Tuesday, 21 October 2014


I am very glad to announce that my friend Alex Huntly has published his first ever paper in an International Journal. The article is a fantastic review about the use of acupuncture and dry needling in sport and common conditions. The paper has been published in the American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine.

There is an evidence base of varying strength for the use of acupuncture in conditions, such as chronic low back pain, myofascial trigger point, osteoarthritis, pain relief, performance enhancement and respiratory disorders. The aim of this study was to review the evidence base of acupuncture for common conditions that occur in sport. A literature review of how acupuncture works and what it can treat was performed. Evidence for each condition was critically appraised. There are significant differences in the perceived effectiveness of acupuncture for different conditions and mechanisms. Chronic low back pain, myofascial trigger point, acute low back pain and osteoarthritis were perceived to be effective. All of the reviewed mechanisms of acupuncture were perceived more effective than Chinese meridian. Those conditions that were rated as less effective generally had less supporting evidence or were not relevant to sporting populations.

Keywords: trigger point, low back pain, traditional chinese medicine.

The whole reference of the article is as follows:

To download the paper in pdf format click here

Congratulations Alex!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


The Football Association announced last month its first ever dedicated futsal conference. The conference will take part at St. George's Park at the end of November.

At the end of last month, The FA confirmed the final line-up for the conference which include Benny Meurs, ex-Belgian Head Coach, and Javier Lozano Cid, ex-Spanish Head Coach and current President of the LNFS (Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala).  

Also, I am glad to confirm that after The FA's invitation I will be able to deliver two talks at the conference. The talks will be one each day, therefore people will have the choice to attend any of the days without missing any other content. The FA and I agreed to put a very open title for the talk ("Fitness and conditioning for futsal"). That is the reason beacuse I would like to invite you to send me your feedback, your questions, your enquiries... about what you would like to be covered in those talks. 

"Conferences should be designed for the attendants, not the speakers."

The conference, entitled "A Catalist for Change", is open to all levels and designed for any coach interested in futsal as a primary coaching pathway or as a development tool and will provide an ideal opportunity to network, learn and share new ideas.

You can find the full conference's programme here.

Book your place click here.

And more info here.

Looking forward to meeting you at the conference and receiving your questions.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Basketball Training Load: The validation of the BATLOC Tool

I am glad to announce that one more paper from my PhD Thesis was recently published in the American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine.

The main objective of a coach is to optimize athletic performance. The best performance improvements come from prescribing an optimal dose of physical training with proper recovery periods to allow for the greatest adaptation before competition. The main objective was to validate an inexpensive, easy, non-invasive, real time tool to control and monitor the training load in basketball: the BATLOC tool. Fourteen elite female basketball players from a top-4 team that competes in the England Basketball League Division I volunteered to participate in this study (20.50 ± 2.31 years old, 174.21 ± 4.17 cm, 75.21 ± 15.38 kg, BMI of 24.67 ± 4.23, 177.29 ± 7.60 cm of arm span, 19.01 ± 2.34 % of body fat, and 45.18 ± 4.17 ml/kg/min of VO2max. Two mesocycles were analized: pre-season (6 weeks) and in-season (10 weeks). Training load was controlled and monitored daily with the BATLOC tool. Heart rate was monitored for every player every 5 s in each training session. The RPE was measured using the 6-20 Borg scale. The Pearson’s product moment correlation between the means of intensity, RPE, heart rate, maximum heart rate and equivalent training load showed an excellent concordance (>0.75). To conclude, based on the results in this study and the literature reviewed, the BATLOC tool seems to be a good method to control global internal training load in basketball. This method does not require any expensive equipment and may be very useful and convenient for coaches to monitor the internal training load of basketball players.

Keywords: RPE, heart rate, periodisation, team sports.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014


Either if you are a futsal coach, a futsal assistant coach, a futsal goalkeepers coach, a futsal sports scientist, a futsal manager, a futsal referee, a futsal fan or a simple futsal lover, you should check the next website: www.futsaltactic.es.

Futsaltactic.es, is an on-line meeting place for futsal coaches and fans. It was born in February 2013 with the objective of being a reference of CPD courses for coaches, instructors, trainers, S&C coaches, goalkeepers coaches and anyone interested in improving day by day and seeing first hand the work developed by the best futsal coaches in the world. In the technical staff section we can see people such as: José Venancio López Hierro (Spain’s Head Coach), Federico Vidal (Spain’s Assistant Coach), César Arcones de la Calle (Spain’s GKs Coach), or Dr Antonio Bores Cerezal (Spain’s S&C Coach); but the collaborators are lots and their quality is amazing.

