H. Bideganeta, S. Brooks, M.J. Meenan, A.F. Brown

University of Idaho, Moscow, ID

Athletes in aesthetic sports, such as dance, are often placed under high pressure to maintain a lean physique, therefore it is important to maintain an optimal workout regimen on top of usual training. Previously, Pilates has been used to enhance dance performance and subsequently body composition. The current study sought to further investigate effects of Pilates mat training on dance exercises and body composition of collegiate dancers. PURPOSE: To assess the effects of a 16-week Pilates mat training intervention on dance exercises, lean soft tissue (LST) and fat mass (FM). METHODS: Female dancers (n=18, ages 19±2 yrs) were assigned to a dance conditioning group (DC; n=9) or a control group (CON; n=7). Participants in DC completed an 80-minute Pilates mat training class 2 days per week. CON and DC groups maintained regular dance schedules throughout the intervention. Pre and post- testing consisted of teaser, side plank (R and L) to exhaustion, and a dual-absorptiometry scan (Hologic Horizon™; Marlborough, MA). Body composition index (BCI=(LSTpost-LSTpre) + (FMpre-FMpost) was used to evaluate overall body composition changes. Statistical analyses were completed using SPSS Statistics (v. 24). Data were reported as mean±SD and significance was accepted at p<0.05. RESULTS: No significant interaction by time and group was observed for teaser and left side plank (p=0.27; p=0.26 respectively), however CON performed significantly better on right side plank at pre (10.14±6.01) compared to post-testing (17.00±7.57; p=0.004). There were no significant changes from pre to post-testing in FM (CON: 34.3±8.12 and 32.98±8.01 %, p=0.766; DC: 34.02±5.41 and 34.00±5.39 %, p=0.837, respectively) or LST (CON: 61.99±7.56 and 63.34±7.54, p=0.743 %; DC: 62.18±5.15 and 62.48±4.12 %, p=0.741) for either CON or DC. BCI was significantly different (p=0.019) between the CON 1.69±0.78 and DC 0.27±1.19 groups. CONCLUSION: The Pilates intervention produced little to no significant changes in dance specific exercise performance measurements. BCI reflects that the CON group had overall more positive body composition outcomes when compared to the DC group. Therefore, adjustments to dance specific Pilates interventions may be necessary to specifically optimize collegiate dancers training and body composition.

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