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Comparing Effects of Tai Chi and Iyengar Yoga on Muscle Strength and Balance

October 27, 2021 - A recent Chinese study compared the effects between a 16-week Tai Chi and a Lyengar Yoga program on muscle strength, static and dynamic balance, and balance confidence in elderly people.

A total of 48 senior citizens without mobility-impairing neurological disease, dementia, cardiovascular disease/symptoms during moderate exercise, poorly controlled hypertension, or balance-impairing drug use participated in this study. They were divided into a Tai Chi group, an Lyengar 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 ?exor strength and extensor strength and ABC score; Lyengar Yoga was more effective for improving static balance and dynamic balance.

The study, reported by the Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, concluded that Tai Chi and Lyengar Yoga can improve strength, balance, and balance confidence among older people. Both are suitable exercise choices for older adults


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