Effect of a physical conditioning versus health promotion intervention in dancers : a randomized controlled trial
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Manual therapy / Manipulation Association of Chartered Physiotherapists. - Edinburgh
, p. 562-568
University of Antwerp
Although dancing requires extensive physical exertion, dancers do not often train their physical fitness outside dance classes. Reduced aerobic capacity, lower muscle strength and altered motor control have been suggested as contributing factors for musculoskeletal injuries in dancers. This randomized controlled trial examined whether an intervention program improves aerobic capacity and explosive strength and reduces musculoskeletal injuries in dancers. Forty-four dancers were randomly allocated to a 4-month conditioning (i.e. endurance, strength and motor control training) or health promotion program (educational sessions). Outcome assessment was conducted by blinded assessors. When accounting for differences at baseline, no significant differences were observed between the groups following the intervention, except for the subscale Pain of the Short Form 36 Questionnaire (p ¼ 0.03). Injury incidence rate and the proportion of injured dancers were identical in both groups, but dancers following the conditioning program had significant less low back injuries (p ¼ 0.02). Supplementing regular dance training with a 4-month conditioning program does not lead to a significant increase in aerobic capacity or explosive strength in pre-professional dancers compared to a health promotion program without conditioning training, but leads to less reported pain. Further research should explore how additional training may be organized, taking into account the demanding dance schedule of preprofessional dancers.