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Effect of functional strength training on certain physical and physiological variables among young female handball players.


The goal of exercise programs is to provide the body with an adaptation. An adaptation is an enhancement of bodily movements, resulting in aesthetic or athletic improvements.

The movement theory mimics daily and sporting actions and helps the body improve these activities, which is an adaptation. Training muscles increase their strength. This is an adaptation.

The theory that works best is a combination of training muscles and movements. Training a movement will make the body move more efficiently. At the same time, if a muscle is weak, the fastest way to make it stronger is to isolate it. Train the movement first because a movement requires more energy. Train the muscle second. The combination of movements and muscles is hard to beat (Christine, 2000).

Functional training is old news in the sports and rehabilitation world, but it wasn't until just a few years ago that it really came to my attention because I started seeing it catch on in a big way inside our health clubs. All of a sudden, the trainers had medicine balls, core balls, core boards, rubber tubing, stability balls, rollers and foam pads all over the place, whereas just five years ago, there wasn't a ball to be found in the entire joint (Michael, 2004).

The idea behind functional strength training is that the body is integrated, with hundreds of muscles working together to perform a variety of functions. Functional programs are designed to mimic everyday activities. These activities range from moving furniture to swinging a golf club. (Ron,2003)

Functional strength training simply means training our bodies to better perform the types of movements we use for everyday living. The time spent developing this specific strength, flexibility and agility have the optimum carry-over into daily activities (Mackelvie, et al., 2002).

Functional Strength is a combination of all elements of fitness to produce peak performance for your specific needs. Whether your goal is to look better, feel better, or perform better--Functional Strength Training will help you achieve your fitness goals. Functional Strength begins with a thorough evaluation of your current fitness level to uncover your strengths and weaknesses. Based on the results of your evaluation, a program will be designed to complement your strengths and improve your weak points (Michael, 2004).

Functional Strength goes beyond where some fitness programs fall short. We realize that to have strength requires a balance of joint mobility, endurance, muscle flexibility, balance, speed, agility, quickness, body composition, and "mindfulness"; as well as attention to appropriate rest/sleep, nutrition, medical health, and stress levels. Our programs vary for everyone to include all aspects of fitness (Maryg, 2003).

As a strength and conditioning coach for college Handball players, there are four goals that must be accomplished with my strength training program. These goals include:

1. Increase maximum strength

2. Increase explosiveness

3. Enhance functional movement

4. Prevent injury

The best way to increase maximum strength is by training with a basic Powerlifting routine. My training program incorporates maximum effort lifts and dynamic effort lifts for the main movements. These exercises are done in the 1-5 rep range and are performed explosively, usually between 70-80 percent of a max. Explosiveness is achieved in two ways. The first is through the dynamic effort lifts of Powerlifting program. The second way train for explosiveness is by incorporating Plyometrics into the programs. And Enhanced functional movement is achieved through exercises that relate directly to the movements that my Handball players will use on the mat. Wrestling involves a lot of core movement, especially in the hips. To improve strength in this area, a lot of medicine ball work. Woodchoppers are not only a great way to increase functional strength but can also act as a good warm up.

Continuing the exercise an adaptation of the cardiovascular system is verified, with the increase of the cardiac rhythm and cardiac force, increase of the arterial pressure, adaptation of the respiratory system, increase of the sanguineous flow, the increment of the metabolism, the rise of the glucose concentration in the blood, increase of glycolysis in the liver and muscle. All these factors, inset, contribute to a good performance of the physical exercise (Guyton, Hall, 1998). The presence of oxygen, although indispensable, can become dangerous, promoting oxidative stress. The increase of the volume of oxygen favours the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), unchaining of oxidative stress, with all the baleful consequences (Sayre, et al., 2001; Sousa, et al., 2005). The ROS increase can compromise the antioxidant (chemical and enzymatic) defence available in the organism.

Free radicals are capable of independent existence and are produced in all living cells.

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) or reactive nitrogen species (RNS), e.g., superoxide (O2), hydroxyl (OH*), alkoxyl (RO*), peroxyl (ROO*), and hydroperoxide (ROOH) can oxidize other biological molecules, including carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids and nucleotides.

