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Volume 7, Issue 1

January 2020

2020 REVIEW BOARD Jerry Mayo, Ph.D. Tamika Bradley, Ph.D. Brandi Pickett, Ph.D. Evelyn Gordon, Ph.D. Brian Lyons, Ph.D. Laura Prior, Ph.D. Brittnee Smith Alecia Stapp, Ed.D Todd Davis, Ed.D.


Integrating Physical Education into a Minority Male STEM Program: A Programmatic Review Tamika R. Bradley, Ph.D. Interim Associate Dean College of Education and Human Development Jackson State University Antwon D. Woods, Ph.D. Program Director Sport Management Belhaven University ABSTRACT The benefits of physical activity are manifold and are often cited within the context of physical health. In addition to reducing the risk of type II diabetes, obesity, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, physical activity, when purposefully designed can improve psychosocial outcomes such as self-concept, social behaviors, goal orientation and self-efficacy. When blended with play, physical, cognitive and social skills can be enhanced and strengthened in the personal development of children. National efforts to improve education and level the playing field for underserved populations to meet the rising demand of available jobs—specifically in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)—are illustrated through various programs designed to engage this population through free access to technology resources and experiential learning. While many programs focus solely on academic enrichment, the VILMM program at this urban university embarked upon a holistic approach of student development which included the integration of physical activity and play within the modifications of the program. Thus, this article presents the programmatic design of the VILMM program with emphasis on the benefits of physical activity and the implications of its integration in program outcomes.


Physical activity has been highly esteemed as a tool to improve national health outcomes (Physical Activity, 2008). The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report reinforces recommendations of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines which report that physical activity reduces the risk of a large number of diseases and provides numerous benefits including some instances of immediate benefits when physical activity occurs on the same day (2018). Within a physical education framework, physical activity is designed to address the cognitive (thinking), affective (social/emotional), and psychomotor (kinesthetic/ physical) domains of learning--which embraces the “whole child” approach. This concept provided the optimal environment to thread physical activity into the programmatic design of an urban minority male science, engineering, technology and math (STEM) program focused on student engagement. Moreover, this exposition provides the process by which the program design was developed: presenting the need for STEM engagement in this population, and the inclusion of physical activity in program modifications as a platform for student learning. The Need The drive to increase opportunities and level the playing field for underserved students to meet the demand of available jobs in science and technology are overarching goals of many STEM based programs as career opportunities in STEM disciplines abound. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics report over 8.8 million jobs in STEM in May of 2016, representing 6.2% of U.S. employment (Bureau, 2017). While wages for STEM vary, ninety-three out of one hundred STEM occupations had wages over the national average with STEM occupations nearly doubling non-STEM occupations. African American males make up 5.6% of the U.S. population but continue to be underrepresented in STEM making up 2.9% of the engineering workforce and 2.7% of the combined science and engineering workforce (Fayer,S., Lacey, A., & Watson, A., 2017). STEM Programming This STEM program, supported by the Verizon Innovative Learning Initiative, is one of 16 minority male programs (VILMM) specifically designed to increase STEM engagement in middle school minority males at historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic serving institutions (“Hundreds,” 2015). The Verizon Innovative Learning Initiative is a $160 million dollar commitment designed to provide unique opportunities through free access to technology and resources through immersive hands-on experiences in STEM to students in need. Verizon Foundation has invested in a myriad of programming such as Innovative Learning Schools and Innovation Learning Labs that utilize various aspects of encouragement from mentors, parents, role models, and teachers to see the potential of student success in STEM careers (“Building,” n.d.) The VILMM programming at this urban institution consists of traditional and innovative STEM content including mathematics, 3-D printing, virtual/augmented reality, drones, coding, and app development. The STEM content is embedded within an informal setting of learning and framed within novel supports of tiered mentoring, middle school liaisons, professional development, professional learning communities, and character education, entrepreneurship and physical education for personal development. These added elements to STEM content collectively reflect the differentiation of this VILMM program with an integration of physical activity as a key component (Table 1). Literature Review Benefits of Physical Activity and Play The benefits of physical activity are numerous and are often cited within the context of physical health (Janssen & Leblanc, 2010). Specifically, physical activity has been cited to reduce the risk of obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and the metabolic syndrome (Physical Activity Facts, n.d.) as well as improve other components of health related fitness such as flexibility, aerobic capacity, and muscular strength and endurance (Physical Activity, 2008). The benefits of physical activity extend beyond those most commonly cited and extend to improvements in mood and behavior, as well as reductions in anxiety and stress (Physical Activity, 2008; Strong, Malina, Blimkie, & Trudue, 2005). Integral to the learning environment, play provides opportunities for cognitive, social and emotional development (Bakirtzoglou & Ioannou, 2012). Play helps enhance physical skills such as gross and fine motor skills (Trawick-Smith, 2014; White, 2012); cognitive concepts of memory, attention, problem solving (Michael, Merlo, and Basch 2015; Association, 2010); effective communication; and social skills of fair play, negotiation, rules, roles, and cooperation (White, 2012). Physical


Table 1. VILMM Programmatic Design

education and play can often get lost in the ever constant world of high stakes testing—often times with reading and mathematics as the focus with instructional time taken from other areas (Koretz, 2017). Yet, play can be rewarding and serve to strengthen confidence, self-esteem and resilience in youth and provide opportunities for children to develop friendships and a sense of belonging to a peer group (Bakirtzoglou, et al., 2012). Kohl (2013) asserts that physical activity programming, when specifically designed to do so, can improve psychosocial outcomes such as self-concept (Strong, et al., 2005), social behaviors (Gano-Overway, 2013), goal orientation, and self-efficacy (Manley, et al., 2013). Physical activity has also been shown to have benefits in academic performance (Michael, et al., 2015; Association, 2010). A 2015 study by Howie, Schatz, & Pate found acute effects of classroom exercise breaks improved math performance in 9-12 year olds. These findings are significant within the context of STEM engagement, as the academic challenges of science and mathematics courses along with the technical nature of STEM content pose some difficulty in sustaining interest in the middle school population. Further, middle school has been identified as a significant transitional time for student content interest and STEM career interest


