Management of muscle tone in sports wrestling

Фотографии: 

PhD, Associate Professor V.A. Kuvanov1
Lecturer (Physical Education Department) Е.N. Korostelev1
Lecturer (Physical Education Department) A.V. Zaitsev1
1National Mineral Resources Mining University, St. Petersburg

Keywords: muscle tonus, competitive wrestling, physical relaxation, muscle strength, strength abilities.

Introduction. The methodological literature on wrestling and sambo gives little information on the ways to develop muscle relaxation skills, especially when it comes to young wrestlers. The main instructional techniques of formation of the skill of arbitrarily muscle relaxation are the verbal commands for physical relaxation, usually applied sporadically at the end of each training session. However, as a rule, young men do not know how to perform these commands, as they do not have a clear idea of ​​the relaxed state of their muscles. Pedagogical observations and questionnaire survey conducted among the freestyle wrestlers of different sports qualifications - from the I sports category to honoured master of sports, showed that the level of the wrestlers’ knowledge of the methods and systems of muscle relaxation is very low. In general, it is cyclic sports such as running, swimming, rowing, etc., where the process of physical relaxation was studied as such. As is known, in these kinds of sport, the tension phase is followed by a natural stereotyped phase of relaxation in each cycle of motion.

In competitive wrestling, it is not possible due to counter acyclic movements of the opponent. The relaxation phase is usually formed depending on the situation. Given the complex acyclic structure of movements in wrestling, it is safe to say that muscular system rigidity ratards further growth of sports and technical results of wrestlers. Timely and complete relaxation of the muscular system takes on particular significance for ensuring the recovery processes during the bout, which, in turn, contributes to the energy cost saving. Therefore, it is necessary to deliberately interfere into this process to make it not spontaneous, but organized and purposeful.

Objective of the study was to develop and experimentally substantiate a set of special means to promote muscle relaxation based on the data on changes in the muscle tonus of wrestlers in their static strength development process.

Methods and structure of the study. The goal of the experiment was to detect the muscle tonus variations upon completion of a specially selected set of static strength building exercises and to find the degree of relaxation after these exercises in the Experimental Group as opposed to the Reference one, in which the wrestlers did not perform these special exercise sets. We determined the strength of biceps brachii, musculus quadriceps femoris, latissimus dorsi and gastrocnemius muscle at the moment of maximum tension (MT) and arbitrary maximum relaxation (MR). We also calculated muscle strength amplitude (A): A=MT-MR. The strength amplitude value can help determine the effectiveness of the training impact on the athletes.

The measurements were taken in two standard positions – supine and prone, as they make it possible to study the muscle tension and relaxation rates in the most uniform conditions. Muscle strength was measured at the center of the muscle in question. The measurements were carried out 3 times so that the tonometer probe was placed on one and the same spot, previously inked. Then the average strength rate was calculated. Muscle strength is an expression of the muscle physical properties and directly correlates with the muscle tonus. In this view, the obtained numerical values ​​can be considered conditional indicators of the muscle tonus.

Results and discussion. The analysis of the tonometry results showed that the muscle strength changed significantly under load. Different muscle groups had different strength indices in all three dimensions. According to the absolute muscle strength rates, the biceps brachii ranks first, being followed by gastrocnemius muscle, musculus quadriceps femoris and latissimus dorsi.

Let us analyze the average strength rates of biceps brachii, latissimus dorsi and musculus quadriceps femoris at the moment of their maximum tension and relaxation and their amplitudes.

The average rates of the biceps brachii performance variations at the moment of tension (contraction) and relaxation and their A (amplitude) are shown in Table 1.

The baseline muscle strength indices at the moment of tension equaled 116.2 mt in the Experimental Group and 110.6 mt in the Reference one. The final results indicate a qualitative increase in the strength of this muscle group in all groups and amount to 123.8 and 118.7 mt, respectively.

