Self-directed Strength Training with Primary School Children and its Effect on Functional Body-related Knowledge

Nico Nitzsche, Toni Lange, Markus Klein, Michael Fröhlich


Introduction: Strength training intervention is primarily controlled by training parameters. A scientific desideratum exists concerning the question to what extent a self-controlled load perception might have an effect on motor performance and functional body-related knowledge. Method: A total of 81 primary school students were assigned to an intervention group (N=34, 9.7±2 years) and control group (N=47, 7.3±0.4 years). The intervention group performed strength training twice a week (circuit training, scope of load: 45-60 minutes, duration 20-30 seconds, 7 stations, rest between sets 20-30 seconds, self-regulated intensity). After 9 weeks, both groups were tested for motor performance and functional body-related knowledge. Results: For push-ups (PRETEST: Z=103.2±7 vs. POSTTEST: Z=114.7±9; d=1.4; P<0.01) and sit-ups (PRETEST: Z=90.9±8 vs. POSTTEST: Z=98.6±9; d=0.89; P<0.01), a significant improvement was established in the intervention group. The control group showed substantial improvement for push-ups (PRETEST: Z=101.8±10 vs. POSTTEST: Z=107.5±9; d=0.58; P<0.01) and significant decline for sit-ups (PRETEST: Z=99.1±7 vs. POSTTEST: Z=96.6±6; d=-0.36; P<0.05). As to the knowledge test, the intervention group increased their performance considerably (PRETEST: 35±2 points vs. POSTTEST: 40±4 points; d=0.9; P<0.01) when compared to the control group (PRETEST: 34.2±4.6 points vs. POSTTEST: 31.2±4.5 points; d=-0.69; P<0.01). Discussion: A nine-week, self-regulated strength training for children has positive effects on sport motor performance (push-ups and sit-ups) and functional body-related knowledge.

Keywords: Strength training, children, motor performance, functional body-related knowledge, self-controlled load perception

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