The purpose of this study was to see if learning Tai Chi could have a cross-training effect on movements that require very rapid movements with force generation as the targeted end result. Nine subjects (4 women, 5 men, 18–22 yrs., BMI < 25) completed the study. All had limited experience in the martial arts prior to this study. The average number of hours attended by the subjects was 32 ± 10.5 hrs. over six weeks. The pre-instruction functional movement screen (FMS) (17.3 ± 1.5) compared to post-instruction (20.1 ± 1.5), p < .01. In the standing medicine ball throw, the running medicine ball throw, and the overhand ball throw, the initial movement pattern showed a simultaneous segmental rotation (SSR) at the knee, hip, and shoulder, followed by sequential segmental rotation in the elbow and wrist. In the post-tests, all segments showed a sequential segmental rotation pattern (p < .05). In the tennis forehand, SSR followed shoulder to wrist in the pre-test, then SSR from knee to wrist post-instruction, though the differences were not significant (p = .57). Results showed that Tai Chi training improves the quality of functional movement. Tai Chi can improve coordination in high-speed movement, even though it is practiced in slow, controlled movements.
|Keywords:||Tai Chi, Functional Movement Screen, Coordination, Cross-training|
Research Assistant, Physical Education and Health, Berea College, Berea, Kentucky, USA
Associate Professor, Department of Physical Education, Health and Dance, Berea College, Berea, Kentucky, USA