ArticlePDF Available

Does a Calisthenics-Based Exercise Program Applied in School Improve Morphofunctional Parameters in Youth?

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

Does a Calisthenics-Based Exercise Program Applied in School Improve Morphofunctional Parameters in Youth? JEPonline 2015;18(6):52-61. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of calisthenic strength exercises in Physical Education classes on morphological and functional adaptations in school children. Thirty-nine youth, including both genders, in grades seventh and eighth were assigned to one of two groups: Control (CG = 19) and Calisthenics (CaG = 20). Theintervention was performed twice per week, during 12 wks. The measurements were applied at pre-and post-intervention, including body mass index (BMI), push-ups in 1 min (PUS), curl-ups in 1 min (CUR), horizontal jump (HJ), and running speedin 50 m (speed). The PUS and CUR increased for boys and girls in the CaG and decreased in the CG. The HJ did not change in either group, however the % change was significantly higher in the CaG than in the CG. Speed decreased in both groups for boys and girls. Neither group showed significant differences in BMI. The findings indicate that the traditional Physical Education classes are inefficient for improving morpho-functional adaptations after 12 wks and even result in a decrease in strength performance. The addition of calisthenic strength exercises improved strength levels of these school children. For additional benefits on BMI, power, and speed, specific training and additional interventions (e.g., nutritional diet) are necessary and should be included in a well-rounded physical education experience.
Content may be subject to copyright.
52
Journal of Exercise Physiology
online
December 2015
Volume 18 Number 6
Editor-in-Chief
Tommy Boone, PhD, MBA
Review Board
Todd Astorino, PhD
Julien Baker, PhD
Steve Brock, PhD
Lance Dalleck, PhD
Eric Goulet, PhD
Robert Gotshall, PhD
Alexander Hutchison, PhD
M. Knight-Maloney, PhD
Len Kravitz, PhD
James Laskin, PhD
Yit Aun Lim, PhD
Lonnie Lowery, PhD
Derek Marks, PhD
Cristine Mermier, PhD
Robert Robergs, PhD
Chantal Vella, PhD
Dale Wagner, PhD
Frank Wyatt, PhD
Ben Zhou, PhD
Official Research Journal
of the American Society of
Exercise Physiologists
ISSN 1097-9751
Official Research Journal of
the American Society of
Exercise Physiologists
ISSN 1097-9751
JEPonline
Does a Calisthenics-Based Exercise Program Applied
in School Improve Morphofunctional Parameters in
Youth?
Diego de Souza Santos1, Thiago Eduardo de Oliveira1, Cássio
Adriano Pereira1, Alexandre Lopes Evangelista2,3, Danilo Sales
Bocalini3, Roberta Luksevicius Rica3,4, Matthew R. Rhea5, Roberto
Simão6, Cauê Vazquez La Scala Teixeira7,8
1College of Physical Education and Sports, Santa Cecília University,
Santos, Brazil, 2Department of Physical Education, Nove de Julho
University, São Paulo, Brazil, 3Translational Physiology,
Postgraduate Program on Physical Education and Aging Science,
São Judas Tadeu University, São Paulo, Brazil, 4Body Perception
and Human Movement Laboratory, Postgraduate Program on
Physical Education and Aging Science, São Judas Tadeu University,
São Paulo, Brazil, 5A.T. Still University, USA, 6Federal University of
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 7Department of Biosciences,
Federal University of São Paulo, Santos, Brazil, 8College of Physical
Education, Praia Grande College, Praia Grande, Brazil
ABSTRACT
Santos DS, Oliveira TE, Pereira CA, Evangelista AL, Danilo
Sales Bocalini, Rica RL, Rhea MR, Simão R, Teixeira CV. Does a
Calisthenics-Based Exercise Program Applied in School Improve
Morphofunctional Parameters in Youth? JEPonline 2015;18(6):52-
61. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of calisthenic
strength exercises in Physical Education classes on morphological
and functional adaptations in school children. Thirty-nine youth,
including both genders, in grades seventh and eighth were assigned
to one of two groups: Control (CG = 19) and Calisthenics (CaG =
20). The intervention was performed twice per week, during 12 wks.
The measurements were applied at pre- and post-intervention,
including body mass index (BMI), push-ups in 1 min (PUS), curl-ups
in 1 min (CUR), horizontal jump (HJ), and running speed in 50 m
(speed). The PUS and CUR increased for boys and girls in the CaG
and decreased in the CG. The HJ did not change in either group,
however the % change was significantly higher in the CaG than in
53
the CG. Speed decreased in both groups for boys and girls. Neither group showed significant
differences in BMI. The findings indicate that the traditional Physical Education classes are
inefficient for improving morpho-functional adaptations after 12 wks and even result in a decrease in
strength performance. The addition of calisthenic strength exercises improved strength levels of
these school children. For additional benefits on BMI, power, and speed, specific training and
additional interventions (e.g., nutritional diet) are necessary and should be included in a well-
rounded physical education experience.
Key Words: Resistance training, Calisthenics exercises, Performance, Children
INTRODUCTION
Increasingly, strength training is encouraged among children and adolescents. It is acknowledged
as a safe and effective intervention for developing physical and psychological health, improving
performance, and preventing injuries in daily activities and sports (12). The benefits of regular
strength training during childhood are not restricted to this phase of life, but also contribute to
reducing the risk of developing various diseases throughout life (18).
To increase the strength of muscles, it is recommended that moderate intensity resistance training
using 1 to 3 sets of 6 to 15 repetitions performed 2 to 3 times·wk-1 on a regular basis is applied to
the body, preferably through multi-joint exercises (7). If the goal is power, similar work is
recommended with high-speed contractions (7). Until recently this and other similar protocols were
well accepted by researchers as a reference to optimize both performance results and improvement
in the quality of life of children (1). It was believed that practice workouts below these intensities
and/or the use of different methods might result in minor positive adaptations in medium and long
term (17).
Physical Education classes represent a good venue for implementing a strength training regimen
among children. However, the main problem in schools is the unavailability of specific equipment for
strength training. Additionally, Dorgo et al. (5) claim that strength training is underexplored in
Physical Education classes because the emphasis in these classes is mainly on recreational sports
and games with little time given to structured exercise.
Alternative forms of strength training have been proposed by some authors in order to facilitate the
application of resistance exercises in school settings where equipment or space is limited.
Faigenbaum (6) suggests that body weight exercises are a viable alternative to free weights or
resistance machines. Body weight exercises, often called calisthenics, use body weight as
resistance with the intent to improve strength through a variety of movements such as pushups,
pullups, and situps. Calisthenics may be an useful alternative for resistance exercise among
children because the exercises are relatively easy to learn, allow for work in groups, present low risk
of injury, and provide a different exercise experience that may be more enjoyable for children (3).
