2010 Volume 56 Issue 6 Pages 721-726
The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the chronic effects of practicing 30 min of basic karate exercises (BKEs) for 10 weeks on maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) in sedentary collegiate women who had no previous karate experience. The secondary purpose of this study was to investigate physiological responses and intensities of BKEs to examine the intensity of exercise. Nine women practiced 30 min of BKEs, 4 days·week-1, for 10 weeks. The six other women acted as controls. The 30 min of BKEs consisted of 9 min of stationary basics in a parallel stance (S-Basics I), 12 min of stationary basics in a front stance (S-Basics II), and 9 min of movement basics in the front stance (M-Basics). For S-Basics I, the mean percent of maximum VO2 reserve (%VO2R) was much lower than the accepted threshold, while the mean percent of maximum heart rate reserve (%HRR) was slightly lower than the accepted threshold for increasing VO2max, i.e., 40% of VO2R or HRR. For S-Basics II, the mean %VO2R was marginal, while the mean %HRR was above the accepted threshold for increasing VO2max. The mean %VO2R and %HRR for M-Basics were above the threshold for increasing VO2max. VO2max in both l·min-1 and ml·kg-1·min-1 in the experimental group significantly increased at the end of the 10 weeks of training (from 1.80±0.30 to 2.00±0.34 l·min-1 and 32.3±4.1 to 36.0±4.4 ml·kg-1·min-1, respectively), while neither value changed significantly in the control group. In conclusion, 30 min of BKEs can reach the minimal threshold level to increase cardiovascular fitness and can improve cardiovascular fitness in sedentary women.