Background: Ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries in taekwondo fighters. This study aimed to investigate the effect of eight-week functional training on soft surfaces on the balance and electromyographic activity of the muscles of female taekwondo fighters.
Methods: In this randomized field trial study conducted in Tehran, we selected 16 female taekwondo athletes and assigned them to experimental and control groups. The experimental group performed functional exercises on soft surfaces for eight weeks and three sessions per week. We collected the electromyography activity of muscles by a 16-Channel wireless Electromyography Model V 4.24 (Bayamed Company, Iran) in the biomechanics laboratory of the Allameh Tabataba’i University. Before and after the functional training protocol, we recorded the electrical activity of tibialis anterior, medial and lateral gastrocnemius, rectus femoris, and biceps femoris muscles of stance leg while performing Dollyo Chagi. We analyzed the data using ANCOVA at a significant level of P≤0.05.
Results: Eight-week taekwondo training on soft surfaces was significantly effective in reducing the Center of Pressure displacement (P=0.002 and P=0.045) and standard deviation (P=0.023 and P=0.022) concerning internal-external and anteriorposterior directions, respectively. Moreover, we observed an increase in the electromyographic activity of medial gastrocnemius muscle at 100 ms before foot initial contact (P=0.030).
Conclusions: The results of this study showed that functional taekwondo training on soft surfaces was able to increase the balance of athletes and augment the feed-forward electrical activity of medial gastrocnemius muscle. Therefore, it seems that these exercises can be used to prevent ankle injuries in these athletes.