Hence, the purpose of this research study was to investigate the effects of calisthenics strength
exercises in Physical Education classes on morphological and functional adaptations in school
children in Brazil.
54
METHODS
Subjects
A total of 40 school children (ages 12.8 ± 0.6 yrs), consisting of 20 boys and 20 girls, were
recruited from a public school in Brazil. An institutional ethics committee approved the study.
An informed consent was obtained from all participants and their parents. All participants
volunteered to participate after receiving verbal explanations of the tests prior to the start of
the study. One male student did not reach the minimum attendance requirement (75% of
Physical Education classes) and was excluded from the data analysis. The initial sample size
of 40 was reduced to 39 subjects.
Procedures
Each subject underwent anthropometric and functional assessment at pre- and post-
intervention. The tests were conducted on a single day, in the sequence explained below:
Each subject underwent anthropometric and functional assessments at pre- and post-
intervention. The tests were conducted on a single day using the following sequence
(with a 10-min rest between each test to prevent fatigue).
: Body Mass Index (BMI): The subjects’ body mass and height were measured
according to protocols described by World Health Organization (19), and BMI was
calculated by dividing body weight (in kilogram) by the square of height (in meters).
Horizontal Jump (HJ): The subjects performed the horizontal jump test according to
protocols described by Maulder and Cronin (13). The best distance (in centimeters) of
three attempts was recorded.
50 M Sprint (SPEED): The subjects ran a distance of 50 m in the shortest time
possible (9). The time was recorded in seconds.
Push-Ups (PUS) and Curl-Ups (CUR) in 1 min: The subjects performed the
maximum number of repetitions of PUS and CUR in 1 min (14).
Both interventions were conducted during Physical Education classes over a period of 12
wks. The weekly frequency was twice per week and the duration of each class was 60 min. In
order to avoid any embarrassment among students, it was decided to perform each type of
intervention in a separate class. All exercises and tests were administered by the same
instructor. Thus, the students were randomly divided into one of two groups:
Control (CG) (n = 19): The control group continued in a traditional Physical Education
class. The session consisted of 10 min of warm up (running) followed by 40 min of
practical skills, motor skills, and sports activities. The cool down involved 10 min of
general stretching exercises (1 x 30 sec for the major muscle groups). An introductory
session was held two days before the beginning of the study for each participant
included in this group. These sessions provided information about the testing, along
with opportunities to practice each test to remove potential learning effects.
55
Calisthenics (CaG) (n = 20): The calisthenics exercise group performed a 10-min
warm up (running) followed by five calisthenics strength exercises: (a) wide grip push-
ups; (b) squat or lunge; (c) fixed bar inverted row; (d) curl-ups; and (e) narrow grip
push-ups). The cool down involved 10 min of general stretching exercises (1 x 30 sec
for the major muscle groups). Prior to beginning the intervention, the subjects
participated in 2 wks of familiarization with the exercises, because they did not have
any previous experience with strength training. The exercise routine followed a linear
periodization model in which the volume was gradually increased:
Weeks 1 and 2 (adaptation): One set of 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise,
with a 1-min rest between sets;
Weeks 3 to 5: Two sets of 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise, with a 1-min
rest between sets; and
Weeks 6 to 12: Three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise, with a 1-min
rest between sets.
Statistical Analyses
Descriptive statistics (mean ± standard deviation) were conducted to describe the sample. In
order to compare inter- and intra-group results, repeated measures ANOVA was employed.
The normality of data was verified and confirmed by Mauchly's sphericity test. The
significance level adopted was 5% (P<0.05).
In order to quantify the magnitude of results, the percentage change (% change) and the
effect size (ES) were calculated. The ES classification adopted in this study was the scale
proposed by Rhea (16) for untrained subjects: trivial (ES < 0.50); small (0.50 < ES < 1.25);
moderate (1.25 < ES < 2.0); and large (ES > 2.0). The analysis was made with IBM SPSS
Statistics v. 20.
RESULTS
After 12 wks, only CaG showed significant improvements on CUR and PUS tests between
pre- and post-intervention. The significant improvement in CUR and PUS was observed in
male (23 and 19%), female (32 and 22%), and among the entire sample (27 and 20%).
Significant differences were identified in % change between CaG and CG in the same
variables in all subgroups. Speed significantly decreased in CaG and CG for male and
female, but not in the group data. In the CG, performance in the CUR, PUS significantly
decreased. HJ did not change in either group, but a significant difference in the % change
between groups for male and group data was identified. No changes were observed in BMI
in either group (Tables 1, 2, and 3).
56
Table 1. General Parameters.
Parameters
Group
Before
After
%
Change
ES
Interaction
P
Body
Weight (kg)
54 ± 11
54 ± 11
0 ± 4
-0.02
1.00 >0.05
53 ± 9
53 ± 8
0 ± 4
-0.02
Height (m)
1.57 ± 0.06
1.57 ± 0.06
0 ± 0.20
0.02
1.00 >0.05
1.59 ± 0.06
1.59 ± 0.06
0 ± 021
0.00
Body Mass
Index (kg·m-²)
22 ± 4
22 ± 4
-1 ± 4
-0.05
0.06 >0.05
21 ± 3
21 ± 3
-0.49 ± 4
-0.04
Push Ups
(rep)
20 ± 6
19 ± 5
-6 ± 11
-0.18
44.26 <0.01
22 ± 7
27 ± 8
20 ± 12
0.73
Abdominal
Strength
(rep)
23 ± 4
21 ± 4
-10 ± 11
-0.45
34.76 <0.001
21 ± 4
30 ± 10
27 ± 15
2.06
Horizontal
Jump (cm)
140 ± 18
139 ± 17
-1 ± 2
-0.08
11.39 >0.05
125 ± 25
128 ± 25
3 ± 3
0.13
Speed (sec)
13 ± 1
14 ± 1
3 ± 5
0.26
6.21 >0.05
14 ± 2
15 ± 2
8 ± 7*
0.69
Values expressed in mean ± SD.
*0.01, 0.001 indicate statistical differences between control (CG) group.
57
Table 2. Male Parameters.
Parameters
Group
Before
After
% Change
ES
Interaction
P
Body Weight
(kg)
54 ± 10
53 ± 11
-1 ± 4
-0.06
2.13 >0.05
52 ± 9
53 ± 8
1 ± 3
0.06
Height (m)
1.57 ± 0.7
1.57 ± 0.7
0.14 ± 0.27
0.00
0.48 >0.05
1.60 ± 0.8
1.60 ± 0.8
0.06 ± 0.20
0.00
Body Mass
Index (kg·m-²)
22 ± 3
21 ± 3
-2 ± 4
-0.15
0.87 >0.05
20 ± 2
20 ± 2
1 ± 3
0.13
Push Ups
(rep)
18 ± 6
18 ± 5
-3 ± 11
-0.09
18.93 <0.001
25 ± 8
30 ± 9
19 ± 10
0.77
Abdominal
Strength (rep)
25 ± 4
22 ± 4
-11 ± 7
-0.60
13.23 <0.01
23 ± 3
32 ± 10
23 ± 13
2.71
Horizontal
Jump (cm)
146 ± 16
145 ± 16
-1 ± 1
-0.06
8.32 >0.05
130 ± 23
133 ± 23
3 ± 4*
0.16
Speed (sec)
12 ± 1
13 ± 1
3 ± 6
0.62
5.45 <0.01
13 ± 1
14 ± 1
11 ± 9*
1.45
Values expressed in mean ± SD.
