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Phys Ther. 2006 Feb;86(2):215-22.

Characteristics of foot movement in Tai Chi exercise.

Author information

1
Department of Sports Science and Physical Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

The concept of proper foot movement is always emphasized in practicing Tai Chi (TC). The purposes of this study were to describe the foot movement characteristics of TC and to compare duration of single- and double-limb support time during TC and during walking.

SUBJECTS:

Sixteen experienced TC practitioners participated in the study.

METHODS:

The participants' performance of a whole set of 42-form TC movements was recorded with 2 cameras. A motion analysis system was used to identify the supporting and stepping characteristics of the foot during the practice.

RESULTS:

Seven foot support patterns and 6 step directions were identified. The results revealed that, compared with normal walking, TC movement had more double-limb support and less single-limb support in terms of total duration. The duration of each support pattern was longer, and movement from one pattern to the next was slow. The duration of each step direction was short, and changes of direction were frequent.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION:

Support patterns changed slowly, and, combined with various step directions, they were found to be better than those of walking in simulating the gait challenges that may be encountered in daily activities.

PMID:
16445335
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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