Taiji Improves Kinetic Link Coordination

By Aaron Meadows and Jeffrey McClung.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.15-22. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 373.171KB).

Aaron Meadows

Research Assistant, Physical Education and Health, Berea College, Berea, Kentucky, USA

Aaron Meadows is working toward a Bachelor’s degree in health and physical education at Berea College. He has seven years experience in teaching taichi. He has conducted multiple research projects during his tenure at Berea College.

Dr. Jeffrey McClung

Associate Professor, Department of Physical Education, Health and Dance, Berea College, Berea, Kentucky, USA

Dr. McClung is an associate professor of physical education at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. He teaches courses in exercise science, anatomy, and designs for human movement and several activity courses. His research interests have turned to practices that increase the amount of physical activity of all citizens that may help reverse our worldwide decline in health. He previously has taught at Eastern Illinois University, Western Carolina University, and Georgetown College. He has also served as CEO of a cardiology research foundation in Charleston, WV and worked in pulmonary research at the University of Kentucky.