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

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Diego de Souza Santos, Thiago Eduardo de Oliveira, Cássio Adriano Pereira, Alexandre Lopes Evangelista, Danilo Sales Bocalini, Roberta Luksevicius Rica, Matthew R. Rhea, Roberto Simão, Cauê Vazquez La Scala Teixeira. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, v. 18, n. 6, p. 52-61, 2015.

Abstract: 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 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.

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