Published Thesis in the International Journal of Exercise Science

Traditional and kickboxing exercise programs are successful in enhancing muscular fitness and balance in older adults.

By Maria Alexander at Montclair State University.

Jim Gladstone


Tokarz, M., Fisher, M. Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of traditional exercise incorporating resistance/balance training and kickboxing training on muscular fitness, balance, and quality of life in older individuals.
Methods: Nineteen older adults (60 to 80 years of age) were randomly assigned to a kickboxing group (n=9) or traditional exercise group (n=10) for an 8-week exercise program. All participants were tested on static and dynamic balance, muscular endurance of the upper and lower body, and quality of life prior to and after the exercise program. The 8-week traditional exercise program consisted of a general warm-up followed by strength and balance training of the upper and lower body (two sets of 10 repetitions, twice a week). Participants in the kickboxing group, in addition to the traditional exercise training, performed alternate front punch, cross punch, upper-cut punch, and front and back kick exercises. Both groups completed each training session with a cool-down and stretching. A mixed design 2 x 2 factorial analysis of variance was computed, comparing the traditional exercise group and the kickboxing group before and after the 8-week training program. A level of p< 0.05 was used as the criteria for achieving statistical significance.
Results: There were no significant interactions with respect to exercise group and time, however a significant main effect for time (p < 0.05) was observed for many of the fitness parameters collapsed across exercise groups. An increase in muscular endurance was noted for the bicep curl (Pre 11.217 + 0.476 curls, Post 13.750 + 0.827 curls) and chair stand test (Pre 9.361 + 0.650 stands, Post 11.711 + 0.383 stands). Both measures of balance were also improved post exercise training. Times for the agility test were lowered (Pre 9.081 + 0.289 s, Post 8.224 + 0.323 s), while scores for the Berg static balance test were raised (Pre 7.994 + 0.630 points, Post 11.072 + 0.326 points). Quality of life was unchanged at the conclusion of the exercise program. Conclusion: Both traditional and kickboxing exercise programs were equally successful in enhancing muscular fitness and balance in older adults.

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