Flexibility is partially determined by genes, and most studies suggest that women are more flexible than men. Good flexibility improves movement, influences posture, prevents lower back pain and neck
tension. At the onset of adolescence, it tends to be reduced and the situation can be reverted by physical activities. Holistic Gymnastics (HG) is one possibility to improve flexibility. The typical
classes include relaxation, postural reeducation, stretching and balance. Relaxation involves self massage with balls, sticks and rolls, in slow movements which stimulate the proprioceptive system.
Static stretching is frequently used for many reasons: facility of execution, relief of muscular pain and respect to the limits of tissue expansion. The aim of the present study was to assess the
effect of HG in the increment of flexibility of lumbar and pelvic articulation in healthy 10-12 years old girls.
The experimental study was done in public schools with 43 10-12 years old girls. The experimental group (EG) comprised 22 girls who received 9 weekly classes of HG and the control group (CG), 21
girls. Two measures of flexibility were taken: a) angle between the acromion, trochanter and posterior iliac spine through photogrammetry (software SAPO), and b) fingertip-to-floor (FTF) distance
a)Angle: For EG, the mean before HG was 86,8 º and 92,4 º after HG. For CG, the initial mean was 92º and the final mean was 81,8 º (9 weeks later, without HG). The difference, statistically
significant at 0,05 level, indicated an increase in flexibility for EG and a reduction in CG.
b)Fingertip-to-floor test: For EG, there was a reduction of 7,7cm in the distance fingertip – floor and for CG, an increase of 2,9 cm. Those results were in agreement with the first measure.
The experimental study demonstrated an increase in flexibility for EG that was attributed to HG intervention.
Holistic Gymnastics is a modality of physical activity which increases flexibility in girls at the onset of adolescence.
The adoption of this modality of physical activity could contribute to health promotion and to healthy habits in the school population.