In the last decades, muscular fitness in European children has been decreasing (1-3). Strength training, if handled by qualified physical educators, is a safe and effective method to improve muscular fitness (4). Nevertheless, strength training has only a marginal role in Italian elementary school physical education curriculum. In this study, 101 pre-pubertal school children (50 M, 51 F; 7 to 10 year old) have been assigned to 2 experimental groups (EGs: ‘Kids’, ‘KLess’) and 1 control group (CG: ‘None’). KLess underwent a 6 month (2 times per week) physical education protocol concerning both basic motor abilities and health-related physical abilities, taught by qualified physical educators. Kids underwent the same protocol, except the use of a specific fitness equipment (Kid’s System; Panatta Sport). Lessons of None were completely taught by non specifically qualified teachers. Strength were assessed (pre- and post-study) in: hands and forearms (pinch-strength; hand-grip); abdomen (sit-up); lower limbs (Standing Long Jump [SLJ] and Counter Movement Jump [CMJ and CMJ-arms-free]). A two-way analysis of variance (group and gender) was performed to compare the means and the Bonferroni test was applied for multiple comparisons. Results show a general strength increase in all groups, except for pinch-strength and CMJ-arms-free tests in the CG. Statistical analysis shows a greater increase of strength in the EGs: significant (p<.05) for the CMJ-arms-free test and highly significant (p<.01) for both the pinch-strength and the sit-up tests. No children had muscular injury while strength increased. Most tests showed a significantly higher strength increase in the EGs who’s physical education protocol was handled by qualified physical educators. In conclusion, pre-pubertal strength training should be included in the elementary school physical education curriculum as a safe and effective method to improve strength in children provided its handling by qualified physical education teachers. Bibliography 1) Heeboll-Nielsen, K. Muscle strength of boys and girls, 1981 compared to 1956. Scandinavian journal of sports sciences 4: 37-43, 1982. 2) Ekblom O, Oddsson K, and Ekblom B. Health-related fitness in Swedish adolescents between 1987 and 2001. Acta Paediatr 93: 681-686, 2004. 3) Przeweda R and Dobosz J. Growth and physical fitness of Polish youths in two successive decades. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 43: 465-474, 2003. 4) Bernhardt DT et al. Strength training by children and adolescents. Pediatrics 107: 1470-1472, 2001.

Strength training in pre-pubertal children: a school based physical education approach

LUCERTINI, FRANCESCO;VALENTINI, MANUELA;FEDERICI, ARIO
2009-01-01

Abstract

In the last decades, muscular fitness in European children has been decreasing (1-3). Strength training, if handled by qualified physical educators, is a safe and effective method to improve muscular fitness (4). Nevertheless, strength training has only a marginal role in Italian elementary school physical education curriculum. In this study, 101 pre-pubertal school children (50 M, 51 F; 7 to 10 year old) have been assigned to 2 experimental groups (EGs: ‘Kids’, ‘KLess’) and 1 control group (CG: ‘None’). KLess underwent a 6 month (2 times per week) physical education protocol concerning both basic motor abilities and health-related physical abilities, taught by qualified physical educators. Kids underwent the same protocol, except the use of a specific fitness equipment (Kid’s System; Panatta Sport). Lessons of None were completely taught by non specifically qualified teachers. Strength were assessed (pre- and post-study) in: hands and forearms (pinch-strength; hand-grip); abdomen (sit-up); lower limbs (Standing Long Jump [SLJ] and Counter Movement Jump [CMJ and CMJ-arms-free]). A two-way analysis of variance (group and gender) was performed to compare the means and the Bonferroni test was applied for multiple comparisons. Results show a general strength increase in all groups, except for pinch-strength and CMJ-arms-free tests in the CG. Statistical analysis shows a greater increase of strength in the EGs: significant (p<.05) for the CMJ-arms-free test and highly significant (p<.01) for both the pinch-strength and the sit-up tests. No children had muscular injury while strength increased. Most tests showed a significantly higher strength increase in the EGs who’s physical education protocol was handled by qualified physical educators. In conclusion, pre-pubertal strength training should be included in the elementary school physical education curriculum as a safe and effective method to improve strength in children provided its handling by qualified physical education teachers. Bibliography 1) Heeboll-Nielsen, K. Muscle strength of boys and girls, 1981 compared to 1956. Scandinavian journal of sports sciences 4: 37-43, 1982. 2) Ekblom O, Oddsson K, and Ekblom B. Health-related fitness in Swedish adolescents between 1987 and 2001. Acta Paediatr 93: 681-686, 2004. 3) Przeweda R and Dobosz J. Growth and physical fitness of Polish youths in two successive decades. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 43: 465-474, 2003. 4) Bernhardt DT et al. Strength training by children and adolescents. Pediatrics 107: 1470-1472, 2001.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2510057
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