Technical excelling model for modern fitness aerobics

Dr.Hab., Professor L.D. Nazarenko1
Dr.Hab., Professor I.N. Timoshina1
Postgraduate I.A. Mingalisheva1
1Ulyanovsk State Pedagogical University named after I.N. Ulyanov, Ulyanovsk

Keywords: fitness aerobics, sports training, methods, educational experiment.

Background. Modern fitness aerobics is ranked among the complex-coordination-intensive athletic sport disciplines and develops a wide range of jumping, rotating, static/ dynamic balancing, postural control and other skills and qualities. The movement expressivity in this sport is attained by a special focus on the plasticity of the technically complex movement sequences, with the performance quality ensured by great inspiration, artistry and grace that helps the athletes demonstrate their artistic skills, creativity, musicality and perfect artistry with its emotional expressivity. Success in the sport requires hard training work from the highly gifted and skilled gymnasts specialized in this sport discipline.

Objective of the study was to test benefits of a new technical excellence model for the modern fitness aerobics on a sample of the 15-18 year old female athletes.

Methods and structure of the study. Sampled for the new technical excellence model testing experiment were the 15-18 year old Class I and Canditate Master female athletes (n=28) split up into Experimental (EG) and Reference(RG) groups of 14 people each. Physical fitness of the sample was tested by 100m sprint (s); 2000m race (min); standing long jump (cm); supine trunk lifts (count); and prone push-ups (count) tests. Choreographic mastery and musicality of the groups was rated by an expert team of coaches by the static/ dynamic postural controls; lower/ upper limbs movement harmony of the movement amplitudes; movement agreement with the musical illustration; and emotionality/ expressivity scores on a 5-point scale.

In more detail, the choreographic mastery and musicality was rated by the abilities to:

– Demonstrate high static/ dynamic postural control skills in every movement regardless of the difficulty level;

– Perform every jumping, dancing, acrobatic, balancing, postural and rotation element of the routine with due pacing, timing and strength; and

– Focus on the movement aesthetics with the performance emotionality, rhythms and pace perfectly and fluently matching with the musical illustration.

The performance was scored as follows: 5 points for the ability to emphasize the beauty of every move, with the performance expressivity underlined by the ideal postural control, clear lines and plasticity, harmony of the lower/ upper limb movements and body language; ease and cleanness of ever element of the routine; 4 points for the fair harmony of movements and musical illustration; good mastery in the symmetric and asymmetric techniques in every pose and balance; good aesthetic impression; fair movement plasticity and expressivity, with every element fairly well harmonized with the musical accents; 3 points for the satisfactory conveyance of the routine and musical illustration  emotionality and technically accurate execution of every jump, dance, acrobatic, balancing, postural and rotation element with acceptable pacing, timing and strength; albeit with the stiff body language and mimics; and still imperfect harmony and fluency of elements in the routine; 2 points for poor accents in transition from one part of the routine to the other; pauses in the groups of elements and motor sequences; poor expressivity of the body language and facial expressions etc.; and 1 point for poor performance with muscular stiffness, non-fluent dancing sequences, poor harmony of movements with music; insufficient creativity etc.

The RG was trained as recommended by the Federation of Gymnastics of the RF; and the EG trainings were driven by  the new fitness aerobics excellence training model combining the traditional physical conditioning tools with the musicality, movement expressivity and artistry excellence training components. The model included special practices to advance the general movement culture and expressivity to convey the routine emotionality by harmonized body language. The EG trainings made an emphasis on series of jumps, rotations etc. designed to express excitement, freedom, joy and ease in the most artistic way; dynamic/ static poses to advance movement grace, plasticity and expressivity with an emphasis on the mimics and gestures; and with the individual progress monitoring facilitated by mirror walls.

