Dynamic balance in elite karateka.


In karate, balance control represents a key performance determinant. With the hypothesis that high-level athletes display advanced balance abilities, the purpose of the current study was to quantitatively investigate the motor strategies adopted by elite and non-elite karateka to maintain balance control in competition. The execution of traditional karate techniques (kihon) in two groups of elite Masters (n=6, 31±19years) and non-elite Practitioners (n=4, 25±9years) was compared assessing body center of mass (CoM) kinematics and other relevant parameters like step width and angular joint behavior.

In the considered kihon sequence, normalized average CoM height was 8% lower (p<0.05), while CoM displacement in the horizontal direction was significantly higher in Masters than in Practitioners (2.5 vs. 1.9m, p<0.05), as well as CoM average velocity and rms acceleration (p<0.05).

Step width was higher in Masters in more than half of the sequence steps (p<0.05). Results suggest that elite karateka showed a refined dynamic balance control, obtained through the increase of the base of support and different maneuvers of lower limbs.

The proposed method could be used to objectively detect talented karateka, to measure proficiency level and to assess training effectiveness.

LINK TO ARTICLE

J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2015 Oct 20. pii: S1050-6411(15)00192-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2015.10.002. [Epub ahead of print] Dynamic balance in elite karateka. Zago M1, Mapelli A2, Shirai YF3, Ciprandi D4, Lovecchio N5, Galvani C6, Sforza C7.

Author information: 1Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Mangiagalli 31, 20133 Milano, Italy. Electronic address: matteo.zago@unimi.it. 2Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Mangiagalli 31, 20133 Milano, Italy. Electronic address: agmapelli@yahoo.it. 3Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Mangiagalli 31, 20133 Milano, Italy. Electronic address: shiraiyf@gmail.com. 4Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Mangiagalli 31, 20133 Milano, Italy. Electronic address: daniela.ciprandi@unimi.it. 5Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Mangiagalli 31, 20133 Milano, Italy. Electronic address: nicolalovecchio@hotmail.com. 6Department of Psychology, Exercise and Sport Science Degree Course, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Vle Suzzani 279, 20162 Milan, Italy. Electronic address: christel.galvani@unicatt.it. 7Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Mangiagalli 31, 20133 Milano, Italy. Electronic address: chiarella.sforza@unimi.it.



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