Sport-specific balance ability in Taekwondo practitioners
Keywords:Martial art, Postural control, Turning, Forward lunge
Taekwondo is a combat sport emphasizing on kicking techniques and dynamic footwork. Specialized balance ability is crucial for Taekwondo practitioners. This study aimed to compare (1) the postural stability during turning, and (2) the forward lunge distance between adolescent TKD practitioners and non-practitioners. Nineteen TKD practitioners (12 males, 7 females; Mean age ± SD: 15.58 ± 1.07 years) and nineteen control participants (13 males, 6 females; Mean age ± SD: 16.21 ± 0.98 years) were recruited in the study. Balance performance was assessed by the Forward Lunge Test and Step/Quick Turn Test with the NeuroCom Balance Master system. Forward lunge distance, turn time and turn sway were measured. TKD practitioners were found to turn faster by 35.37% (p=0.004) and sway less during turning by 15.23% (p=0.034) than non-practitioners. The forward lunge distance in TKD practitioners was 5.67% shorter than that in control participants (p=0.046). This study shows that TKD practitioners might have sport-specific balance ability. The findings of this study inspire the exploration of the longitudinal training effect of TKD so as to develop the evidence base for this exercise option to improve the postural control of adolescents with balance problems.
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