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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2015 May;55(5):457-63.

Comparison of the effect of two sports training methods on the flexibility of rhythmic gymnasts at different levels of biological maturation.

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Universidade do Estado do Pará, UEPA‑Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.



The present study aimed to assess the effects of two different sports training methods - traditional and maturational - on the flexibility of female rhythmic gymnasts at different levels of biological maturation.


The sample consisted of 120 children, randomly divided (by draw) into six groups of 20 children (eight and nine-years old): traditional training group (TG); maturational training group (MG); and the control group (CG). These were subdivided into early, normal and late, based on biological maturation assessment by hand/wrist X-ray examination. Flexibility was evaluated by angle goniometer testing, applying the LABIFIE protocol. A Lafayette Goniometer Set and Hoorn-Brasil exercise mat were used and the following exercises were performed: external shoulder rotation (ESR) and lumbar flexion (LF). Both the TG and MG participated in twice-weekly, 45-minute rhythmic gymnastics classes over 16 weeks. The TG used the traditional sports training method while the MG executed sporting activities according to biological maturation. The CG received no special treatment.


The results showed a significant improvement (P<0.001) in the subgroups (late, normal and early) for both variables (∆ESR=7.54º and ∆LF=7.51º) in the eight and nine-year age groups. Moreover, in relation to division by biological maturity, better results were recorded in the early subgroups.


Thus, it can be inferred that, due to the changes in important physical parameters as a result of maturation, selecting children for physical education should not be based solely on chronological, but primarily on biological maturation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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