particularly for minority males (Ladeji-Osias, 2017); and STEM interest—especially in the middle school years—are thought to decline according to a 2013 study exploring indicators of STEM career interest in middle school students in the United States (Mills, 2013). Current research, nevertheless, reports that experiences in STEM enrichment programs as early as elementary and middle school have shown improvements in student interest in STEM (Berry III, 2008; Davis, 2014; Moore III, 2006; Stone, 2008 as cited in Ladeji-Osias, et al., 2017). Further, STEM programs are able to make math interesting and relevant to its minority male participants as well as enhance minority male performance in math and science (Ladeji-Osias, et al., 2017). Moreover, the added benefits of physical activity within a STEM program design ultimately serve to strengthen impact in student engagement in this population. Social Cognitive Theory, Creativity, Motivation and Play Key components of the VILMM programming include exposure to STEM content, immersion in the university culture and environment, and access to technology resources and are loosely theoretically supported by the social cognitive theory. Student learning is enhanced (cognition) by modeling exhibited behaviors of STEM professionals and STEM mentors (behavioral) and engaging them in an informal environment embedded with supports (for improved self-efficacy). Strategies to engage students in STEM abound and can be grounded in creativity, motivation and play. In Mill’s review of creativity and motivation in her 2013 study, she reported that motivation “plays a role in academic achievement and student enjoyment in educational activities.”(Riegle-Crumb et al. as cited in Mills, 2013); her study also presented the idea that social-environmental factors influence intrinsic motivation which “acts as a mediator and precursor to creative performance” (Hill and Amabile, 1993 as cited in Mills, 2013). The concept of play, by Rieber’s definition, incorporates intrinsic motivation, pleasurable for its own sake, voluntary participation, and some level of active, or physical engagement (1996). Blending the attributes of creativity, motivation, and play results in an informal learning environment which ultimately allows students to approach learning experientially, or with enjoyment, as opposed to the traditional view of learning as work or a requirement of formalized schooling. Literature supporting STEM enrichment programs improving minority male achievement in mathematics and science identify faculty and staff playing key roles in student success through experiential learning such as making math and science relevant to the learner (Ladeji-Osias, et al., 2017). Program Data This VILMM program, in its third year of operation, offers summer enrichment and academic year (AY) support through two-year cycles of engagement (Tables 2 and 3). Participants completed a survey at the


beginning and end of each program phase that include questions that gauge STEM interest and assess skill proficiency in an effort to document program impact. Figure 1 provides impact data of the VILMM summer enrichment program reporting the percentages of participating students with increased STEM proficiencies in the assessed areas of problem solving, technology proficiency, programming and coding skills, knowledge of digital manufacturing, and engineering proficiency; Figure 2 provides impact data on STEM content interest; and Figure 3 provides impact data on student interest in furthering their education and major interest. Figure 1. VILMM 2017 Assessed Student Impact Data


Figure 2. VILMM 2017 Self-Reported Survey Data

Figure 2. VILMM 2017 Self-Reported Survey Data

Discussion Program Modifications-Integration of Physical Activity In an effort to identify best approaches to maintain engagement of students in this population, an exploration of variables was identified as points of considerations for program design for the VILMM program at this urban university with the integration of physical education as a key programmatic component for student personal development. This precursory examination of the VILMM programmatic design provides an introductory look at the integration of physical activity into its core components. Qualitative feedback from parents, program personnel and students contributed to modifications in the program’s design (Ziker, C., Javitz, H., Fried, R. and Mitchell, N., 2016). It is posited that the addition of physical education yielded a two-fold benefit. Physical activity provided a subsequent layer of support of the learning environment for both STEM content and personal development. In its 2017 study examining student engagement in physical activity and STEM subjects, Son and colleagues found that its outdoor adventure education STEM program “provided an autonomy-supportive learning climate which consisted of experiences of optimal engagement and examination.”


Adding physical education also was designed to directly address many of the challenges presented by Sliwa et al. (2017) in engaging students in physical education in urban settings e.g. larger class sizes, limited equipment, lack of dedicated outdoor space and little to no moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The addition of the middle school liaison (MSL)—certified K-12 teachers—was also added to address observed engagement gaps. The VILMM program attributes its growth (see Tables 2 and 3 for program enrollment data) to program modifications resulting from findings from the review presented in this article. Traditional and innovative STEM content was provided to new and returning middle school minority males during a 2-3 week summer enrichment program. Students are introduced to 3D printing, coding and app development as beginners and advance to virtual/augmented reality, drone flight, and robotics as returning students. During the academic year, students engage in independent STEM activities monthly that maintain and build on current acquired STEM skills that incorporate design thinking, and connect as global citizens through the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The integration of physical education extends through these activities with attention to SDG 3 that targets good health and well-being, and SDG 11 that promote physical activities such as biking and walking as mechanisms to support cities and communities (“About the Sustainable”, n.d.). Math was added as a traditional stand-alone STEM content component to counter the trends of declined interest in this population and to serve to strengthen opportunities for career pathways in STEM. Math concepts were integrated within structured physical activity with an emphasis in making math relevant and the learning process fun (Ladeji-Osias, et al., 2017). All STEM content is co-facilitated by university STEM faculty and STEM mentors in an informal setting. Mentoring is a key element of programming--with tiered mentoring as a unique facet in the programmatic design. Program participants are mentored by STEM undergraduate college students who are supervised by K-12 teachers serving as middle school liaisons, and mentored by university STEM professors. Opportunities to build and strengthen relationships are incorporated into the program design by grouping students with select mentors with whom they remain throughout the program, and by planning time for smaller group interactions. Grouped activities, while often STEM focused, sustain the affective concepts of cooperation, teamwork, respect for others, respect for authority and rules, and fair play introduced and reinforced through physical education, physical activity, and play (White, 2012). Conclusion In conclusion, the VILMM at this urban university fully integrates physical education into its programmatic design. Physical activity is the platform by which physical, cognitive, social and communicative skills are introduced and reinforced in the personal development of program participants. Physical education professionals are included in key personnel at the administrative, university-faculty, K-12 liaison, and student mentor level, and physical activity programming is purposefully designed to ensure that the opportunities to acquire and transfer skills are readily available while providing participants with experiences that address physical education standards in the informal learning setting. While current impact data provides information regarding student interest in STEM content, career interest, and interest in furthering their education, future studies will seek to examine the impact of this integration of physical education, physical activity and play, and other program mechanisms on student engagement.


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The Single Arm Kettlebell Swing May Not Target the Posterior Chain in NaĂŻve Kettlebell Lifters

Brian C. Lyons Health, Exercise Science, and Sport Management Department University of Wisconsin-Parkside Kenosha, Wisconsin lyons@uwp.edu Jerry J. Mayo Department of Family & Consumer Sciences/Nutrition University of Central Arkansas Conway, Arkansas jmayo@uca.edu W. Steven Tucker Department of Exercise and Sport Science University of Central Arkansas Conway, Arkansas stucker@uca.edu Ben Wax Department of Kinesiology Mississippi State University Starkville, Mississippi bwax@colled.msstate.edu C. Russell Hendrix College of the Ozarks Point Lookout, Missouri crhendrix@cofo.edu


ABSTRACT Objective: The electromyographical activation patterns of eight different muscles utilized during a one-arm kettlebell swing exercise (Swing) was assessed. Design: This was a cross-sectional study where the subjects were measured one time in order that muscle activation patterns and contributions could be compared. Methods: Fourteen resistance-trained, but kettlebell naĂŻve, subjects completed the Swing using a self-selected 8-10 RM load. Trial sessions consisted of subjects performing 5 repetitions of the Swing. Mean EMG (MEMG) was used to assess the muscle activation of the biceps brachii (BB), anterior deltoid (AD), posterior deltoid (PD), erector spinae (ES), vastus lateralis (VL), biceps femoris (BF), contralateral external oblique (EO), and gluteus maximus (GM) during the lift using surface electrodes. The MEMG was normalized using maximal voluntary contractions obtained from manual muscle testing. Results: Repeated measures ANOVA revealed a significant difference in the muscle activation patterns of the AD (AD > EO), ES (ES > PD; ES > EO), and VL (VL > PD; VL > EO) during the Swing. No other differences in relative muscle contributions were revealed. Conclusion: We assert that the Swing is in fact a whole body exercise, but the relative contributions of the eight muscles tested are not equal. The Swing placed great demands on the AD, ES, and VL in naĂŻve KB lifters. This is inconsistent with the commonly touted assertion that the Swing strongly engages the GM and hamstring group. Keywords: kettlebell, electromyography, muscle activation, resistance exercise Introduction Kettlebells (KB) are commonly used in various strength and conditioning programs. KB training is very versatile in that exercises can be performed in cardinal and oblique planes with either one or two hands, either alternatively or simultaneously (Manocchia, Spierer, Lufkin, Minichiello, & Castro, 2013). In addition, training with KBs has resulted in transference of strength and power to traditional weightlifting and powerlifting performance and, therefore, may be used to infuse variety into training for persons interested in these endeavors (Lake & Lauder, 2012). Training with KBs may improve postural control (Jay et al., 2013) and they may prove useful in the treatment of injured athletes and patients (Zebis et al., 2013, Brumitt, En Gilpin, Brunette, & Meira, 2010; Crawford, 2010). Research performed using EMG has revealed that muscle contributions across the KB Swing, Clean, and Snatch vary and, therefore, the exercises, while similar, are not redundant (Lyons, Mayo, Tucker, Wax, & Hendrix, 2017). This report focuses specifically on select muscles employed while performing the Swing exercise; the Swing is often touted as focusing on the posterior chain, specifically the erector spinae, gluteus maximus, and hamstring muscle group. While it has been established that the Swing is a compound exercise utilizing much muscle mass (Lyons et al., 2017) with significant metabolic challenge (Hulsey, Soto, Koch, & Mayhew, 2012; Farrar, Mayhew, & Koch, 2010), and that it may serve to develop strength (Manocchia et al., 2013) and explosive force application (Lake & Lauder, 2012), research has not revealed the relative contributions of individual muscles during the Swing. There is a lack of empirical research investigating the assertion that the Swing specifically challenges the posterior chain, and this is especially true for those with little experience using KBs. It is the purpose of this manuscript to report the relative contributions of 8 different muscles during the Swing using electromyography


