2019, Volume 15
The foot structure of combat sports athletes
Justyna Andrzejewska1, Anna Burdukiewicz1, Aleksandra Stachoń1, Jadwiga Pietraszewska1, Tadeusz Stefaniak2, Kazimierz Witkowski2, Jarosław Maśliński2, Dariusz Harmaciński3
1Physical Anthropology Department, University School of Physical Education in Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland
2Didactics Department, University School of Physical Education in Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland
3Division of Clinical Basics of Physiotherapy, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland
Author for correspondence: Justyna Andrzejewska; Physical Anthropology Department, University School of Physical Education in Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background and Study Aim: Theorists of combat sports categorize them into sports involving workings of weapons, strokes, and throws and grips of immobilization of the opponent’s body. Combat sports, as part of martial arts constitute, therefore, an activity with a high risk of injury, which increases along with the brutalization of contemporary sports rivalry. The aim of this study is to broaden the knowledge about the morphological properties of the feet of advanced judo and karate athletes.
Material and Methods: Seventy judo athletes (aged 17 ±0.7 years, training experience 8.4 ±2.4 years) taking part in Polish National Championships, and 30 Kyokushin karate athletes (aged 19.9 ±3.7 years, training experience 9.4 ±1.9 years) who were members of the Polish national team took part in the study. Judo athletes are characterized by a high variability of body weight, therefore two subgroups were distinguished: subgroup A (BMI <25), and subgroup B (BMI >25), which ensured their greater homogeneity. Men practicing karate Kyokushin (group C) were characterized by lower body weight differences, therefore a division into similar subgroups was not made in their case.
Podometric assessment involved the measurements of foot length and foot width (cm) as well as different foot angles (°). For the alpha angle (hallux valgus angle), the normal range of variation is between 0° and 9°.
Results: The width and length of the foot were the highest among the male judo practitioners (subgroups B). The karate Kyokushin athletes have the shortest feet, while the lighter judo athletes the narrowest feet (p<0.05). Judo athletes have a slightly longer and wider left foot, which may indicate more frequent loading of the left side of the body during combat and training. The karate athletes did not show this trend. Judo and karate athletes are characterized by higher valgus of the alpha angle of the left foot. The values deformity of the left hallux is more frequent than of the right hallux, and the measured values of the alpha angle were also higher on the left foot.
Conclusions: The results of the present study reveal specific adaptive effects in young men practicing different categories of combat sports. Monitoring of all negative effects of long-term combat sports training should be an important component of evidence-based complementary health prevention programs.
Key words: angles and arches of foot, contact sport, heath prophylactic, judo, karate Kyokushin, Wejsflog index