2013, Volume 9, Issue 4

Counter movement jump performance between older adults with and without regular tai chi exercise training



Jung-Chun Chi1, Chen-Fu Huang1, Thomas W Kernozek2, Yao-Yi Hsieh1

1Department of Physical Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan
2Department of Health Professions, Physical Therapy Program, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States


Author for correspondence: Chen-Fu Huang; Department of Physical Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan; email: t08001[at]ntnu.edu.tw


Author for correspondence: Yao-Yi Hsieh; Department of Physical Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan


Full text

Abstract

Background and Study Aim: Martial arts, especially tai chi and other systems of health exercises can significantly stimulate all dimensions of the positive health. The aim of the study was the effect of tai chi exercise on maximal counter movement jump (CMJ) in older adults. 
Material and Methods: Tai chi group (n =17; age: 72.1 ± 4.3 yrs) and healthy older adults (n=17; age: 73.5 ± 5.5 yrs) were recruited in this study. Jump height, vertical velocity of the body center of mass (COM), and peak power output were analyzed by using a force plate (1000Hz) during the performance of a maximal effort CMJ.
Results: Tai chi subjects had greater performance than healthy elderly group in jump height (14.35±4.07cm vs. 11.18±3.41cm), peak power output (29.72 ± 3.82 vs. 25.52 ± 4.04 watts/BW), vertical velocity of the body COM at takeoff (Vtake-off) (1.68 ± 0.20 vs. 1.49 ± 0.22 m/sec).
Conclusions: Older adults participated in tai chi exercise training had better performance in a maximal effort CMJ. These enhancements may decrease limitations of daily functional performance and reduce fall risk.


Key words: center of mass, fall prevention, kinematics, lower extremity, martial arts, muscle power