Flexibility Assessment of Young Wrestlers
Keywords:range of motion, developmental years, measurement, combat sports
Flexibility plays an important role in the effective execution of various skills in wrestling, and its assessment
helps to guide the training process more effectively. The purpose of the present study was to assess flexibility levels and examine the effect of age (children - adolescents) and gender (boys - girls) on the development of flexibility in young wrestlers. Thirty female (15 children, 15 teenagers) and 30 male wrestlers (15 children, 15 teenagers) voluntarily took part in the research. In the participants, the flexibility of the hamstrings and the lumbar spine was measured with the sit-and-reach test and the flexibility of the shoulder joint with the back scratch test. To examine the effect of age and gender on the flexibility of young wrestlers, an analysis of variance with two factors (2-way ANOVA) "age" x "gender" (2: children - teenagers x 2: boys - girls) was used. Additionally, paired t-tests were used to investigate differences in flexibility between the two hands. From the statistical processing of the data, both in the sit and reach test and in the back scratch test, no significant interaction of the factors "age" and "gender" (p>.05) was observed, nor was there a main effect of both the factor "age" (p>.05) as well as the factor "gender" (p>.05). In contrast, a statistically significant difference in flexibility was observed between the two hands, with the right hand being superior to the left hand (p<.05) regardless of gender and age category of assessment. In conclusion, the present study presents indicative values for evaluating the flexibility of young male and female wrestlers that could be used to design, implement and guide effective training programs for flexibility increase and performance enhancement.