2019, Volume 15
The influence of training on static and functional balance in adolescent karateka
Kajetan J. Słomka1, Maria Sowa1, Martyna Swatowska1, Krzysztof Ćwikła1, Marta Niewczas2, Sławomir Drozd2, Marian Rzepko2
1Dept. of Motor Behavior, Institute of Sport Sciences, The Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education in Katowice, Katowice, Poland
2Institute of Physical Culture Sciences, Medical College of Rzeszów University, Poland, Rzeszów, Poland
Author for correspondence: Kajetan J. Słomka; Dept. of Motor Behavior, Institute of Sport Sciences, The Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education in Katowice, Katowice, Poland; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background and Study Aim: Almost every voluntary movement involves maintenance of balance in a static or dynamic form. The use of the functional balance test and rambling-trembling COP (centre of foot pressure) decomposition should allow to distinguish subtle alterations in the postural control of karate practitioners. The aim of this study was the knowledge about the static and functional balance in adolescent karate practitioners. We hypothesise that karate training elicit significant changes in postural control characteristics despite turbulent adolescence.
Material and Methods: Twenty-eight healthy male adolescents took part in the study, 13 of them were involved in karate training with at least 7 years of training experience. Their average age was 16.7 ±0.5 and 16.5 ±0.5 for the karate and control group respectively. Three testing procedures were used – anthropometric foot measurement, quiet standing and LOS test. A force platform was used in the static and functional balance examination. The range, root mean square (rms) and velocity of COP, rambling and trembling were analysed.
Results: The Mann-Whitney U test showed significant differences in all analysed variables in antero-posterior (AP) plane and only for rms in medio-lateral (ML) plane. The velocity of trembling in ML was the only variable differentiating the examined groups. The karate group presented superior functional stability in the LOS test and exceeded the presumed 100% of the functional stability region.
Conclusions: The existence of significant changes in the postural characteristics after a longitudinal karate training in adolescence confirmed our hypothesis. These changes positively support the athlete's competitive activity and the turbulent adolescence period do not negatively influence postural performance. The rambling-trembling analysis can be used in discrimination of the specificity of the discipline. The adolescent karate practitioners present superior functional balance with respect to their non-training peers. It seems that moderate karate/kata training would be a good alternative in rehabilitation programs. Furthermore, research concerning the role of the feet muscle would contribute to explanation of the reason for the registered differences in functional balance.
Key words: martial arts, functional stability limit, body balance, rambling/trembling decomposition of COP