*0.01, 0.001 indicate statistical differences between control (CG) group.
58
Table 3. Female Parameters.
Parameters
Group
Before
After
%
Change
ES
Interaction
P
Body Weight
(kg)
55 ± 12
55 ± 12
0 ± 3
0.01
0.92 > 0.05
54 ± 10
53 ± 9
-1.30 ± 5
-0.08
Height (m)
1.57 ± 0.05
1.58 ± 0.05
0 ± 0.26
0.08
0.36 > 0.05
1.58 ± 0.05
1.58 ± 0.05
0 ± 0.27
0.04
Body Mass
Index (kg·m-²)
22 ± 5
22 ± 5
2 ± 4
0.01
1.83 > 0.05
22 ± 5
21 ± 4
0 ± 3
-0.11
Push Ups
(rep)
23 ± 6
21 ± 6
-8 ± 11
-0.26
30.06 < 0.01
20 ± 7
25 ± 4
22 ± 14
0.74
Abdominal
Strength (rep)
22 ± 4
20 ± 4
-8 ± 13
-0.36
19.74 < 0.01
19 ± 5
29 ± 10
32 ± 16
2.21
Horizontal
Jump (cm)
135 ± 18
133 ± 16
-1 ± 5
-0.10
4.00 > 0.05
121 ± 28
123 ± 27
2 ± 4
0.10
Speed (sec)
14 ± 1
15 ± 2
2 ± 5
0.23
3.14 < 0.01
15 ± 1
16 ± 2
5 ± 3
0.55
Values expressed in mean ± SD.
0.001 indicate statistical differences between control (CG) group.
DISCUSSION
The main motivation for this study was the observation of the need to incorporate forms of
physical training that address the current needs of the school children without the need for
incorporating resistance equipment. These needs are related to the development of physical
fitness components for health and performance. They address the fitness limitations caused
by the current inactive leisure activities of children in the modern world (1).
Strength training programs for children and adolescents have been shown to be effective.
They contribute to improvements related to physical and mental health (8), improvements in
physical performance and the prevention of injuries in sports, and the prevention of diseases
in adulthood (12). At school, alternative forms of strength training have been proposed to
59
minimize the problem of not having sufficient resistance training equipment (5). Calisthenics
strength exercises have been identified as the alternative strength training exercises due to
practicality and value (3).
However, in the present study, the callisthenic intervention was inefficient in promoting
changes in the subjects’ BMI, as was the general Physical Education program. This result
may relate to the fact that morphological changes are highly dependent on other factors such
as dietary intake (11), which was not controlled in this study. Additionally, the frequency of
twice a week and the short duration of intervention may not be sufficient to promote changes
in BMI (10).
The performance of CUR and PUS improved in the CaG group in boys (23 and 19%,
respectively), in girls (32 and 22%, respectively), and in the combined sample (27 and 20%,
respectively), but decreased in the CG. This finding can be attributed not only to the
specificity of the tests applied to evaluate the progress of the training program, but also to
increased muscle strength developed by various body weight exercises (2). Interestingly, the
observation of a decrease in CUR and PUS performance in the CG highlights the inefficiency
of the conventional Physical Education intervention model in promoting increased muscular
strength levels. As strength is one of the most relevant physical capabilities for sports
performance, health, quality of life, and functional independence, the results of this study
emphasizes the need to include specific programs for muscle strengthening in school
children that are designed to complement the traditional curricular activities in Physical
Education classes (7).
In the HJ, neither group showed significantly changes after intervention. Although there are
reports in the literature that the increase in muscle strength in untrained subjects contributes
to an increase in power output (20), the results of this study do not confirm this hypothesis.
Thus, specific power training (e.g., plyometrics) is necessary to provide better improvements
in lower body power (4).
Also, the speed performance was not change in both groups for general sample, but
decreased in the separate analysis for boys and girls. Similarly to that observed in HJ,
specific speed training seems necessary to improve this variable and children seem to be
more sensitive to detraining this capacity in the absence of specific stimuli (15). This study
highlights the need for specific training methods employed for developing well-rounded
physical capacity among children.
Finally, despite limitations in the current study (i.e., the lack of control on food intake and
short intervention time), this study demonstrates the value of including strength exercises in
the Physical Education curriculum. The protocol employed in this study is simple to
implement and teach, can be altered based on space and time limitations, and is very cost
effective.
CONCLUSIONS
The traditional Physical Education class involving recreations sports activities is inefficient for
improving morphofunctional adaptations after 12 wks, thus resulting in a decrease in strength
performance. The addition of calisthenics strength exercises improved the strength levels of
60
school children. For additional benefits on BMI, power, and speed, specific training and
additional interventions (e.g., nutritional diet) are necessary.
Address for correspondence: Cauê Vazquez La Scala Teixeira, Pça. Eng. José Rebouças,
S/N, Ponta da Praia, Santos, SP, Brasil, 11030-000, contato@caueteixeira.com.br
REFERENCES
1. Barbieri D, Zaccagni L. Strength training for children and adolescents: Benefits and
risks. Coll Antropol. 2013;37:219-225.
2. Bernardoni B, Thein-Nissenbaum J, Fast J, Day M, Li Q, Wang S, Scerpella T. A
school-based resistance intervention improves skeletal growth in adolescent females.
Osteoporos Int. 2014:25:1025-1032.
3. Cui Y, Liu X, Liu X, Wu J, Zhao M, Ren J, Yang J, Gu F, Wang C. Evaluation of the
exercise workload of broadcast calisthenics for children and adolescents aged 11-17
years. J Sports Sci. 2011;29:363-371.
4. Diallo, O, Dore, E, Duche, P, and Van Praagh, E. Effects of plyometric training
followed by a reduced training program on physical performance in prepubescent
soccer players. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2001;41:342348.
5. Dorgo S, King GA, Candelaria NG, Bader JO, Brickei GD, Adams CE. Effects of
manual resistance training on fitness in adolescents. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23:
2287-2294.
6. Faigenbaum AD. Strength training for children and adolescents. Clinics Sports Med.
2000;19:593-619.
