Time-motion analysis in women’s team handball: Importance of aerobic performance
Keywords:Acceleration, Female athlete, Physical endurance, Velocity
AbstractWomen’s handball is a sport, which has seen an accelerated development over the last decade. Data on movement patterns in combination with physiological demands are nearly nonexistent in the literature. The aim of this study was twofold: first, to analyze the horizontal movement pattern, including the sprint acceleration profiles, of individual female elite handball players and the corresponding heart rates (HRs) during a match and secondly to determine underlying correlations with individual aerobic performance. Players from one German First League team (n = 11) and the Norwegian National Team (n = 14) were studied during one match using the Sagit system for movement analysis and Polar HR monitoring for analysis of physiological demands. Mean HR during the match was 86 % of maximum HR (HRmax). With the exception of the goalkeepers (GKs, 78 % of HRmax), no position-specific differences could be detected. Total distance covered during the match was 4614 m (2066 m in GKs and 5251 m in field players (FPs)). Total distance consisted of 9.2 % sprinting, 26.7 % fast running, 28.8 % slow running, and 35.5 % walking. Mean velocity varied between 1.9 km/h (0.52 m/s) (GKs) and 4.2 km/h (1.17 m/s) (FPs, no position effect). Field players with a higher level of maximum oxygen uptake (V̇O2max) executed run activities with a higher velocity but comparable percentage of HRmax as compared to players with lower aerobic performance, independent of FP position. Acceleration profile depended on aerobic performance and the field player’s position. In conclusion, a high V̇O2max appears to be important in top-level international women’s handball. Sprint and endurance training should be conducted according to the specific demands of the player’s position.
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