Multijoint coordination of lower extremity in Tai Chi exercise

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The goal of this study was to investigate the movement coordination among the hip, knee, and ankle joints during solo performance of the Tai Chi (TC) basic movements in order to understand its dynamic postural control. Nine male community-dwelling adults with experienced TC pushing hands participated in this cross-sectional study. The Eagle® motion analysis system with eight cameras was used to collect the trajectories of all reflective markers at sampling rate 100 Hz while the subject performed the ward-off, rollback, press, and push movements. Motion among the hip, knee, and ankle joints was highly coupled. Coupled joint motion, hip flexion-knee flexion-ankle dorsiflexion or reverse, existed in ward-off, rollback, and press phases for the front leg. However, in the push phase, the hip joint angle was kept almost constant with coupled knee and ankle motions. For the rear leg, coupled motion existed between the hip and the knee joints only. The ankle joint motion differed between the front and the rear legs during the basic movements of TC (p < 0.05). Basic characteristics were documented such as the forward knee never extending further than forward toe and both legs maintaining flexion during the full exercise cycle with hip and knee of front and rear legs having synchronized movements in opposite directions. The forward and backward shifts of TC basic movements have considerable contributions to the posture control in terms of the fine coordination of three lower extremity joints. This information could improve training protocol design for TC Chuan teaching and help beginners make an efficient and less damaging movement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-493
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Mechanics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Sept

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering


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