7. Faigenbaum AD, Bush JA, McLoone RP, Kreckel MC, Farrell A, Ratamess NA, Kang
J. Benefits of strength and skill-based training during primary school physical
education. J Strength Cond Res. 2015;29:1255-1262.
8. Faigenbaum AD, Kraemer WJ, Blimkie CJR, Jeffreys I, Micheli LJ, Nitka M, Rowland
TW. Youth resistance training: Updated position statement paper from the National
Strength and Conditioning Association. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23:60-79.
9. Kaminsky LA. ACSM's Health-Related Physical Fitness Assessment Manual. (4th
Edition). Baltimore: Wolters Kluwer Health, 2014.
10. Kelly LA, Loza A, Lin X, Schroeder ET, Hughes A, Kirk A, Knowles AM. The effect of a
home-based strength training program on type 2 diabetes risk in obese Latino boys. J
Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2015;28:315-322.
61
11. Lassale C, Fezeu L, Andreeva VA, Hercberg S, Kengne AP, Czernichow S, Kesse-
Guyot E. Association between dietary scores and 13-year weight change and obesity
risk in a French prospective cohort. Int J Obes. 2012;36:1455-1462.
12. Lloyd RS, Faigenbaum AD, Stone MH, Oliver JL, Jeffreys I, Moody JA, Brewer
C, Pierce KC, McCambridge TM, Howard R, Herrington L, Hainline B, Micheli LJ,
Jaques R, Kraemer WJ, McBride MG, Best TM, Chu DA, Alvar BA, Myer GD. Position
statement on youth resistance training: The 2014 International Consensus. British J
Sports Med. 2014;48:1-12.
13. Maulder P, Cronin J. Horizontal and vertical jump assessment: Reliability, symmetry,
discriminative and predictive ability. Physical Ther Sport. 2005;6:74-82.
14. Miller T. NSCA's Guides to Tests and Assessments. Champaign: Human Kinetics,
2012.
15. Oxyzoglou N, Kanioglou A, Ore G. Velocity, agility, and flexibility performance after
handball training versus physical education program for preadolescent children.
Percept Mot Skills. 2009;108:873-877.
16. Rhea MR. Determining the magnitude of treatment effects in strength training research
through the use of the effect size statistic. J Strength Cond Res. 2004;18:918-920.
17. Schoenfeld BJ. Is there a minimum intensity threshold for resistance training-induced
hypertrophic adaptations? Sports Med. 2013;43:1279-1288.
18. Smith JJ, Eather N, Morgan PJ, Plotnikoff RC, Faigenbaum AD, Lubans DR. The
health benefits of muscular fitness for children and adolescents: A systematic review
and meta-analysis. Sports Med. 2014;44:1209-1223.
19. World Health Organization. Physical Status: The Use and Interpretation of
Anthropometry. WHO Technical Report Series 854. Geneva: World Health
Organization, 1995.
20. Zatsiorsky V, Kraemer W. Science and Practice of Strength Training. (2nd Edition).
Human Kinetics, 2006.
Disclaimer
The opinions expressed in JEPonline are those of the authors and are not attributable to
JEPonline, the editorial staff or the ASEP organization.
... Increased strength may lead to better sport performance and injury prevention (Faigenbaum et al 2013;Faigenbaum & Myer 2010). Incorporation of strength training through calisthenics exercises is a viable option in physical education classes due to the good cost-benefit ratio presented in a previous study (Santos et al 2015). ...
... Previous study published by our group had already found similar results, but in younger children (~12 years) (Santos et al 2015). Other studies also observed good results from the insertion of strength training based on alternative techniques in physical education classes, such as manual resistance training (Dorgo et al 2009) and elastic bands (Annesi et al 2005). ...
... However, to our knowledge this is the first study proposing the inclusion of calisthenics strength exercises as complementary to physical education classes, comparing its effects with the traditional class protocol. Thus, considering the low-cost of this training protocol, the results observed in Santos's study (Santos et al 2015), and the health and performance benefits provided by the increased neuromuscular fitness of the participants, the inclusion of a calisthenics strength training program in a schoolbased physical education program may be a viable alternative. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: The present study aimed to investigate the effects of a calisthenics strength training program implemented in a school physical education curriculum on the fitness performance of school children. Methods: Twenty four male and female adolescents (aged 15.70 ± 0.84 years) were distributed into Training (TG) and Control groups (CG). TG and CG were tested on the 1-min curl-up (CU), 1-min push-up (PU), medicine ball throw (MBT), and horizontal jump (HJ) tests. Both TG and CG subjects participated in two physical education classes weekly for 8 weeks. Classes for TG incorporated the calisthenics strength program, while CG followed the regular physical education curriculum. Results: Both TG and CG subjects achieved significant improvements in CU (CG: 9.7%; TG: 38.9%) and PU (CG: 39.3%; TG: 55.1%), but improvements in TG were significantly greater than in CG. Neither group demonstrated significant changes in the MBT (CG: 6.1%; TG: 13.7%) and HJ (CG:-0.6%; TG: 3.2%) performance, but TG subjects tended for changes with greater effect size. Conclusion: The practicality and the low cost of the applied calisthenics strength training program allows easy implementation in school physical education classes and leads to improved muscle strength.
... In the study by Guerra et al. [12], bodyweight exercise, also called by the authors "calisthenics", were applied during school Physical Education classes in a circuit format, in which, in each station, students should perform as many repetitions as they could in 30 seconds, a characteristic that also shows the absence of cadence and rhythm control [13,14]. ...
... Rev Bras Fisiol Exerc 2020;19(1):[13][14][15] ...
Article
Full-text available
Bodyweight exercises (also popularly known as calisthenics) is a classic training method and its practice has been widespread since the 19th century, but little evidenced in the scientific literature over the years. This type of training aims to promote multi-system adaptations using body weight as an overload with no or few implements [1–3]. This characteristic makes exercise with body weight easy to apply, in addition to having an excellent cost-benefit ratio when compared to other training possibilities that require machines or materials [4,5].
... training program was designed with reverence to the factors that the research aims to focus on, all of which are mentioned in the scope and delimitations section. Recommendations of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), American Council on Exercise (ACE) and previous researches(Dahab & McCambridge, 2009;Santos et al., 2015;Chang, Pan, Chen, Tsai & Huang, 2012) were taken into consideration.The design of the program trains the five basic movements of human activity, which are: 1.) single-leg movements, 2.) bend-and-lift movements, 3.) pushing movements, 4.) pulling movements, 5.) rotational movements (American Council on Exercise, 2010). Below is a summary of the guidelines that were used in creating a program that fits both the demand of the participants' age group, fitness level, and the purpose and restrictions of the study:•Type of exercise: Multiple-joint body-weight exercises• Load: Participant's own body weight• Volume: One to three sets per exercise with 6 to 20 repetitions Department of Health and HumanServices, 2008;Dahab & McCambridge, 2009;Santos et al., 2015; A linear periodization model in which volume gradually increases were used in order to account for adaptation phases. ...
