Effects of Tai Chi versus Taekkyon on balance, lower-extremity strength, and gait ability in community-dwelling older women: A single-blinded randomized clinical trial

J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2020;33(1):41-48. doi: 10.3233/BMR-181493.


Background: Taekkyon, a Korean form of martial arts, has been trained for a long period. However, it is not yet known whether the Taekkyon exercise has better effects on functional mobility or balance in older adults than other types of well-investigated exercise programs such as Tai Chi (TC).

Objective: This study aimed to compare the effects of TC and Taekkyon exercise programs on the lower-extremity strength, balance, and gait ability of community-dwelling older women as a fall prevention method.

Methods: Community-dwelling older women were randomly allocated into the TC group (n1= 23) and the Taekkyon group (n2= 23). Both groups completed 1 h of either TC or Taekkyon exercises twice weekly for 12 consecutive weeks (24 sessions in total). We measured the Timed Up and Go test (TUG), Functional Reach test (FR), one-leg standing test (OLS), Five Times Sit-to-Stand test (5 × STS), 30 Second Sit-to-Stand test (30 s STS), and spatiotemporal gait parameters (gait velocity, step length, step width, stride time, and cadence) before and after the intervention.

Results: Both groups similarly showed statistically significant improvements in balance (TUG, FR, and OLS), lower-extremity strength (5 × STS and 30 s STS), and spatiotemporal gait parameters except for step width (P< 0.05). Moreover, the TC group showed greater improvement in the OLS test than the Taekkyon group (P< 0.05).

Conclusions: The results from this study support the efficacy of the TC and Taekkyon exercise programs at improving mobility in this population of older women. However, this study did not clarify which exercise program is more effective as general balance and mobility training program for older women.

Keywords: Aging; Taekkyon; Tai Chi; balance; falling.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Martial Arts*
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Tai Ji*
  • Time and Motion Studies