ELECTROMYOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF TAI CHI CHUAN: A PILOT STUDY

  • Suk-Ping Chan
  • Youlian Hong
Keywords: balance, electromyography, flexibility, Tai Chi Chuan, maximal voluntary contraction

Abstract

This investigation determined the electromyographical characteristic of the Tai Chi Chuan. An experienced Tai Chi Chuan Master was asked to perform the basic movements of Ward off, Roll Back, Press and Push. Both “gentle practising mode” and “strenuous defense mode” were performed. The Push movement was used for data analysis. The results revealed that the large muscle groups of the entire body were activated during Tai Chi Chuan. In most of the time, the work of muscles was quite low in both modes. However, it could generate a peak electromyographic activity as high as the fourth times of the maximal voluntary contraction in the ”strenuous defense mode”. It’s ability for defense combat shouldn’t be neglected. The results also demonstrated that Tai Chi Chuan involves the work of muscles of the trunk and the lower limbs greater than the upper limbs.