... Recommendations of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), American Council on Exercise (ACE) and previous researches(Dahab & McCambridge, 2009;Santos et al., 2015;Chang, Pan, Chen, Tsai & Huang, 2012) were taken into consideration.The design of the program trains the five basic movements of human activity, which are: 1.) single-leg movements, 2.) bend-and-lift movements, 3.) pushing movements, 4.) pulling movements, 5.) rotational movements (American Council on Exercise, 2010). Below is a summary of the guidelines that were used in creating a program that fits both the demand of the participants' age group, fitness level, and the purpose and restrictions of the study:•Type of exercise: Multiple-joint body-weight exercises• Load: Participant's own body weight• Volume: One to three sets per exercise with 6 to 20 repetitions Department of Health and HumanServices, 2008;Dahab & McCambridge, 2009;Santos et al., 2015; A linear periodization model in which volume gradually increases were used in order to account for adaptation phases. Furthermore, an appropriate warmup and cool down period were respectively given prior to and after the training program. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
The aim of the study was to understand the possible association between calisthenics and sustained attention through a quasi-experimental research. The study was done in order to help give a possible solution on certain problems brought about by extended gadget time to students. In the study, 12-18 years old male high-school participants (n=21) were randomly assigned to an experimental group (EG) or a control group (CG). The amount of physical activity of the CG was limited to P.E. class and recreational activities while the EG were given a 4-week calisthenics training program atop the aforementioned activities. A Deary-Liewald Choice Reaction Time (CRT) task, the tool used to measure sustained attention, was conducted prior to (pretest) and after the calisthenics program. The two components of sustained attention, response accuracy (CC) and processing speed (CMRT), were collected from the CRT task and examined. The findings indicate that calisthenics has a possible effect on sustained attention because a significant improvement was seen on the posttest score of the EG in terms of response accuracy while no improvement was found on the CG. In terms of processing speed, no significant difference was found on either group.
... Extracted studies were conducted in seven countries (UK, Brazil, Australia, Cyprus, Germany, Spain, and New Zealand) [62][63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72]. The studies included displayed no obvious bias, but rather a lack of depth and detail, which made the risks of bias difficult to detect. ...
... Risk of bias through inappropriate outcome measures was not an issue for this review as all studies selected had to demonstrate an objective way of assessing MF. Forty-three data sets were extracted from 11 studies [62][63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72] assessing MF, with studies reporting multiple MF outcomes including a combination of upper and lower limb measures. Upper and lower limb data sets were analysed independently to identify possible intervention effects, categorised by testing site. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: It has been reported that boys’ and girls’ physical activity (PA) levels decline throughout adolescence. Boys are at risk of physical inactivity during adolescence however, in intervention research they are an under-represented group relative to girls. It is suggested that the school environment may be central to developing interventions that support adolescents in meeting the current PA guidelines. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate the efficacy of school-based physical activity interventions for improving muscular fitness (MF) in adolescent males. Methods: This systematic review and meta-analysis followed the preferred reporting systems for meta-analyses guidelines and was registered on PROSPERO (Registration number: CRD42018091023). Eligible studies were published in English within peer-reviewed articles. Searches were conducted in three databases, with an additional grey literature search in Google Scholar. Studies investigating MF outcomes were included. Results: There were 43 data sets identified across 11 studies, from seven countries. Overall methodological quality of the studies was moderate to strong. Interventions targeting MF evidenced a small to medium effect (g = 0.32, CI 0.17, 0.48, P = <.001). Sub-group analyses of MF delivery method resulted in small to medium effects: Upper limb MF measures (g = 0.28, 95% CI -0.02, 0.58, p = 0.07), lower limb MF measures (g = 0.28, 95% CI 0.09, 0.68, p 0.03), combined MF activities (g = 0.24, 95% CI -0.04 – 0.49, p = 0.05), plyometric activities (g = 0.39, 95% CI 0.09, 0.68, p = 0.01), body weight (g = 0.27, 95% CI -0.10, 0.65, p = 0.15), and traditional MF methods (g = 0.43, 95% CI 0.09, 0.78, p = 0.01). Conclusions: School-based interventions which aimed to increase MF outcomes in adolescent boys demonstrated small to moderate effects. Traditional and plyometric methods of resistance training appear to be the most effective form of PA delivery in adolescent males. More quality research is required to assess the impact of MF delivered in the school environment in order to inform future intervention design.
... further 43 data sets were extracted from 11 studies[55,56,57,59,60,61,63,64,65,66,68] for muscle and bone strengthening, with studies reporting multiple MBSE outcomes including a combination of upper and lower limb measures. Upper and lower limb data sets were analysed independently to identify possible intervention effects. ...
... ResultsExtracted studies were conducted in eight different countries (UK, Brazil, Australia, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Germany, Spain, and New Zealand)[54][55][56][57][58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66][67][68]. The studies included displayed no obvious bias, but rather a lack of depth and detail, which made the risks of bias difficult to detect. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: It has been reported that boys’ and girls’ physical activity (PA) levels decline throughout adolescence. Boys are at risk of physical inactivity during adolescence however, in intervention research they are an under-represented group relative to girls. It is suggested that the school environment may be central to developing interventions that support adolescents in meeting the current PA guidelines. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate the efficacy of school-based interventions to increase moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and muscle and bone strengthening exercise (MBSE) outcomes in adolescent males. Methods: This systematic review and meta-analysis followed the preferred reporting systems for meta-analyses guidelines and was registered on PROSPERO (Registration number: CRD42018091023). Eligible studies were published in English within peer-reviewed articles. Searches were conducted in three databases, with an additional grey literature search in Google Scholar. Studies with MVPA and MBSE as outcomes were included.Results: There were 51 data sets identified across 15 studies, from eight countries. Overall methodological quality of the studies was moderate to strong. Significant, small effect sizes were identified following a pooled analysis of all studies which aimed to increase MVPA and MBSE outcomes (g = 0.26, 95% CI = 0.15, 0.37, P = <.001). Interventions targeting MVPA were ineffective (g = -0.09, 95% CI -0.72, -0.53, P = 0.77). Interventions targeting MBSE evidenced a small to medium effect (g = 0.27, CI 0.16, 0.39, P = <.001). Sub-group analyses of MBSE delivery method resulted in small to medium effects: Upper limb MBSE (g = 0.23, 95% CI 0.03, 0.43, p = 0.02), lower limb MBSE (g = 0.21, 95% CI 0.09, 0.33, p <0.00), combined resistance activities (g = 0.22, 95% CI 0.05 – 0.39, p = <0.00), plyometric activities (g = 0.39, 95% CI 0.09, 0.68, p = 0.01), body weight (g = 0.21, 95% CI -0.00, 0.44, p = 0.05), and traditional MBSE methods (g = 0.43, 95% CI -0.09, 0.78, p = 0.01).Conclusions: School-based interventions which aim to increase MVPA in adolescent males were not effective. Interventions focused on MBSE demonstrated small to moderate effects. Traditional and plyometric methods of MBSE appear to be the most effective form of PA delivery in adolescent males. More quality research is required to assess the impact of MBSE delivered in the school environment in order to inform future intervention design.
