Lithuanian Sports University (LSU) regularly conducts scientific research in sports and health promotion, which receive a lot of international attention. The scientific base for the training of LSU students and researchers is provided by the Institute of Sport Science and Innovations.
Although the world is currently plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic, LSU scientists continue their work work. “The first phase of a UEFA-funded project to strengthen footballers’ hind thigh muscles is coming to an end. It is probable that the prevention program in the second stage will be applied by almost all football clubs of the Lithuanian top and first league as early as January,” said Prof. Dr. Sigitas Kamandulis.
LSU scientists also perform intensive testing of basketball players and swimmers. The aim is to find the most appropriate strategy to combine exercise and rest to avoid overtraining. “We are also investigating boxers. We are currently testing elite boxers to see if a significant increase in the performance of the lower extremities increases the punching power,” said S. Kamandulis.
Athlete research would not be possible without the help of the social partners. The LSU Institute of Sport Science and Innovations cooperates with federations, sports clubs and schools in boxing, rowing, swimming, sailing, basketball, football and other sports disciplines. “Cooperation is extremely beneficial for both us and sports organizations. At the Institute, we regularly conduct ongoing and phased research of representatives of various sports. We study the changes of muscle strength and power, speed, reactivity, aerobic endurance and other properties through application of physical load, we discuss with coaches and provide recommendations based on research data. The results of the research provide more information about the athlete, and LSU compiles a database of model characteristics of athletes, which is necessary for the training of highly qualified coaches,” said the Director of the LSU Institute of Sport Science and Innovations.
High-quality equipment is necessary for research in LSU laboratories, therefore in January of this year the project “Establishment of an Innovative Mobile Sports Science Laboratory at LSU” was launched with the aim to make more efficient use of research equipment. According to the project organizers, the innovative mobile sports science laboratory equipped with the most advanced technological solutions will not only reach all the most remote regions and communities of Lithuania, but will also allow objective physical fitness testing using original research methodologies developed by LSU scientists. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and has a value of almost 1.5 million euros. “After the implementation of the project, we will not only acquire a lot of the most modern equipment for research, but we will also be able to conduct research on athletes at training and competition sites. The purchases will take some time, but the athletes will start benefiting at the beginning of next year,” said S. Kamandulis.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, LSU scientists are focusing even more on new research. Although there are currently fewer experiments with people and students at risk due to various constraints, it is now favorable to conduct research on physical inactivity. “If we do not exercise, we cause a lot of problems for ourselves, such as experiencing muscle atrophy or psychoemotional disorders. We are now researching men of all ages by limiting physical activity for three weeks, then applying strength and endurance exercise and changing their diet. The study will include a comprehensive assessment of skeletal muscle functional properties, cardiovascular capacity, risk markers of metabolic syndrome, cytokines and hormones, inflammatory indices, mood, and cognitive function. We hope that these studies will help to elucidate the mechanisms of muscle regulation and their links with mental health and cognitive functions,” said the head of the LSU Institute of Sport Science and Innovations.
S. Kamandulis is encouraging everyone who wants to participate in various researches conducted by LSU scientists to join and learn as much as possible about themselves. Those wishing to participate in research should write an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.