Specialized properties of the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit in professional ballet dancers

M M Moltubakk, M M Magulas, F O Villars, O R Seynnes, J Bojsen-Møller

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This study compared professional ballet dancers (n = 10) to nonstretching controls (n = 10) with the purpose of comparing muscle and tendon morphology, mechanical, neural, and functional properties of the triceps surae and their role for ankle joint flexibility. Torque-angle and torque-velocity data were obtained during passive and active conditions by use of isokinetic dynamometry, while tissue morphology and mechanical properties were evaluated by ultrasonography. Dancers displayed longer gastrocnemius medialis fascicles (55 ± 5 vs 47 ± 6 mm) and a longer (207 ± 33 vs 167 ± 10 mm) and more compliant (230 ± 87 vs 364 ± 106 N/mm) Achilles tendon compared to controls. Greater passive ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (40 ± 7 vs 17 ± 9°) was seen in dancers, resulting from greater fascicle strain and greater elongation of the muscle. Peak electromyographic (EMG) activity recorded during passive stretching was lower in dancers, and at common joint angles, dancers displayed lower EMG amplitude and lower passive joint stiffness. No differences between groups were seen in maximal isometric plantar flexor torque, isokinetic peak torque, angle of peak torque, or work. In conclusion, the greater ankle joint flexibility of professional dancers seems attributed to multiple differences in morphological and mechanical properties of muscle and tendinous tissues, and to factors related to neural activation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
Volume28
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)2023-2034
ISSN0905-7188
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

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Torque
Muscles
Joints
Muscle Stretching Exercises
Achilles Tendon
Ultrasonography

Keywords

  • ROM
  • fascicle length
  • length-tension
  • morphological properties
  • passive resistance
  • passive torque
  • tendon stiffness
  • ultrasound
  • Torque
  • Achilles Tendon/physiology
  • Humans
  • Ankle Joint/physiology
  • Athletes
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Young Adult
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Dancing
  • Muscle, Skeletal/physiology

Cite this

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title = "Specialized properties of the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit in professional ballet dancers",
abstract = "This study compared professional ballet dancers (n = 10) to nonstretching controls (n = 10) with the purpose of comparing muscle and tendon morphology, mechanical, neural, and functional properties of the triceps surae and their role for ankle joint flexibility. Torque-angle and torque-velocity data were obtained during passive and active conditions by use of isokinetic dynamometry, while tissue morphology and mechanical properties were evaluated by ultrasonography. Dancers displayed longer gastrocnemius medialis fascicles (55 ± 5 vs 47 ± 6 mm) and a longer (207 ± 33 vs 167 ± 10 mm) and more compliant (230 ± 87 vs 364 ± 106 N/mm) Achilles tendon compared to controls. Greater passive ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (40 ± 7 vs 17 ± 9°) was seen in dancers, resulting from greater fascicle strain and greater elongation of the muscle. Peak electromyographic (EMG) activity recorded during passive stretching was lower in dancers, and at common joint angles, dancers displayed lower EMG amplitude and lower passive joint stiffness. No differences between groups were seen in maximal isometric plantar flexor torque, isokinetic peak torque, angle of peak torque, or work. In conclusion, the greater ankle joint flexibility of professional dancers seems attributed to multiple differences in morphological and mechanical properties of muscle and tendinous tissues, and to factors related to neural activation.",
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author = "Moltubakk, {M M} and Magulas, {M M} and Villars, {F O} and Seynnes, {O R} and J Bojsen-M{\o}ller",
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Specialized properties of the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit in professional ballet dancers. / Moltubakk, M M; Magulas, M M; Villars, F O; Seynnes, O R; Bojsen-Møller, J.

In: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, Vol. 28, No. 9, 09.2018, p. 2023-2034.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Specialized properties of the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit in professional ballet dancers

AU - Moltubakk, M M

AU - Magulas, M M

AU - Villars, F O

AU - Seynnes, O R

AU - Bojsen-Møller, J

N1 - © 2018 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

PY - 2018/9

Y1 - 2018/9

N2 - This study compared professional ballet dancers (n = 10) to nonstretching controls (n = 10) with the purpose of comparing muscle and tendon morphology, mechanical, neural, and functional properties of the triceps surae and their role for ankle joint flexibility. Torque-angle and torque-velocity data were obtained during passive and active conditions by use of isokinetic dynamometry, while tissue morphology and mechanical properties were evaluated by ultrasonography. Dancers displayed longer gastrocnemius medialis fascicles (55 ± 5 vs 47 ± 6 mm) and a longer (207 ± 33 vs 167 ± 10 mm) and more compliant (230 ± 87 vs 364 ± 106 N/mm) Achilles tendon compared to controls. Greater passive ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (40 ± 7 vs 17 ± 9°) was seen in dancers, resulting from greater fascicle strain and greater elongation of the muscle. Peak electromyographic (EMG) activity recorded during passive stretching was lower in dancers, and at common joint angles, dancers displayed lower EMG amplitude and lower passive joint stiffness. No differences between groups were seen in maximal isometric plantar flexor torque, isokinetic peak torque, angle of peak torque, or work. In conclusion, the greater ankle joint flexibility of professional dancers seems attributed to multiple differences in morphological and mechanical properties of muscle and tendinous tissues, and to factors related to neural activation.

AB - This study compared professional ballet dancers (n = 10) to nonstretching controls (n = 10) with the purpose of comparing muscle and tendon morphology, mechanical, neural, and functional properties of the triceps surae and their role for ankle joint flexibility. Torque-angle and torque-velocity data were obtained during passive and active conditions by use of isokinetic dynamometry, while tissue morphology and mechanical properties were evaluated by ultrasonography. Dancers displayed longer gastrocnemius medialis fascicles (55 ± 5 vs 47 ± 6 mm) and a longer (207 ± 33 vs 167 ± 10 mm) and more compliant (230 ± 87 vs 364 ± 106 N/mm) Achilles tendon compared to controls. Greater passive ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (40 ± 7 vs 17 ± 9°) was seen in dancers, resulting from greater fascicle strain and greater elongation of the muscle. Peak electromyographic (EMG) activity recorded during passive stretching was lower in dancers, and at common joint angles, dancers displayed lower EMG amplitude and lower passive joint stiffness. No differences between groups were seen in maximal isometric plantar flexor torque, isokinetic peak torque, angle of peak torque, or work. In conclusion, the greater ankle joint flexibility of professional dancers seems attributed to multiple differences in morphological and mechanical properties of muscle and tendinous tissues, and to factors related to neural activation.

KW - ROM

KW - fascicle length

KW - length-tension

KW - morphological properties

KW - passive resistance

KW - passive torque

KW - tendon stiffness

KW - ultrasound

KW - Torque

KW - Achilles Tendon/physiology

KW - Humans

KW - Ankle Joint/physiology

KW - Athletes

KW - Case-Control Studies

KW - Young Adult

KW - Range of Motion, Articular

KW - Adult

KW - Female

KW - Dancing

KW - Muscle, Skeletal/physiology

U2 - 10.1111/sms.13207

DO - 10.1111/sms.13207

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 29723911

VL - 28

SP - 2023

EP - 2034

JO - Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports

JF - Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports

SN - 0905-7188

IS - 9

ER -