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Sports Medicine

, Volume 44, Issue 6, pp 713–733 | Cite as

Physical and Physiological Profiles of Taekwondo Athletes

  • Craig A. BridgeEmail author
  • Jonatas Ferreira da Silva Santos
  • Helmi Chaabène
  • Willy Pieter
  • Emerson Franchini
Review Article

Abstract

Taekwondo has evolved into a modern-day Olympic combat sport. The physical and physiological demands of modern-day taekwondo competition require athletes to be competent in several aspects of fitness. This review critically explores the physical and physiological characteristics of taekwondo athletes and presents implications for training and research. International taekwondo athletes possess low levels of body fat and a somatotype that characterises a blend of moderate musculoskeletal tissue and relative body linearity. While there is some variation in the maximum oxygen uptake of taekwondo athletes, moderate to high levels of cardio-respiratory fitness are necessary to support the metabolic demands of fighting and to facilitate recovery between consecutive matches. Taekwondo athletes demonstrate high peak anaerobic power characteristics of the lower limbs and this attribute appears to be conducive to achieving success in international competition. The ability to generate and sustain power output using both concentric and ‘stretch-shortening cycle’ muscle actions of the lower limbs may be important to support the technical and tactical actions in combat. Taekwondo competitors also display moderate to high maximum dynamic strength characteristics of the lower and upper extremities, and moderate endurance properties of the trunk and hip flexor musculature. The dynamic nature of the technical and tactical actions in the sport demand high flexibility of the lower limbs. More extensive research is required into the physical and physiological characteristics of taekwondo athletes to extend existing knowledge and to permit specialised conditioning for different populations within the sport.

Keywords

Female Athlete Anaerobic Power Wingate Test Muscular Power Combat Sport 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this review. The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig A. Bridge
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jonatas Ferreira da Silva Santos
    • 2
  • Helmi Chaabène
    • 3
    • 4
  • Willy Pieter
    • 5
  • Emerson Franchini
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Sport and Exercise Research Group, Department of Sport and Physical Activity, Wilson CentreEdge Hill UniversityOrmskirkUK
  2. 2.Martial Arts and Combat Sports Research Group, Sport Department, School of Physical Education and SportUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Research Unit, Analysis and Evaluation of Factors Affecting Sport PerformanceHigher Institute of Sports and Physical EducationKsar SaidTunisia
  4. 4.Higher Institute of Sports and Physical EducationManouba UniversityTunisTunisia
  5. 5.Department of Taekwondo, College of Physical EducationKeimyung UniversityDaeguRepublic of Korea
  6. 6.Faculty of Sports SciencesUniversity of MontpellierMontpellierFrance

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