Comparisons of tai chi and Iyengar yoga intervention effects on muscle strength, balance, and confidence in balance

Author: Renkun Zhu1, Wenjin Wang2, Li Zhao3, Shanshan Mao4
1 China Basketball College, Beijing Sport University, Beijing, China.
2 School of Kinesiology, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai, China.
3 School of Kinesiology, Beijing Sport University, Beijing, China.
4 School of Sport Medicine and Rehabilitation, Beijing Sport University, Beijing, China -
Conference/Journal: J Sports Med Phys Fitness
Date published: 2021 Oct 1
Other: Volume ID: 61 , Issue ID: 10 , Pages: 1333-1338 , Special Notes: doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.11752-3. , Word Count: 219

The aim of the study is to compare a 16-week tai chi and Iyengar yoga program effects on muscle strength, static and dynamic balance, and balance confidence in elderly people.

A total of 48 participants (≥60 years old) without mobility-impairing neurological disease, dementia, cardiovascular disease/symptoms during moderate exercise, poorly controlled hypertension, or balance-impairing drug use. Participants were divided into a tai chi group, an Iyengar yoga group, and a control group (eight males and eight females per group), using a restricted randomization scheme generated by software. While the former two undertook 16-week exercise programs, the control group received general education. Maximum concentric strength was measured with an isokinetic dynamometer. The one-legged stand with eyes closed, "8 feet up and go," and Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale were used to assess static balance, dynamic balance, and balance confidence in daily activities, respectively.

Both programs improved all measures significantly with tai chi being more effective for increasing knee flexor strength (P=0.045) and extensor strength (P=0.032) and ABC score (P=0.034); Iyengar yoga was more effective for improving static balance (P=0.014) and dynamic balance (P=0.025; all P values here vs. the other program).

Tai chi and Iyengar yoga can improve strength, balance, and balance confidence among older people. Both are suitable exercise choices for older adults.

PMID: 34652086 DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.11752-3