Previous data shows the high level of lipid peroxidation from detection the malondialdehyde (MDA) represented the oxidative stress in the body (Halliwell and Gutteridge, 1999). Scavenging of all free radicals produced in vivo by both enzymatic- and non-enzymatic antioxidants usually occur. Antioxidant enzymes include superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase. The main non-enzymic antioxidants include glutathione (GSH), vitamin E and vitamin C (Cooper et al., 2002) proposes to total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in the biological system. The potential sources of free radical generation in exercising muscle are mainly from mitochondria, xanthine oxidase, prostanoid metabolism, catecholamines, NAD (P) H oxidase and secondary sources such are phagocytosis or calcium accumulation (Jackson, 2000).

Generally. Endurance exercise can increase oxygen utilization from 10 to 20 times over the resting state. This greatly increases the generation of free radicals, and the muscles produce a substance called lactate and hydrogen ions (acid) faster than we can use or get rid of them. The aim of this study was to investigate that Effect of functional strength training on oxidative stress and certain physical variables for young Handball players.

Material and Methods

Experimental Approach to the Problem

Two groups (experimental and control) performed a pre and post--training designed intervention in which Vertical Jump Test (VJ), Seated Medicine Ball Throw (SMBT), leg strength (LS) back strength (BS) by the dynamometer, Dynamic strength test (DST) and Performance levels of landing in floor exercise (LFE) were recorded. The experimental group (EG) (10 young Handball players) trained 1 hour per day 3 times a week on functional training besides the wrestling training for ten weeks. The control group (10 young Handball players) continued their normal training, while the experimental group completed a functional training program to see whether this type of training modality would have a positive or negative or no effect on (VJ), (SMBT), (LS) and (PLL).


Twenty young Handball players, divided into (2) group. The experimental group (n = 10) performance functional strength training and control group (n = 10) performed traditional exercise. Blood and urine samples were collected before and after (10) weeks. Serum uric acid (UA), creatine phosphokinase and urinary malondialdehyde (MDA) were evaluated. As markers of oxidative damage to lipids and proteins. Subject's parents and coaches were required to read and complete a health questionnaire and informed consent document; there was no history of injuries, diabetes or recent surgery.

Testing Procedures

Subjects were assessed before and after 10-weeks of complex training program all measurements were taken one week before and after training at the same time of day. Tests followed a general warm-up that consisted of running, calisthenics, and stretching.

Static strength test (LS) (BS)

A Takei leg and back dynamometer was used to measure the static leg strength. The subjects stood on the dynamometer platform and crouched to the desired leg bend position, while strapped around the waist to the dynamometer. At a prescribed time they exerted a maximum force straight upward by extending their legs. They kept their backs straight, head erect and chest high. 3 trials were allowed to the subjects and the best score was taken. Subjects had a rest between the trials (Jensen & Fisher).

Standing Stork Test (SST):

To assess the ability to balance on the ball of the foot.

* The athlete Remove the shoes and socks (they might cause you to slip or gain extra leverage).

Place your hands on your hips.

* Place one foot flat against the inside of the other leg's knee.

* There should be one foot that is resting flat on the floor (the one you're standing on) --lift your heel off the ground and put all of your weight on the ball of that foot.

The athlete should practice for about a minute before testing and the test begins counting from the moment you lift your heel from the ground

Hand Grip Strength Test

The purpose of this test is to measure the maximum isometric strength of the hand and forearm muscles.

The subject holds the dynamometer in the hand to be tested, with the arm at right angles and the elbow by the side of the body. The handle of the dynamometer is adjusted if required--the base should rest on first metacarpal (the heel of the palm), while the handle should rest on middle of four fingers. When ready the subject squeezes the dynamometer with maximum isometric effort, which is maintained for about 5 seconds. No other body movement is allowed. The subject should be strongly encouraged to give a maximum effort.

Dynamic balance

Dynamic balance is very important in sports which need too many joint awareness, and overall proprioception. Balance test investigated by 5 m-timed-up-and-go-test (5m-TUG). Subjects performed 5-TUG with time taken to rise from a chair, walk a set distance 5 m, turn around, walk back and sit down. Each subject was given 2 practice trials performed to familiarize. All subjects completed three trials with 1 min recovery between trials. The less time for each trial was recorded.

Blood test

Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an airtight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

Statistical analysis

All statistical analyses were calculated by the SPSS statistical package. The results are reported as means and standard deviations (SD). Differences between two groups were reported as mean difference [+ or -] 95% confidence intervals (meandiff [+ or -] 95% CI). Student's t-test for independent samples was used to determine the differences in fitness parameters between the two groups. The p < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant.


