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

Shirley Siu Ming FONG, Suet Mui Jessie CHAN, Young-Hyeon BAE, Timothy Tsz Ting YAM, Ming Yan CHUNG, Wai Wing Ada MA, Raija KUISMA

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3 Citations (Scopus)


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% higher isokinetic 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 muscular performances than their healthy active counterparts. Healthcare professionals may consider using this alternative method of training to improve the musculoskeletal health of middle-aged adults. Copyright © 2017 the Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere5961
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


Martial Arts
Bone Density
Cross-Sectional Studies
Muscle Strength
Leg Bones
Femur Neck
Photon Absorptiometry
Lower Extremity
Body Weight
Delivery of Health Care


Fong, S. S. M., Chan, J. S. M., Bae, Y.-H., Yam, T. T. T., Chung, L. M. Y., Ma, A. W. W., et al. (2017, January). Musculoskeletal profile of middle-aged Ving Tsun Chinese martial art practitioners: A cross-sectional study. Medicine, 96(4), e5961.


  • Bone mineral density
  • Martial exercise
  • Muscle mass
  • Muscle strength