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Willy Pieter1 and Luigi T. Bercades2


Department of Taekwondo, Keimyung University, Daegu, Korea

The New Zealand Institute of Health and Fitness, Auckland, New Zealand

Background: Studies on isokinetic strength in young taekwondo athletes (taekwondo-in) are scarce. Aiwa and Pieter (2007) reported that collapsed over angular velocity (120o/sec and 300o/sec) and movement (knee extension and flexion), boys recorded a higher peak torque (116.0517.07 Nm vs. 88.9412.29 Nm, eta2=0.473). When scaled to height2, relative peak torque was still higher for the boys (41.543.82 Nm/m2 vs. 35.874.30 Nm/m2, eta2=0.379). Limited information is available on hip strength in either adult or young taekwondo-in. The purpose of this study, then, was to assess isokinetic knee and hip strength characteristics in adolescent nationally competitive young taekwondo-in. Methods: Subjects (23 males, 14.391.68 years, 1.620.91 m, 51.4912.18 kg and 26 females, 14.451.67 years, 1.590.69 m, 51.008.36 kg) were nationally competitive American junior taekwondo-in. Isokinetic concentric strength was measured on a Cybex II isokinetic machine (Cybex, Division of Lumex, Inc, Ronkonkoma, NY, USA) during leg extension and flexion at the knee joint at 180o, 240o and 300o/s as well as hip flexion and extension at 240o/s and 300o/s (3 repetitions at each angular velocity) with a 1-minute rest between angular velocities. Peak torque was calculated as the highest torque in the isokinetic phase of the range of motion at the preset angular velocity. The dominant leg with which the athletes performed the roundhouse kick was used. Gender differences were assessed in absolute terms. A 3-way (Gender * Movement * Angular Velocity) MANOVA with repeated measures on the second and third factors was used to determine differences between gender, extension / flexion and angular velocity. The level of significance was set at 0.05.

Pieter, W. and Bercades, L. T. (2011), Isokinetic knee and hip strength in young taekwondo-in, 2011 Scientific Congress on Martial Arts and Combat Sports, May 13-15, Viseu, Portugal.

Results: There was a trivial Sex * Movement * Angular Velocity interaction for peak torque at the knee joint (eta2 = 0.07) as well as a large Movement * Angular velocity interaction for the knee joint (eta2 = 0.82). Simple effect analysis of the Movement * Angular velocity interaction revealed knee extension at 180o/sec (63.2715.19 Nm) to be higher than at 240o/sec (33.2510.01 Nm) (d=2.38), while knee flexion at 240o/sec was higher than at 300o/sec (44.8910.99 Nm vs. 24.8010.92 Nm, d=1.83). There was a medium effect for Movement of the hip joint (eta2 = 0.37). Peak torque for hip extension (57.6920.21 Nm) was higher than for hip flexion (52.1018.79 Nm) (d=1.69). Discussion and Conclusions: It was previously reported that isokinetic hip flexion at 240o/sec contributed to the force of the roundhouse kick in boys but not in girls (Pieter and Bercades, 2009). Isokinetic strength is also suggested to be implicated in potential injuries to the hamstrings (Pieter et al., 1989). Research is needed to investigate the relationship between isokinetic strength, kicking force as well as injury susceptibility of the hamstrings. References: Aiwa, N. and Pieter, W. (2007), Isokinetic strength characteristics in Malaysian recreational taekwondo athletes. In: Song, J. K. and Yoo, S. H. (eds.). 1st International Symposium for Taekwondo Studies, Beijing: Capital Institute of Physical Education, pp. 83-90. Pieter, W. and Bercades, L. T., 2009. Strength correlates of kicking force in young taekwondo-in. In: The 2nd International Symposium for Taekwondo Studies, Seoul: Daekyung Books, pp. 247-254. Pieter, W., Taaffe, D., Troxel, R. and Heijmans, J., 1989. Isokinetic peak torque of the quadriceps and hamstrings of college age taekwondo athletes. Journal of Human Movement Studies, 16 (1), pp. 17-25.

Pieter, W. and Bercades, L. T. (2011), Isokinetic knee and hip strength in young taekwondo-in, 2011 Scientific Congress on Martial Arts and Combat Sports, May 13-15, Viseu, Portugal.