ISSN 1821-3480
UDC 796
Volume 5, Issue 2
December 2013
Journal of Science in Sport
Published by Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
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UDC 796
ISSN 1821 -3480
Journal of Science in Sport
Volume 5, Issue 2, December 2013
Aleksandra Aleksić-Veljković, Dejan Madić, Katarina Herodek, Kamenka Živčić Marković,
Aida Badić, Mila Vukadinović
Jumping abilities in young female gymnasts: Age-group differences
Milan Mladenović, Vedrana Karan, Aleksandar Klasnja, Jelena Popadic Gacesa,
Olivera Markovic, Otto Barak
Menstrual cycle as an obstacle to achieving maximal sport result
Vladimir Jakovljević, Adriana Ljubojević, Tamara Karalić, Nikolina Gerdijan,
Željko Vukić, Goran Pašić
Sprinting speed of prepubertal girls and boys
Miroslav Polimac, Mila Vukadinovic, Jelena Obradovic
Differences in motor abilities of children in relation to gender and age
Filip Sadri, Milica Bogdanovski, Ivo Sadri
Differences in motor abilities of boys and girls aged 7
in relation to the level of intellectual ability
Research article
Volumen 5, No. 2, 2013,
UDC: 796.41-055.25:796.012.1
Aleksandra Aleksić-Veljković*, Dejan Madić, Mila Vukadinović
Faculty of Sport and physical education, Novi Sad, Serbia
Katarina Herodek
Faculty of Sport and physical education, Niš, Serbia
Kamenka Živčić Marković, Aida Badić
Faculty of Kinesiology University of Zagreb, Zagreb
The aim of the study was to give more informations about jumping abilities of young
female gymnasts. We examine age-related differences in some variables of counter-movement
jump (CMJ) and counter-movement jump with arm swing (CMJA), between two age categories
of young female gymnasts (n=47) and also reliability of testing vertical jump in gymnasts. The
study was conducted on an international competition. Our research has shown that age-related
differences were observed only in height of the jumps, but not in power output of both jumps and
displacement of depth of body’s center of gravity. Jumping capabilities are crucial in gymnastics
in all levels of competitions and in all categories of gymnasts. Testing and periodical monitoring
of young athletes’ abilities are important for defining the training programmes adapted to the
needs of gymnastics and the age of the gymnasts.
Keywords: Artistic gymnastics, explosive leg power, counter-movement jump.
It is known that high intensity of exercise and dedication to training in the youngest age
group in artistic gymnastics is higher than in most sports for young people (Carrick et al., 2007).
In order to reach their goals elite gymnasts have training twice a day, six days a week, so that the
average number of hours per week is between
(Kums, 2008). The uniqueness of
gymnastics is reflected in the fact that it closes to the art, not only because of its technology, but
also because of the precision of movement, expression and artistry, musicality and choreography
(Theodoropolou et al., 2005; Kums, 2008).
As a basic sport, artistic gymnastics affects development of motor skills: strength,
coordination, flexibility and balance (Arruda and Farinatti, 2007, Carrick et al., 2007). In terms of
coordination, gymnastic elements are the most complex movement. Testing and periodical
monitoring of young athletes’ abilities is important to define the training programme adapted to
* Coresponding author: Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Lovcenska 16, 21000 Novi
Sad, Serbia, Phone: +381 63 443 294, Fax: +381 21 450 199, E-mail:
© 2013 Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
A. Aleksić-Veljković et al.
the needs of gymnastics and the gymnasts’ age. In this way we could achieve a harmonious and
healthy development of fundamental motor skills in accordance with the physical development of
athletes (Ricotti, 2011).
Specifics of the athletes in sports disciplines are the result of selection and on the other
side of the specific effects of activities that discipline creates (Čuk et al., 2007). Gymnastics
requires explosive sprinting, jumping, pushing and pulling skills, together with balance and
artistry. On the vault, balance beam and floor, explosive leg power plays an important role in
connecting elements and acrobatic series. Bouncing is one of the most important movements in
floor and vault routines and is acquired by gymnasts at a very early age as part of their daily
training routines (Marina et al., 2013).
Height of the vaults, jumps and acrobatic elements are one of the most important
components of technical requirements for successful execution of gymnastics elements. The
ability to develop enhanced levels of muscular power is reflected by the potential to perform
more advanced skills and acrobatics (French et al., 2004). Gymnasts’ ability to transmit their
impulse from their feet to their upper bodies following rebounds is crucial, allowing acrobatic
skills such as somersaulting and twisting (Mkaouer et al., 2012).
Countermovement jump contains an eccentric and a concentric phase that constitute a
stretch-shortening cycle and they are associated with many dynamic movements, including
running, bounding, and tumbling, and depend both on contractile elements and elastic properties
of the muscle and connective tissue (Kinser et al., 2007; Bosco et al., 1982). In Women’s Artistic
Gymnastics, according to the latest updates of Code of points (2013-2016), timing in connections
of the two elements is very important for recognition of connection, in order to get points for
connection values. At the beginning of Olympic cycle arm swing wasn′t allowed between
elements (for example, connections of jumps), but FIG recognized that this rule leads to errors in
technique and affects performance quality, so they allowed the arms to be used as active
components of the whole mechanical chain during movement.
So far in the literature, the authors have described significant differences in jumping
abilities between trained and untrained subjects (Kums et al., 2005; Sterkowicz et al., 2011), non-
elite and elite athletes, subjects of different ages (Smith et al., 1992; Marina and Torrado, 2013),
or cadets, juniors and seniors (Buśko et al., 2012). The aim of our study was to access differences
in chosen variables of counter-movement jumps without (CMJ) and with arm swing (CMJA), in
young female gymnasts.
In this study participated 47 young female gymnasts from two age groups, according to
the propositions of competition that they participated in. The first group consisted of gymnasts
from 8 to 10 years old, (n=24; height: 135.98±7.27 cm; body mass: 30.63±4.16 kg) and the
second, gymnasts from 11 to 13 years old (n=23; height: 150.07±7.99; body mass: 40.76±8.12
kg). The age-groups were formed according to the rules of competition and subjects were from
seven European countries.The subjects were informed about the scope and protocol of the study,
and of the possibility to withdraw from the study at any moment. All parents and coaches
submitted their written consent for participating of gymnasts according to Helsinki Declaration.
The study was granted approval of the Research Ethics Committee.
The vertical jump tests (counter-movement jump and counter-movement jump with arm
swing) were performed on a force plate Kistler Quattro Jump (9290AD), according the protocols
described by Bosco (1992) and the criteria for correct trials of jumps were proposed by Acero et
al. (2011). Each subject performed six vertical jumps with maximal force on the force plate: three
counter-movement jumps (CMJ) and three counter-movement jump with arms swing (CMJA).
There were between one and two minute breaks between the jumps. Gymnasts were barefoot in
Jumping abilities in young female gymnasts
gymnastics leotards. The jump with the highest elevation of the body center of gravity was
chosen for statistical analysis. The investigated parameters were: SVIS - height of the jump
without arms swing, DPTT - the depth of displacement of the center of gravity, SNKG - relative
power, ZVIS - height of the jump with arms swing, ZPTT - the depth of displacement of the
center of gravity in jump with arm swing, ZNKG - relative power of the jump with arm swing.
For statistical analysis of the data, software SPSS version 20 was used. Descriptive
statistics and reliability of testing for all variables were calculated. The jump height, relative
power and depth of body center of gravity displacement for both protocol were compared
between groups by using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The criterion for establishing
statistical significance was P < 0.05.
Table 1 and 2 show descriptive statistics, normality of distribution and reliability of testing
younger category of gymnasts. Table 3 shows two (groups) x two (sessions) x three (trials)
ANOVA of repeated measures.
Table 1. Descriptve statistics, normality of distribution and reliability of countermovement jump
N Min. Max. Mean SD Skew. Kurt.
Z Sig. Cronbach’ α ICC CV (%)
DPTT 24 11.87
SNKG 24 15.93 26.87 22.25 2.52
ZNKG 24 16.47 33.10 23.95 5.27
Table 2. Descriptve statistics, normality of distribution and reliability of countermovement jump
Var. N Min. Max. Mean SD Skew. Kurt.
Z Sig.
DPTT 23 13.87 28.73 20.03
SNKG 23 16.50 31.03 23.69 3.72
ZNKG 23 13.13 36.47 24.39 6.78
Before any analysis we determined variability and normality of distribution. All investigated
parameters showed normal distribution (table 1 and 2), but there was a great variability among
them. Variability between subjects is shown by the coefficient of variation
(CV) and this
coefficient was great in both groups of the gymnasts. These results could be consequences of the
A. Aleksić-Veljković et al.
differences between gymnasts from different countries. Inspite of competing in the same
category, their level of performance and quality was different. Jump reliability reported in our
study (9-28%) is higher then it was in previous researches. Marina & Torrado (2012) reported
reliability from 1.57 to 2.35% in the group of fifty young female gymnasts, 8.84±0.62 years old.
Table 3. Two (groups) x two (sessions) x three (trials) ANOVA of repeated measures
Var. Type III Sum of Squares
Mean Square
F Sig. Partial Eta Squared
The results of our study showed that the height of the jump without and with arms swing
was significantly different in Category I and II (p<.05), but not in other parameters of the vertical
jumps (table
3). These results suggest that while doing the analysis we can’t take in to
consideration only one parameter. Better results in older gymnasts are consequence of training
experience and also larger fund of acrobatic elements. Age-related differences were not found in
other parameters. The results of the study are different than those the two studies where the
authors didn′t find differences in jump height between three groups of athletes (Buśko et al.,
2012; Gerodimos et al., 2008). The differences could be result of the sport disciplines. Bencke et
al. (2002) found that gymnasts had most explosive muscular performance of all participants in
their study (handball players, tennis players and swimmers). The elite gymnasts (advanced level,
mean age 11.8 years) were more explosive than the non-elite gymnasts (intermediate level)
indicating that jumping capabilities are crucial for gymnastics performance.
Further, French et al. (2004) suggested that the ability to develop improved levels of
muscular power was reflected by the potential to perform more advanced elements and
acrobatics. Powers & Howley (2007) reported an estimation of the used energy systems in
gymnastics. Gymnasts seem to have a predominant anaerobic energy system.
