Differential effect of Taekwondo training on knee muscle strength and reactive and static balance control in children with developmental coordination disorder: A randomized controlled trial

Shirley S.M. Fong, Joanne W.Y. Chung, Lina P.Y. Chow, Ada W.W. Ma, Wai Nam Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This randomized controlled trial aimed to investigate the effect of short-term intensive TKD training on the isokinetic knee muscle strength and reactive and static balance control of children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Among the 44 children with DCD (mean age: 7.6 ± 1.3 years) recruited, 21 were randomly assigned to undergo daily TKD training for 1. h over three consecutive months, with the remaining 23 children being assigned to the DCD control group. Eighteen typically developing children (mean age: 7.2 ± 1.0 years) received no training as normal controls. Knee extensor and flexor muscle strength and reactive and static balance control were assessed using an isokinetic machine (with low, moderate and high movement velocities), a motor control test (MCT) and a unilateral stance test (UST), respectively. A repeated measures MANCOVA revealed a significant group through time interaction effect in isokinetic outcomes at 180°/s and in the UST outcome. Post hoc analysis demonstrated that DCD-TKD children's isokinetic knee muscle strength, specifically at 180°/s, was as high as that of the normal control children (p>0.0083) after TKD training. Moreover, UST body sway velocity was slower in the DCD-TKD group than in the DCD control group (p<0.001), and was comparable to that of the normal control group (p>0.05) after TKD training. However, no such improvement in balance was observed in the MCT (p>0.025). The results show that children with DCD who undergo a 3-month program of intensive TKD training experience improvements in isokinetic knee muscle strength at 180°/s and static single-leg standing balance control, but do not benefit from improved reactive balance control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1446-1455
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013


  • Balance
  • Clumsy children
  • Isokinetic muscle strength
  • Sport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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