THE KINEMATICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE LOWER EXTREMITIES DURING TAl CHI CHUAN EXERCISE

  • Dewei Mao
  • Youlian Hong
  • Jingxian Li
Keywords: Tai Chi Chuan, ROM of knee, ROM of ankle complex, step length, base of gait, angle of gait

Abstract

There is broad consensus that Tai Chi Chuan exercise can improve the balance control and muscle strength of the lower extremities. However, the mechanism used to promote that balance control and muscle strength is still unclear. The purpose of this study is to provide evidence of the kinematical characteristics of the lower extremities during Tai Chi Chuan exercise and explain the way in which they benefit balance control and muscle strength A female elite Tai Chi Chuan master was recruited to participate in the study. Five typical movements were selected: Brush Knee and Twist Steps, Step Back to Repulse Monkey, Wave Hand in Cloud, Kick Heel to Right, and Grasping the Bird's Tail. For each typical movement, three trials were recorded and digitized with a video motion analysis system. Kinematical parameters including the step length, the base of gait, angle of gait, mean ankle complex flexion, range of motion, range of motion rotation, and mean knee flexion, range of motion were calculated and analyzed. The results showed that compared to the normal gait, Tai Chi Chuan movements had a longer step length, a wider base of gait, and a larger angle of gait. The small angles and large range of motion existed in both the ankle complex and the knee joint. These kinematical characteristics may help to maintain stable posture and improve the muscle strength of the lower extremities during the performance of Tai Chi Chuan exercise.
Published
2008-04-21