THE EFFECTS OF A 16-WEEK TAI CHI INTERVENTION PROGRAM ON NEUROMUSCULAR RESPONSES AND MUSCLE ACTIVITY OF THE LOWER EXTREMITY IN ELDERLYS

  • Jing Xian Li
  • Dong Qing Xu
  • Youlian Hong
Keywords: knee, ankle, electromyography, Tai Chi, aging

Abstract

This study examined the effects of a 16-week Tai Chi (TC) training program on muscle strength and endurance of the knee and the ankle, as well as the neuromuscular response to perturbation among elderly people. Forty elderly individuals participated in and completed the study. They were randomly placed into either the TC intervention group (n=22) or the control group (n=18), after which pre- and post-intervention measurements were conducted. The maximum concentric strength and endurance of the knee and ankle were measured by an isokinetic dynamometer. The neuromuscular response indicated by the reaction time of the muscles in the lower limb was examined by measuring the onset latency of the muscles to perturbations on the ankle joint through an electromyography system. The results showed that the 16-week TC intervention the significantly increased knee flexor strength and improved the latency of semitendinous muscle.