Respiratory practices prioritizing universal competitive fitness model for elite biathletes

Dr. Hab., Associate Professor V.V. Farbey1
Applicant E.G. Zhevlakov1
1Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, St. Petersburg

Objective of the study was to test benefits of a respiratory practices prioritizing universal competitive fitness model for elite biathletes.
Methods and structure of the study. We sampled for the new universal competitive fitness model testing experiment highly skilled biathletes (CMS, n=26) from the Herzen State Pedagogical University team, Winter Sports Excellence School, UOR 2 and the Children and Youth Olympic Reserve Sports School in Vyborg district, St. Petersburg. The sample was provisionally split up into the following three Experimental Groups (EG): Racers (n=9), Shooters (n=8) and Universal athletes (n=9). The groups were trained as required by the universal competitive fitness model with the following respiratory practices sets: respiratory practice 1 resting practices; respiratory practice 2 breath holding; respiratory practice 3 forced breathing; respiratory practice 4 with aiming; respiratory practice 5 with a movable rest; respiratory practice 6 mirror-assisted with the rifle; and respiratory practice 7 breath calming-down and relaxation physical exercises with standard breath-control practices traditional for biathlon prior to shooting. Each of the respiratory practices sets was applied in every Experimental Group. The respiratory practices were mastered in the preparatory period in 28 gym training sessions that totaled 51 hours, with pure respiratory practices in every session taking 30-40 minutes. This means that the respiratory practices took 15 hours on the whole i.e. 8% of the total training time for the experimental period.
Results and conclusion. Our analysis of the competitive performance test data showed benefits of the new respiratory practices prioritizing universal competitive fitness model for the elite biathletes as it helps them progress to the universal competitive fitness type – mostly by improvements in the individual deficient shooting elements with progress in the breath control and breath harmonization with the motor skills in the shooting range; and with special improvements in the shooting speed, rhythm and accuracy associated with functional improvements.

Keywords: elite biathlete, respiratory practices, universal competitive fitness.


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