Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Dance as an Eccentric Form of Exercise: Practical Implications

Vassilis Paschalis, Michalis G. Nikolaidis, Athanasios Z. Jamurtas, Emmanuel O. Owolabi, George D. Kitas, Matthew A. Wyon, Yiannis Koutedakis
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 27 Number 2: Page 102 (June 2012)

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Abstract: The eccentric action is an integral part of the stretch-shortening (or eccentric-concentric) cycle of muscle movement, especially when repositioning of the centre of gravity is required. Jumps and landing tasks are examples of this cycle and are incorporated in most dance activities. However, unaccustomed eccentric muscle action can cause muscle damage, which is characterised by the development of delayed-onset muscle soreness and swelling, decline of pain-free range of motion, as well as sustained loss of muscle force and range of motion. Furthermore, unaccustomed eccentric muscle action can induce disturbances in movement economy and energy expenditure, so dancers spend more energy during a routine than usual. Such negative effects are gradually reduced and eventually disappear due to physiological adaptations to this form of muscular activity. Given that eccentric exercises also appear to induce greater muscle performance improvements than other forms of muscle conditioning, it is advised that they should be integrated into dancers¿ weekly schedules. The purpose of the present review is to examine the possible effects of the eccentric component of dance on the performance and health status of dancers.

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