Table 1 shows the age and anthropometric characteristics of the subjects. There were no significant differences were observed in the anthropometric characteristics and Training experience for the subjects in the different groups.

Table 2 shows that:

l. Significant Difference between the experimental group and control group in Standing Stork Test, Dynamic balance. Static strength test (BS) and Performance level of Running shoot for posttest to the experimental group.

2. No Significant Difference between two groups in Handgrip Strength and Static strength test (LS)

Table 3 shows that:

1. Significant Difference between experimental group and control group in malondialdehyde (MDA), creatine phosphokinase (CPK) for posttest to the experimental group.

2. No Significant Difference between two groups in Serum uric acid (UA)


This study assessed the effects of a 10-weeks functional training program, on the powerful, complex movement performances, total protein, albumin concentration and erythrocyte SOD activities. Experimental results indicated that all variables were significantly increased in the experimental group only after the contrast training program.

The researchers believed that, the training program which designed and implicated on the experimental group were affected and improvement this variable.

Exercise is not just important for general health, it helps build bone mass in youth and slows down bone loss in adults. Exercise is also a factor in helping to reduce the risk of falls as it strengthens muscles, increases flexibility, and improves coordination and balance. During physical activity bones receive messages that they need to work and be strong. When there is a lack of exercise, bones does not receive these messages and lower bone mass can result. Regular physical activity on a long-term basis maintains the benefits of Cardio Health (Cress, et al., 1996).

Both research and anecdotal evidence suggest that functional strength training leads to better muscular balance and joint stability, which in turn results in fewer injuries and increased performance

Current research shows that using natural, continuous, and integrated movements incorporating the use of gravity along with your own body weight or free weights is the best approach to building strength. This type of strength training is called "functional strength training".

Functional strength training has been shown to:

* Increase bone density, thereby reducing the risk of injury due to osteoporosis.

* Improve coordination through the development of proprioceptive feedback mechanisms.

* Develop systems of muscles rather than individual muscles, thereby reducing the risk of tears in ligaments and tendons.

* Increase the strength and power to perform throughout a range of motion for a specific sport or activity.

* Increase resting metabolic rate by increasing lean body mass so more calories will be burned during inactivity.

* Improve use of oxygen throughout the body.

* Improve appearance through overall muscle tone. (B.Halliwell, & M.Gutteridge, 1999)


Christine, C., 2000, The Importance of Functional Strength Training, Personal Fitness Professional magazine, American Council on Exercise publication, April

Cooper, C.E., Vollaard., N.B.J., Choueiri, T. et al., 2002, Exercise, free radicals and oxidative stress. Biochem Society Transactions 30: 280-384.

Cress, M.E., Conley, K.E., Balding, S.L et al., 1996, Functional training: muscle structure, function, and performance in older women, J Orthop Sports PhysTher. Jul; 24 (1): pp4-10

Cymara, P.K., David, E.K., Chris, A.M. et al., 2004, Chair rails and lifting characteristics of elders with knee arthritis: functional training and strengthening effects, J American Physical Therapy Association Vol. 83 * N. 1 * January

Guyton, A.C., Hall, J.E., 1998, Fisiologia Humana e Mecanismos das Doencas," Guanabara Koogan.

Halliwell, B., Gutteridge, M.C., 1999, Oxidative stress; adaptation, damage, repair and death. P. 291-301. Free radicals in biological and medicine. 3rd edition. Oxford University Press. NewYork.

Jackson, M.J., 2000, Exercise and oxygen radical production by muscle. P. 57-66. In C.K. Sen, L. Packer and O. Hanninen (Eds) Handbook of oxidants and antioxidant in exercise. Marcel Dekker, Inc. New York.

Mackelvie, R.J., Khan, K.M., Mckay, H.A., 2002, Is there a critical period for bone response to weight--bearing exercise in children and adolescents, a systematic review, the British journal of sports medicine, Vol. 36: pp250-257

Marjke, J., Michael, F., Bianca, R., 2004, A Non-cooperative Foundation of Core-Stability in Positive Externality NTU-Coalition Games, University of Hagen, Sweden.

Maryg, R., 2003, What Makes Functional Training? National Strength and Conditioning Association Vol. 27, N. 1, pp 50-55

Michael, O., 2004, Functional training for sports, Human Kinetics Publishers; 1 edition.