The relaxation rates improved progressively in the course of the experiment, with a few exceptions for the Reference Group, in which they somewhat decreased due to the lack of relaxation exercises. The quality of changes in the analyzed indicator in the Experimental and Reference Groups is confirmed by the amplitude values, which has increased during the experiment by 11.1 mt in the Experimental Group, and by 7.6 mt. in the Reference one. The amplitude value reflects mainly the range of functional capacities of the athlete's locomotor system and characterizes the ability of the muscles to shift from maximum tension to maximum relaxation, which is due to the ability to develop a concentrated process of excitation and inhibition.

Table 1. Muscle relaxation rates

Group

Number

of people

Experiment

No

Biceps brachii

Strength at the

moment of tension

Strength at the moment of relaxation

Amplitude

Experimental Group

18

1

 

116.2±1.8

67.7±1.4

48.4±1.8

2

 

123.8±2.2

64.2±1.6

59.5±2.4

 Reference

Group

21

1

 

110.63.0

69.71.3

40.91.9

2

 

118.7±2.7

70.2±1.6

48.5±1.3

The average strength rates of the latissimus dorsi at the moment of tension/ relaxation and their A are shown in Table 2.

Table 2. Muscle strength rates at the moment of tension

Group

Number

of people

Experiment

No

Latissimus dorsi

Strength at the

moment of tension

Strength at the moment of relaxation

Amplitude

Experimental Group

18

1

 

105.0±1.6

64.7±1.6

40.2±2.2

2

 

11.4±1.6

61.2±1.4

52.8±2.1

 Reference

Group

21

1

 

100.0±2.4

66.4±2.1

33.6±2.3

2

 

105.2±7.8

67.6±1.6

38.8±2.4

The baseline muscle strength indices at the moment of tension were slightly higher in the Experimental Group than in the Reference Group, and amounted to 105.0 and 100 mt, respectively. The final measurements, as opposed to the initial ones, found the muscle strength in all three groups to shift upwards and amount to 114.1 and 105.2 mt, respectivly.

The final measurements, as opposed to the initial ones, indicate that the relaxation skills have improved in the Experimental Group and reached 61.2 mt, while in the Reference Group it equaled 67.6 mt (we found the relaxation skill to worsen due to an increase in the muscle strength at the moment of the maximum tension). The average strength rates of the musculus quadriceps femoris at the momnet of tension/ relaxation are presented in Table 3.

Table 3. Musculus quadriceps femoris strength variations

Group

Number

of people

Experiment

No

Musculus quadriceps femoris

Strength at the

moment of tension

Strength at the moment of relaxation

Amplitude

Experimental Group

18

1

 

109.8±2.0

74.0±1.1

35.7±1.7

2

 

117.3±1.5

69.2±1.2

48.0±1.8

 Reference

Group

21

1

 

103.3±2.1

71.9±1.0

31.4±1.7

2

 

110.0±2.1

72.5±1.1

38.4±1.9

The measurements taken at the end of the experiment indicate an increase in the strength of the muscle group under study, which can be estimated by the following figures: 117.3 mt in the Experimental Group and 110.0 mt in the Reference Group. These data testify to a qualitative effect of the relaxation exercises used in the Experimental Group, with a simultaneous increase in the strength at the moment of the maximum muscle tension, which is confirmed by the amplitude shifts.

Conclusion. The maximum amplitude values are mainly due to the ability of the muscles to produce the maximum tension and ultimate arbitrary relaxation. This enables the muscle to restore its energy resources in the shortest term and develop even more strength and speed with each subsequent contraction.

It should be noted that the physical load performed by the Experimental Group subjects had an effective impact on the strength of their skeletal muscles, which manifested itself in various functional states.

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Corresponding author: kuwanov@mail.ru

Abstract

In modern competitive wrestling a special priority is given to the active and conscious muscular relaxation techniques applicable after strength building practices, with the relaxation degree dependent on the training process intensity – in view of the fact that not every muscle fiber relaxes after stresses much in the same manner as not every muscle fiber contributes to the muscle contraction process. It should be noted that an untimely/ incomplete relaxation of the antagonistic muscles may create extra resistance to the key working muscles and thereby increase the energy demand. And vice versa, the muscle relaxation and tension process control ability helps make the physical performance more effective and energy-efficient, with the muscle performance variations measurable by a myotonemeter.