The primary purpose was to examine changes in balance, lower extremity (LE) power and flexibility following 10 weeks of taekwondo (TKD) training and to determine if this was different in children classified as healthy weight (HW) and overweight (OW)/obese. Participants included 17 children (HW: n = 11, OW/obese: n = 6). Data were collected on balance, LE power and flexibility at baseline and 10 weeks. Balance was assessed with eyes open in normal (NSEO), tandem (TSEO), single (SLEO) stances and with eyes closed for normal (NSEC) and tandem (TSEC) stances. Center of pressure displacements in mediolateral (Xavg) and anteroposterior (Yavg) directions; and average velocity (Vavg) were calculated. Analyses included two-way ANOVA and Mann Whitney U tests (P < 0.05). Balance data indicated significant interaction effects for Xavg in NSEO, Yavg in TSEO; time effects for Yavg in NSEO, NSEC and SLEO and Vavg in SLEO conditions. A significant group effect was shown for Vavg in the NSEO, NSEC and TSEO and for Yavg in TSEC conditions. Flexibility decreased significantly with TKD. Findings suggest that 10 weeks of TKD training may improve balance in children, and OW/obese group may have greater improvements in balance with eyes open compared to their peers.
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