Upper-Body Muscular Endurance in Female University-Level Modern Dancers: A Pilot Study

Ambegaonkar, Jatin P.; Caswell, Shane V.; Winchester, Jason B.; Caswell, Amanda A.; Andre, Matthew J.
February 2012
Journal of Dance Medicine & Science;2012, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p3
Academic Journal
Physical demands vary among dance styles, and injury patterns differ accordingly. Modern dance tends to be high in upper-body demands, and university-level female modern dancers are suggested to be at high risk for upper-body injury. Low muscular endurance is a known injury risk factor. Whether modern dancers have different upper-body muscular endurance than non-dancers is unclear. Thus, the purpose of this study was to compare upper-body endurance in female university-level modern dancers (n = 17) and physically active non-dancers (n = 15), using the modified push-up test. Pearson- correlations examined relationships between anthropometries and push-ups. Multiple regression analyses were used to determine whether anthropometries and physical activity could predict push-up scores. One-way ANOVAs compared upper-body endurance (number of push-ups) and physical activity between groups (p < 0.05). Except for height (r = -.37), no variables were related to push-ups. Neither anthropometries nor physical activity were able to predict push-up scores (p = 0.25). Despite dancers being more active/day (3.6 ± 1.9 vs. 0.9 ± 0.4 hrs/day, p < 0.001), more times per week (5.4 ± 1.2 vs. 4.0 ± 1.8, p = 0.02), and having greater overall physical activity volumes (20.4 ± 11.4 vs. 3.3 ± 2.5 hrs/week, p < 0.001) than non-dancers, both groups had similar upper-body endurance (22.2 ± 8.6 vs. 19.9 ± 8.2, p = 0.44). A probable explanation for this similarity exists in the lack of physical activity beyond dance itself performed by the dancers; our preliminary work suggests that modern dance alone may not produce upper-body muscle endurance gains. Hence, it is suggested that modern dancers should engage in strength and conditioning training programs to enhance upper-body endurance.


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