Taekwondo training improves knee muscle strength in children

By Shirley S.M. Fong, RPT, B.Sc. Physio., Prof. Dip. Acup., M.Sc., Ph.D.
Department of Health and Physical Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong

Many children with developmental coordination disorder have inferior body balance and motor ability than their typically developing counterparts.

What did you do in your research?
We investigated the effect of short-term intensive Taekwondo training on knee muscle strength and reactive and static balance control of children with developmental coordination disorder.

What did you find out?
Our results show that children with developmental coordination disorder who undergo a three-month program of intensive Taekwondo training experience improvements in knee muscle strength and static single-leg standing balance control, but do not benefit from improved reactive balance control. With three months of daily Taekwondo practice, children with this condition can catch up to typically developing peers in terms of knee muscle strength and static single-leg standing balance performance.

What are the take-home messages?
Taekwondo training program may be introduced as part of the school system to improve motor ability among children with developmental coordination disorder. Clinicians, teachers and parents might also recommend Taekwondo as a therapeutic leisure activity for this particular group of children.

To learn more about these findings contact
Shirley S.M. Fong.

Full Journal Article
Fong, S.S.M., Chung, J.W.Y., Chow, L.P.Y., Ma, A.W.W. and Tsang, W.W.N. (2013). Differential effect of Taekwondo training on knee muscle strength and reactive and static balance control in children with developmental coordination disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34(5), 1446-1455.