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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2010, Article ID 672751, 10 pages
Clinical Study

Kung Fu Training Improves Physical Fitness Measures in Overweight/Obese Adolescents: The “Martial Fitness” Study

1Exercise, Health & Performance Faculty Research Group, The University of Sydney, Lidcome, NSW 2141, Australia
2Brain Dynamics Centre, The University of Sydney Medical School and Westmead Millennium Institute, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia
3Centre for Research into Adolescents' Health, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia

Received 21 November 2009; Revised 8 March 2010; Accepted 8 April 2010

Academic Editor: Jonatan R. Ruiz

Copyright © 2010 Tracey W. Tsang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. To examine the efficacy of a six-month Kung Fu (KF) program on physical fitness in overweight/obese adolescents. Methods. Subjects were randomly assigned to the KF or sham exercise (Tai Chi, TC) control group. Physical measurements in cardiovascular fitness and muscle fitness occurred at baseline and after 6 months of training thrice weekly. Results. Twenty subjects were recruited. One subject was lost to follow-up, although overall compliance to the training sessions was %. At follow-up, the cohort improved in absolute upper ( 73026310 ) and lower ( ) body strength, and upper body muscle endurance ( ), without group differences. KF training resulted in significantly greater improvements in submaximal cardiovascular fitness ( ), lower body muscle endurance ( ; significant 95% CI: 0.37–2.49), and upper body muscle velocity ( ) relative to TC training. Conclusions. This short-term KF program improved submaximal cardiovascular fitness, lower body muscle endurance, and muscle velocity, in overweight/obese adolescents with very low baseline fitness.