Disscusion and conclusion
Vertical jumps are used in plenty of sports. Their primary goal is usually to reach the
greatest possible height (Psycharakis, 2006). Other goals could also include rotation in acrobatic
somersaulting. Gymnasts’ jumping ability is often linked to successful performance (especially in
floor routines, balance beam and vault) and is sometimes considered an overall indicator of
gymnast’s proficiency. Gymnastics’ performance is largely defined by the ability to successfully
perform complex forward and backward rotating skills (Mkaouer et al., 2012). If a gymnast is not
successful doing an acrobatic jump, the problem could be either related to jumping capacity, the
specific technique and coordination of the movement, or both (Marina & Torrado, 2013).
Kums et al. (2005) concluded that young elite female rhythmic gymnasts demonstrated a
markedly greater ability to use the potentiating effect of stretch-shortening cycle to vertical
jumping performance compere to the control subjects during drop jumps, but not during counter-
movement jump. The rhythmic gymnasts produced greater mechanical power during repetitive
maximal jumping exercise, but fatigued faster than controls. Temfemo et al. (2009) compared
vertical jumping performances in boys and girls during growth. The maximum heights was
attained in a counter-movement jump (CMJ) and squat jump (SJ). Height, LMV, and body mass
Jumping abilities in young female gymnasts
values were larger in boys than girls aged 14 years. Both groups had a similar body mass index
independently of age. The CMJ-SJ decreased with increasing age in both groups without
significant differences. Authors concluded that jumping performance increases during growth,
with gender differences manifesting from the age of 14 onwards due to much greater increase in
leg length and LMV in boys than in girls.
Jumping capabilities are crucial in gymnastics in all levels of competitions and in all
categories of gymnasts. There is a lack of investigations in the categories of the young gymnasts
that are already competing on the international level. These gymnasts are already selected as
talented in their countries and can be seen as future representatives of their countries at major
competitions. Monitoring and periodically testing is very important in order to achieve good
results, especially in young categories which are considered to be the period of the investment for
results in senior category.
The authors would like to thank the Serbian Ministry of Education and Science for
financing the project Biomechanical Efficiency of the Elite Serbian Athletes, OI 179019. We
would also like to thank the international athletes who participated in this project and Gymnastics
Federation of Serbia for their support.
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Review article
Volumen 5, No. 2, 2013,
UDC: 796.015.86:612.662
Milan P. Mladenović
Health Centre, General Hospital Vranje
Vedrana V. Karan*
Aleksandar V. Klasnja, Jelena Z. Popadic Gacesa, Otto F. Barak
Department of Physiology, Medical Faculty, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
Olivera R. Markovic
Department of Physics, Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
Each woman has different characteristics of menstrual cycle. The main problem is the
determination of period in which the measuring would be carried out, so that the results could be
directly linked to a certain hormone or phase of the menstrual cycle. Generally it could be said
that menstrual cycle does not influence muscle contractility and maximum oxygen consumption,
lactate level, heart rate, breathing volume, hemoglobin levels. Therefore, women who compete in
anaerobic and aerobic sports do not have to adjust competition schedules to their menstrual cycle.
On the other hand the increase of body temperature in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle,
possible cardiovascular strain in this phase, influence of progesterone on the respiratory center,
the rise of breathing frequency and volume can have negative influence on long-term intensive
sport activities. For this sort of activity female athletes are recommended to adjust their
competition schedule to menstrual cycle.
Keywords: menstrual cycle, hormone, exercise, sport, result
Methodological problems in analyzing menstrual cycle
Four important periods can be identified within menstrual cycle. Their alternation is conditioned
by the changes in level of four hormones and they are followed by certain, more or less marked,
physiological changes in a woman’s organism.
In a simpler way the whole cycle can be divided in two parts:
1. Follicle stage (from the first day of menstrual bleeding to ovulation- 14. day of cycle).
Its name comes from processes in ovary, where in this period follicular with egg is being
* Corresponding author: Medical Faculty, Department of Physiology, Hajduk Veljkova 3, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia,, +381658893019
© 2013 Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
M. P. Mladenović
2. Luteal phase (from ovulation to the first day of menstrual bleeding of next cycle; in
cycle lasting for 28 days this phase covers long period of 14 days). The name also comes from
processes in ovary, where after ovulation, that is, after dropping the egg from follicular, a yellow
body is created- corpus luteum. Because of the processes in uterus this stage is sometimes called
secretory phase; in that case, what is called follicular phase can be divided in menstruation-first 4
or 5 days of the cycle and proliferative stage. So, there are four important periods in menstrual
cycle: menstrual bleeding, follicular phase, ovulation and luteal phase.
For the need of analyzing menstrual cycle, sometimes it is necessary to divide each of two
main stages into three parts: early, middle and late.
Cyclic alternation of these phases is under the control of two hormones of pituitary:
Follicular stimulating hormone - FSH and luteinizing hormone - LH, which reacts directly but
also through the control of releasing the other two hormones. Those are: Estrogen, which reaches
the maximum of secretion at the moment of ovulation, along with the maximum secretion of FSH
and LH, and the other peak, which is of less intensity, is reached in the middle of luteal phase.
Progesterone, whose maximum secretion is also expected by the middle of the luteal phase of
menstrual cycle.
The most obvious physiological change within menstrual cycle is increase in body
temperature in luteal phase. Cyclic alternation of phases of menstrual cycle can also be followed
by other physiological changes such as heart rate, change of the cognitive function, breathing
frequencies, tolerance and subjective perception of effort, muscle contractility… However, apart
from the change in body temperature, which is easy to register and prove, finished analysis of the
other physical changes did not give consistent results, in the first place because of methodological
problems of menstrual cycle analysis. How to recognize days of menstrual cycle in which the
“measurements” will be carried out so that results could be undoubtedly linked to a certain phase
or a certain hormone?
Earlier analysis of menstrual cycle were based on counting days of the cycle, starting
from the first day of menstrual bleeding, considering only women with regular menstrual cycle
and relying only on the fact that ovulation comes at the end of follicular phase, that is in the
middle of cycle or approximately on 14th day. Main disadvantage of this method is found in big
variations in duration of folicular phase even with the women with regular cycle. Contrary to
lutheal phase which is a lot more even in the duration (Cole, Ladner & Bryn, 2008; Harlow &
Ephross, 1995). Therefore, ovulation can be detected more precisely by counting beck words,
starting from the first day of the next cycle. A solution for creating an experiment would be
measuring on days determined by counting forward from the first day of menstruation (e.g. from
11. to 14. days when the peak of estrogen is expected and between 19. and 22. days when the
peak of progesterone is expected). The control for each measuring would be counting beck words
from the first day of the next cycle. So, in the case of major mismatching the found result
wouldn’t be used in final analyses. There is another setback in this method. Even among the
woman with regular menstrual cycle there is a great percentage of them with so colled
anovulatory cycle (cycle in which ther is no ovulation) or LPD - luteal phase deficient cycles;
both are characterized by low level of progesterone in the second part of the menstrual cycle. It is
a mistake to deal with the assumption that testing was performed in the middle of the luteal
phase, in the period of maximal concentration of progesterone and connect the received results
with progesterone effects, while there was anovulatory or LPD cycle. If we speak about analyzing
menstrual cycle in sports women, it should be stated that there are lot of LPD cycles (42%) and
anovulatory cycles (12%) in woman who practice recreational running (De Souza, et al., 1998).
The other, relatively simple method used for detection of cycles phase, is measuring body
temperature, basal body temperature - BBT. Generally from the moment of ovulation BBT
increases on the average by 0,3 °C and this slightly increased temperature maintains through
whole luteal phase of the cycle. This method has its disadvantages. Firstly, it is confirmed that
some women do not have already mentioned increase in BBT after ovulation (Marshall, 1963).
Menstrual cycle and maximal sport result
Further more, even thou the increase of BBT in luteal phase is connected to increase of
progesterone in that phase, so far analyses haven’t determined an important connection between
progesterone and increase in BBT (Marshall, 1963; Horvath & Drinkwater, 1982; Bauman,
1981); so results received in this way should not be taken with confident. Detecting LH -
luteinizing hormone in urine. When in this way peak of LH is detected, ovulation can be expected
in next 14 to 26 hours, with 95% of certainty (Miler & Soules, 1996).
Measuring estrogen and progesterone in saliva or detection of theirs metabolites in urine
are reliable, thou a bit les sensitive methods, comparing to contemporary golden standard in
determination of menstrual cycles phase - identifying serum concentration of estrogen and
progesterone. Determination of both hormone concentration is unique way to confidently
determine three important periods in menstrual cycle (according to the level of hormones):
1. Early follicular phase with low levels of both hormones;
2. Late follicular phase, peak of estrogen and low level of progesterone;
3. Middle luteal phase with high concentration of both hormones.
Even if a big “disadvantage” of this method is left out - need for multiple blood taking,
another problem arises. Not in the method itself, considering it gives precise hormone values at
the moment of blood taking, but in so cold pulsatile secretion of sex hormones. Because of this
there are marked variations in their concentration even within several hours (Filcori, Butler,
Crowley, 1984). In the first place, during the whole luteal stage concentration of progesterone
varies. This is why concentration determined from blood sample dos not have to match the
highest daily concentration or the concentration at the moment of experimental work. The
problem can be partially solved by taking blood early in the morning when concentration of
hormone is the highest (Syroup & Hammond, 1987). Additional problem in analyzing menstrual
cycle with sports women is brought by the fact that physical activity increases hormone
concentration, so blood taking is recommended in the period of resting (Keiser & Rogol, 1990;
Jurkowski, et al., 1978). Results can be influenced by reaction of estrogen and progesterone.
Estrogen during menstrual cycle reaches high values twice: once in late proliferative phase with
the low level of progesterone, and second time in middle luteal phase with high level of
progesterone. That is why two women can have same levels of estrogen but physiological effects
are different because of different progesterone level. Therefore some studies suggest that apart
from detecting absolute concentration of estrogen and progesterone, their relation should also be
determined (Bunt, 1990).
There is another, les mentioned way of determining ovulation. Mini microscope or Maybe
Baby. During proliferative phase with increase of estrogen level, concentration of salt in saliva
rises. Observed through microscope salt in dried saliva forms different structures in the period of
ovulation and immediately before it (peak of estrogen) than in different parts of cycle. Some
studies show that sensitivity of this method in detecting “fertile days” - period of ovulation, is
over 90% (Galati, 1994). If for some reason (high price, invasiveness, pulsatile secretion of
hormones), we wont to avoid detecting serum concentration of estrogen and progesterone or LH
level in urine (it is necessary to collect urine for 24h), for the need of menstrual cycle research,
phases could be approximately determined by counting days from first day of the cycles. To
lower the number of possible mistakes as much as possible, this simple method can be combined
with one of more alter non-invasive methods which will serve as control
(counting days
backwards from the first day of the next cycles, taking body temperature every day and even
using mini-microscope).
