Education Quarterly Reviews
Published: 30 April 2021
An Investigation of the Effect of 12-Week Gymnastics and Ballet Training on Balance and Flexibility Skills in Preschool Children
Selim Asan, Tolga Altuğ,Yunus Emre Çingöz
Ministry of National Education (Turkey), Gazi University (Turkey)
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Keywords: Ballet, Gymnastics, Static Balance, Flexibility, Pre-school
The aim of this study is to examine the impact of a 12-week gymnastics and ballet training on the balance and flexibility skills in pre-school children. The study was conducted with a total of 23 girls who had just started gymnastics (n = 11) and ballet (n = 12) in private sports clubs in Erzurum, Turkey. The verbal provocation method was used during the tests and exercises since the children aged 5-6 years may have low attention span. Also, some alternative methods (i.e. educational games) were used in cases where children were distracted. Flexibility of the children was measured on the sit-and-reach box, and their static balance was measured with the flamingo balance test. First, the pre-tests and then, after 12 weeks of training, the post-tests were administered, upon which the difference between the pre-test and post-test scores was estimated. Mann-Whitney U Test was used to examine the relationship between pre-test and post-test values. No statistical significance (p> 0.05) was found between the balance pre-test and post-test scores after 12 weeks of training, while a statistical significance (p<0.05) was found in terms of the flexibility scores. As a result, it turned out that the training did not affect the stabilization between the two branches, but it increased the flexibility development in gymnasts in comparison to ballerinas. This can be explained by the different development rates of balance and flexibility in children, and also by the fact that gymnastics and ballet develop children's bio-motor characteristics at different rates.
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