Football players' balance is inferior
Comparison of standing balance in dancers and football players
Could dancing and soccer technique be comparable?
The possible benefits of dancing for developing athletic balance and agility were discussed by Peak Performance recently. Now a new US study on dancers and footballers appears to provide further confirmation of these benefits.
Thirty two female collegiate soccer players were compared with 32 dancers for a number of measures of standing balance using ‘centre of pressure’ measurements, which involved balancing on a special pressure sensitive mat while the following were recorded:
- The degree of sway from vertical (ie how stable they remained when standing upright);
- The centre acquisition time (the time required to achieve vertical balance after performing a movement);
- The sway path length and velocity.
The results showed that while the scores from 15 of the 20 balance tests were not significantly different between the two groups, the dancers achieved superior scores in the other five tests. The Harvard Medical School researchers went on to conclude that: ‘Dancers have certain standing balance abilities that are better than those of soccer players,’ and also that ‘the COP measurements in this study can be used as a tool in future studies investigating standing balance in different groups of athletes.’
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