M. P. Mladenović
Time of testing
If question of recognizing cycle phase is solved in satisfactory way, what follows is a
choice of periods (days) in menstrual cycle in which experiment research will be carried out.
Observing relations between estrogen and progesterone, three phases are determined (table 1):
1. Early follicular phase (from 1. to 6. day) - low level of both hormones;
2. Late follicular
(from 9. to
13. day)
- high level of estrogen and low level of
3. Middle luteal phase (from 18. to 24. day) - when the level of both hormones is high.
It is related to cycle lasting for 28 days.
Menstrual cycle and sports performance
When the method for determining menstrual cycle is chosen and when the periods for
experimental research are chosen, an experiment can be created. In this experiment influence of
menstrual cycle to numerous physiological parameters is analyzed. It is expected for this
parameters to vary in its quality and quantity following increase and decrease in level of female
sex hormones. Topic of this article is influence of menstrual cycle to sports performance. Firstly,
parameters which can be measured will be reviewed. After that, finished thesis will be
approximately divided in, so to say positive ones (those in which the connection between sport
performance and certain periods in menstrual cycle is confirmed) and negative ones (those which
deny such connection).
So far, the most often parameters that were measured in researches are: muscle
contractility and maximum oxygen consumption VO2 max. Testing muscle contractility includes
measuring muscle strength after voluntary contraction or after electro stimulation, monitoring
muscle relaxation and muscle fatigability. Maximum oxygen consumption represents ability of
organism to transport and use oxygen. It represents physical readiness of a person. It could be
measured directly when with gradual increase of effort an ergo-bike or treadmill, ventilation, as
well as O2 and CO2 in breathed and exhaled air, are measured readiness of a person. It could be
measured directly when with gradual increase of effort ergo-bike or treadmill, ventilation, as well
as O2 and CO2 in breathed and exhaled air, are measured. VO2 max is reached when oxygen
consumption, which increased by increased effort, came to a stabile level. Apart from direct
measuring of VO2 max certain parameters which determinate maximum oxygen consumption,
can be monitored. Those are: metabolism and concentration of blood lactate, body weight, plasma
volume, hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit, breathing frequency and ventilation, heart rate,
body temperature…
Cognitive and motor functions. Although performances of both genders overlap to a
large degree, women tend to outperform men in some specific aspects of verbal ability, whereas
men achieve higher scores in spatial tasks (Hausmann 2000). Sex hormones are known to
influence the organization of the mammalian brain during critical periods of development and can
permanently alter an individual’s propensity to engage in many sexually dimorphic activity.
There is some controversy in the current literature as to the size and extent of sex differences in
cognitive abilities. Nevertheless, numerous studies have reported a sex difference in favor of
women on tests of verbal fluency, verbal articulation, perceptual speed and accuracy and fine
distal motor movements. A reliable sex difference in favor of men has been reported on task
involving spatial rotation and manipulation and mathematical reasoning (Kimura and Hampson
1994). Measuring cognitive performance of women during the menstrual cycle, it has been
reported that gonadal steroids enhance those skills for which females typically show better results
than males (Walpurger 2004). Most of the studies observed improved „female skills” during the
Menstrual cycle and maximal sport result
luteal phase, when estrogene and progesterone are high. They found that in the midluteal phase
women performed better on tests of manual dextrity, verbal fluency and speeded articulation,
known to favor females, but more poorly on perceptual spatial tasks, known to favor males
(Kimura and Hampson 1994).
Muscle contractility. Sarwar and associates in 1996 as well as Phillips and associates
also in 1996 showed in experimental research on women with normal menstrual cycle that there
is stronger muscle contraction in the middle of cycle and in late follicular phase. Significant
decrease in muscle strength was detected in period after ovulation (Phillips, et al., 1996; Graves
et al., 1999). This points to the possible importance of estrogen to increase in strength of muscle
contraction. On the other side, Graves and associates in similar experiment found stronger muscle
contraction in the middle of luteal phase, suggesting importance of progesterone in stronger
muscle contraction (Graves et al., 1999). Finally, Dibrezzo and associates (1991) as well as
Jancee de Jonge and associates (2001) didn’t find any connection between phases of menstrual
cycle and strength of muscle contraction (DiBrezzo, Fort, Brow, 1991; Jance de Jonge, 2000).
Inconsistency of research was suggested in the beginning of this paper. What can be concluded
on this level is: in doing sports which mainly require muscle strength, sports women don’t have
to adjust their trainings and competition calendar to their menstrual cycle.
Blood lactate concentration. Certain works point to the increased concentration of blood
lactate in follicular phase. They suggest importance of estrogen in increased oxidation of fatty
acid and savings of glycogen (McCracken, M., Anisworth, B., Hackney, A.C.(1994; Jurkowski
1981). In often works, it was suggested that increase in blood lactate concentration is more likely
to be connected to a diet and availability of glycogen and fatty acids. Certain studies which
predicted strictly controlled diet before the experimental research didn’t show connection
between menstrual cycle and serum concentration of lactate (Nicklas, B.J., Hackney, A.C., Sharp,
1989; Boenen,1983). It is considered that even thou same combination of nutritional status and
menstrual cycle phase could bring to the increase of blood lactate, that wouldn’t influence VO2
max at all.
Body weight. Most of the studies didn’t show significant changes in body weight during
menstrual cycle (Leburn, et al., 1995; De Sousa, et, al., 1990). Even thou these researches deny
supposed hold of liquids in organism in certain stages of cycle, they don’t deny influence of
estrogen and progesterone to redistribution of liquids.
Redistribution of liquids within an organism would also reflect in change of plasma
volume, hemoglobin concentration and hematocrit. Unlike some earlier studies with lower
number of examinees and without hormonal verification of menstrual cycle phase, which shoved
bigger transfer of fluids outside of blood vessels and faster decrease in plasma volume in certain
cycle stages, later and more representative studies don’t register such changes (McCracken,
Anisworth, Hackney, 1994).
Heart rate. Some studies show certain increase in heart rate in middle luteal phase compared to
before ovulation cycle period (Bailez, Zacher, Mittelman, 2000). Increase of frequency could be
explained by the increase of basal body temperature in luteal phase of cycle, considering that
average rate increases 7 to 8 heartbeats for 1°C of body temperature rise. Increase in heart rate
that could happen in luteal phase with average increase of body temperature for 0,3°C would be
of no importance. That is why it is no surprising that there are much more researches in which
there is no connection found between menstrual cycle phase and change in heart rate; it goes for
the state of resting and resting after physical activity (Boenen, et al., 1983; Leburn, et al., 1995;
De souse, et al., 1990).
Basal body temperature. Basal body temperature won’t be discussed in details
considering that this fact is known for more than a century. BBT increases for 0,3°C to 0,4°C
after ovulation, and stays at that level during whole luteal cycle phase (Marshall, 1963).
M. P. Mladenović
Ventilation. In researches conducted on animals it has been shown that progesterone with
direct influence on hypothalamus and respiratory centre could bring to the increase of respiratory
frequency and ventilation volume. Increase in respiratory frequency and breathing volume could
be expected in luteal phase of menstrual cycle. This could be expected when both body
temperature and progesterone concentration are increased. Certain studies shoved increased
ventilation both in the state of resting and during physical exercises in luteal cycle phase
(Schoene, et al., 1981; Dempsey & Johnson, 1991). It is not necessary to mention that in certain
researches such change is not registered.
Maximum oxygen consumption. As it can be seen, certain parameters which define and
reflect VO2max, certain determinants of VO2max, vary during menstrual cycle, or at least that is
what some researches suggest. However, these changes seem not to be enough to bring to
limitation of VO2max. Most studies do not found changes in VO2max during menstrual cycle (De
Sousa, 1990; Dombovy , et al., 1987; Beidelman, et al., 1999). Considering that VO2max is the
most important indicator of sport performance in intensive anaerobic/aerobic sports, and since it
is not under the influence of menstrual cycle, at this level it can be concluded that sports women
who compete in intensive anaerobic/aerobic sports do not have to adjust their trainings and
competition to their menstrual cycle.
Since it has been already emphasized that in sports which, in the first place, require
muscle strength, as well as wit anaerobic/aerobic sports, maximum sport performance and results
will not depend on menstrual cycle phase. In this part instead of conclusion we can show some
more results which can be important to same sports women. Prolonged intense physical activity,
especially in conditions with high temperature and humidity of surrounding, could be restricted to
a certain level in luteal phase of menstrual cycle. Considering previous studies, showing increase
in body temperature, heart rate and ventilation in middle luteal phase of cycle (Bailez, et al.,
2000; Schoene, et al.,
1981 Williams & Krahenbuhl, 1997), which all point to increased
cardiovascular and thermoregulatory stress in this phase, during intensive and prolonged
physical activity (especially if increased thermal stress, caused by overheating or increased
humidity of surrounding is added), in this point we can conclude: If sports women play sports
which are related to prolonged and intense physical activity, they should be advised to adjust their
competition calendar to their menstrual cycle, since middle luteal phase cud have negative effect.
In the same way menstrual cycle can have influence to working efficiency, if women are
expected to work for a longer period of time in overheated and humid surrounding.
We should mention one more time research on muscle power and menstrual cycle: the best period
for top sport results (considering muscle power) would be follicular phase, as suggested by
Sarevan and associates, as well as Phillips and associates (Sarwar, et al., 1996; Philips, et al.,
Therefore, female athletes:
1. If you play sports which in particular requires muscle power, you do not have to adjust
calendar of competition and trainings to your menstrual cycle.
2. Furthermore, for sports which require muscle power, in the first place it is good to know that
some researches point to a potential positive effect of late follicular phase (from 9. to 14. day).
3. For most aerobic/anaerobic sports, you do not have adjust calendar of competitions and
trainings to menstrual cycle.
Menstrual cycle and maximal sport result
4. For sports which are related to long physical effort, especially if it will take place in conditions
where there is high temperature and humidity, second part of menstrual cycle should be avoided.
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Bunt, J.C. (1990). Metabolic actions of estradiol: significance for acute and chronic exercise
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Cole, L.A., Ladner, D.G., Bryn, F.W. (2008). The normal variability´s of the menstrual cycle.
