Background: Down syndrome (DS) is a genetic disorder that results in intellectual disability. Individuals with DS often have weaker muscle strength due to factors such as a lower percentage of slow-twitch muscle fibers and a reduced number of muscle fibers. This study aimed to investigate the impact of an eight-week combined turning exercise program on the physical performance of educable female students with DS.
Methods:This semi-experimental clinical trial recruited 26 female students with DS using purposive sampling. Participants were randomly divided into two groups based on their IQ scores: an experimental group (n=13; age: 12.15±1.62 years, height: 139.23±8.94 cm, weight: 42.62±13.44 kg, IQ: 63.02±5.54) and a control group (n=13; age: 12.23±1.53 years, height: 141.15±10.31 cm, weight: 45.46±15.94 kg, IQ: 63.05±5.49). Muscle strength was assessed using a hand-held digital dynamometer, push-up test, long jump, and sit-up before and after the eight-week training period. The experimental group underwent a combined turning training program for 45-60 minutes per day, three times a week, for eight weeks. Data were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) with a significance level of p≤0.05.
Results: At the end of the intervention period, the experimental group showed a significant improvement in physical performance compared to the control group (p≤0.05). The combined turning exercise program had a positive impact on upper body, middle body, and lower body muscle strength in female students with DS.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that combined turning exercises may be an effective method for improving muscle strength in female students with DS. These exercises can be incorporated into rehabilitation programs for individuals with DS to enhance their physical performance and overall quality of life.