The Effects of an Eight Week Plyometric-based Program on Motor Performance Skills and Muscular Power in 7-8-Year-Old Primary School Students
International Journal of Kinesiology and Sports Science
Background of Study: Competence in motor performance skills is important in enabling children to be physically literate. Plyometric-based training has been suggested as an effective means to enhance motor performance skills in young athletes. However, no studies have reported the effects of a whole body plyometric-based program integrated into physical education on motor performance skills with young children. Objective: This study aims to examine the effect of a plyometric-based program on primary school students' motor performance skills, upper and lower body muscular power, and reactive strength index. Method: The sample was composed of 61 primary school students, 29 girls and 32 boys, aged 7-8 years old, from two second-grade Physical Education (PE) classes. Both groups participated in their regular eight-week PE lessons (50-minute classes twice a week). During the study, the plyometric group performed a plyometric-based program in the 15-minute warmup of each class, while the comparison group performed regular warmup activities. Student's motor performance skill proficiency, reactive strength index, lower and upper body muscular power were assessed before and after the eight weeks of PE lessons. The data were analysed using a two-way analysis of variance, followed by pairwise comparisons with the Bonferroni adjustment. Results: The data analysis indicated significant increases in motor performance skill proficiency, upper and lower body muscular power in the plyometric group vs comparison group (p ≤ 0.05). Conclusion: These results suggest that including a plyometric-based program in the PE warmup phase of the lessons may improve motor performance skills and muscular power in primary school students.
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