Musculoskeletal profile of middle-aged Ving Tsun Chinese martial art practitioners: A cross-sectional study

Shirley S.M. Fong, Jessie S.M. Chan, Young-Hyeon Bae, Timothy Yam, Louisa Chung, Ada Ma, Raija Kuisma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This cross-sectional exploratory study aimed to quantify and compare the axial and appendicular bone mineral density (BMD), muscle mass, and muscle strength of middle-aged practitioners of Ving Tsun (VT; a hard-style Chinese martial art) with those of nonpractitioners. Eighteen VT practitioners (mean age ± standard deviation = 51.8 ± 17.7 years; 12 men and six women) and 36 active controls (mean age ± standard deviation = 58.7 ± 11.0 years; 18 men and 18 women) participated in the study. All participants underwent a 1- day battery of musculoskeletal examinations. The BMD of the total radius, total hip, femoral neck, and lumbar spine was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, as was the lean mass of the arm, leg, and trunk. Muscle strength of the upper and lower limbs was assessed using a Jamar dynamometer and an isokinetic dynamometer at 60°/second, respectively.VT-trained participants had a 11.5% higher total radius BMD (P = 0.023), a 17.8% higher leg lean mass (P = 0.014), a 56.4% higherisokinetic body weight-adjusted peak torque of the knee extensors (P < 0.001), a 60.8% higher isokinetic body weight-adjusted peak torque of knee flexors (P < 0.001), and a 31.4% shorter time to reach peak torque in the knee flexors (P = 0.001) than the active controls. No significant differences were found in any of the other musculoskeletal outcomes between the 2 groups (P > 0.05).Middle-aged VT practitioners displayed a higher total radius BMD and leg lean mass and better knee extensor and flexor muscularperformances than their healthy active counterparts. Healthcare professionals may consider using this alternative method of training to improve the musculoskeletal health of middle-aged adults. Abbreviations: BMD = bone mineral density, DXA = dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, MANOVA = multivariate analysis of variance, VT = Ving Tsun.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2017 the Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives License 4.0, which allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to the author.


  • bone mineral density
  • martial exercise
  • muscle mass
  • muscle strength


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