The progress was further facilitated by the active game components with competitions to improve the accuracy and expressivity of every element in the routines. A special attention was paid to the quality of musical illustrations, with the best accompanists engaged in the trainings. The trainees were encouraged to creatively find and combine the movement elements to have them perfectly harmonized with the music. The EG musicality was excelled by concentration on the rhythms and musical accents, with the most successful findings appreciated by applauses. The routines were reasonably customized to the trainees’ phenotypes, with every movement element controlled for the pacing, timing, jump height, amplitude etc. – to have it perfectly harmonized with the musical illustration.

The movement rhythms and plasticity was excelled by special training exercises plus reasonable choice of the musical illustrations to secure high harmony of the movements and music. A special emphasis was made on the classical/ popular/ folk dancing elements with the relevant musical illustrations plus the musicality excellence trainings viewed as the core element of the training and competitive performance improvement process. The highly versatile and dynamic movement sequences with expressive poses, high harmony of the lower/ upper limb movements and fluent dancing sequences required excellent motor and movement coordination abilities. On the whole, the trainings were geared to secure fast progress of the 15-18 year-olds in the trainings and competitive performance with improvements in fitness aerobics culture, expressivity, choreographic mastery and musicality.

Study findings and discussion. The pre- versus post-experimental tests showed progress of both groups in the physical fitness tests, with the EG tested significantly better in every test. Thus in the speed-rating 100m sprint test the RG made progress from 15.42±0.26s to 15.17±0.19s (р>0.05); versus the EG progress from 15.43±0.20s to 15.03±0.26s (р>0.05). In the speed-strength rating standing long jump test the RG made progress from 194.6±9.3cm to 198.3±10.6cm (р>0.05); versus the EG progress from 192.3±11.6cm to 201.7±16.8cm (р<0.05).

Furthermore, the pre-experimental choreographic mastery and musicality tests found insignificant intergroup differences (р>0.05), whilst the post-experimental tests showed progress of both groups, with the EG tested significantly better in every test. Thus the pre- versus post-experimental static/ dynamic postural control test showed progress of the RG from 3.51±0.26 to 3,70±0,23 points (р>0.05); versus the EG progress from 3.47±0.17 to 4.37±0.21 points (р<0.05). The movement and music harmony tests showed progress of the RG from 3.64±0.25 to 3.82±0.15 points; versus the EG progress from 3.65±0.22 to 4.45±0.29 points (р<0.05).

Conclusion. Special provisions and practices to facilitate progress of fitness aerobic groups in every training and competitive performance aspect were designed to secure competitive success for the trainees, with the wide range of customizable physical practices applied to develop muscular strength, movement speed, dexterity, flexibility, expressivity and a variety of special movement coordination qualities for fast progress in the artistic and acrobatic gymnastic elements, choreographic mastery, artistry, classical and folk dancing elements and other skills and qualities critical for success in the modern fitness aerobics.

The study was completed pursuant to the State Order # 6. 7801.2017/БЧ under the ‘Functionality Control to Secure the Athletic Adaptability in Different Sport Disciplines and Skill Classes’ Research Project


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Popularity of the modern fitness aerobics notably grows in comparison with the other physical education and sport disciplines due to its high accessibility, entertaining effects, emotionality, focus on the mental, emotional, volitional and motivational aspects and qualities; and the attention to the multisided harmonic development and fully-fledged personality formation agenda. The study offers an integrated approach to the fitness aerobics training process; considers the key educational provisions for the multisided general and special progress in the fitness aerobics practices; gives a high priority to the choreographic, musical, artistic mastery excelling elements via kinesiological resource mobilizing and analyzing efforts; makes provisions for the faster progress in the high-difficulty choreographic routines; considers the role of musical illustrations with an emphasis on the aesthetic and entertaining effects of every movement element/ sequence and expressivity of ever posture and gesture; helps build up and excel the emotional impulse conveyance skills; and highlights the individual gifts of every artist. The new technical excellence model testing experiment showed its benefits and underlined that it offers ample opportunities for the individual physical, intellectual and creative resource mobilizing and progress in the context of the values and priorities of the modern physical education and sports service.