In the last issue, I have been lucky enough because one of my exercises has been pubished. The task aims to improve the speed endurance (displacement speed, dribling speed, and speed of 1x1) in futsal players developing a 1x1 twice after a zig-zag sprint followed by a 2x0 in the other goal plus an optional defensive balance. Following the next link you will see my drill: CLICK HERE.

For more info they are also on Facebook and Twitter:

Tuesday, 11 March 2014


About 9-10 months ago I was appointed Chief Guest Editor for a Special Issue in the American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. This morning the Special Issue has been published and I am glad to announce that all the articles can be downloaded from the following link.

The issue has the following papers:

  1. Editorial
  2. Analysis of the conducts of elite futsal goalkeeper in the different situations of the game.
  3. Recovery & regeneration behaviours in elite English futsal players.
  4. Questionnaire: Loss of entertainment in Spanish futsal (PEFSE)-Results Analisys.
  5. Hydration habits of elite futsal players during official matches: defenders and forwards.
  6. A retrospective study of the Yo-Yo IE2 test: can it be used to differentiate between different levels of futsal referees?
  7. Heart rate variations in an elite futsal player after twelve years of maximum performance.
  8. A pilot study of the physiological demands of futsal referees engaged in international friendly matches.
  9. A systematic review of futsal literature.
  10. Is futsal kicking off in England? A baseline participation study of futsal.

Finally, I would like to thank all the authors for their contributions and hard work to compile this special issue. Especially, I would to acknowledge my two Guest Editors and friends: Dr. A. Tessitore and Dr. A. J. Lara-Sánchez for their help in the edition of this issue.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014


I am glad to announce that on the 28th December 2013 the book based on my PhD Thesis was officially released. The book entitled “Female British Basketball: research studies into body composition, fitness level and training load” (ISBN: 978-84-939866-2-9) has been published by Asociación Didáctica Andalucía (Spain). 

This book is free and we hope you consider sharing it with the world. Please do so under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence 3.0. You can download the book here.

Finally, I would like to give a big thanks to Asociación Didáctica Andalucia, my publisher, and B&B Studio, who designed the cover, without whom there would be no book.

PhD Thesis Abstract

There is a huge amount of articles analysing the anthropometry of basketball players, the parameters of basketball, its physiological demands, and the fitness level of the teams. However, the vast majority of these studies focus on male basketball players. There are only a few studies working on British high-level female basketball teams. Therefore, the main objectives of this thesis will be to study the body composition and fitness level of English and British female basketball players, and to desing a tool for controlling and monitoring the training load in basketball (BATLOC Tool). This thesis will be a compilation of 6 articles published in international journals. The general results obtained from the six studies show that (a) there is no differences when it comes to use of the Bleep test or the Yo-Yo test in order to calculate the maximum oxygen uptake through an indirect method. (b) The sample analysed of British female basketball players (from grassroots to high level) had fitness level and body composition values lower than high-level female basketball teams from countries where basketball is more popular and better developed probably due to the big difference in the number of traininig hours per week performed. (c) The BATLOC tool seems to be a good method to control global internal training load in basketball. This method does not require any expensive equipment and may be very useful and convenient for coaches to monitor the internal training load of basketball players and plan a proper periodisation, since the fitness level of players involved in this study improved through the season.

Keywords: BMI, arm span, agility, speed, endurance, periodisation, team sports, RPE, heart rate.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013


The Journal of Sport and Health Research has just published another scientific paper. This time the paper is a basic review about resveratrol.
Objectives: To systematically review the literature to identify possible indications for Resveratrol in sports and exercise medicine and suggest future avenues of research.
Methods: Literature was identified, selected and appraised with the methods of a systemic review. Potentially relevant publications to answer the research question were identified by searching the following databases: PubMed, Cochrane Library, Google Scholar and Ovid.
Results: Originally 962 articles were identified, of which five were found to be appropriate for inclusion in the review. 4 of them were experimental animal studies with in-vivo and ex-vivo analysis and one was a double-blind, placebo controlled cross-over study with human subjects. 3of the four animal studies showed an endurance enhancement of the mice treated with Resveratrol. All of the animal studies showed basic changes to support the hypothesis of a possible performance enhancement due to cellular changes and possible additional improvement of effects of exercise combined with Resveratrol treatment.
Conclusion: Resveratrol as a food supplement in sports and exercise medicine has not received much attention, despite strong basic scientific evidence that this substance could have multiple indications related to high performance sports as well as enhancement of the health benefits of exercise for the general population.

Keywords: Performance, health benefits, humans, fat burning.

