Taekwondo training and fitness in female adolescents

J Sports Sci. 2011 Jan;29(2):133-8. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2010.525519.


In this study, we determined the specificity of a low frequency taekwondo training programme on physical fitness levels in adolescent females who receive limited physical education instruction (i.e. 2 days per week). Major components of physical fitness assessed were: skeletal muscle fitness (hand grip strength, bent arm hang, standing long jump, and isokinetic strength), flexibility (sit-and-reach test), speed and agility (10 × 5-m shuttle run), and cardiovascular fitness (VO(2max) and 20-m shuttle run). Changes in body composition were also assessed (dual X-ray absorptiometry, DXA). Participants were divided into two groups, a taekwondo training group (n = 21), which trained 50 min a day, 2 days per week for 12 weeks, and a control group (n = 10). Taekwondo training improved isokinetic strength, standing long jump, and sit-and-reach performance. Body fat mass and percent body fat were reduced. No changes in grip strength, bent arm hang time, speed and agility, or cardiorespiratory fitness were observed. Results indicate that low frequency taekwondo training in adolescent females produces beneficial changes in skeletal muscle fitness, flexibility, and body composition in a relatively short period of time. Consequently, this specific type of training can be useful to female adolescents in structured school environments where physical education classes are limited and there is little free time for physical activity.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adipose Tissue*
  • Adolescent
  • Body Composition*
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Martial Arts / physiology*
  • Movement
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Muscle Stretching Exercises
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular*