Document Type : original article


1 Department of Physical Education, Tabriz branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran

2 Department of Physical Education, Tabriz branch, Islamic Azad university, Tabriz, Iran


Background: The main purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of brain gymnastics exercises and spark on gross motor skills of mentally retarded female students.
Methods: The present study is semi-experimental and applied research. 45 mentally retarded girls aged 8-12 years (with the mean age of 10±1.9 years) were included in the study and were divided into three groups of 15 subjects: brain gymnastics, spark and control. Bruininks-Oseretsky gross test was used as the pre- and posttest; it consists of four components: running speed and agility, static and dynamic balance, bilateral coordination, and strength. The brain gymnastics and Spark groups were practiced by the intervention groups for two months (3 sessions of 45 minutes in a week) under the supervision of the researcher and according to the special conditions of mentally retarded children. To compare the dependent variables, the analysis of variance (ANOVA) test was used.
Results: It was revealed that brain gymnastics and spark exercises had a positive and significant effect on the mean scores of gross motor skills (running speed and agility, static balance, dynamic balance, bilateral coordination, and strength) of the trainable mentally retarded girls. Nonetheless, spark exercises were more effective than brain gymnastics.
Conclusion: It seems that the greater effectiveness of the Spark movement program is due to the fact that it provides the participants with a better training opportunity, creating more appropriate time, facilities and equipment. Its content is mainly oriented towards the development of motor skills; it exposes children to a variety of training conditions, enjoys high levels of participatory learning and low levels of stress, and nicely motivates children for continuing the exercises


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