Exploring strength development in Year 6 students through a combined gymnastics and martial arts physical education unit

Nuno Nunes, Vladimir Vuksanovikj

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This study assessed upper body strength parameters among year 6 students during the third school term, focusing on a Physical Education (PE) lessons encompassing gymnastics and martial arts. 51 students (22 males and 28 females), aged between 11 and 13 years, participated in the study. Measurements were taken at the beginning and end of the unit, including height, seated height, wingspan, mass, arm circumference, maximum arm circumference, back extension, along with tests for 1-minute push-ups, 1-minute sit-ups, and hand grip dynamometry. A Paired Student T-Test revealed significant differences were observed in height, seated height, wingspan, maximum arm circumference, back extension, 1-minute push-ups, 1-minute sit ups, and grip dynamometry for all participants. Male students exhibited significant differences in height, seated height, wingspan, 1-minute push-ups, and grip dynamometry, while female students demonstrated significant disparities in height, seated height, wingspan, maximum arm circumference, 1-minute sit-ups, and grip dynamometry. The findings suggest that participation in a PE unit focusing on gymnastics and martial arts can foster strength development in year 6 students. Notably, male students, despite being smaller and lighter than their female counterparts, consistently exhibited higher performance in the conducted tests, indicative of sexual dimorphism in strength capacity. Further exploration into the potential contributors to this sexual dimorphism, including hormonal variations, body composition disparities, and physiological responses to physical activity, is warranted to comprehensively elucidate strength development patterns in youths engaged in PE activities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Physical Health and Sports Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2024

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