Effects of a Resistance Training Intervention on Strength, Power, and Performance in Adolescent Dancers

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Dowse, RA, McGuigan, MR, and Harrison, C. Effects of a resistance training intervention on strength, power, and performance in adolescent dancers. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2017—The aim of this study was to determine whether a 9-week resistance training program could have a significant effect on maximum lower-body strength and power, dynamic balance, and dance performance in adolescent dancers. Twelve competitive adolescent female dancers trained in jazz, ballet, and contemporary were recruited from local dance schools and assigned to a resistance training group (dance experience 9.2 ± 2.4 years; age 14.2 ± 1.9 years; height 155.6 ± 9.1 cm; and mass 48.9 ± 13.8 kg). Anthropometry (height, seated height, mass, and skinfolds), subjective dancing performance, dynamic balance (eyes open [EO] and eyes closed), maximum lower-body strength (isometric midthigh pull), and power (vertical countermovement jump, squat jump, and single-leg countermovement jump) were assessed before and after the 9-week intervention period. Posttesting identified a significant improvement EO overall stability (p = 0.003; effect size [ES] = 0.88), EO anterior-posterior stability (p = 0.003; ES = 0.92), peak force (p < 0.001; ES = 0.61), peak power (p = 0.021; ES = 0.22), and subjective dancing performance (p = 0.008; ES = 0.76). These results were accompanied by a trivial but significant change in mass (p = 0.023; ES = 0.09) that was attributed to growth and no significant change in body fat or the sum of skinfolds. This study demonstrated that resistance training can have a significant effect on dynamic balance, maximum lower-body strength, and power without adversely affecting artistic or esthetic components. The results suggest that incorporating resistance training may enhance strength and power adaptations and manage growth-related changes in adolescent dancers.

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