(EMG) and to specifically ascertain whether the musculature of the posterior chain is emphasized. Results from this investigation will promote a better understanding among strength and conditioning professionals and those who incorporate Swings in their exercise routines regarding individual muscle contributions; this is especially true when the lifters lack KB experience. METHODS Experimental Approach to the Problem This study used a cross-sectional design in which subjects performed Swings with a standard cast iron KB (Power Systems Inc., Knoxville, TN) during a single testing session. Muscle activation (EMG) of eight different muscles [anterior deltoid (AD), posterior deltoid (PD), biceps brachii (BB), contralateral external oblique (EO), vastus lateralis (VL), biceps femoris (BF), gluteus maximus (GM), and lumbar erector spinae (ES)] was recorded during the Swing using a submaximal load and each muscle was normalized using a maximal voluntary isometric contraction. Available KB weights ranged from 20-80lbs. in 5lb. increments. Subjects Fourteen male participants (mean ± SD age = 21.5 ± 2.03 yrs., height = 180.87 ± 3.76 cm, mass = 85.53 ± 8.11 kg, and body fat = 12.86 ± 3.32%) were recruited from a university population forming a convenience sample. Prior to the study, subjects completed a health history questionnaire and signed a statement of informed consent. The exclusion criteria of the study included: (a) musculoskeletal problems, (b) cardiorespiratory ailments, (c) metabolic disorders, (d) blood disorders, (e) history of psychological disorders, (f) use of tobacco products, (g) consuming more than 10 alcoholic beverages per week, and (h) less than six months of continuous recreational training. Subjects reported that they had not engaged in any exercise for at least 48 hours prior to testing. Subjects affirmed that they were all experienced lifters and had been resistance training for at least 6 months prior to the study. Participants rated themselves “novice” KB lifters indicating that they had little or no experience with KBs on a pre-screening survey. Thus, they were resistance trained, but KB naïve subjects. All experimental procedures were reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board prior to the initiation of the study. All subjects completed the protocol. Procedures Each participant reported to the laboratory on two separate occasions prior to the experimental trial. In the first session, participants were familiarized with the Swing. Subjects were instructed regarding proper lifting technique by an experienced KB instructor who is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Participants were allowed ample time to practice so that they felt comfortable with the lift. In the next session, technique was reviewed, practiced, and then an experimental weight was determined for the lift. Subjects were asked to determine a load that could be performed with good technique for 8-10 repetitions. If subjects could not achieve 8 repetitions, then a lighter KB was selected. If the subject could perform more than 10 repetitions, then a heavier KB was selected. An 8-10RM was employed in order to control relative intensities across subjects. Participants were not allowed into the data collection phase of the experiment until they consistently displayed proper lifting technique. Subjects’ experimental loads for the Swing averaged 51.1 ± 9.26 lbs. During the third visit, before the experimental trial, each subject warmed up by light pedaling on a stationary bike for 10 minutes. Preparation followed the protocol outlined by Criswell (2010). The participant’s skin was prepared by shaving, abrading, and cleaning with a cotton ball soaked in a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution. Eight separate bipolar surface (2.0 cm center-to-center) electrode (Noraxon Dual Electrodes, silver/ silver chloride) arrangements were placed on the right side of the body over the muscle bellies of the anterior deltoid (AD), posterior deltoid (PD), biceps brachii (BB), vastus lateralis (VL), gluteus maximus (GM), biceps femoris (BF), lumbar erector spinae (ES), and the left side contralateral external oblique (EO) according to the recommendations of Cram (Criswell, 2010). The EO electrodes were placed on the left side of the body, as the left EO was expected to be more active because it acts as a stabilizer for the muscles on the right side of the body. The electrodes for the AD muscle were placed on the anterior aspect of the arm, 4 cm below the clavicle, and approximately parallel to the muscle fibers. The electrodes for the PD muscle were placed 2 cm inferior to the lateral border of the spine of the scapula, and angled at an oblique angle toward the arm so that they run parallel to the muscle fibers. The electrodes for the BB muscle were placed over the longitudinal axis 1/3 the distance from the fossa cubit to the acromion process, starting at the fossa cubit. The electrodes for


the VL muscle were placed over the lateral portion of the muscle approximately 33% of the distance between the superior, lateral border of the patella to the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS), and angled to approximate the pennation of the muscle fibers. The electrodes for the GM muscle were placed 6 cm lateral to the gluteal fold, 50% between the sacral vertebrae and the trochanter, and obliquely angled toward the hip to run parallel to the muscle fibers. The electrodes for the BF muscle were placed on the lateral aspect of the thigh 67% of the distance between the trochanter and popliteal fossa, starting at the trochanter. The belly of the BF muscle was identified by muscle palpation while holding the subject leg at 90° and having subject flex against tester resistance. The electrodes for the ES muscle were placed 3 cm lateral to the L3 spinous process. Electrodes were also placed over the left EO muscle 50% between the ribs and the ASIS, immediately superior to the ASIS, and at an oblique angle to run parallel to the muscle fibers. The reference electrode was placed over the lateral clavicle, approximately 2 cm from the sternoclavicular joint. Interelectrode impedance was kept below 2000 Ω by shaving the area and careful skin abrasion. The EMG signal was pre-amplified (gain 1000x) using a differential amplifier (MyoResearch XP, NORAXON EMG & Sensor Systems, Scottsdale, AZ, bandwidth 10 – 500 Hz). Subjects then performed 3, 5-second trials of a maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) against manual resistance from the researcher for each of the 8 muscles. All MVIC trials were performed by the same researcher and were based on standard muscle-testing techniques (Kendall et al., 2005). For the BB, the subject was seated with the elbow flexed to 90º and the forearm supinated. With one hand the researcher stabilized the distal end of the posterior humerus at the epicondyles while the hand provided resistance to the anterior distal end of the forearm while the subject attempted to flex the elbow. With the subject seated, the AD was tested with the glenohumeral joint abducted to 70º with 20º of flexion and the humerus in slight external rotation. The researcher stabilized the posterior scapula with one hand and provided downward resistance to the middle portion of the humerus while the subject attempted to abduct the shoulder. The position for the PD was identical to the anterior deltoid, except the humerus was abducted to 70º with 20º of extension. For the ES, the subject was placed prone on an examination table with the hands behind the head. With the researcher stabilizing the lower extremities, the subject raised the trunk from the table and held the position. Due to the risk of injury, no manual resistance was applied. The VL was tested with the subject seated and the knee in full extension. The researcher used one hand to stabilize the upper leg and provided resistance with the other hand proximal to the subject’s ankle. For the BF, the subject lay prone on an examination table with the knee flexed to 70º and the hip externally rotated to 20º. The researcher stabilized the lateral hip with one hand and resisted knee flexion by placing the other hand proximal to the ankle. The EO was tested with the subject supine on an examination table with the hands behind the head. The researcher stabilized the lower extremities while the subject flexed and rotated the trunk. In order to minimize the risk of injury, this position was held and no manual resistance was provided. For the GM, the subject was positioned supine on an examination table. With the knee flexed to 90º and the hip extended off the surface of the table, the researcher stabilized the posterior, lateral aspect of the low back. The researcher’s other hand provided resistance to the posterior thigh while the subject attempted to extend the hip. A 60 second rest period between trials was administered to avoid muscle fatigue. After all of the MVIC trials were complete, a 5-minute rest period was provided prior to the experimental trials. Next, participants completed 5 separate repetitions of the Swing. A one-minute rest was provided between each repetition. The velocity of each repetition was self-paced. Completion of the exercise condition occurred when 5 successful repetitions were accomplished. EMG was recorded during each Swing. Exercise Description The Swing is a popular compound ballistic KB exercise involving the lower body, core, and upper body musculature (Lyons et al., 2017); and it is supposed to be initiated with great force so that momentum may aid in the completion of the lift. Thus, subjects were instructed to utilize their entire bodies and to explosively extend their knees and hips in order to facilitate shoulder flexion and displacement of the KB. Subjects were specifically told that the primary function of the upper extremity was to keep the KB from flying away; that they were “to attempt to move the KB with knee and hip explosion.” The Swing was initiated with the KB in the right hand, which was the dominant hand for all subjects, and feet shoulder-width apart. Starting in a squatting position with a stabilized neutral spine, participants were


