Practice of martial arts and bone mineral density in adolescents of both sexes

Date: 12/5/2017 11:03:57 AM



The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship between martial arts practice and bone mineral density in adolescents.


The study was composed of 138 (48 martial arts practitioners and 90 non-practitioners) adolescents of both sexes, with an average age of 12.6 years. Bone mineral density was measured using Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry in arms, legs, spine, trunk, pelvis and total. Weekly training load and previous time of engagement in the sport modality were reported by the coach. Partial correlation tested the association between weekly training load and bone mineral density, controlled by sex, chronological age, previous practice and somatic maturation. Analysis of covariance was used to compare bone mineral density values according to control and martial arts groups, controlled by sex, chronological age, previous practice and somatic maturation. Significant relationships between bone mineral density and muscle mass were inserted into a multivariate model and the slopes of the models were compared using the Student t test (control versus martial art).


Adolescents engaged in judo practice presented higher values of bone mineral density than the control individuals (p-value=0.042; Medium Effect size [Eta-squared=0.063]), while the relationship between quantity of weekly training and bone mineral density was significant among adolescents engaged in judo (arms [r=0.308] and legs [r=0.223]) and kung-fu (arms [r=0.248] and spine [r=0.228]).


Different modalities of martial arts are related to higher bone mineral density in different body regions among adolescents.

Keywords: Martial arts, Bone mineral density, Adolescents

(Igor Hideki Ito, Alessandra Madia Mantovani, Ricardo Ribeiro Agostinete, Paulo Costa, Junior, Edner Fernando Zanuto, Diego Giulliano Destro Christofaro, Luis Pedro Ribeiro, and Rômulo Araújo Fernandes)

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