Comparison of repetitive movements between ballet dancers and martial artists: risk assessment of muscle overuse injuries and prevention strategies

Res Sports Med. 2005 Jan-Mar;13(1):63-76. doi: 10.1080/15438620590922103.


Studies show that 64%-80% of professional dancers need to stop performing for extended periods due to Overuse Syndrome (OS). Although ballet and Tae-Kwon-Do seem to have similarities in muscle lengthening, the Tae-Kwon-Do injury rate is significantly lower. Identifying differences between both skills should provide insights for OS prevention. Therefore, the aims of this study are to quantitatively determine the diversities in intensity between both skills, to identify muscles at risk, and to draw possible prevention strategies from the comparison. The methods used were 3D motion capture and biomechanical modeling. Six ballet dancers and five Tae-Kwon-Do artists participated in the study. The results show that intensity during Tae-Kwvon-Do is higher than that during ballet, particularly for small muscles. As inteinsity cannot be responsible for higher injuries, strength training for small muscles and shorter exercise duration in Tae-Kwon-Do may account for the reversed rate; consequently, this is a promising procedure for ballet training. Clearly, further studies are needed to validate this conclusion.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Computer Simulation
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / prevention & control
  • Dancing / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Male
  • Martial Arts / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Risk Assessment