specifically cued to move the KB in the sagittal plane by rapidly extending the knees and hips. Participants used the momentum gathered from the lower extremity to carry the KB to chest/face level before it was returned to the initial starting position. Instrumentation EMG data was collected using the Noraxon Telemyo 2400T system (Noraxon USA Inc., Scottsdale, AZ). The EMG signal was telemetered to a receiver that contained a differential amplifier with an input impedance of 10 M and a common mode rejection ratio of 130 dB. An amplifier gain of 1000 was used, and the signal-to noise-ratio was less than 1 V RMS of the baseline. The EMG signals were then filtered with a bandpass Butterworth filter at 15 Hz and 500 Hz. The receiver was interfaced with a Latitude C840 computer (Dell, Round Rock, TX). Disposable 4 x 2.2 self-adhesive Ag/AgCl electrodes were used for data collection. A sampling rate of 1000Hz was used for all testing. Noraxon Myovideo version 1.7 was used in conjunction with a DCR-TRV 140 digital 8 video camera (Sony Corp, Tokyo, Japan) to time match EMG data to each repetition of every KB lift. EMG files were then accessed and processed using Noraxon Myoresearch XP version 1.07. Data Processing Raw EMG data were full-wave rectified and smoothed using a moving window (50ms) with a linear algorithm. The middle 3 seconds of the MVICs were used for data analysis, allowing subjects 1 second to reach full muscle activation and eliminating the potential effects of fatigue during the last second. For each subject, the MEMG during the MVIC trials were averaged for each of the 8 muscles. EMG data for the 8 muscles were then averaged during the Swing. The MEMG activity for the 8 muscles from the Swing was normalized as a percentage of the MVIC (%MVIC). Data were exported to Excel (version 2010; Microsoft Corp, Redmond, WA) and imported to SPSS (version 20 for Windows; SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL) for analysis. Statistical Analyses In order to determine the relative activation during the Swing exercise, the mean activation levels of the eight muscles (AD, PD, BB, ES, EO, VL, BF, and GM) were analyzed using a one-way analysis of variance. The alpha level was set at p≤ 0.05, and pairwise comparisons with a Bonferroni correction were used in the event of statistical significance. RESULTS The results of the statistical analysis revealed significant differences between the muscles for the Swing (F7,91=7.283; p<0.001). Pairwise comparisons revealed the muscle activation of the AD (45.37 ± 21.72%) was greater than the EO (15.59 ± 5.91%), while the ES (60.89 ± 24.24%) and VL (56.81 ± 27.37) elicited greater muscle activation compared to the PD (23.15 ± 11.76%) and EO (15.59 ± 5.91%). There were no significant differences for BB, BF, and GM. The observed power was 0.982, and the effect size, calculated using partial eta squared, was 0.359. Table 1 provides the mean muscle activation and standard deviation values for the eight muscles. Table 1. Muscle activation values for the eight muscles during the Swing exercise. Unit = %MVIC


DISCUSSION The purpose of this investigation was to compare the muscle activation of eight muscles during the Swing exercise with a KB, and to specifically look at the relative contributions of the muscles of the posterior chain. This unique analysis provided insight into the muscle recruitment patterns during the Swing and the strategy used by the neuromuscular system to produce the movement. The results of this study demonstrate a wide range of activation levels (15.59 – 60.89%) among the muscles tested. Of the eight muscles evaluated in the current study, the AD, ES, and VL elicited the greatest relative contribution to the Swing. The relative contribution of the BF is difficult to interpret because there was great variance among the subjects indicating very diverse motor patterns. A common assumption of practitioners and coaches is that the Swing exercise produces high levels of GM and hamstring group activation concomitant with explosive hip extension; this was not the case in this study. Although subjects in this study were specifically instructed to explosively extend the hips as the KB was swung forward, it is possible that this is a learned movement pattern and the subjects, who had little KB experience, simply failed to fully engage the GM. The activation of the BF was also intriguing in that the mean %MVIC was 55.68, but there was a very large standard deviation about the mean at 46.39. Both the GM and BF are responsible for extension of the hip. The relatively low contribution of the GM and the greatly varied contribution of the BF might be explained by the lack of KB experience and, in particular, the Swing movement with these subjects. It seems these naïve KB subjects relied mostly on knee extension and shoulder flexion rather than explosive hip extension to move the KB. A longitudinal training study is necessary to investigate whether the movement patterns of the subjects would evolve to better engage the GM and BF as they learn to more forcefully extend the hips with training. Although appropriate instruction, demonstration, practice, and observation were afforded the participants, the current study utilized a sample of convenience and participants were not regular kettlebell users. It is not known whether experienced KB lifters would evince similar EMG patterns as the KB naïve individuals when performing the Swing. Further research is needed. CONCLUSION The results of the current study question whether the KB Swing is an exercise capable of activating high levels of the posterior chain muscles, at least in naïve KB lifters. The limited activation of some muscles, such as the GM, seem to contradict beliefs and anecdotal claims from instructors and practitioners. It is possible that practice over time may be required to optimize movement patterns so that the entire posterior chain is fully incorporated. The KB Swing is a functional and cost effective movement that requires proper technique and supervision. Continued research on the mechanical and physiological training effects of KB exercises is needed to provide practitioners and coaches with guidelines for evidence-based practice.


