Effects of Bafa Wubu and He-Style Tai Chi exercise training on physical fitness of overweight male university students: A randomized controlled trial

Author: Yantao Niu1,2, Rojapon Buranarugsa1,3, Piyathida Kuhirunyaratn4
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Exercise and Sport Sciences Program, Graduate School, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand. <sup>2</sup> Faculty of Physical Education, Jiaozuo Normal College, Jiaozuo, China. <sup>3</sup> Physical Education Program, Faculty of Education, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand. <sup>4</sup> Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.
Conference/Journal: PLoS One
Date published: 2024 Jan 19
Other: Volume ID: 19 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: e0297117 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0297117. , Word Count: 252

This study aimed to compare the effects of 12-week Bafa Wubu Tai Chi (BW-TC) and traditional He-style Tai Chi (TH-TC) exercise training on physical fitness parameters in overweight university students and to compare the differences in their effects. A total of 81 overweight male university students were randomly assigned to the BW-TC group (N = 27), the TH-TC group (N = 27), and the control group (CG, N = 27). Upper limb grip strength, wall squat, sitting and reaching, 6-minute walk, single-leg stance, and Y-balance were measured at baseline and after 12 weeks of Tai Chi training. There were no significant differences in demographic characteristics and assessment parameters among the groups at baseline (p>0.05). Both BW-TC and TH-TC performed Tai Chi exercise program training lasting 12 weeks, with three sessions per week, each lasting 60 minutes intervention. The changes in mean scores for the sit-and-reach test were 3.11 cm and 4.52 cm, for the wall squat test were 27.56 s and 36.85 s, and for the 6-minute walk test were 22.93 m and 63.22 m, and Y-balance (p<0.05) significantly increased in both BW-TC and TH-TC groups, while the mean score of single-leg stance significantly decreased (p<0.05). Additionally, compared to the BW-TC group, the TH-TC group showed a significant increase in lower limb strength (13.89 s, p = 0.048) and the distance of the Y-balance test in the left posterior medial direction (4.04 cm, p = 0.031). BW-TC and TH-TC interventions effectively improved physical fitness in overweight university students. However, TH-TC showed superior results in lower limb strength improvement. Trial registration number: ChiCTR2200059427 (https://www.chictr.org.cn).

PMID: 38241227 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0297117