Motor skills

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Assyrian King Tukulti-Ninurta I in two stages of movement, 13th century BC BC, is considered to be the earliest representation of movement

Motor skills (from Latin motor , 'mover', derived from movere , 'move', 'drive'; and in Greek motorikè téchne , 'movement technique ', 'movement skill ', ' art of movement', 'movement science ', 'movement theory')

Fields of application

In accordance with its ambiguity, the term motor skills assumes different meanings in different areas of application, some of which differ from the original literal meaning. In the field of science, neighboring disciplines and related terms were also born, such as motology or (applied) kinesiology , which, with their choice of terms, document their independence in addition to movement and motor science :

  • For sports science , motor skills are an essential part of kinetics. The discipline motor skills science is primarily concerned with the sport motor skills, but also with the everyday motor skills and the working motor skills in terms of learning, trainability and expressive character of movements. The question of (early) learning to move plays an important role here.
  • The ergonomics puts her focus on the job-specific requirements for the movement. Your focus is on occupational or work motor skills. Movement studies, for example using light trail methods , provide information about movement economy and movement efficiency, motor predisposition and performance expectations.
  • In a general sense of pragmatism, any action-oriented educational setting.
  • The physiology meant by motor randomly generated movements of the body, which can be realized through the nervous conduction system through the muscle apparatus controlled by specific brain centers.
  • In the expression art ( ballet , dance , expression gymnastics , modern dance , pantomime ) is the term used to refer to certain movement techniques and the art of movement.

Sub-terms / field of terms

  • Everyday motor skills characterize the repertoire of movements in everyday life.
  • Occupational or work motor skills describe the specific movement repertoire of the physically working person (worker, craftsman, physiotherapist, artist).
  • Sports motor skills conceptually captures the complex and dynamically demanding movement sequences in sports (pole vault, figure skating, apparatus gymnastics).
  • Expression motor skills are geared towards aesthetics and the presentation of personality in the movement sequences.
  • Sports motor skills aim to optimize movement economy and movement efficiency (competition, maximum performance).
  • Gross motor skills are the still unfinished sequences of movements in an initial acquisition phase.
  • Fine motor skills characterize movement sequences in advanced or mature learning stages.
  • Large motor skills include large-scale movements (as with dexterity) that also involve a large number of locomotive organs.
  • Small motor skills means the small-scale movements (eg. As manual dexterity, skill) in which only a small part of the musculoskeletal system is active.
  • Locomotor activity affects the locomotor system (walking, running, swimming) that changes its location, in contrast to movements that change position.
  • Vasomotor is the active interaction of nerves and muscles during vasodilation ( vasodilation )
  • Speech motor skills refer to the anatomical and physiological possibilities of articulating a person through their speech organs.
  • Motor skills are people in whose behavior the active life plays an important role.
  • Psychomotor skills - it deals with the psychosocial requirements and consequences of motor skills; also with the consequences of motor skills and lack of mobility for the psychological and social development of humans (see developmental psychology )
  • Socio -motor skills - it deals with the possibilities of non-verbal communication through movement.

Assessment of motor skills

The motor skills are determined by numerous components. Their functionality and interaction make up their quality, above all that of the basic physical characteristics , coordinative skills and personal charisma .

Most of the components have already been researched and can be objectively assessed using special experimental methods. You leave z. B. Conclusions about the motor predisposition, the motor development level, gender-specific differences, the ability to express themselves or the motor learning progress. There are a large number of more or less useful motor test offers that are to be critically questioned by the user on the sub-areas of basic properties (strength, speed, endurance, etc.), on the basic coordinative skills (coupling ability, reactivity, anticipatory talent, etc.) or on the motor requirements of individuals Sports areas (athletics, team games or winter sports), i.e. for general and sport-specific motor skills. The movement coordination component is of particular importance because of its high significance for the overall complex of motor skills.

In neurology , disorders of the muscles and / or the nervous system can be detected by analyzing movement sequences and reflexes .

Special areas of motor science

The sensorimotor (also sensumotor) is interested in the connections between sensory impressions and muscle activity. For example, she examines the complex connections between visual and tactile perceptions, nervous stimulus transport and motor processes. It is about specific control and regulation systems. The methods are derived from cybernetics .

The psychomotor makes the interrelationships of spiritual frame of mind and sensibilities of the body to her research topic. She deals with the forms of expression characteristic of the personality such as speaking mode, gestures, facial expressions, posture, walking style and works out corresponding typologies.

The Motology is the youngest branch of motor skills science. It broke away from psychomotor skills as an independent work area and turns to particularly conspicuous children with learning and behavioral disorders (hyperactivity, lability). Motodiagnostics , motopedagogy or mototherapy were created as sub-forms .