References Brumitt, J., En Gilpin, H., Brunette, M., & Meira, E. P. (2010). Incorporating kettlebells into a lower extremity sports rehabilitation program. North American Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 5(4), 257–265. Crawford, M. (2011). Kettlebells: Powerful, effective exercise and rehabilitation tools. Journal of the American Chiropractic Association, 7-11. Criswell, E. (2010). Cram’s introduction to surface electromyography. Jones & Bartlett Publishers. Farrar, R. E., Mayhew, J. L., & Koch, A. J. (2010). Oxygen cost of kettlebell swings. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 24(4), 1034-1036. Hulsey, C. R., Soto, D. T., Koch, A. J., & Mayhew, J. L. (2012). Comparison of kettlebell swings and treadmill running at equivalent rating of perceived exertion values. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 26(5), 1203-1207. Jay, K., Jakobsen, M. D., Sundstrup, E., Skotte, J. H., Jørgensen, M. B., Andersen, C. H., & Andersen, L. L. (2013). Effects of kettlebell training on postural coordination and jump performance: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 27(5), 1202-1209. Kendall, F. P., McCreary, E. K., Provance, P. G., Rodgers, M. M., & Romani, W. A. (2005). Muscles: Testing and function, with posture and pain (Kendall, Muscles). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Lake, J. P., & Lauder, M. A. (2012). Kettlebell swing training improves maximal and explosive strength. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 26(8), 2228-2233. Lyons, B. C., Mayo, J. J., Tucker, W. S., Wax, B., & Hendrix, R. C. (2017). Electromyographical Comparison of Muscle Activation Patterns Across Three Commonly Performed Kettlebell Exercises. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 31(9), 2363-2370. Manocchia, P., Spierer, D. K., Lufkin, A. K., Minichiello, J., & Castro, J. (2013). Transference of kettlebell training to strength, power, and endurance. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 27(2), 477-484. Zebis, M. K., Skotte, J., Andersen, C. H., Mortensen, P., Petersen, H. H., Viskær, T. C., ... & Andersen, L. L. (2013). Kettlebell swing targets semitendinosus and supine leg curl targets biceps femoris: an EMG study with rehabilitation implications. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 47(18), 1192-1198.


Students Believe That Physical Education Must Be More Than Just Sports Jessica Richards Grimes Graduate Teaching Assistant Auburn University School of Kinesiology 301 Wire Rd. Rm 106 Auburn, AL 36849 Jmr0101@auburn.edu 334-695-5208 Dr. J. Brandon Sluder Professor Troy University Kinesiology and Health Promotion Department 112 Wright Hall Troy, AL 36082 jbsluder@troy.edu 334-808-6292 ABSTRACT There is growing evidence that indicates students are not enjoying physical education due to the lack of appeal provided by the instructor (Smith & St. Pierre, 2009) Typically, this is seen in a physical education setting that does not cultivate an autonomy-supportive teaching environment (Haerens, Aelterman, Vansteenkiste, Soenens, & Van Petegem, 2014). When students are amotivated, commonly seen in this type of environment, losing interest in the sport-related games is not uncommon (Tessier, Sarrazin, Ntoumanis, 2010). In some states students have the opportunity to help write the curriculum for physical education in each school system (Alabama Course of Study). The purpose of this investigation is twofold, (1) To compare the pros and cons of a sport-based curriculum with a student-centered curriculum in secondary physical education and (2) Discuss the benefits of secondary physical education teachers changing their focus from Sport-based to student-centered curriculums.


Introduction Physical education has fallen into complacency with few sport pedagogy leaders willing to respond (Carson, Richards, Hemphill, and Templin, 2016). With the reputation physical education holds, this fact alone is enough to reduce the enthusiasm and enjoyment in physical education. Scanlan and Simmons (1992) describe enjoyment as a positive response to sport experience that reflects feelings such as pleasure, liking, and fun. For many reasons the curriculum in most secondary physical education settings is suffering. Carson et. al., 2016, conclude that even job satisfaction plays a major role in the complacency in physical educators. Unfortunately, there are far too many teachers that have adopted the practice of “rolling the ball out”, leaving amotivated students lacking a physical education experience they deserve. Physical education curriculum is in desperate need of reform and it is up to physical educators to lead that reform. Physical education curriculums, in many states, are not required to abide by a set curriculum study as long as state and national standards are met, unless presented by the local school system. With so much flexibility, teachers can allow students to have a voice in their physical education experience. Additionally, incorporating a student-centered curriculum may improve the physical educaiton experience all together. A student-centered curriculum can be defined as responsibility within the classroom shifting from teacher to student through authentic, meaningful, and learning tasks (Dyson, Griffin, & Hastie, 2004). Hill (2009) suggests the negative mindsets adopted by students in a secondary physical education setting are a direct result from a bland curriculum provided by physical educators. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is twofold, (1) To compare the pros and cons of a sportbased curriculum with a student-centered curriculum in secondary physical education and (2) Discuss the benefits of secondary physical education teachers changing their focus from sport-based to student-centered curriculums. Sport-Based Curriculum Sport-related games play a colossal role in American society leaving a memorable footprint on children and adults alike. In the United States the vast majority of children grow up playing the “Big 3” (boys = Football, Baseball, and Basketball, girls = Volleyball, Softball, and Basketball) either in recreational settings or in competitive settings. There is no argument that sport is beneficial. However, is it fair for that physical education is constantly associated with sport? According to the Department of Education and Science/Welsh Office (1991), The National Curriculum for Physical Education Working Group concluded that physical education is different from sport. Specifically, sport covering a range of activities where adults and children alike participate and physical education is a process of learning. Lee (2004) suggests that the aims of sport are to focus on elitism, being the most skilled, and the pursuit of excellence. The sole purpose of physical education, in contrast to sport, is to create physically literate individuals (SHAPE, 2009). Rikard and Banville (2006) sought to explore the attitudes of high school students towards fitness and sport activities in a physical education setting. A questionnaire administered to 515 students, followed by focus group interviews in 17 different physical education settings indicated high school students in physical education preferred a wider variety of stimulating activities. Multiple students reported qualitatively that the “usual sports” were outdated: “Not the usual sports. Ever since elementary school you always do basketball, you always do soccer. You get to high school and your so sick of it, you are like, can we find something new?” The participants also noted that the activities in physical education should contain some type of “fun” component to make it more holistically enjoyable. One student describes an instance during a tennis unit when students who are not very skilled in tennis are struggling to find enjoyment during the unit. The student was quoted saying: “Suppose there is someone who is really bad at tennis. That whole time we are doing tennis, they just feel so out of place. So if we threw in some of the fun team activities, those kind of fun games that everyone can be a part, because it usually doesn’t matter if you’re good or not, because it’s just fun, then maybe people would feel better.” Rikard and Banville (2006) remind us that students may often experience a lack of conclusion in secondary physical education, nor will students always be interested in the more common games chosen (Table One). However, because beliefs and attitudes impact behavior (Rikard & Banville, 2006), if physical educators can at the very least positively change negative beliefs surrounding secondary physical education, it may be possible for skill acquisition and the fundamental acquisition of sports to improve as well.


