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Effects of Official Taekwondo Competitions on All-Out Performances of Elite Athletes

Chiodo, Salvatore1,2; Tessitore, Antonio3; Cortis, Cristina3; Lupo, Corrado3; Ammendolia, Antonio1; Iona, Teresa1; Capranica, Laura3

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: February 2011 - Volume 25 - Issue 2 - pp 334-339
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182027288
Original Research

Chiodo, S, Tessitore, A, Cortis, C, Lupo, C, Ammendolia, A, Iona, T, and Capranica, L. Effects of official Taekwondo competitions on all-out performances of elite athletes. J Strength Cond Res 25(x): 000-000, 2011-This study investigated physiological and performance aspects of 15 (4 women and 11 men) elite Taekwondo athletes (24.0 ± 5.7 years) during their National Championship. The load of the competition was evaluated by means of heart rate (HR) and blood lactate (La). Pre and postmatch countermovement jump (CMJ), and handgrip performances were compared (p < 0.05). The match imposed a high load (HR > 85% of individual HRmax = 92 ± 12%; La = 6.7 ± 2.5 mmol·L−1) on athletes. After the match, better (p < 0.0001) CMJ (men: 43.9 ± 5.2 cm; women: 30.8 ± 2.3 cm) and worst (p = 0.006) handgrip performances (men: 459 ± 87 N; women: 337 ± 70 N) were found with respect to prematch ones (CMJ: men = 40.8 ± 4.9 cm, women = 28.2 ± 2.5 cm; handgrip: men = 486 ± 88 N, women: 337 ± 70 N). Results indicate that the intermittent activity of the Taekwondo competition elicits a high neuromuscular activation of the lower limbs. Instead, the decreases in grip strength could be because of the repeated concussions on the upper limbs used to protect from the opponent's kicks and punches directed toward the scoring area of the torso. Practically, these results urge coaches to structure training sessions that enable athletes to maintain their upper limb strength during their match.

1Experimental and Clinical Medicine Department, University of Magna Graecia, Catanzaro, Italy; 2Italian Taekwondo Federation, Rome, Italy; and 3Department of Human Movement and Sport Sciences, University of Rome Foro Italico, Rome, Italy

Address correspondence to Laura Capranica, laura.capranica@uniroma4.it.

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association