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Contralateral Muscle Imbalances and Physiological Profile of Recreational Aerial Athletes

Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton, CA 92831, USA
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J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2019, 4(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk4030049
Received: 5 June 2019 / Revised: 17 July 2019 / Accepted: 23 July 2019 / Published: 25 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Kinesiology and Biomechanics)
Background: Aerial fitness is quickly gaining popularity; however, little is known regarding the physiological demands of aerial athletes. The purpose of the study was to examine contralateral muscle imbalances, compare dominant versus non-dominant hamstrings-to-quadriceps (H:Q) ratios, and to establish a physiological profile of recreational aerial athletes. Methods: Thirteen aerialist women visited a local aerial studio to participate in a data collection session to examine isometric levels of upper and lower body strength, muscle endurance, flexibility, balance, and cardiovascular fitness. Results: No significant differences were found between dominant and non-dominant hand grip strength (p = 0.077), dominant and non-dominant isometric knee flexion (p = 0.483), dominant and non-dominant isometric knee extension (p = 0.152), or dominant and non-dominant isometric H:Q ratios (p = 0.102). In addition, no significant difference was found between isometric dominant H:Q ratio and the widely-used value of 0.60 (p = 0.139). However, isometric non-dominant H:Q ratio was significantly lower than the 0.60 criterion (p = 0.004). Aerial athletes demonstrated to have excellent flexibility, balance, cardiorespiratory fitness, and average strength. Conclusions: Aerial fitness may be another recreational activity that could be used to maintain higher levels of flexibility, balance, cardiorespiratory fitness, and strength. Aerialists may want to consider focusing on strengthening the lower body and balancing the hamstrings and quadriceps muscle strength. View Full-Text
Keywords: circus artists; circus acts; aerial silks; aerial hoop; aerial fitness; acrobats circus artists; circus acts; aerial silks; aerial hoop; aerial fitness; acrobats
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Ruggieri, R.M.; Costa, P.B. Contralateral Muscle Imbalances and Physiological Profile of Recreational Aerial Athletes. J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2019, 4, 49.

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