While it is evident in the literature that a sport-based approach in physical education has limitations, it can also prove to be beneficial, when effectively delivered. The sport education model (SEM) has proven to be an effective method to integrate physical education and sport (Sidentop, 1994; Kinchen, 2006). As listed in Table One, under the Pros category, SEM provides students the opportunity to learn the importance of team building, practice routine building, and learn about competition. According to Sidentop (1994), there are many more benefits to this model when introducing sport in physical education. Perlman (2010) sought to explore SEM through a different lens. Particularly, Perlman (2010) examined the influence of the SEM on amotivated students affect and needs satisfaction. Perlman (2010) found that there is potential for amotivated secondary students’ enjoyment in physical education to be influenced through the SEM. Additionally, amotivted students find the SEM to be more inclusive than other sport-based curriculums they had previously participated in. The SEM research has proven beneficial in physical education motivation and enjoyment. How prosperous could it prove to be if a studentcentered approach was taken? Table 1. Sport-Based Curriculum

Student-Centered Curriculum A student-centered curriculum provides students the opportunity to become responsible in their learning activities (Dyson, Griffin, & Hastie, 2004). Research suggests that student-centered responsibilities that lead to decision-making positively effects physical education beliefs and enjoyment of students. In a study by Ha, Johns, and Shiu (2003), student expectations of the secondary physical education curriculum were analyzed. Students who participated in the study were asked to voluntarily answer a 10-item questionnaire about their perception of their present physical education curriculum. Questions such as ‘which ten physical education activities would you prefer to have in your physical education program?’ and ‘Do you like the curriculum contents of the current physical education program?’ were asked among others. Additionally, students were given a list of activities ranging from traditional physical education activities (football, basketball, volleyball, etc.), non-traditional games, and games unassociated with sport. Out of the 32 activities, eight of the top ten activities chosen by preference were the non-traditional sport games and games unassociated with sport. The majority (75%) of the participants stated that physical education would become more enjoyable if the curriculum would be constructed by the instructor and students, collaboratively. These findings also include a 67% male and 82% female agreement on the students’ views being included into the curricular decision (Ha et al., 2003). Strikingly, in other findings due to the lack of student autonomy, if physical education was offered as an elective, only one third of the participants would


not choose to take it as a course. The younger students (14-16) verified a decline in interest and enthusiasm for the present physical education curriculum (Ha, et al., 2003). The literature continues to push for a student-centered curriculum, as students lack enjoyment in physical education. El-Sherif (2014) continues, as literature insists tha student choice and participation relays a pertinent message on allowing students to have an input in creating a physical education curriculum. El-Sherif (2014) reviewed a high school physical education curriculum and analyzed the students’ perceptions of the activities offered in their junior and senior years. In a survey taken by high school seniors, it was noted that when the students were able to choose one activity out of three, that were predetermined by the physical education teacher. The students have choices but the options to choose from are initially decided on by the physical education teacher. El-Sherif offers (2014), “Although students voice an appreciation for the opportunity to choose a category, they agree that they would like to have an input on the activity offerings within each category”. Reportedly, the activities chosen are based on the instructor’s interests rather than the students’. The author also touches on the relationship between student choice and participation, meeting student needs and interests, giving students a voice and taking action. Per the results, the first critical step is to listen to the students. Also, providing instructors with professional development opportunities allows them to stay updated on the latest physical education activities. Similarly, Ha, John and Shiu (2003) follow, as they suggest student opinions should be acknowledged when creating a curriculum. New activities should also be included as the students grow tiresome of repetitive activities. Students would be more likely to participate in physical education if they were allowed a choice in what activities were taught especially if presented the option of new activities/games. El-Sherif (2014) finds that students choose to participate more when the students could select the activities they would perform/practice, as the activities become more meaningful from a student’s perspective. More so, when students are invested in their physical educaiton lessons, are more likely to continue physical activity involvement from adolescence into adulthood (Hobin, Leatherdale, Manske, Burkhalter, and Woodfruff, 2010). While the authors agree that a student-centered curriculum may be more beneficial for many secondary physical education settings and provides many benefits, we also recognize that the curriculum is not without its limitations. Referring to the ‘Cons’ column in Table Two, when given autonomy on activity development, not all students will agree on the same activity/activities. This inevitably leads to certain opinions or activities by some students not being recognized. It is suggested that a list of activities are compiled by the students, while the order in which they are taught or performed is defined by the physical education teacher. Additionally, the purpose of a student-centered curriculum is not to provide dictatorship to the students. This curriculum is designed to give students a voice to better enjoy their physical educaiton courses. Lastly, students will inevitably change their mind about the activities they choose to participate in. The authors suggest communicating with the students that although some perceptions of the activities have changed, not everyone may agree as there may be those who still find the activity enjoyable. There is always the possibility of allowing students to create modifications for the activities for change. Table 2. Student-Centered Curriculum