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De Souza, M.J., Miller, B.E., Loucks, A.B. et al. (1998). High frequency of luteal phase
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Dempsey, J.A., Johnson, B.D.(1992). Demand vs capacity in the healthy pulmonary system.
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DiBrezzo ,R., Fort, I.L., Brow, B.(1991). Relationships among strength, endurance, weight and
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Dombovy, M.L., Bonekat, H.W., Williams, T.J. et al.
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Galati, G., Trepani, E., Yacoub, M., Fioreli,C., Bandeira,F., Paolillo, A.(1994). A new test for
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Harlow, S.D., Ephross, S.A. (1995). Epidemiology of menstruation and its relevance to women´s
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Horvath, S.M., Drinkwater, B.L. (1982).Thermoregulation and the menstrual cycle. Aviat Space
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Jurkowski, J.E., Jones, N.L., Toews, C.J. et al. (1981).Effects of menstrual cycle on blood lactate,
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Marshall, J.(1963). Thermal changes in the normal menstrual cycle. BMJ, 12, 102-104.
McCracken, M., Anisworth, B., Hackney, A.C.(1994). Effects of the menstrual cycle phase on
the blood lactate response to exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol, 69 (2),174-175.
Miler, P.B., Soules, M.R. (1996). The usefulness of urinary LH kit for ovulation prediction
during menstrual cycles of normal women. Obstet Gynecol, 87(1), 13-17.
Nicklas, B.J., Hackney, A.C., Sharp, R.L.(1989). The menstrual cycle and exercise: performance,
muscle glycogen, and substrate responses. Int J Sports Exerc, 10 (4), 264-269.
Phillips, S.K., Sanderson, A.G., Birch,K. at al.(1996). Changes in maximal voluntary force of
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Menstrual cycle and maximal sport result
Table 1 Menstrual cycle phase
high (around ovulation)
Research article
Volumen 5, No. 2, 2013,
UDC: 796.012.13-053.5
Vladimir Jakovljević*, Adriana Ljubojević, Tamara Karalić,
Nikolina Gerdijan, Željko Vukić, Goran Pašić
Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, University of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The research problem was to analyze manifestation of sprinting speed and to compare the results
obtained in prepubertal children in relation to gender. The aim of this study was to analyze the
basic motor ability related to velocity in children before puberty. The study was conducted on the
sample of 71 subjects who were divided into two subgroups: 37 boys and 34 girls, aged 9 years
+/- 6 months. Three tests were applied for measurement of sprinting speed: time running 10
meters, high start time running 20 meters, high and start time running 20 meters flying start. The
results showed that there was no statistically significant difference between subjects with respect
to gender, in all three tests applied to estimate sprint speed at the level of p <0.05. On this basis, it
was concluded that prepubertal period of half of the respondents in the prepubertal period, as a
criterion, does not constitute a basis for a statistically significant difference in the exercise of
sprint speed.
Keywords: basic motor skills, boys, girls, age 9 years
Analysis of gender-related sprinting speed of prepuberty girls and boys
When we talk about speed, it should be taken into account that the speed is actually a
multidimensional motor ability and that, in its essence, there are four forms of expression. The
manifestation of speed can be seen through the latent time of chain reaction, single-speed
movement, movement frequency and sprint speed (Nićin, 2000). Although these elements are in
inseparable mutual synergy, this research is focused on the analysis of sprinting speed. When we
discuss speed, it is commonly understood that speed manifests in frequent cyclical movements
(sprinting). Speed of frequency movement is different in individual sprint sections, so that it is
not the question of the same frequency trends, but the question of somewhat different ones, from
step to step (Nićin, 2000). It is believed that the maximum efficiency of speed is defined by
frequency and length of stride (Čoh & Žvan, 2011). Both parameters are interdependent, and they
also depend on the process regulation in the center of motor stereotypes. From the biomechanical
point of view, step, as the basic structural unit, depends on the eccentric-concentric muscle action
cycles at the action of movement. They further state that the relation between frequency and
stride length is individually defined and automated. Changing one of these parameters results in a
change of another. When the stride length increases, the frequency decreases, and vice versa.
* Corresponding author: Doc. Dr. Vladimir Jakovljević, University of Banja Luka, Faculty of Physical Education and
Sport, Bulevar Vojvode Petra Bojovića 1a, 78000 Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Phone: 0038765973206,
© 2013 Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
Sprinting speed of prepubertal girls and boys
Research results of Blazević, Babić & Antekolović, (2011) indicated that prepubertal boys have a
rational running technique, while girls on average predominantly set foot on the surface over
heels. Based on the method of execution of running techniques, the boys achieved better results
in the 50 m. The differences could be interpreted as the shape and organization of the game, i.e.
as the manner of spending leisure time. Girls of younger school age are still in the game, which is
predominantly static type, while boys are more physically active, which is reflected in the quality
of their musculature. From the above, one might recommend learning proper running technique
as one of the priorities in teaching physical education to children in elementary schools Also, in
previous research, based on meta-analysis, which assessed the differences in motor skills of
children aged 6 and 7, Janković (2014.) came to certain conclusions. Concerning the variable that
was evaluated by the speed of running (20 m high start), there were statistically significant
differences between boys and girls. The boys achieved better results, and they were faster at the
given distance. Using multivariate analysis in their research, Sabolč & Lepeš (2012) analyzed the
differences in some of the motor skills of children aged 7. Among other things, they analyzed
sprinting speed by a test run at 20 m from the high start. Based on the results they concluded that
gender differences of respondents occurred in terms of a statistically significant difference in
favor of boys. In further research related to determining the difference in speed between sprinting
of girls and boys aged 3 - 10, Babić, Blazević and Vlasić (2010) came to the following
conclusions. The results of univariate analysis of variance showed that there was no statistically
significant difference in the parameters of sprinting between boys and girls of preschool and
younger school age. This research confirmed the results of previous research according to which
a significant difference in these parameters occurs during puberty, when there are significant
changes in the body. Nićin (2000.) points out that the frequency movements can basically be
divided into movements of the same amplitude and the movements of different amplitudes. The
interesting issues for this study were the movements of different amplitudes which are
characteristic of sprinting. Factors that are responsible for expression of speed frequency
movements can be grouped into those that relate to the structure of the CNS and the locomotor
system, the state of other motor skills and the techniques involved in the movement. One of the
main factors that allows full expression rate is the level of sports technique, which is
characterized by perfect innervation and coordination of movement at the maximum intensity
neuromuscular effort (Željaskov, 2004.). Petrović and Kukrić (2006.) argue that sprint running
speed can improve by strength training, because stronger muscles give greater force at every turn.
They also point out that sprint running speed can be improved, and that its manifestation depends
on techniques of running, specifically stride length. They point out that the frequency step also
affects the expression of sprint speed, but that its impact is determined by genetic inheritance.
This is confirmed by earlier research (Kurelić, Momirović, Stojanović, Radojević and Viskić-
Štallec, 1975; Zaciorski, 1975; Pistotnik, 2003.) which indicated the same conclusion that the
inherent speed ratio is 0.90 to 0.95. In a study of kinematic parameters of maximal running speed,
it was concluded that the maximum running speed is defined as the product of stride length and
step frequency (Petrović, Kukrić and Guzina, 2007.). Also, these authors point out that the
increase in maximal running speed required one or both components increase, but without an
adverse effect one to another. In accordance with this previous research, one common conclusion
can be drawn that sprinting speed is significantly genetically predetermined. Its manifestation is
affected by a lot of factors, the most important of which are the stride frequency and stride length,
and also the condition of other motor abilities, CNS and the running technique. As previously
noted in this study, evaluation was performed in terms of the occurrence of sprint speed in
subjects aged 9 in both genders. The reason for doing research just on this sample is that previous
studies find that it is the greatest period of growth development of motor abilities, and it is one of
the key sensitive periods for its development (Zaciorski, 1975, Nićin, 2000, Mikić, B., Biberović,
A. Macković, S., 2001, Željaskov 2004, Bijelić and Simović, 2005, Bala, G., Stojanović, M.
Stojanović, M., 2007, Caput-Jogunica, 2009). Nićin (2000) believes that the largest increase
V. Jakovljević
frequency movements occurs between 8 and 12. While (Gužalovski, 1977.) points out that the
typical sensitive periods for the development speed frequency movements and sprint speed range
in both genders occur at the age 7 - 9. Caput-Jogunica (2009.) points out that the development
speed according to the results of previous studies may be most affected at a younger age
(especially from 10 to 14 years) and by means of carefully selected exercises. The findings of
previous studies outlined the framework of this research including the analysis of motor skills,
speed in relation to gender and age of the respondents. The results of this research (Babićet al.,
2010, Blazević et all., 2011, Sabolč and Lepeš, 2012, Janković, 2014.), one of which showed
differences in the results of tests applied to analyze sprinting speed of early school-age
respondents in relation to gender, while the others did not show it, provided the basis for defining
problem of this research. On this basis, the problem of this research was to analyze patterns of
sprint speed and to compare the results obtained in patients aged 9 in relation to gender. The
research topic is sprinting speed as a kind of manifestation of basic motor abilities of speed. With
regard to the issue dealt with in the, the aim is to analyze the basic motor abilities related to speed
in children at the age of 9.
This research is based on the method of theoretical analysis, which is applied to analyze speed
and its forms of occurrence, as well on the interpretation of the results of evaluation of basic
speed-related motor abilities in children at the age of 9. Research is also based on descriptive and
causal methods that are aimed to describe and explain the connection between the results
obtained, as well as their interrelations. The study was conducted on a sample of 71 children aged
9 years +/- 6 months, which included 37 males and 34 female subjects. Respondents were
involved in some form of physical activity, in various school sports. All respondents attended
sport schools of the same duration, about a year ago. The work program in sport schools was
almost the same, which means that its purpose was a comprehensive development of children. In
doing so, special emphasis was put on the development of motor abilities through programs that
have been adapted to the given age. Maturity of respondents was not evaluated in any way,
except on the basis of the chronological age. This was done because most foreign and domestic
anthropologists refer to this period as the age of puberty or early school age. They also state that
these years of age ranges 6 to 10.5 years in girls, and 6 to 12.5 years of age in boys (Bijelićand
Simović, 2005.). The variables in this study are divided into criterion and predictor ones:
Criterion variable: POL- gender of respondents,
Predictor variables: SP10MHS-time running 10 meters high start, SP20MHS-time running 20
meters high start, SP20MFS-time running
20 meters flying start
(Balaet al.,
Tests were performed on a hard, flat surface in a hall measuring 20x50 meters. The distance of 10
and 20 meters was measured in such a way that the starting line width was included in the
distance of 10 and 20 meters, whereas the width of ribbon colored finishing line was not
included. Both lines were 2 meters in length and parallel to each other. Two racks were placed at
each end of the line. The examiner, who measured the result, was sitting exactly on the extended
line of finish and rack. Behind the finish line, there was an area long enough to enable running
away of participants after the test. Respondents began running from a standing start and at the
command "now", after which they ran at maximum speed into the area between the two lines.