Pes Online Manual, 2001, Optimum performance training for the performance enhancement specialist, National Academy of Sports Medicine,

Ron, J., 2003, Functional Training #1: Introduction, Reebo Santana, Jose Carlos Univ., USA

Sayre, M., Smith, A., Perry, G., 2001, Chemistry and biochemistry of oxidative stress in neurodegenerative disease," Current Medicinal Chemistry, Vol.8, pp. 721-738.

Sousa, J., Oliveira, P.R., Pereira, B., 2005, Exerciciofisico e estresseoxidativo. Efeitos do exerciciofisicointensosobre a quimioluminescenciaurinaria e malondialdeidoplasmatico," Rev Bras Med Esporte, Vol.11, pp. 91-96.


(1) Faculty of physical education for girls, Helwan University, Egypt


Table 1. Anthropometric Characteristics Training experience
of the Groups (Mean [+ or -] SD)

Group           N      Age [years]       Weight [kg]

Experimental    10   13 [+ or -] 1.5   44 [+ or -] 2.7
Control         10   14 [+ or -] 1.8   42 [+ or -] 3.4

Group              Height [cm]         [years]

Experimental    147 [+ or -] 2.95   3 [+ or -] 0.7
Control         148 [+ or -] 3.11   3 [+ or -] 0.8

Table 2. Mean [+ or -] SD and "T" Test between the two
Groups (experimental and control) in Dynamic balance, Hand
Grip Strength, Static strength test (LS) (BS) and Performance
level of running a shoot

                            Experimental group

Variables                   Before                   After

Standing Stork Test         32.11 [+ or -] 2.09 *   38.31 [+ or -] 3.11
Dynamic balance             10.16 [+ or -] 1.15 *   12.46 [+ or -] 1.43
Handgrip Strength           25.68 [+ or -] 2.54     26.16 [+ or -] 2.63
Static strength test (LS)   59.42 [+ or -] 3.84     62.22 [+ or -] 4.89
Static strength test (BS)   37.51 [+ or -] 4.26 *   45.22 [+ or -] 3.79
Performance level           3.01 [+ or -] 0.41 *    4.13 [+ or -] 0.73

                            Control group

Variables                   Before                After

Standing Stork Test         32.74 [+ or -] 3.19   33.85 [+ or -] 2.89
Dynamic balance             9.92 [+ or -] 0.87    10.03 [+ or -] 1.08
Handgrip Strength           25.31 [+ or -] 2.46   25.87 [+ or -] 3.02
Static strength test (LS)   59.25 [+ or -] 4.26   60.74 [+ or -] 4.38
Static strength test (BS)   38.05 [+ or -] 4.37   40.31 [+ or -] 3.28
Performance level           2.97 [+ or -] 0.59    3.06 [+ or -] 0.62

Variables                    T test   Sign.

Standing Stork Test          4.60     S
Dynamic balance              5.93     S
Handgrip Strength            0.32     NS
Static strength test (LS)    0.98     NS
Static strength test (BS)    4.27     S
Performance level            4.86     S

Table 3. Mean [+ or -] SD and "T" Test between the two
Groups (experimental and control) in malondialdehyde
(MDA), creatine phosphokinase (CPK) and Serum uric acid (UA)

                                      Experimental group

Variables               Before                  After

MDA (mmol/L)    11.09 [+ or -] 0.65 *    10.11 [+ or -] 0.58
CPK (umol/L)    185.22 [+ or -] 18.25 *  197.46 [+ or -] 17.73
UA (umol/L)     298.78 [+ or -] 49.74    277.61 [+ or -] 63.63

                                    Control group

Variables              Before                 After

MDA (mmol/L)    11.11 [+ or -] 0.37    11.10 [+ or -] 0.88
CPK (umol/L)    181.87 [+ or -] 15.64  183.08 [+ or -] 17.11
UA (umol/L)     283.41 [+ or -] 38.46  275.87 [+ or -] 55.02

Variables       T test   Sign.

MDA (mmol/L)     4.13      S
CPK (umol/L)     2.55      S
UA (umol/L)      0.09     NS
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Title Annotation:Original article
Author:Labib, Lamiaa
Publication:Ovidius University Annals, Series Physical Education and Sport/Science, Movement and Health
Article Type:Report
Date:Jan 1, 2014
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