We investigated whether 6-week low-intensity aerobic training program used as a supplement to regular dance practice might improve both the aerobic capacity and psychomotor performance in female ballet dancers. To assess their maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and anaerobic threshold (AT), the dancers performed a standard graded bicycle ergometer exercise test until volitional exhaustion prior to and after the supplementary training. At both these occasions, the psychomotor performance (assessed as multiple choice reaction time) and number of correct responses to audio-visual stimuli was assessed at rest and immediately after cessation of maximal intensity exercise. The supplementary low-intensity exercise training increased VO2max and markedly shifted AT toward higher absolute workload. Immediately after completion of the graded exercise to volitional exhaustion, the ballerinas' psychomotor performance remained at the pre-exercise (resting) level. Neither the resting nor the maximal multiple choice reaction time and accuracy of responses were affected by the supplementary aerobic training. The results of this study indicate that addition of low-intensity aerobic training to regular dance practice increases aerobic capacity of ballerinas with no loss of speed and accuracy of their psychomotor reaction.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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