The stopwatch switched on at the buzzer sound of "now", and switched off when the subject
chest crossed the finish line. In test runs at 20 meters with flying start, behind the starting line, at
a distance of 10 meters, there was a mark by lines that represented the start-up line. In the speed-
up zone, the respondent speeded up progressively, so that he achieved maximum running speed at
the start line. Respondents started from a standing start from the line where speed-up zone starts.
An assistant timekeeper, who was standing in the extension of the starting line with racks placed
Sprinting speed of prepubertal girls and boys
at each end, gave the signal to the timekeeper to start measuring when the respondent’s breast cut
off the starting line. The stopwatch is stopped when the respondent’s breast cut off the finishing
line. The running time was measured manually and rounded off at the tenths of a second.
Respondents wore sports equipment (shorts, T-shirts, sneakers). In order to formulate valid
conclusions, calculatation included the following:
Basic descriptive parameters: the arithmetic mean, variational width, standard deviation,
variance, measures the asymmetry - skewness and kurtosis, the Kolmogorov-Smirnov’s test.
Parametric statistics: the difference between subjects was analyzed by multivariate analysis of
variance (MANOVA).
Statistical analysis was performed on a personal computer Pentium IV with the statistical
program SPSS (version 11.0).
In relation to the problem, the subject and aim of the research, the following hypothesis was put
H1- statistically significant difference in the results of developing sprinting speed between male
and female respondents is expected.
Table 1. Descriptive statistics results of tests for the assessment of sprint speed in subjects of
both genders
N l
Min Max M
Skew Kurt KS
S. D.
Legend: N - sample of respondents, l - ranking, Min - minimum score, Max - maximum result,
M - mean, SD
- standard deviation, s
- variance, Skew - - skjunis, Kurt - kurtosis, KS -
Komogorov-Smirnov test.
Table 1. presents the results of descriptive statistics results of tests for the assessment of sprinting
speed in both genders. Before analyzing results, the normality of distribution of all results on the
basis of Komogorov-Smirnov’s test (KS) was tested, the results of which were significantly
above 0.05, which indicates that the results have normality schedule. During the analysis of
differences between the maximum and minimum results, i.e. rank values with male participants,
the results of the test of the 10 meter running time from high start (SP10MHS) showed the lowest
dispersion of results, while the test 20 meter running time on a 20 meter flying start (SP20MFS)
indicated the largest dispersion results. During the analysis of differences between the maximum
and minimum results, i.e. rank values in female subjects, the results of the test 20 meter test
running time high start (SP20MHS) showed the lowest dispersion of results, whereas testing 10
meter running time high start (SP10MHS) indicated the largest dispersion of results. Male
respondents showed a lower average value, and thus better results on tests 20 meter running high
start (SP20MHS) and 20 meters running flying start (SP20MFS), while the female respondents
showed better average scores on a test run on 10 meters high start (SP10MHS). Measures of
asymmetry Skewness (tilt curve) and Kurtosis (curvature of the curve) did not show significant
deviations from the mean.
V. Jakovljević
Table 2. The difference between respondents in the results of tests for assessing sprinting speed
in relation to gender (MANOVA)
Hypothesis df Error df Sig.
Pillai's Trace
Wilks' Lambda
Hotelling's Trace
Roy's Largest Root
GENDER Pillai's Trace
Wilks' Lambda
Hotelling's Trace
Roy's Largest Root
Table 2 shows the analysis of differences between the results of all three tests for
assessment of sprinting speed with reference to gender of respondents by means of multivariate
analysis of variance. The values of significance showed that there was no statistically significant
difference between the respondents in all three tests applied.
Greater dispersion of results in individual tests used in this study, that are presented in Table 1.,
can be explained by the fact that reduced multilateral development leads to absence of mutual
coordination of legs and arms. Since hand movements directly affect the frequency of leg
movements, low level of arm coordination and strength of shoulder girdle prevents the child's
ability to run faster (Mikićet al., 2001.). Also, the confirmation can be found in the research of
Blazević et al. (2011.), where they point out that boys have more rational running technique than
girls, the main reason of which are the games that boys and girls used in their free time. The
absence of differences in tests for assessing sprinting speed among respondents in relation to
gender, Table 2., can be explained by the fact that the child's ability to perform rapid movements
in prepubertal age progressively increasesirrespective of whether these children have any
training or not. It is the same for boys and girls. The increase in speed is usually the result of the
development of better muscular coordination. This is reflected in the coordination of the hands
and feet, and the difference has been observed between children who had comprehensive
development and those that did not have it. Gender differences in this period are not visible
(Bijelić and Simović, 2005.). Bala et al., (2007.) came to certain conclusions regarding the
assessment of motor abilities of speed. Based on research on a large number of respondents, he
concluded that boys and girls before puberty do not show difference in manifestation of sprinting
speed. Rađo (2000.) also analyzed the differences of speed manifestation between the males and
females. He concluded that the speed of movement in relation to gender differences is evident. So
in running, women lag far behind men, in terms of speed. This difference is certainly conditioned
by differences in the strength of the movement between women and men. However, as the
respondents in this study were at the age where the difference in strength of movement
performance between genders is still not evident, this statement may be accepted only at a later
age, when the difference in strength between geneders is evident. Mikićet al., (2001.) suggest that
during early prepubertal age, at the running speed, gender differences among children are not
visible. The difference becomes visible only at the time when children approach puberty, when
boys perform better activities related to speed than the girls. Frequency of movement is
characterized by unevenness in its development, thus it develops faster in those who train, than
those who do not train this kind of activity. Similar conclusions have been drawn by the research
of Babić et al. (2010.), who state that the maximum running speed increases with chronological
age. According to Malina, R.M., Bouchard, C. and Bar-Or, O. (2004.), the maximum running
speed (and without the effects of training) in children aged 5 to 8, biologically develops very
Sprinting speed of prepubertal girls and boys
rapidly and after this period, the progress a little slower. Gender differences are small and not
significant, but they are more significant after adolescence. The lack of differences between the
results of tests for the assessment of sprinting speed in subjects of both genders may also be
explained on the basis of the sensitive period of the development of motor abilities. Sensitive
periods coincide with both genders, especially during prepuberty (Zaciorski, 1975, Gužalovski,
1977, Nićin, 2000, Mikić, B., Biberović, A. Mačković, S., 2001, Željaskov 2004, Bijelić and
Simović, 2005, Balaet al, 2007, Caput-Jogunica, 2009). Maximum development of a certain
ability is possible when all the processes of growth and development completed and, of course,
when all motor and functional abilities and morphological characteristics reach optimal
development. However, in the period of growth and development, there are phases which could
be qualified as susceptible (sensitive) periods during which we can develop a maximum capacity
for the maximum development of certain motor abilities. It is determined according to the stages
of biological growth and the development and natural trends in the development of the motor
system (Šalaj, 2010.). Based on a meta-analysis, Viru, A., Loko, J., Volver, A. Laaneots, L.,
Karelson, K., Viru, M. (1998.) found that there is a period in which motor skills develop rapidly,
and that speed is one of those skills, but that it is being developed in the same period in boys and
girls. Based on an analysis of the data and their interpretation complying with previous research,
it can be concluded that there was no statistically significant difference in manifestation of sprint
speed between males and females. In accordance with the results, H1 hypothesis in which a
statistically significant difference was expected in the results of developing sprinting speed
related to gender of respondents
- is rejected. The obtained results confirmed the earlier
observations of similar problems (Zaciorski, 1975, Nićin, 2000, Mikićet al., 2001, Željaskov
2004, Bijelić and Simović, 2005, Balaet al., 2007, Babićet al., 2010). It can be concluded that the
gender of respondents in the prepubertal period, as the criterion variable does not constitute a
basis for a statistically significant difference in the manifestation of sprinting speed. Girls and
boys at that age go through the same dynamics of maturation of biomotoric system that affects
the manifestation of sprinting speed, owing to which motor abilities (development of intra and
inter muscular coordination), functional ones (development of cardio-respiratory system) and the
development of central regulatory mechanisms of internal organs (CNS) does not show any
significant difference. The obtained results justify the use of similar or identical training operators
for speed development in prepubertal period for both genders.
According to the results of multivariate analysis of variance with appropriate statistical
procedure, there is no statistically significant difference in the manifestation of sprinting speed of
the respondents in relation to gender. The results of this study are confirmed by some previous
studies of similar problems (Zaciorski, 1975, Nićin, 2000, Mikićet al., 2001, Željaskov 2004,
Bijelić and Simović, 2005, Balaet al., 2007, Babić et all., 2010.). However, the results are not in
agreement with some studies (Blaževićet al., 2011, Janković, 2014, Sabolčand Lepeš, 2012.),
which found statistically significant differences of sprinting speed in children of junior school
age in relation to gender. It is also concluded that the respondent gender at the age of puberty or
early school age, as a criterion, does not constitute a basis for a statistically significant difference
in the manifestation of sprinting speed. Girls and boys of that age go through the same dynamics
of maturation of bio-motor system that affects manifestation of sprinting speed, so that motor
development (development of intra and inter muscular coordination), functional development
(development of cardio-respiratory system) and the development of central regulatory
mechanisms of internal organs (CNS alpha) do not show any significant difference.
V. Jakovljević
Babić, V., Blažević, I. i Vlašić, J. (2010). Karakteristike sprinterskog trčanja djece predškolske i
mlađe školske dobi. Hrvatski sportskomedicinski vijesnik, godište
3-8. Zagreb:
Hrvatski olimpijski odbor.
Bala, G., Stojanović, M. i Stojanović, M. (2007). Mjerenje i definisanje motoričkih sposobnosti
dece, Novi Sad: Fakultet sporta i fizičkog vaspitanja.
