assist. prof. Žiga Kozinc – PHD topics

Name and Surname: assist. prof. Žiga Kozinc, PhD
ARRS 51596

Research facility (research activity location)
Univerza na Primorskem, Fakulteta za vede o zdravju

Research field according to ARRS classification
Science: Družboslovje
Field: Sport
Subfield: Kinesiology

Summary of research topic and field

This doctoral thesis will study the effects of eccentric-quasi-isometric (ECI) training on physical performance in different populations. The approach is based on a combination of isometric and eccentric resistance training. While ECI training is well known among fitness coaches, the scientific basis for applying this approach is almost non-existent. To date, studies have examined the immediate effects of ECI and compared them eccentric exercise, and described the biomechanical characteristics of performing ECI-based exercises. However, even these few studies have been limited to a single-joint knee extension exercise. Therefore, there is an open question about the applicability of ECI. In this doctoral dissertation, we will conduct three studies, all of which will focus on 3 selected exercises / movements: bilateral elbow flexion with free weights, single-arm knee flexion on a dynamometer, and squats. The selection of exercises might be adapted to current trends and findings of other research groups.

In the first study, we will examine the kinetic and kinematic characteristics of the performance of selected exercises. During the performance of exercises according to the principles of ECI, we will record the torque / forces and speed / angular velocity, in order to record the biomechanical properties of the exercise and determine the distribution of the load through the range of motion.

In the second study, we will examine acute responses to ECI in comparison to eccentric and isometric exercise. We anticipate up to 10 subjects in each group. We will evaluate the feeling of effort, delayed muscle pain (1, 24, 48 and 72 h after exercise) and muscle performance in the context of selected exercises (maximum force / torque and speed of force / torque increase). The quantities of individual training modalities will be determined on the basis of pilot studies, whereby the goal will be to equalize the total quantitative load (force / torque pulse) across training modalities.

In the last study, we will examine the long-term effects of ECI on physical performance. Subjects will perform training 2-3x training session per week, for 8 weeks. Before and after training period, we will perform measurements of muscle performance (maximum force / torque and speed of force / torque gain), ability to change direction, sprint speed, jumps and architectural properties of muscles (fascicle length, pennation angle, stiffness measured by elastography).

We anticipate that the results of the study will pave the way for further research of ECI and its use in sports training, rehabilitation and exercise of various populations. The results of the doctoral thesis will represent an important and original contribution of science, as this method of training has not been extensively studied so far