  • J. Asendorpf: Psychology and Personality . Berlin 1996.
  • Gustav E. Benseler : Greek-German school dictionary . Leipzig and Berlin. 12th edition 1904.
  • K. Bös: Handbook of sports motor tests . Göttingen 1987. 2nd edition 2001.
  • K. Fischer: Introduction to psychomotor skills . Munich 2003.
  • Olaf Jansen: Pedagogical Practice. Children and young people on the move, Bildungsverlag EINS , Troisdorf 2004.
  • Olaf Jansen, Norbert Kühne : Moving children - the pleasure of motor skills, in: Katrin Kogel, Norbert Kühne (Ed.): Praxisbuch Sozialpädagogik, Vol. 5, Bildungsverlag EINS , Troisdorf 2008.
  • Olaf Jansen, Norbert Kühne: Games and play stories outdoors, in: Katrin Kogel, Norbert Kühne (Ed.): Praxisbuch Sozialpädagogik, Vol. 5, Bildungsverlag EINS , Troisdorf 2008.
  • Ernst J. Kiphard : Motopädagogik - Psychomotor development promotion . Dortmund 2001.
  • Ernst J. Kiphard / F. Schilling: body coordination test for children (KTK). Göttingen 2007.
  • H. de Marées: Exercise Physiology . Cologne (Sportverlag) 9th edition 2003.
  • H. Quantity: Encyclopedic dictionary of the Latin and German languages ​​with special consideration of the etymology . Berlin (Langenscheidt) 7th edition 1950.
  • Kurt Meinel, G. Schnabel: Movement theory - sports motor skills . Munich (Southwest) 11th edition, 2007.
  • K. Roth, K. Willimczik: Movement Science . Reinbek (Rowohlt) 1999.
  • CM Schlick u. a. (Ed.): Ergonomics . Berlin 3rd edition, 2009.
  • Dieter Ungerer: On the theory of sensorimotor learning . Schorndorf 1971.
  • Siegbert A. Warwitz : The Vienna Coordination Course (WKP). In: Ders .: The sports science experiment. Planning-implementation-evaluation-interpretation . Schorndorf (Hofmann) 1976. pp. 48-62.
  • D. Wick (Ed.) Biomechanics in Sport - Textbook on the biomechanical basics of sporting movements , Balingen (Spitta) 2nd edition, 2009.

Web links

Wiktionary: Motor skills  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Motor skills  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. H. Quantity: Encyclopedic dictionary of the Latin and German languages ​​with special consideration of the etymology. 7th edition, Langenscheidt, Berlin 1950, p. 485 f.
  2. ^ GE Benseler: Greek-German school dictionary. 12th edition, Leipzig / Berlin 1904. pp. 886 f.
  3. K. Meinel / G. Schnabel: Movement theory - sport motor skills . Munich (Southwest) 11th edition 2007
  4. Arnd Krüger : When should children start exercising? Peter Lösche (Ed.): Göttingen Social Sciences Today. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1990, 278 - 308.
  5. CM Schlick u. a. (Ed.): Ergonomics . Berlin 3rd edition 2009.
  6. Philip G. Zimbardo , Richard J. Gerrig: Psychology . Pearson, Hallbergmoos near Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-8273-7275-8 ; P. 9 f. to Stw. "Functionalism".
  7. H. de Marées: Sports Physiology . Cologne (Sportverlag) 9th edition 2003.
  8. ^ Rilo Pöhlmann; Gudrun Ludwig; Ann-Katrin Pahl: sensorimotor skills, psychomotor skills, sociomotor skills: for special education-medical professions. Cologne: Bildungsverl. EINS, 2011. ISBN 978-3-427-40340-1 .
  9. K. Bös: Handbook of sport motor tests . Goettingen 1987.
  10. ^ SA Warwitz: The Vienna coordination course (WKP). In: Ders .: The sports science experiment. Planning-implementation-evaluation-interpretation . Schorndorf 1976. pp. 48-62.
  11. ^ EJ Kiphard / F. Schilling: body coordination test for children (KTK). Göttingen 2007.
  12. See for example Manuel Dafotakis, Dennis A. Nowak: Psychogenic Movement Disorders - Clinic, Additional Diagnostics and Differential Diagnosis. In: Current Neurology. Volume 42, 2015, pp. 603-610.
  13. D. Ungerer: On the theory of sensorimotor learning . Schorndorf 1971
  14. K. Fischer: Introduction to Psychomotor . Munich 2003
  15. ^ J. Asendorpf: Psychology and personality . Berlin 1996.
  16. EJ Kiphard: Motopädagogik - Psychomotor development promotion . Dortmund 2001.