Friday, 11 October 2013


The International SportMed Journal, the journal of the International Federation of Sports Medicine, has just published another of the papers from my PhD Thesis. 

Objectives: The aims of this study were to perform the 20-meter shuttle run test (Bleep test) and the Yo-Yo test in two high level British female basketball teams, and to evaluate and compare both tests between themselves. Methods: 14 elite level female basketball players from a top-4 team competing in the England Basketball League Division I and 15 female basketball players from the Under 20 Great Britain National Team (U20 GB) playing in the European Championship voluntarily participated in this study. The anthropometry tests performed were weight, height and BMI. Each team performed the Bleep test and the Yo-Yo Test on two separate and non-consecutive days (with a lapse of 48 hours between the two tests), at the same time (10 am) and in the same gym hall with wooden floor. Results: Statistical differences were found between the VO2max values of the two teams obtained in the 20-meter shuttle run (p=0.000), and between the VO2max calculated by Yo-Yo IR1 and the VO2max calculated by 20-meter shuttle run without taking into account the age (p=0.002). Conclusions: British basketball players showed cardiorespiratory levels (VO2max) lower than high-level female basketball players from countries where basketball is more popular and better developed. In addition, it was proved that there are no differences when it comes to the use of the Bleep test or the Yo-Yo test in order to calculate the maximum oxygen uptake through an indirect method.

Key words: VO2max; maximum oxygen uptake; aerobic endurance; TIVRE-Basket.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013


Today we have a guest post by Virginia Cunningham. She is a freelance writer in Southern California who specializes in health topics. She enjoys getting a massage after an injury, and finds the results to be very effective.

Playing a sport on a regular basis is an incredibly effective way to get your exercise. In fact, many people find it much more beneficial than doing exercises like jogging or going to the gym – especially individuals that can’t seem to find the motivation for pure exercise.

While sports are great for staying in shape, they can unfortunately result in injuries. Most sports-related injuries are relatively minor, but they are be painful and sometimes result in missing regular, day-to-day activities.

To counteract some of the pain from sports injuries and help you get up and moving around again, massage is a particularly beneficial treatment, especially when combined with conventional medicinal techniques and other therapies and pain management techniques.

Massage Improves Flexibility

Muscles that get used frequently via sports often become less able to relax, even as they are growing stronger and more effective. Unfortunately, this is problematic for some people when injuries occur, as decreased flexibility can make muscle soreness worse.

Massage therapy – even basic types of massage like Swedish massage – can help to improve your flexibility. In the short term, improved flexibility can result in less pain and a reduced chance that you’ll injure yourself further while performing simple daily tasks, still with an injury.

Improving your muscles’ flexibility also decreases the likelihood that you’ll get injured once you return to the sport of your choice after your injury heals.

Massage Reduces Scar Tissue

When it comes to sports injuries, deep tissue massage is often the most beneficial type of treatment for muscle-related injuries. While some people may find deep tissue massage uncomfortable, particularly when they have an injury, deep tissue massage loosens muscles and actually breaks down the formation of scar tissue that tends to make getting injured again much easier.

The discomfort that many people feel after getting a deep tissue massage will also subside in about 24 hours or so as well. After that, most report that their muscle injuries feel much better during the healing process.

Massage Increases Circulation

Injured muscles commonly feel tight, which alters the way people move when they’re injured. Unfortunately, that can actually result in further pain and injuries – even when you’re already injured.

However, massage can improve oxygen circulation and blood flow in the body, making the muscles feel less tight and constricted after exercise or when injured. Improved circulation also helps your body wash away waste products that can cause muscle pain and make healing even more difficult for your body. 

In many cases, getting a massage when you have an injury actually feels good. In fact, some people even enjoy deep tissue massage.

If actually feeling better isn’t enough reason to seek out a massage when you’re injured, the fact that you’re less likely to reinjure yourself, or make your injury worse, should be.

Talk to your doctor and massage practitioner about what type of massage could be most beneficial for you. Most of the time there is a particular massage which targets your injury and is most effective for healing and recovery.

Saturday, 21 September 2013


Dr Makus W Laupheimer from mskclinic.co.uk has just published one of my little pieces about recovery in sport. If you would like to read it just go to his website or click here. Also, you can read the article below:

It does not matter, if you are an elite athlete or if you just practice sport for fan or to keep fit and healthy yourself, recovery is a key factor. In fact, recovery is as important as training. To be able to perform, avoid injuries and do not burn out, everyone who practices sport has to be able to regenerate and recover. Some of the methods or ways that we use with our players and athletes will be shown in this post:

1) Sleep: Sleep is one of the most important aspects to recover. The science has shown that with a proper sleep tennis players get a 42% boost in hitting acuracy during depth drills, sleep extension provides swimmers a 17% improvement in reaction time off the starting block, sleep improves split-second decision making ability by 4.3%, american football players drop 0.1 seconds off their 40-yard dash times by sleeping more, and a 20-30 minutes power nap improves alertness by 100%.