Bijelić, S. i Simović, S. (2005): Trenažna tehnologija u radu sa mladim sportistima, Banja Luka:
Sekretarijat za sport i omladinu u Vladi Republike Srpske.
Blažević, I., Babić, V. i Antelković, Lj. (2011). Sprintersko trčanje djece mlađe školske dobi. 6-ti
KOMPETENCIJE UČENIKA“. Zbornik radova. 74-81. Poreč.
Caput-Jogunica, R. (2009): Kineziologija-priručnik za studente Učiteljskog fakulteta-dislocirani
studij u Slavonskom Brodu, Osijek: Sveučilište u Osijeku.
Čoh, M. i Žvan, M.
(2011). Biomehaničke karakteristike razvoja maksimalne brzine.
International Scientific Conference ''ANTROPOLOGICAL ASPECT OF SPORTS,
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND RECREATION''. Proceedings Book. Vol. 2. 7-15. Banja
Luka: Fakultet fizičkog vaspitanja i sporta.
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(1977). Physical education of schoolchildren in critical periods of
development, Teoria i praktika fizicheskoi kulturõ, 7. 37-39. (in Russian).
Janković, M.
(2014). Meta analiza kvantitativnih razlika antropometrijskih karakteristika i
motoričkih sposobnosti dece uzrasta 6 i 7 godina. Fizička kultura. Broj 1. Vol. 68. 5-12.
Beograd: Fakultet sporta i fizičkog vaspitanja.
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razvoj morfoloških i motoričkih dimenzija omladine. Beograd: Institut za naučna
Malina, R. M., Bouchard, C. & Bar-Or, O. (2004). Growth, Maturation, and Physical Activity
(2nd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Mikić, B., Biberović, A. i Mačković, S. (2001). Univerzalna škola sporta. Tuzla: Filozofski
fakultet Univerziteta u Tuzli.
Nićin, Đ. (2000): Antropomotorika. Novi Sad: Fakultet fizikčke kulture.
Petrović, B. i Kukrić, A. (2006): Uticaj izabranog trenažnog modela na poboljšanje maksimalne
brzine trčanja. Glasnik. Br. 2.77-82. Banja Luka: Fakultet fizičkog vaspitanja i sporta.
Petrović, B., Kukrić, A. i Guzina, B. (2007). Efekti sprinterskog modela treninga usmjerenog na
poboljšanje kinematičkih parametara maksimalne brzine trčanja. Glasnik. Br. 3. 39-44.
Banja Luka: Fakultet fizičkog vaspitanja i sporta.
Sprinting speed of prepubertal girls and boys
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sportni praksi. Ljubljana: Fakulteta za šport, Inštitut za šport Ljubljana.
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Univerzitet "Džemal Bijedić".
Sabolš, H. i Lepeš, J. (2012). Razlike u motoričkim sposobnostima i telesnoj kompoziciji između
dečaka i devojčica od 7 godina. Sportske nauke i zdravlje. Vol 2. 75-79. Banja Luka:
Panevropski univerzitet „Apeiron“.
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Sveučilišta u Zagrebu.
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Željaskov, C. (2004): Kondicioni trening vrhunskih sportista. Beograd: Sportska akademija.
Research article
Volumen 5, No. 2, 2013, 28-33
UDC: 796.012.1-053.2
Miroslav Polimac, Mila Vukadinovic, Jelena Obradovic
Faculty of sport and physical education - University of Novi Sad
Six motor tests were applied on a sample of 48 children (33 boys and 15 girls) 5 and 6 years of
age (± 6 months), who attended sports school twice a week, in duration of one hour. The primary
objective of this study was to determine differences in motor skills of preschool children. Results
of multivariate multi-factor analysis of variance (MANOVA) show no statistically significant
differences in the overall system of analyzed motor variables in relation to gender and age
regarding the studied sample of children. Analysis of individual motor skills, using the procedure
of univariate multi-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA), revealed no statistically significant
differences in relation to gender and age factors. With respect to the age factor, a statistically
significant difference was obtained for variables: 20 meters dash, obstacle course backwards and
standing broad jump, in favor of the 6-year old children. With respect to the gender factor, a
statistically significant difference existed only for the variable seated straddle stretch in favor of
Keywords: preschool age/motor abilities/differences.
Motor skills in young children are of general type (Bala, 1981; Nicin, Kalajdzic, & Bala, 1996).
They can be affected in the preschool period, i.e. in the period of 4 to 7 years of age (Bala, Kis &
Popovic, 1996; Lubans et al., 2010). Also, formation of motor habits can be affected in the
preschool period, which depends on morphological characteristics that form the basis for later
active engagement in sports, sports recreation, or simply for creating adequate capacity for
various activities in old age (Bala, 2004). In addition to the morphological characteristics, motor
skills and motor habits are also affected by both genetic and external factors. They primarily
affect the overall growth and development of children (Bala, Kis, & Popovic, 1996).
Based on the studies of preschool age, of 4 to 7 years of age, it can be concluded that there
are no statistical significant differences between boys and girls regarding motor skills (Stankovic,
1976; Pesic, 1984; Nicin, et al., 1996). However, some foreign authors (Keogh, 1965; Van
* Coresponding author: Miroslav Polimac, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad,
Lovcenska 16, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia
© 2013 Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
Differences in children’s motor abilities
Slooten, 1973, Frederick, 1977, according to Gallahue & Ozmun, 1998), authors from Slovenia
(Reitmeier & Proje,
1990; Videmsek & Cemic, 1991; Planinsec,
1995; Reitmeier,
according to: Cvetkovic, Popovic & Jaksic, 2007) as well as authors from the region (Peric, 1989
& 1991; Pejcic, 2001; Katic, Babin, Rausavljevic & Blazevic 1996; Kulic 2005; Bala, 2002, Bala,
Popovic & Sabo, 2006) obtained the opposite results. The studies that have been conducted have
indicated the superiority of boys in terms of motor skills. Boys were generally better in the
manifestation of co-ordination, strength and speed, while girls were better in flexibility. Physical
activities are associated with the level of motor skills in boys. Greater emphasis should be put on
significance of engagement in physical activity in order to improve motor skills in preschool age
(Temple, Crane, Brown, Williams, & Bell, 2014). Testing of motor skills is an important element
of monitoring the motor development of children who are just starting or planning to engage in
sports. Development of motor skills plays a major role in the overall development of the young
The aim of the study was to determine statistically significant differences in motor skills
of preschool children, depending on their gender and age.
The sample of respondents consisted of 48 children (33 boys and 15 girls) members of
Sports School “Kinesis” in Novi Sad, of 5 and 6 years of age (± 6 months). Children attended this
school twice a week in duration of an hour. The following motor tests were applied: for
evaluation of the running speed - 20 meters dash; for evaluation of body coordination - Obstacle
course backwards; for evaluation of flexibility
- Seated straddle stretch; for evaluation of
explosive power - Standing broad jump; for evaluation of static power - Bent-arm hang; for
evaluation of repetitive power - trunk lifting for 60 seconds (Bala, Stojanovic & Stojanovic,
For each motor variable and for each age group and gender, arithmetic mean (A) and
standard deviation (S) were calculated, regarding the basic central and dispersion statistics.
Method of multivariate multi-factor analysis of variance (MANOVA) was performed in order to
test statistically significant differences of an overall system of motor variables between boys and
girls of various ages. After that, a univariate multi-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) was
performed in order to determine differences for each individual motor variable.
Multivariate multi-factor analysis of variance
(MANOVA) revealed no statistically
significant differences in the overall system of motor variables analyzed, regarding the gender
and age of the children from the studied sample (p = 0.73) (Table 1).
Univariate multi-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed statistically significant
differences between children regarding the manifestation of motor skills. When we take into
account only the age factor it may be noted that there is a statistically significant difference for
the variables: 20 meters dash, obstacle course backwards and standing broad jump (older age
group, both in boys and girls, achieved better results for all three variables). However, if we
observe the arithmetic means (AS) it can be noticed that older boys achieved better results than
the younger in all variables except Seated straddle stretch, while older girls were better than
younger also in all variables except in Bent-arm hang. Analysis of the gender factor, revealed
statistically significant difference only for the variable of seated straddle stretch (girls were more
successful in both age groups than boys) while other variables showed no statistical significance.
M. Polimac
Depending on the factors of gender and age, it can be concluded that there were no statistically
significant differences between boys and girls of various age regarding any of the variables.
Table 1 Descriptive statistics and results of the analysis of differences between boys and girls
5 years
6 years
Age Gender-age
20 meters dash
(0.1 sec)
(0,1 sec)
stretch (cm)
Bent-arm hang
(0,1 sec)
Trunk lifting
F = F-test for univariate analysis of variance; p = significance level for univariate analysis of
variance; F = multivariate analysis of variance; P = level of significance in the multivariate
analysis of variance
By looking at the statistical significance of differences between the genders, it can be seen
that girls achieved better results for the variable Seated straddle stretch which is confirmed by
previous studies (Van Slooten, 1973, Frederick, 1977, according to Gallahue & Ozmun, 1998;
Peric, 1991; Gallahue & Ozmun , 1998; Kulic 2005; Bala, et al., 2006; Jankovic, 2014). Girls
more often practice playing that requires less dynamic, more precise movements, higher
concentration of attention, greater amplitude of motion (flexibility). It is also considered that the
female population is more flexible than male from the age of five until adulthood (Haubenstriker,
Zefelt, & Branta, 1997 by: Haibach, Greg, & Collier, 2011). Lower manifestation of flexibility in
boys may be explained by the activities they engage in: jumping, crawling, climbing, hanging,
lifting, carrying, running and the like. Practicing these activities contributed to the greater
development of motor skills such as coordination, strength and speed, and reducing flexibility.
Differences in motor abilities of children with regard to gender obtained in this study were
Differences in children’s motor abilities
expected, due to the specificities of activities the children are interested in and involved in during
the pre-school age, as well as gender differences.
Bala, et al. (2006) suggest that differences in motor skills between boys and girls of
preschool age occur because of the “motor potential capacity”, as well as other factors that help
this capacity to develop and manifest, as shown on this sample of children. In addition, the
differences between boys and girls in motor space can be explained by the higher trend of growth
and development of boys compared to girls, and reduced elasticity of muscles in boys (Cvetkovic,
et al., 2007).
