of playing basketball, the relative importance of factors that cause fatigue and muscle potentiation has been explored only tentatively and remains unclear. The aim of this experimental field study was to assess changes in leg muscle power and relate these changes to body temperature modifications and indices of exercise-induced muscle damage in response to a simulated basketball game. College-level male basketball players (n=10) were divided into two teams to play a simulated basketball game. Ten-meter sprint and vertical counter-movement jump tests, core body temperature and creatine-kinase activity were measured within 48 h after the game. The participants’ body temperatures increased after a warm-up (1.9%, p<0.05), continued to increase throughout the game, and reached 39.4 ± 0.4°C after the fourth quarter (p<0.05). The increase in temperature during the warm-up was accompanied by an improvement in the 10-meter sprint time (5.5%, p<0.05) and jump height (3.8%, p<0.05). The players were able to maintain leg power up to the fourth quarter, i.e., during the major part of the basketball game. There was a significant increase in creatine-kinase at 24 h (>200%, p<0.05) and 48 h (>30%, p<0.05) after the game, indicating damage to the players’ muscles. The basketball players’ sprint and jump performance appear to be at least in part associated with body temperature changes, which might contribute to counteract fatigue during the larger part of a basketball game.
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