Effect of Integrated Neuromuscular Exercise in Physical Education Class on Health-Related Fitness in Female Children

Healthcare (Basel). 2021 Mar 11;9(3):312. doi: 10.3390/healthcare9030312.


Integrated neuromuscular training (INT) showed benefits for improving fundamental movement skills (FMS). However, the INT health-related fitness (HRF) effects are lacking. The current study aimed to determine the effects of INT implemented during physical education (PE) in a primary school in the Republic of Serbia on HRF in female children. The sample consisted of 72 healthy girls who were divided into the intervention (EG: n = 37; mean ± SD: age = 8.17 ± 0.31) and control (CG: n = 35; age = 8.11 ± 0.31) groups. The EG and CG performed the INT program and traditional PE activities two times per week within the first ~15 min of PE class, respectively. The Fitnessgram battery tests assessed the HRF (body composition, cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular fitness, and flexibility) before and after the program. After eight weeks, the EG significantly reduced all fat measures, while the CG decreased only triceps skinfold but to a smaller extent (F = 5.92, p < 0.02, ŋ2 = 0.09). Both groups significantly improved the performance of almost all muscular fitness tests (curl-ups, trunk lift, push-ups); however, the EG increased the push-ups more than the CG (F = 9.01, p < 0.01, ŋ2 = 0.14). The EG additionally improved the modified pull-ups (F = 14.09, p < 0.01, ŋ2 = 0.19) and flexed arm hang (F = 28.82, p < 0.01, ŋ2 = 0.33) tests. The flexibility and cardiorespiratory endurance of both groups did not significantly change after eight weeks. This approach of exercise showed positive acceptance and relatively good results after only eight weeks.

Keywords: exercise intervention; health; neuromuscular exercise; physical activity.