MATTEO BARCELLONA1, VALERIO GIUSTINO2,3, GIUSEPPE MESSINA2,3,4, GIUSEPPE BATTAGLIA1,4,5, FRANCESCO FISCHETTI6, ANTONIO PALMA1,4,5, ANGELO IOVANE2,4
1Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Unit, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy - 2Posturology and Biomechanics Laboratory Research Unit, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy - 3Posturalab Italia Research Institute, Palermo, Italy - 4Department of Psychological, Pedagogical and Educational Sciences, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy - 5Regional Sports School of CONI Sicilia, Sicily, Italy - 6Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
Introduction: Taekwondo elite athletes should have excellent qualities in several aspects of fitness, as well as peculiar pos- tural characteristics in terms of balance and postural control, to achieve the best possible results during competitions. Moreover, it is known that taekwondo shows high risk of injury. The aim of this case study is to evaluate the effects of a specific training pro- tocol on posturographic parameters of a taekwondo elite athlete in order to prevent the risk of injury.
Materials and methods: The specific training protocol provided 2 months of general strength conditioning, which included pre-conditioning in the first 2 weeks, physical training to improve explosive strength, balance and postural control and athletic training to improve the combat technique. The experimental design included three assessment times: the pre-test (T0), the interme- diate-test (T1) and the post-test (T2). Each test provided the same evaluations: anthropometric measurements, cervical ROM assessment and posturographic evaluation.
Results: Stabilometric parameters showed a good balance and postural control both in T0 and T2. Baropodometric parame- ters showed a physiological load pressure distribution between the left and the right foot in T0 (left foot 54% - right foot 46%) as well as in T2 (left foot 45% - right foot 55%). The left forefoot-rearfoot ratio pressure showed no differences between T0 and T2 (p>0.05); we found an improvement on the right forefoot-rearfoot ratio (p<0.05). Cervical range of motion evaluation showed no significant variations from T0 to T2 (p>0.05) on rotation and lateral bending movements; we found an improvement on the exten- sion movement from T0 to T2 (p<0.05), while the flexion movement decreased (p>0.05).
Conclusion: The presented case study showed that the experimental protocol improved the postural parameters of this taek- wondo elite athlete. We believe that other athletes may adopt this protocol in order to improve own sports performance and to pre- vent injuries.
taekwondo, balance, postural control, training