... The concept of "Kàlos + Sthénos" (calisthenic), which means beautiful force in ancient Greece, has been preferred for many years for the purpose of developing power. It is considered that there are important reasons for choosing calisthenic resistance training such as being economical, not requiring special area and functionality (Tsourlou, Gerodimos, Kellis, Stavropoulos, & Kellis, 2003;de Souza Santos et al., 2015). In a recent article investigating European 2020 fitness trends, it is seen that body weight exercises are in the 3rd place in the list (Batrakoulis, 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
The parallel bar dip is one of the most commonly used calisthenic exercises. However, a recommended elbow angle in terms of activation patterns has not yet been studied. The aim of this study is to examine the activation values of the pectoralis major and triceps muscle groups during parallel bar dip at different elbow angles. Ten male volunteers (age: 25.1 ± 3.9 years) with regular exercise habits participated in the study. During the parallel bar dip, the pectoralis major, lateral triceps and long triceps muscles were examined at elbow angles of 75°, 85° and 95°. The movement was standardized using the metronome (60 beats.min-1) and evaluated in three phases (eccentric = 2 seconds, isometric = 1 seconds, concentric = 2 seconds). There was no statistically significant difference between the angles for pectoralis major (p>0.05). Significant differences were observed in triceps muscle groups, especially in favor of 75° in the isometric phase (p<0.05). The greatest activation in terms of phases was seen in concentric contraction for all muscles. This research has shown that the reduction of the elbow flexion angle has a positive effect on the activation of triceps muscle group. However, since there are some methodological limitations (such as biomechanical markers), it can be said that future research should improve these findings.
... Although unexpected, and of concern, a lack of improvement or declines in aspects of muscular fitness in a control group was also reported during an exercise intervention in schoolgirls in a state school in Brazil-standing long jump, sit-ups, and push-ups declined by 1%, 8%, and 8%, respectively, in 12 weeks (9). Data such as these question the adequacy of the muscular fitness stimulus within school PE programs in Latin America. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: To assess the efficacy of a supervised in-school combined resistance and aerobic training program in adolescent girls and investigate whether responses differ according to birthweight. Methods: Participants (girls aged 13-17 y) were randomized either to an intervention replacing physical education (PE) classes with 2 × 60-minute training sessions per week (n = 58) or to a control group that continued to attend 2 × 60 minutes per week of curriculum PE (n = 41). We measured muscular fitness (handgrip, standing long jump, and sit-ups), cardiorespiratory fitness (20-m shuttle run), skinfolds, and lean body mass preintervention and postintervention and determined effect size (Hedge's g) differences between changes in these measures. We also compared changes within lower (<3000 g) and normal birthweight intervention and PE control subgroups. Results: The intervention group showed greater improvements in all the fitness measures and lean body mass (g = 0.22-0.48) and lower skinfold increases (g = 0.41) than PE controls. Within the intervention group, improvements in all fitness measures were larger in lower birthweight (g = 0.53-0.94) than in normal birthweight girls (g = 0.02-0.39). Conclusion: Replacing curriculum PE with supervised training improved muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness and body composition outcomes in adolescent females. Our findings suggest an enhanced adaptive response to training in participants with lower birthweight which warrants further investigation.
... The activities involve using one body weight or working against a resistance. The following studies are supported to the result of this investigation from De Souza Santos, De Oliveira, Pereira, Evangelista, Sales, Bocalini, & Teixeira, (2015) investigated the effects of calisthenic strength exercises in physical education classes on morphological and functional adaptations in school children [7]. Krishnan, & Arumugam, (2013) determined and compare the effects of two Tamil Nadu physical education sports programme of calisthenic and dumbbell exercise on muscular strength and endurance and flexibility of 14-17 Years male rural school boys [8]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of the study was to find out the effect of calisthenic exercises on abdominal strength and shoulder strength among college women students. To achieve the purpose of this study, twenty (n=20) college women students were randomly selected from Sri Parasakthi College for Women, Courtallam, Thenkasi District, Tamilnadu, India. The age of subject's was ranged from 18 to 23 years. The selected participants were randomly divided into two groups such as Group 'I' underwent calisthenic exercises (n=10) and Group 'II' acted as control group (n-10). Group 'I' underwent calisthenic exercises for five days and one session per day and each session lasted between 45-75 minutes for six week period. Group 'II' was not exposed to any specific training but they were participated in regular activities. The data on abdominal strength and shoulder strength were collected and administered by bent knee sit-ups and modified push-ups tests respectively. The pre and post-tests data were collected on selected criterion variables prior to and immediately after the training programme. The pre and post-test scores were statistically examined by the dependent-'t' test and Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) for each and every selected dependent variable separately. It was concluded that the calisthenic exercises group had shown significantly improved in abdominal strength and shoulder strength. However the control group had not shown any significant improvement on any of the selected variables such as abdominal strength and shoulder strength.
... Similarly, other studies have shown the positive effects on strength and power of calisthenics exercises in both children [49] and adolescents [50]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Physical education is considered an ideal environment for improving physical fitness and muscle strength through exercise and training. This systematic review aimed to analyze studies where an intervention was implemented in Secondary School Physical Education classes to improve muscle strength. The literature search was carried out in the SPORTDiscus, PubMed, Web of Science and ScienceDirect databases. We selected randomized and nonrandomized interventions conducted in Physical Education with adolescents aged 13–18 years, where muscle strength was evaluated, comparing a control group with one or more experimental groups. From the identified works after applying the levels of screening and eligibility, eight articles were chosen for the final analysis. Data collection and risk of bias assessment were performed independently by a single reviewer. The interventions of the included studies employed varied training loads, materials, and exercises. Significant improvements were achieved in all interventions for different strength measurement tests such as the Countermovement Jump (CMJ), Standing Long Jump (SLJ) and Squat Jump (SJ) tests, medicine ball throwing test, maximum isometric strength, manual dynamometry, push-up and curl-up tests, and maximum repetition tests. Strength training can be applied safely and effectively in Secondary Education. However, methodological differences in interventions have been identified; therefore, further research is needed.
