Effects of a 12-Week wore training program on physical characteristics of rhythmic gymnastics: a study in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Lim, Boon Hooi
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Background: Improving the physical characteristics of rhythmic gymnasts (RGs) has a significant impact on their level of performance. The enhancing of certain characteristics among RG is helpful in the early stages of RG training process. Methods: The current quasi-experimental study aimed to assess the effects of the core training program on enhancing physical characteristics including power (vertical jump test), balance (stork stand balance test), flexibility (sit and reach test), and strength and endurance (sit-up test), among Malaysian rhythmic gymnasts. Forty female rhythmic gymnasts (aged 6-9 years old) from 2 sport clubs located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, were selected to participant in this study and divided randomly into intervention and control groups. Participants in the intervention group received 12 weeks of the core training program as the intervention program. Results: The results showed the core training program had positive effects on physical characteristics including power (Δmean=-2.95, p<0.001), balance (right leg: Δmean=-2.25, p<0.001 and left leg: Δmean=-0.69, p=0.04) and strength (Δmean=-2.70, p<0.001) among participants in the intervention group. However, compared to pre-test scores, no significant changes were seen in the mean scores for flexibility (sit and reach test) in the post-test (p>0.5). Conclusion: Overall, the results of the current study showed that the intervention program can be introduced as an effective program for improving the physical characteristics of the young female Malaysian RGs. The findings of the current study could be used by Malaysian gymnastics coaches and gymnastics trainers to design and implement a continuous core training program to improve the performance of Malaysian RGs.