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Resistance Training for Professional String Musicians: A Prospective Intervention Study

Bertil Lundborg, Wilhelmus Johannes Andreas Grooten
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 33 Number 2: Page 102 (June 2018)

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Abstract: BACKGROUND: Many professional musicians report performance- related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMDs). Evidence shows that resistance training programs are preventive for musculoskeletal disorders, but only a few studies have been performed among musicians. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a functional resistance training program can increase isometric back endurance and isometric strength in the neck, shoulder, and wrist for professional string musicians and affect their perceived performance during instrumental play, as well as their muscle and joint mobility and the occurrence and intensity of pain. METHODS: 24 professional string musicians from three Swedish symphony orchestras participated in the study, performing individually designed exercise sessions twice a week over an 11-week period. Isometric strength and isometric back endurance were measured pre- and postintervention with a hand-held dynamometer and the Biering-Sorensen test, respectively. A web-based questionnaire was used for assessing perceived performance during instrumental play, as well as mobility and occurrence and intensity of pain. RESULTS: After the training period, the group showed an 11% to 19% increase in isometric strength for neck and upper extremities and 25% improved isometric endurance in back extensors (p<0.05). Moreover, 29% to 59% of the group showed improvements in mobility, performance during instrumental play, and PRMDs, although these improvements did not reach statistical significance. CONCLUSIONS: This functional resistance training program seems to be a non-harmful and advantageous exercise method for professional string musicians, but randomized and controlled studies are needed to confirm the results.
https://doi.org/10.21091/mppa.2018.2017

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