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Examining Neuromuscular Control of the Vastus Medialis Oblique and Vastus Lateralis Muscles During Fundamental Dance Movements

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Elite dancers have a higher rate of injury than college athletes. This may be due, in part, to improper alignment during dance movements. Electromyography (EMG) can be an important indicator of such activity. This study aimed to examine how turnout (maximal hip external rotation) impacts activation of the vastus medialis oblique (VMO) and vastus lateralis (VL) muscles during fundamental dance movements. Thirty female collegiate dancers were recruited from intermediate and advanced ballet and modern technique classes. Surface EMG was used to examine activation of the VMO and VL during maximal isokinetic knee extension in demi-pliés and sautés in parallel and turned-out positions. The mean VMO:VL ratio was determined as a percentage of the highest repetition of maximal extension. The ratio was significantly lower during parallel sautés (0.921 ± 0.258) in comparison to turned-out sautés (1.008 ± 0.384; p = 0.033) and parallel pliés (1.185 ± 0.509; p = 0.002). No significant relationships were found between the VMO:VL ratio and injury history or predominant style of dance. Further investigation is warranted to examine the relationships between VMO:VL activation, patellofemoral alignment, and risk of pathology during simple and complex dance movements.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Skidmore College, Department of Health and Human Physiological Sciences and Department of Dance, Saratoga Springs, New York, USA 2: Skidmore College, Department of Dance, Saratoga Springs, New York, USA;, Email: [email protected] 3: Skidmore College, Department of Health and Human Physiological Sciences, Saratoga Springs, New York, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2020

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