Differences in motor abilities in relation to age, within this sample of children, are
confirmed by research results (Temple et al., 2014). The authors believe that the duration of
physical activity is responsible for the successful mastering of motor habits in older children,
which is a result of faster flow of pulses from cortex to the muscle effectors. It is known that each
performance of exercise at this age can have a positive impact on motor skills, and it has come
true in this sample of children, because older children have exercised longer in the Sports School.
Teachers and coaches working with children of this age, are recommended to form
homogeneous groups according to criteria based on the abilities of children, because there is no
statistically significant difference in relation to gender and age of pre-school children. Therefore,
it is necessary for experts to, instead of assessment of
“standardized”, monitor and assess
progress in terms of development. Thus, the impact on the motor skills of preschool children
through planning and systematic work is of great importance for the further development of their
motor skills. The differences obtained are valid only for the tested sample, and it is not possible
to generalize the data. For more detailed follow-up it is necessary to conduct a longitudinal study
with a much larger sample of children.
Bala, G. (1981). Struktura i razvoj morfoloških i motoričkih dimenzija dece SAP Vojvodine. Novi
Sad: Fakultet fizičke kulture.
Bala, G. (1996). Sportska školica - Razvoj motoričkog ponašanja dece. Novi Sad: Kinesis.
Bala, G. (2004). Kvantitativne razlike osnovnih antropometrijskih karakteristika i motoričkih
sposobnosti dečaka i devojčica u predškolskom uzrastu.Glasnik Antropološkog društva
Jugoslavije, 39, 219-227.
Bala, G. (2002). Strukturalne razlike motoričkih sposobnosti dečaka i devojčica u predškolskom
uzrastu.Pedagoska stvarnost, 48, 744-752.
Bala, G., Stojanović, M i Stojanović, M. (2007). Merenje i definisanje motoričkih sposobnosti
dece.Novi Sad: Fakultet sporta i fizičkog vaspitanja.
Bala, G., Kiš, M. i Popović, B. (1996). Trening u razvoju motoričkog ponašanja male dece.
Godišnjak, 8, 83-87, Beograd: Fakultet fizičke kulture.
Bala, G., Popović, B. i Sabo, E. (2006). Istraživanja na predškolskoj deci u Novom Sadu. U: G.
Bala (Ur.): Fizička aktivnost devojčica i dečaka predškolskog uzrasta (str. 75-101). Novi
Sad: Fakultet fizičke kulture.
Bogosavljev, M. (1972). Fizičko vaspitanje dece predškolskog uzrasta.Materijal za pokrajinsko
savetovanje. Novi Sad: s. n.
M. Polimac
Cvetković, M., Popović, B., i Jakšić, D.
Razlike u motoričkim sposobnostima
predškolske dece u odnosu na pol. Zbornik stručnih i naučnih radova, 287-293.
Đorđić, V. i Bala, G. (2006). Fizička aktivnost dece u predškolskog uzrasta.U G. Bala (Ur.),
Fizička aktivnost devojčica i dečaka predškolskog uzrasta (str. 57-73). Novi Sad: Fakultet
fizičke kulture.
Gallahue, D. L., & Ozmun, J. C. (1998). Understanding motor development. (fourth edition).
Haibach, P.S., Reid, G., & Collier, D.H. (2011). Motor Learning and Development.Human
Hardy, L., King, L.,Farrell, L.,Macniven, R., & Howlett, S. (2009). Fundamental movement skills
among Australian preschool children.Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports, 471, 6.
Katić, R., Babin, J., Rausavljević, N., Blažević, S.,
(1996). Analiza razlika motoričkih
sposobnosti između učenika i učenica u prvom razredu osnovne škole.Školski vjesnik:
časopis za pedagoška i školska pitanja, 2, 107-115.
Krsmanović, B. i Berković, L. (1999). Teorija i metodika fizičkog vaspitanja. Novi Sad: Fakultet
sporta i fizičkog vaspitanja.
Kulić, D. (2005). Karakteristike motoričkog razvoja predškolske dece. Diplomski rad, Novi Sad:
Fakultet fizičke kulture.
Iivonen, S., Sääkslahti, A., & Nissinen, K. (2011). The development of fundamental motor skills
of four-to five-year-old preschool children and the effects of a preschool physical education
curriculum.Early Child Development and Care, 181(3), 335-343.
Janković, M.,
(2014).Meta analiza kvantitativnih razlika antropometrijskih karakteristika I
motoričkih sposobnosti uzrasta 6 i 7 godina.Fizička kultura, 68, (1), 5-12.
Laukkanen, A., Pesola, A., Havu, M., Sääkslahti, A., & Finni, T. (2013). Relationship between
habitual physical activity and gross motor skills is multifaceted in 5-to 8-year-old children.
Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports.
Lubans, D. R., Morgan, P. J., Cliff, D. P., Barnett, L. M., & Okely, A. D. (2010). Fundamental
movement skills in children and adolescents.Sports medicine, 40(12), 1019-1035.
Nićin, Đ., Kalajdžić, J., & Bala, G. (1996). Motor behaviour of preschool children.Poster. 4 th
International Congress on Physical Education & Sport, Komotini, Grčka.
Pejčić, A. (2001). Razlike između dječaka i djevojčica od prvog do četvrtog razreda osnovne
škole u morfološkim karakteristikama i motoričkim sposobnostima. Programiranje
opterećenja u području edukacije, sporta i sportske rekreacije
(Predavanje). Poreč:
Hrvatski savez pedagoga fizičke kulture.
Perić, D. (1989). Nivo biomotoričkih sposobnosti dece predškolskog uzrasta i pojam o sebi:
magistarska teza. Beograd: Fakultet fizičke kulture.
Perić, D. (1991). Komparativna analiza metodoloških sistema eksplikacije biomotoričkog statusa
dece predškolskog uzrasta. Doktorska disertacija, Beograd: Fakultet fizičke kulture.
Differences in children’s motor abilities
Pešić, V. (1984). Fizički razvoj i biomotoričke sposobnosti dece predškolskog uzrasta 3-4 godine
starosti. Zagreb: II Kongres PFKJ. 138-141.
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Pedagogija.65, 148-158.
Stanković, S. (1976). Prilog proučavanju uticajasvakodnevnog organizovanog fizičkog vežbanja
napoboljšanje određenih morfoloških I funkcionalnih varijabli i motoričkih sposobnosti kod
dece starijeg predškolskog uzrasta: magistarska teza. Beograd: Fakultet za fizičko
Temple, V. A., Crane, J. R., Brown, A., Williams, B.-L., & Bell, R. I. (2014).Recreational
activities and motor skills of children in kindergarten. Physical Education and Sport
Pedagogy(ahead-of-print), 1-13
Research article
Volumen 5, No. 2, 2013, 34-41
UDC: 796.012.1-053.5:159.922.72
Filip Sadri, Milica Bogdanovski, Ivo Sadri
Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Novi Sad
Since previous studies suggest a relationship between motor and cognitive development in
children, a research was conducted in order to examine the differences in motor skills of children
with different levels of intellectual ability. In a sample of 88 respondents, boys and girls aged 7,
an assessment of motor skills was performed by using the battery of seven motor tests and
assessment of intellectual abilities by using the test of Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices.
Respondents were divided into three groups according to the results of the test. The MANOVA
showed that there were no statistically significant differences in the area of motor abilities of
children of different intellectual levels, but there were differences at the univariate level regarding
the tests Hand Tapping and Seat-and-Reach.
Keywords: Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices, motor skills, intelligence, younger school
Current theoretical approaches and empirical findings from the research conducted over the last
decade indicate that physical activity may contribute to the improvement and preservation of
cognitive abilities during the human life. Improvement of physical abilities is associated with
improvement of brain tissue during aging, while also the functional aspects of a higher order,
which are involved in the control of cognition are improved (Gomez-Pinilla & Hillman, 2013).
Cognitive behavioral model emphasizes the role of cognitive functioning that contributes to the
emergence of emotional and behavioral disorders. Incorrect assessment of social situations, the
tendency self-underestimation, unreasonable sense of guilt for errors, are examples of
dysfunctional cognitive processes. Cognitive abilities are responsible for forecasting, planning,
decision-making processes, as well as comparisons and information processing along with the use
of long-term memory in resolving problem situations.
Motor skills play a key role in the functioning of the child regarding the social and
emotional area (domain). Weaker motor coordination in children can affect their feelings that
they are less able than their peers, but also affects their academic achievements, and even the
choice of recreational activities. The relationship between motor skills and social and emotional
functioning is usually considered indirect. In other words, poor motor skills can lead to poor
* Coresponding author: Filip Sadri, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Lovcenska 16,
21000 Novi Sad, Serbia
© 2013 Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
Differences in motor abilities of children regarding their intellectual ability
achievements in individual and team sports, which can reduce the feeling of competence in
children and increase their anxiety and depression (Cummins et al., 2005). Children with poor
motor coordination are less competent in their ability to recognize emotions. Study by Cummins
and associates (2005) found that children with motor coordination problems are less accurate
(correct) and slower in reacting to facial emotional signs. Children with coordination disorder
may be at a disadvantage during the social process with their peers, as they may have more
difficulties in detecting emotional states of others and in use of this information for their behavior
in the social environment.
Sport and physical activity are positively correlated with children's physical and mental
health (Strong et al., 2005). However, the increased participation of children in sport and other
forms of physical activity also leads to improved cognitive functioning of children, better
information processing, development of memory, concentration, behavior. There is sufficient
evidence on the relationship between physical activity and improvement of cognitive skills and
executive functioning and control. Executive functioning refers to the cognitive processes needed
for target oriented cognition and behaviors that develop through childhood and adolescence
(Best, 2010; Hillman, Erickson, & Kramer, 2008; Hillman, Pontifex, Raine, Castelli, Hall, &
Kramer, 2009; Kamijo et al., 2011). Most motor tasks require precisely those processes, and
many of them contain problematic component, for example, numerous situations in the sports
game, creating their own solutions to overcome the track with obstacles, etc. The motor
coordination tests also consist of a kind of problem situations that need to be addressed
effectively (Dolenc, Pistotnik, & Pinter, 2002). In addition, individuals who are physically more
active are able to process more information faster. These data suggest that physical activity may
contribute to the improvement of cognitive skills, allows effective response to a given challenge
with good results in carrying out the task. New evidence shows that physical exercise exerts its
effects on cognition, by influencing the molecular events related to the control of energy
metabolism and synaptic plasticity, and their processes (Ang, Tai Lo, Seet & Soong, 2010). An
important initiator of the molecular mechanism includes physical exercises because the brain
(CNS) is a derived neurotrophic factor, which acts within the interface between the metabolism
and plasticity. Recent studies show that exercise along with other aspects of lifestyle affects the
molecular basis of cognition (Baker, et al., 2010; Berchtold, Chinn, Chou, Kesslak & Cotman,
2010; Gomez-Pinilla & Hillman, 2013; Kamijo & Takeda, 2009). In addition, selected dietary
factors have similar mechanisms as exercises and, in some cases, can complement the effect of
exercise. So, exercise and diet are non-invasive and effective strategies of combating neurological
and cognitive disorders.
