A study of the effectiveness of isometric exercises on the motor fitness of elementary school boys
Belnap, Ralph A.||Stroup, Francis, 1909-
M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)
Department of Education
Exercise; Physical education for children
There has been a noticeable lack of research in the area of isometric exercise with elementary school students. Most of the research that has been done with isometric exercise has involved high school and college students. This study was designed to determine if isometric exercises can make a worthwhile contribution to the elementary physical education program. The isometric exercise program was conceived to be a supplementary program to the elementary school physical education class. If the elementary school physical education program could be supplemented with a functional isometric program that would improve the motor fitness of the elementary school student with no additional equipment or time allotment and with no adverse side effects, then isometric exercises would appear to be a beneficial addition to the elementary physical education program. Procedure. Thirty boys from the fourth through eighth grades were chosen from the physical education classes of Hillside School, District #93, Cook County, Hillside, Illinois. The boys were chosen on the basis of their previous physical fitness test scores. Two boys with above average scores, two boys with average scores and two boys with below average scores were selected from each class so as to provide a good cross section of students from each grade. After a pretest using the Junior Physical Fitness and Proficiency Test of the Amateur Athletic Union, the boys were divided into two equivalent groups and they were paired on the basis of their composite scores and their grade levels. The experimental group was conditioned through a six-week training period, once a day before school, Monday through Friday by a set of nine isometric contractions, recommended by the United States Navy for office personnel. Each contraction was held for a period of ten seconds with a ten second interval between exercises. All the sessions were supervised, and students missing any session were required to make up the exercises during the seventh week. Both groups were asked not to involve themselves in any extra physical training for the six-week period. The control group carried on with their regular routines during the six weeks. After the training period both groups were tested again on the same battery of tests. A comparison was made between the mean scores and the differences were analyzed statistically using the t-test of significance. Results. The mean scores of the experimental group on the posttest showed better performances in all the results except the pull- up and sprint tests. The experimental group also showed improvement in their performances in the sit-up, push-up, running high jump and the composite tests results. The only improvement in the performances of the control group came in the pull-up and push-up test results, when comparing the mean differences between the two groqp s, on the posttest results, the greatest difference was in the sit-up. i>all throw, and composite scores. The sit-up test results came very close to being significant at the five per cent level. However, when statistically analysed with the t^-test, the differences in the posttest results between the two groups were not significant in any of the performances. Conclusion. The supplementary isometric exercise program showed no significant improvement in the test results of the experimental group when compared to the teat results of the control group. The isometric exercises did appear to indicate some favorable effects on the physical performance of the elementary school boy, however insignificant the effects may have been. Recommendations. It was recommended that a similar study involving more subjects over a longer period of time and with more stringent controls be made.
Cunningham, Donald L., "A study of the effectiveness of isometric exercises on the motor fitness of elementary school boys" (1966). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 722.
iv, 68 pages
Northern Illinois University
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Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.||Pagination repeats number 53.