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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2018 April;58(4):399-406

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06748-7

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Physical fitness characteristics of adolescent wushu athletes

Hsiao-Chien HUANG 1, Wen-Lan WU 1, Yu-Kai CHANG 2, I-Hua CHU 1

1 Department of Sports Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; 2 Graduate Institute of Athletics and Coaching Science, National Taiwan Sport University, Taoyuan County, Taiwan


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BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to examine the physical fitness of wushu athletes in junior high schools and to compare their fitness with that of track-and-field and basketball athletes, as well as general junior high school students.
METHODS: A total of 120 participants aged 12-15 years were recruited for this study (wushu N.=30; track-and-field N.=30; basketball N.=30; general students N.=30). Participants’ height, weight, flexibility, muscle endurance, cardiorespiratory endurance, agility, power, and static and dynamic balance were assessed and compared among sports groups and general students.
RESULTS: The results revealed that athletes in the track-and-field, basketball, and wushu groups had significantly better physical fitness than general students. Additionally, the wushu group had significantly better flexibility and static balance than the other three groups. The track-and-field group had better cardiorespiratory endurance than the other groups. The basketball group had the best agility performance.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that flexibility and balance may be most impacted by the practice of wushu in adolescents. Moreover, adolescents who engage in school sports had better physical fitness than that of general students.


KEY WORDS: Martial arts - Physical fitness - Athletic performance - Adolescent

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