Postural Adaptations in Preadolescent Karate Athletes Due to a One Week Karate Training Camp

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Stefano Vando, Davide Filingeri, Lucio Maurino, Helmi Chaabene, Antonino Bianco, Gianluca Salernitano, Calogero Foti, Johnny Padulo

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of an increasing number of training hours of specific high-intensity karate training on postural sway in preadolescent karate athletes. Seventy-four karatekas were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups: Karate Group (KG=37): age 10.29±1.68 yrs; or Control Group (CG= 37): age 10.06±1.77 yrs. The KG performed two sessions per day for 1 week in total, while the CG performed only 3 sessions during the same period. The center-of-pressure length (COPL) and velocity (COPV) were recorded under four different experimental conditions: open eyes (EO), closed eyes (EC), open eyes monopodalic left (EOL), open eyes monopodalic right (EOR), pre as well as post training intervention. Post-camp results indicated significant differences between the groups in the COPL p<0.001; an interaction of training type×time in the COPV (p<0.001) and an interaction of training type×time (p=0.020). The KG revealed an improvement in the COPL from pre to post-camp under conditions of EO [-37.26% (p<0.001)], EC [-31.72% (p<0.001)], EOL [-27.27% (p<0.001)], EOR [-21.44% (p<0.001)], while CG revealed small adaptations in conditions of EO (3.16%), EC (0.93%), EOL (-3.03%), EOR (-0.97%). Furthermore, in the KG an improvement in the COPV from pre to post-camp was observed in conditions of EO [-37.92% (p<0.001)], EC [-32.52% (p<0.001)], EOL [-29.11% (p<0.001)], EOR [-21.49% (p<0.001)]. In summary, one-week of high intensity karate training induced a significant improvement in static body balance in preadolescent karate athletes. Karate performance requires high-levels of both static and dynamic balance. Further research dealing with the effect of karate practice on dynamic body balance in young athletes is required.
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2013-0044
Key words
physical exercise, karate training, training and testing, centre of pressure, postural sway, proprioception

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