Barrett, D. D. (2006). Effects of neuromuscular training and resistance training on muscle strength and endurance development in children. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 1485.

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of an 8-week comprehensive neuromuscular training program and a resistance training program on measures of muscular strength and endurance in children. Ss were 63 fourth- and fifth-grade children (M = 30, F = 33). No S had previous experience with resistance training and/or neuromuscular training. Ss were divided into three equal groups: neuromuscular training, resistance training, and non-training control. The neuromuscular training group performed 10 exercises that worked the major muscle groups of the body while using a BOSU™. The resistance training group performed 10 exercises using child-size, plate-loaded weight machines, which used muscles similarly to the neuromuscular training group. Ss trained twice a week with at least 48 hours between each session. Muscular strength was measured while performing several exercises with a dynamometer and a two-handed underhand medicine ball toss. Ss muscular endurance was measured with the total amount of push-ups and curl-ups.

There was a significant difference between pre- and post-test results on all muscular strength and endurance variables for both neuromuscular- and resistance-training groups. Neuromuscular training produced significantly greater scores in medicine ball toss, push-ups, and sit-ups.

Implication. Children gain significantly in muscular strength and endurance using neuromuscular training and/or weights. Neuromuscular training, which involves more total body activity in its exercises, also produces significantly more gains in several measures than the more limited weight training.

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