In many studies the relations were found between mobility and intelligence (Dolenc,
Pistotnik, & Pinter, 2002; Hariri et al., 2003; Planinšec, 2002; Stojanović M. Stojanović, M.,
2006; Stojanović, Rubin, Stojanović & Fratrić,
2006). The motor testing of children
systematically uses appropriate measuring instruments, or tests, in order to quantify motor
behavior. Differences in motor behavior are attributed to differences in coordination, explosive
strength, speed of alternative movements, balance and flexibility, exogenous factors, as well as
the functioning of the CNS during the manifestation of certain abilities in motor behavior. Even
less mentally disabled persons are significantly inferior in motor skills compared to the standard
population, where the level of motor behavior in less mentally disabled person falls behind 3-4
years compared to the standard population of the same age (Nićin, 2000). The connection
between intellectual and motor functioning was first detected and confirmed in samples of
persons who are mentally disabled (Bala, Sabo & Popović, 2005). Bearing in mind the results of
previous research, a research was conducted in order to examine the differences in motor skills of
children aged 7 depending on the level of cognitive ability.
F. Sadri
Data were collected as part of the research project “Anthropological status and physical activity
of the population of Vojvodina”, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education in Novi Sad.
The analysis was conducted on a sample of 88 students (43 boys and 45 girls) aged 7,
from the cities across Vojvodina (Novi Sad, Bačka Palanka, Sombor, Sremska Mitrovica and
Zrenjanin) which were included in the testing within the research project “Anthropological status
and physical activity of the population of Vojvodina”. Testing of motor abilities was performed
on the basis of the reduced model designed by Kurelić et al. (1975) with 7 motor tests.
Motor tests that were applied in this study were: 1) Obstacle course backwards test -
coordination of body and reorganization of movement stereotypes; 2) Hand tapping test -
movement frequency; 3) Sit-and-reach test - flexibility; 4) Standing broad jump test - explosive
leg strength; 5) 20 meters run test - running speed; 6) Trunk lifting test - repetitive strength of
the trunk and 7) Bent arm hang test - static strength of arms and shoulders.
To test the intelligence the Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices were used (Fajgelj,
Bala and Tubić, 2007). Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices are one of the most commonly-
used tests for testing the intelligence of preschool and young school-age children in our country.
Based on the results achieved by the respondents during the test, they were divided into three
groups: the first group consisted of respondents whose result was located within the first quarter,
the second group consisted of respondents who achieved results in the second and third quarters,
and in the third group were classified respondents with the best results (the fourth quarter). The
first group contained 11 respondents (from 55 to 81 of IQ), the second group was made of 56
respondents (86 to 107 of IQ) and the third group was made of 21 respondents (109 of IQ and
To determine the quantitative differences, univariate and multivariate analysis of variance
were applied.
The results of testing by using the multivariate analysis of variance showed that at the
level of the whole system of motor variables, there was no statistically significant differences
between respondents with different levels of intellectual abilities (F = 1.446; P = .138). However,
at the univariate level, statistically significant differences were obtained in two of the seven
motor variables: Hand tapping and Sit-and-reach (Table 1). From the table we can conclude that
the second group (AVERAGE) achieved the best mean values regarding the variable Hand
tapping, while the third group achieved the best results regarding the variable seat-and-reach
Table 1. Results of multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) regarding the motor skills in
all analyzed groups
20m dash (0,1s)
Obstacle course backwards (0,1s)
2.804 3.730 .028
Hand taping (freq.)
Differences in motor abilities of children regarding their intellectual ability
11.321 3.280 .042
Seat-and-reach (cm)
Standing broad jump (cm)
Bent arm hang (0,1s)
Trunk lifting (freq.)
F = 1.446
P = .138
Legend: A - mean (AS1 - Below average; AS2 - Average and AS3 - Above average); S -
standard deviation (S1- below average; S2 Average and S3 Above average); f - f-test - value of
relations between between-groups and within groups variability regarding the individual
variables; p - level of statistical significance of f-test; F - F-test - value of relations between
between-groups and within groups variability regarding the system of variables; P - level of
statistical significance of F-test
In order to identify groups between which there are statistically significant differences in
variables Hand tapping and Seat and reach, LSD - Post Hoc test was applied (Table 2).
Statistically significant differences were noticed between the first and second group regarding the
HAND TAPPING motor test. The differences are in favor of the second group (AVERAGE).
When it comes to SEAT-AND-REACH motor test, statistically significant differences were
observed between the first and the third group, and the difference is in favor of a third group
Tabela 2. LSD - Post Hoc test
Pairs of
AM error
The aim of the study was to analyze differences in motor skills of children aged 7, with different
levels of intellectual ability.
By reviewing the results obtained, we can conclude that there is no statistically significant
difference in the general area of motor skills in children with different levels of intelligence. At
the univariate level, however, there is a statistically significant difference regarding the two
variables: Hand tapping and Sit-and-reach. Most authors agree with the fact that there are general
mechanisms that are responsible for the speed of information flow, and that the tasks with
measuring the information flow rate, even the easiest ones, are significantly positively correlated
with general intelligence factor (Vernon & Mori, 1992). It is concluded that complex motor tasks
have a stronger relationship with cognitive abilities, i.e. their performance involves cognitive
processes to a greater extent, while the process of performing a simple motor tasks is at the lower,
elementary level, where the share of intellectual processes is minimized.
F. Sadri
Van der Fels and associates (In press) have obtained different results regarding the
relations between the basic categories of motor and cognitive abilities, resulting in interesting
conclusions: fine motor skills, bilateral coordination of the body and movement performance in a
given time interval showed the strongest correlation with cognitive abilities. Fine motor skills
involve those tasks that require fine motor precision and integration; bilateral coordination of the
body, includes the tasks of coordination of the whole body and require the involvement of almost
all body parts and bilateral coordination of upper and lower extremities; movement performance
in a given time interval includes the tasks (coarse/fine motor skills or tasks that involve object
control) where the time needed by the child to perform a number of movements is essential, and
these tasks are often divided into repetitive movements and sequencing movements. Repetitive
movements are simple movements that are repeated as quickly as possible. Sequential
movements include alternating patterns of complex movements executed as quickly as possible.
However, balance, strength and agility are less associated with cognitive abilities. This can be
explained by the fact that the first group of motor skills (fine motor skills, bilateral coordination
of the body and movement performance in a given time interval) requires a higher level of
cognitive demand. Motor skills that show a higher correlation with cognitive abilities can be
interpreted as complex motor skills and they require cognitive abilities of higher order. Motor
tasks that show lower correlation with cognitive abilities require less cognitive engagement.
Children of higher intellectual capacity are better and more effective in solving motor
problems and tasks set before them, especially if they are under significant influence of the
mechanism for movement structuring and mechanisms for regulation of excitation intensity
(Fratrić et al., 2012). Without the mutual effect of motor and cognitive abilities it is hard to
imagine most human activities, and this relationship lasts a lifetime. Acquisition of intellectual
and motor abilities takes place in a very similar way, i.e. similar mechanisms govern both types
of abilities (Paz et al., 2004). In addition to its well-established role in balance, coordination and
other motor skills, the cerebellum plays a prominent role in a number of cognitive and emotional
functions, and is also associated with the ability to learn complex motor tasks (Tiemeierisar.,
2010). Cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength and power, and physical activity are
associated with learning capability, which was consistent with the hypothesis that physical
activity improves academic achievement. They concluded that physical activity and physical
fitness, at best, can contribute to improved academic achievements
(Dwyer et al.,
Cognitive abilities include mental processing of information and include processes such as
attention, perception, memory, reasoning and problem solving. These obtained results coincide
with some previous research (Stojanović, M. & Stojanović, M., 2006). The highest partial
influence on intelligence was achieved by the variable for assessing the frequency of movements,
which is consistent with previous research by local authors (Stojanović, M. V., Rubin et al.,
2006), who also concluded that in preschool children intelligence has the greatest impact on the
movements frequency (hand tapping), because it is the ability that is under the direct influence of
the mechanism for the synergistic regulation and regulation of tone. In rapid execution of
individual movements the mechanism of regulation of tone, whose main function is the activation
of motor units, has a special role. In addition, the centers located in subcortical areas include
regulatory mechanisms of different degree of excitation depending on the load, during the
performance of the movement (special importance is given to the function of the reticular
formation in the facilitation effect to the cerebrum cortex areas). This assertion is confirmed by
research by Jakšić, Kolar and Cvetković (2007) who have obtained results confirming the
influence of the intelligence to the motor ability of movement frequency (hand tapping) among
children aged 5 to 6.5 years.
The results obtained in this study do not coincide with the results from the most of the
previous studies. This fact can be attributed to the specifics of both the sample of respondents and
measuring instruments themselves. The results of study (Colquitt et al., 2011) indicate that other
indicators of physical fitness may predict academic achievement in students less than 10 years of
Differences in motor abilities of children regarding their intellectual ability
age, as flexibility was a significant predictor of both language arts and mathematics achievement.
The evidence of a relationship between flexibility and academic achievement in the results also
provides support for the role of quality physical education in schools. The results of another study
(Adesa et al., 2014) showed that there was an improvement of push up, trunk lift, nine meter
running and sit and reach test for experimental group when it was compared from pre to post test
measurements. The control group also improved in some aspects but it was not that much. The
academic results showed that experimental group's academic achievement were greatly improved
from first to second semester. But in control group the mean value of academic achievement from
first to second semester was decreased. The significance results showed that experimental group
improved academic achievement due to participation of physical activities.
Regular participation in physical activity has a significant effect on the improvement and
enhancement of physical fitness performance and improve academic achievements. The school
participants, who take part in the regular physical activities can improve their physical fitness and
academic achievement. Participation in regular exercises is very important for school children for
overall development.
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