Article
Background: Physical activity among children and adolescents is associated with lower adiposity, improved cardio-metabolic health, and improved fitness. Worldwide, fewer than 30% of children and adolescents meet global physical activity recommendations of at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. Schools may be ideal sites for interventions given that children and adolescents in most parts of the world spend a substantial amount of time in transit to and from school or attending school. Objectives: The purpose of this review update is to summarise the evidence on effectiveness of school-based interventions in increasing moderate to vigorous physical activity and improving fitness among children and adolescents 6 to 18 years of age. Specific objectives are: • to evaluate the effects of school-based interventions on increasing physical activity and improving fitness among children and adolescents; • to evaluate the effects of school-based interventions on improving body composition; and • to determine whether certain combinations or components (or both) of school-based interventions are more effective than others in promoting physical activity and fitness in this target population. Search methods: We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, BIOSIS, SPORTDiscus, and Sociological Abstracts to 1 June 2020, without language restrictions. We screened reference lists of included articles and relevant systematic reviews. We contacted primary authors of studies to ask for additional information. Selection criteria: Eligible interventions were relevant to public health practice (i.e. were not delivered by a clinician), were implemented in the school setting, and aimed to increase physical activity among all school-attending children and adolescents (aged 6 to 18) for at least 12 weeks. The review was limited to randomised controlled trials. For this update, we have added two new criteria: the primary aim of the study was to increase physical activity or fitness, and the study used an objective measure of physical activity or fitness. Primary outcomes included proportion of participants meeting physical activity guidelines and duration of moderate to vigorous physical activity and sedentary time (new to this update). Secondary outcomes included measured body mass index (BMI), physical fitness, health-related quality of life (new to this update), and adverse events (new to this update). Television viewing time, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure have been removed from this update. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two independent review authors used standardised forms to assess each study for relevance, to extract data, and to assess risk of bias. When discrepancies existed, discussion occurred until consensus was reached. Certainty of evidence was assessed according to GRADE. A random-effects meta-analysis based on the inverse variance method was conducted with participants stratified by age (children versus adolescents) when sufficient data were reported. Subgroup analyses explored effects by intervention type. Main results: Based on the three new inclusion criteria, we excluded 16 of the 44 studies included in the previous version of this review. We screened an additional 9968 titles (search October 2011 to June 2020), of which 978 unique studies were potentially relevant and 61 met all criteria for this update. We included a total of 89 studies representing complete data for 66,752 study participants. Most studies included children only (n = 56), followed by adolescents only (n = 22), and both (n = 10); one study did not report student age. Multi-component interventions were most common (n = 40), followed by schooltime physical activity (n = 19), enhanced physical education (n = 15), and before and after school programmes (n = 14); one study explored both enhanced physical education and an after school programme. Lack of blinding of participants, personnel, and outcome assessors and loss to follow-up were the most common sources of bias. Results show that school-based physical activity interventions probably result in little to no increase in time engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity (mean difference (MD) 0.73 minutes/d, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.16 to 1.30; 33 studies; moderate-certainty evidence) and may lead to little to no decrease in sedentary time (MD -3.78 minutes/d, 95% CI -7.80 to 0.24; 16 studies; low-certainty evidence). School-based physical activity interventions may improve physical fitness reported as maximal oxygen uptake (VO₂max) (MD 1.19 mL/kg/min, 95% CI 0.57 to 1.82; 13 studies; low-certainty evidence). School-based physical activity interventions may result in a very small decrease in BMI z-scores (MD -0.06, 95% CI -0.09 to -0.02; 21 studies; low-certainty evidence) and may not impact BMI expressed as kg/m² (MD -0.07, 95% CI -0.15 to 0.01; 50 studies; low-certainty evidence). We are very uncertain whether school-based physical activity interventions impact health-related quality of life or adverse events. Authors' conclusions: Given the variability of results and the overall small effects, school staff and public health professionals must give the matter considerable thought before implementing school-based physical activity interventions. Given the heterogeneity of effects, the risk of bias, and findings that the magnitude of effect is generally small, results should be interpreted cautiously.
Article
Full-text available
To determine the effects of a home-based strength training (HBST) intervention on insulin sensitivity (SI), compensatory acute insulin response and β-cell function, body composition measures, and maximum strength in obese Latino boys. A total of 26 obese Latino males aged between 14 and 18 years were randomized to either a twice-weekly (n=15) or a control group (C; n=15) for 16 weeks. HBST for 16 weeks, composed of two 1-h sessions per week. Outcome measures were assessed pre-and post-intervention/control condition and included SI, acute insulin response to glucose (AIR) and disposition index (DI), fasting glucose, 2-h glucose, body composition using waist-hip circumferences, body mass index (BMI), dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan, blood pressure, and strength by 1-repetition maximum. A repeated measures GLM was used to assess differences in changes in outcome measures, between the C and the HBST groups. There were no significant overall intervention effects on any of the outcome variables (p<0.05). These results suggest that an HBST does not improve SI, maximal strength or decrease adiposity in obese Latino boys.
Article
Full-text available
Physical education (PE) programs are evolving from a traditional skill-centered model to a health-centered model that focuses on time engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). However, improvements in muscular fitness and fundamental movement skills are prerequisites for continuous participation in MVPA. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of integrative strength and skill-based training on measures of physical fitness in children during primary school PE. Children from two fourth grade PE classes were cluster randomized into either a fundamental integrative training (FIT) group (n=20) or a control (CON) group (n=21). The 8 week FIT program was performed twice per week during the first ∼15 min of each PE class and consisted of a circuit of strength and skill-based exercises. All participants were assessed for health- and skill-related fitness before and after the intervention. The outcome variables were analyzed via 2x2 repeated measures ANOVA with post hoc analysis. A significant (p≤0.05) interaction of group by time was observed in FIT participants with improvements in aerobic capacity, push-ups, sit and reach flexibility, and single leg hop. There were no group by time effects for the sit-up and long jump tests. No injuries were reported. These findings highlight the potential benefits of integrating both health and skill-related fitness components into primary school PE as evidenced by improvements in measures of aerobic capacity and muscular fitness in children.
Article
Full-text available
Physical fitness during childhood and adolescence has been identified as an important determinant of current and future health status. While research has traditionally focused on the association between cardio-respiratory fitness and health outcomes, the association between muscular fitness (MF) and health status has recently received increased attention. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the potential physiological and psychological benefits associated with MF among children and adolescents. A systematic search of six electronic databases (PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Scopus, EMBASE, PsycINFO and OVID MEDLINE) was performed on the 20th May, 2013. Cross-sectional, longitudinal and experimental studies that quantitatively examined the association between MF and potential health benefits among children and adolescents were included. The search yielded 110 eligible studies, encompassing six health outcomes (i.e., adiposity, bone health, cardiovascular disease [CVD] and metabolic risk factors, musculoskeletal pain, psychological health and cognitive ability). The percentage of studies reporting statistically significant associations between MF and the outcome of interest was used to determine the strength of the evidence for an association and additional coding was conducted to account for risk of bias. Meta-analyses were also performed to determine the pooled effect size if there were at least three studies providing standardised coefficients. Strong evidence was found for an inverse association between MF and total and central adiposity, and CVD and metabolic risk factors. The pooled effect size for the relationship between MF and adiposity was r = -0.25 (95 % CI -0.41 to -0.08). Strong evidence was also found for a positive association between MF and bone health and self-esteem. The pooled effect size for the relationship between MF and perceived sports competence was r = 0.39 (95 % CI 0.34-0.45). The evidence for an association between MF and musculoskeletal pain and cognitive ability was inconsistent/uncertain. Where evidence of an association was found, the associations were generally low to moderate. The findings of this review highlight the importance of developing MF in youth for a number of health-related benefits.
