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J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact, 2013; 13(4): 395-404, PMID: 24292609

Gymnastics participation is associated with skeletal benefits in the distal forearm: a 6-month study using peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography.

Year: 2013

Burt LA, Ducher G, Naughton GA, Courteix D, Greene DA
Centre of Physical Activity Across the Lifespan, Australian Catholic University, Locked Bag 2002, Strathfield, NSW, Australia, 2135.


Objectives: Musculoskeletal development of the upper limbs during exposure to weight-bearing loading is under-researched during early pubescent growth. The purpose was to assess the changes in upper body musculoskeletal strength in young girls following 6 months of non-elite gymnastics participation. Methods: Eighty-four girls, 6-12 years were divided into groups based on gymnastics participation: high-training (HGYM, 6-16 hr/wk), low-training (LGYM, 1-5 hr/wk), and non-gymnasts (NONGYM). Volumetric BMD, bone geometry, estimated bone strength and muscle size were assessed at the non-dominant forearm (4% and 66% radius and ulna) with pQCT. DXA assessed aBMD and body composition. Tests for explosive power, muscle strength, and endurance were also performed. Results: Interaction effects were observed in all variables at the 4% radius. At the 66% ulna, HGYM and LGYM had greater bone mass, size and bone strength than NONGYM, furthermore a dose-response relationship was observed at this location. Body composition was better for HGYM than LGYM and NONGYM, however muscle function was better for HGYM and LGYM than NONGYM. Conclusion: The greatest changes were obtained with more than one gymnastics class per week. Separating gymnastics participation-related changes from those associated with normal growth and development remains difficult, particularly at the 4% radius.

GID: 3424; Last update: 10.01.2014