On the contrary, the scientific studies has also shown that a chronic sleep loss can lead to a 30-40% reduction in glucose metabolism and an 11% reduction in time to exhaustion, 2 days of sleep restriction can lead to a 3x increase in lapses of attention and reactivity, the maximum bench press drops 20 lbs after 4 days of restricted sleep and perceived exertion increases 17-19% after 30 hours without sleep.

Therefore, with all the scientific evidence athletes should schedule proper recovery time and sleep to ensure optimum performance. Athletes will recover better from injuries if they sleep well and the choice of mattress is paramount for comfort and support. Not all mattresses will meet up to the demands as an aid to recovery. But a Falcon Sport Mattress has been designed with those needs and requirements in mind to help you get a deep sleep providing recovery and regeneration necessary to perform consistently at a high level.

2) Nutrition: Refuelling within an hour after training should be the priority for any athlete. You should try to take carbohydrate together with proteins. Your aim should be to a take a shake before even going into the shower. Vitamins and proteins are very important as well. Therefore, the sooner these are replaced the better.

3) Stretching: A stretching protocol as a part of your cool-down routine should be essential. The science has shown the stretching reduces muscle soreness and thightness. A stretching protocol as a part of a daily routine has been shown to also have performance improvements.

4) Foam rolling: A foam roller should never miss in your training venue or home. A foam rolling protocol after the stretching protocol should be performed in all your cool-downs. Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release tecnique that is used to inhibit overactive muscles. This form of stretching utilises the concept of autogenic inhibition to improve soft tissue extensibility, thus relaxing the muscle and allowing the activation of the antagonist muscle. You should roll the foam roller under each muscle group until an tender area is found, and maintaining pressure on the tender areas (known as trigger points) for 30 to 60 seconds.

5) Contrast water therapy or contrast baths: They are a form of treatment where a limb is immersed in cold/ice water followed by the immediate immersion in warm water. The protocol is repetead several times, always alternating cold and hot. The theory behind this method is that cold water causes vasoconstriction while the warm water causes vasodilation. Alternating, hot and cold, lymph vessels dilate and contract to essentially “pump” and move stagnant fluid and waste out of the area. This positively effetcs the inflamation process, which is the body’s primary mechanism for healing damaged tissue. Professional athletes are using the state-of-the-art technology to improve their recovery. CryoSpas CET is a device used in professional sport enviroment based in the contrast water therapy. They recommend to set a temperature of 8-9º and perform the following protocol: 4 minutes in cold water, then 2 minutes hot water shower, and finally 4 minutes cold.

6) Compression clothing: Compression garments are pieces of clothing such as socks, pantyhose, sleeves, etc., that provide support that is especially useful for people who have to stand for long periods, or people with poor circulation. Compression garments worn on the legs can help prevent deep vein thrombosis and reduce swelling, especially while traveling. Compression sportswear are also worn by some athletes during exercise and post-exercise to ease muscle stiffness and quicken recovery time. Duffield & Portus (2007) found lower 24 hours post-exercise CK values and lower 24 hours post-exercise ratings of muscle soreness when wearing compression garments in cricket players. Based in the same principle, a device originally designed for people with deep vein thrombosis has been shown as an effective method to recover quicker and reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) within 24 hours. The device (FireFly Recovery) uses electrical impulses to improve blood circulation. An increase in blood flow and velocity in the muscles of the lower legs allows oxygen to reach the muscle to remove the waste products more efficiently.

7) Massage: What to say about massage! Everyone knows that a good massage will improve our muscles recovery, aid in the healing process, decrease muscle reflex activity, inhibit motor-neuron excitability, and promote relaxation and well-being. If you are an amateur sportman training every day, I would recommend you to receive a massage every 6 weeks. If you are struggling financially, although it is not the same, a good session of foam rolling can be an acceptable substitute.

8) NormaTec Recovery: This device is a new tool to improve recovery used (due to its price) in high performance athletes and teams. Basically, the device uses the concept of applying external compression to aid the body with its normal circulatory processes. NormaTec Recovery features Sequential Pulse Technology. This technology is divided into 6 phases starting the pulsing in zone one (foot) and finishing in zone 5 (thigh). When one zone is under the pressure the other zone releases. This dynamic compression strategy mimics normal physiology.