Conclusion With a large amount of research suggesting how to change curriculum, who to involve, and what attitude to have, it is important to take the next steps at improving a secondary physical education environment. Compiling a list of what activities might interest students could prove beneficial. Also, encouraging faculty and other instructors to become involved or at least share an interest in the rise of physical education would allow a smoother transition for revamping the physical education course. Many factors contribute to the downfall of secondary physical education. Elements such as sport related games dominating the field of study, instructor-based curriculum without the involvement of students, and the complacent stricken instructors that lack motivation. One variable is concrete in relation to improving physical education as a whole: “The most influential determinant of students’ holding positive attitudes toward both physical education (Luke & Sinclair, 1991; Rice, 1988. P. 1) and physical activity (Avery & Lumpkin, 1987; McKenzie, Alcaraz, & Sallis, 1994; Wankel & Kreisel, 1985. P. 1) has been shown to be enjoyment”. Enjoyment is one of the keys to success for secondary physical education instructors. If students are granted a voice in the construction of a curriculum in physical education, the likelihood of involvement increases tremendously. Not only is curriculum involvement important but the attitudes held by the instructors play a major role in creating physically literate students.


References Alabama Course of Study: Physical Education. (2009). Montgomery, Alabama. Alabama Department of Education. America, S. H. A. P. E. (2009). Society of Health and Physical Educators. Using Physical Activity as Punishment and/or Behavior Management (Position Statement). Reston, VA: SHAPE America–Society of Health and Physical Educators. Avery, M., & Lumpkin, A. (1987). Student’s perceptions of physical education objectives. Journal of Teaching Physical in Education, 7(1), 5-11. Capel, S. (2000). Physical education and sport. In Issues in Physical Education, ed. S. Capel and S. Piotrowski, 131-143. Carson, R. L., Hemphill, M. A., Richards, K. A. R., & Templin, T. (2016). Exploring the job satisfaction of late career secondary physical education teachers. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 35, 284-289. Couturier, L., Chepko, S., & Coughlin, M. (2005). Student voices: What middle school and secondary students have to say about physical education. Physical Educator, 62, 170-177. Croston, A. (2013). A clear and obvious ability to perform physical activity: revisiting physical education teachers’ perceptions of talent in PE and sport. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 18(1), 60-74. DES/WO. 1991. Physical education for ages 5-6: Proposals of the Secretary of State for Education and the Secretary of State for Wales. London: Department of Education and Science/Welsh Office. El-Sherif, J. (2014). STUDENT VOICE: Student choice and participation in physical education. Strategies, 27(5), 8-11. Graham, G. (1995). Physical Education through Students’ Eyes and in Students’ Voices: Implications for Teachers and Researchers. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 14(4), 478-482. Ha, A. S., Johns, D. P., & Shiu, E. W. (2003). Students’ Perspective in the Design and Implementation of the Physical Education Curriculum. Physical Educator, 60(4), 194-207. Haerens, L., Aelterman, N., Vansteenkiste, M., Soenens, B., & Van Petegem, S. (2015). Do perceived autonomy-supportive and controlling teaching relate to physical education students’ motivational experiences through unique pathways? Distinguishing between the bright and dark side of motivation. Psychology of sport and exercise, 16, 26-36. Hill, G. (2009). Motivating students to be active outside of class: A hierarchy for independent physical activity. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 80(1), 25-31. Hobin, E. P., Leatherdale, S. T., Manske, S.R., Burkhalter, R., & Woodruff, S. J. (2010). A multilevel examination of school and student characterstics associated with physical education class enrollment among high school students. Journal of School Health, 80, 445-452. Kinchin, G.D. (2006). Sport Education: A view of the research. In D. Kirk, M. O’Sullivan & D. Macdonald (Eds.), Handbook of research in Physical Education (596-609). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. McKenzie, T.L., Alcaraz, J.E., & Sallis, J.F. (1994). Assessing children’s liking for activity units in an elementary school physical education curriculum. Journal of Teaching Physical Education, 13(3), 206- 215. Lee, M. (2004). Values in physical education and sport: A conflict of interests? The British journal of Teaching Physical Education. 35, 6-10. Luke, M. D., & Sinclair, G.D. (19*91). Gender differences in adolescents’ attitudes toward school physical education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 11(1), 31-46 Linda Rikard, G., & Banville, D. (2006). High school student attitudes about physical education. Sport, Education and Society, 11(4), 385-400. Perlman, D. (2010). Change in affect and needs satisfaction for amotivated students within the sport education model. Journal of teaching in physical education, 29(4), 433-445. Rice, P.L. (1988). Attitudes of high school students towards physical education activities, teachers and personal health. The Physical Educator, 45(2), 94-99. Scanlan, T.K., & Simons, J.P. (1992). The construct of sport enjoyment. In G.C. Roberts (Ed.), Motivation in Sport and Exercise, 199-215.


Siedentop, D. (1994). Sport education: Quality P.E. through positive sport experiences. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Smith, M. A., & St. Pierre, P. E. (2009). Secondary Students’ Perceptions of Enjoyment in Physical Education: An American and English Perspective. Physical Educator, 66(4), 209-221. Tessier, D., Sarrazin, P., & Ntoumanis, N. (2010). The effect of an intervention to improve newly qualified teachers’ interpersonal style, students motivation and psychological need satisfaction in sport-based physical education. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 35(4), 242-253. Quennerstedt, M. (2013). PE on YouTube – investigating participation in physical education practice. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 18(1), 42-59. Wallhead, T. L., Garn, A. C., & Vidoni, C. (2014). Effect of a sport education program on motivation for physical education and leisure-time physical activity. Research quarterly for exercise and sport, 85(4), 478-487. Wankel, L.M., & Kreisel, P.S. (1985). Factors underlying enjoyment in youth sports: Sport and age group comparisons. Journal of Sport Psychology, 7, 51-64.



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MAHPERD Journal | Volume 7, Issue 1  

MAHPERD Journal | Volume 7, Issue 1