Article
Full-text available
The current manuscript is a translation of the Position statement on youth resistance training: the 2014 International Consensus. The original manuscript was adapted from the oficial position statement of the UK Strength and Conditioning Association on youth resistance training. It was subsequently reviewed and endorsed by leading professional organisations within the fields of sports medicine, exercise science and paediatrics. The authorship team for this article was selected from the fields of paediatric exercise science, paediatric medicine, physical education, strength and conditioning and sports medicine.
Article
Full-text available
In humans, regimented resistance training has been shown to promote substantial increases in skeletal muscle mass. With respect to traditional resistance training methods, the prevailing opinion is that an intensity of greater than ~60 % of 1 repetition maximum (RM) is necessary to elicit significant increases in muscular size. It has been surmised that this is the minimum threshold required to activate the complete spectrum of fiber types, particularly those associated with the largest motor units. There is emerging evidence, however, that low-intensity resistance training performed with blood flow restriction (BFR) can promote marked increases in muscle hypertrophy, in many cases equal to that of traditional high-intensity exercise. The anabolic effects of such occlusion-based training have been attributed to increased levels of metabolic stress that mediate hypertrophy at least in part by enhancing recruitment of high-threshold motor units. Recently, several researchers have put forth the theory that low-intensity exercise (≤50 % 1RM) performed without BFR can promote increases in muscle size equal, or perhaps even superior, to that at higher intensities, provided training is carried out to volitional muscular failure. Proponents of the theory postulate that fatiguing contractions at light loads is simply a milder form of BFR and thus ultimately results in maximal muscle fiber recruitment. Current research indicates that low-load exercise can indeed promote increases in muscle growth in untrained subjects, and that these gains may be functionally, metabolically, and/or aesthetically meaningful. However, whether hypertrophic adaptations can equal that achieved with higher intensity resistance exercise (≤60 % 1RM) remains to be determined. Furthermore, it is not clear as to what, if any, hypertrophic effects are seen with low-intensity exercise in well-trained subjects as experimental studies on the topic in this population are lacking. Practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Physical activity has proved to be an effective means of preventing several diseases and improving general health. In most cases, though, light to moderate efforts are suggested, for both youngsters and adults. Common sense advices call for late inception of intense, strength training-related activities, like weight lifting and plyometrics, which are usually postponed at the end of the growth age, even among sport practitioners. However, such advices seem to have a mainly an-ecdotal nature. The purpose of this review is to evaluate risks and benefits of early inception of strength training, at adolescence or even earlier, and to verify whether concerns can be grounded scientifically. Current literature does not seem to have any particular aversion against the practice of strength training by children and adolescents, provided that some safety rules are followed, like medical clearance, proper instruction from a qualified professional and progressive overload. At the same time, several studies provide consistent findings supporting the benefits of repeated, intense physical efforts in young subjects. Improved motor skills and body composition, in terms of increased fat free mass, reduced fat mass and enhanced bone health, have been extensively documented, especially if sport practice began early, when the subjects were pubescent. It can be therefore concluded that strength training is a relatively safe and healthy practice for children and adolescents.
Article
Twenty-two sixth-grade girls who participated in a 7-month school-based resistance-training program were compared to 22 controls. In a subanalysis of Tanner breast II (T2) and III (T3) subjects (n = 21 controls subjects (CON), n = 17 subjects in the high-intervention (INT)-dose group (HI)), T2 HI had greater narrow neck (NN) width gains than T2 CON (p < 0.05) and T3 HI had greater L3 bone mineral density (BMD) gains than T3 CON (p < 0.05). Physical activity modulates bone growth during adolescence, but an effective activity has not been identified for general use. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a school-based resistance-training program on skeletal growth in pre-menarcheal females. Sixth-grade girls participated in a 7-month, resistance-training program (INT) embedded in physical education (PE) classes. Age- and maturity-matched CON from a neighboring school participated in the standard PE classes. INT dose defined high (HI) and low (LO) groups. At baseline (BL) and follow-up (FU), non-INT organized physical activity (PA, hours per week) and maturity status were recorded; DXA scans assessed total body, distal radius, proximal femur, and lumbar spine. Regression models analyzed growth in bone outcomes for HI versus CON, accounting for age, Tanner stage, height, and PA. Forty-four girls (22 HI, 22 CON) were 11.7 ± 0.3 years of age at BL; all were ≤6 months postmenarche and did not differ in bone growth over the course of the intervention (p > 0.05). However, in a subanalysis limited to subjects who were T2 or T3 at BL (n = 21 CON, n = 17 HI), T2 HI had greater gains in NN width (p = 0.01) compared to T2 CON, while T3 HI had greater gains in L3 BMD (p = 0.03) compared to T3 CON. In a group of T2 and T3 sixth-grade girls, a school-based resistance-training intervention produced maturity-specific differential gains for HI versus CON at the hip and spine.
Article
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to: (1) establish the reliability of a new unilateral concentric only horizontal jump assessment (HSJ) then compare the reliability of this test to other types of unilateral vertical and horizontal jumps; (2) compare the tests to whether they differ in their ability to determine limb asymmetries; and (3) investigate the relationship between these jumps and sprint running. Methods: Eighteen sportsmen performed unilateral jump assessments involving the horizontal squat jump, horizontal countermovement jump, horizontal repetitive jump, vertical squat jump, vertical countermovement jump, and vertical repetitive jump. Results: Reliability for the new test was found to be the equal if not better than the other more established tests of leg power, with the within trial variation (CV = 1.1-1.9%) and test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.89-0.90). None of the tests were found to have greater discriminative ability in determining limb asymmetries. Stretch shorten cycle enhancement was greater in the vertical tests (12.1%) compared to the horizontal tests (1.3%). Horizontal jump assessments (r = -0.73 to -0.86) were found better predictors of 20-m sprint performance than the vertical assessments (r = -0.52 to -0.73), with the horizontal cyclic assessment being the best predictor (r = -0.86). Conclusion: Horizontal leg power assessment appears an inexpensive, easy to administer, reliable and valid method to assess unilateral leg power. (c) 2005 Published by Elsevier Ltd.