Aging is related to a progressive remodeling of the neuromuscular system, which includes muscle mass, strength, and power reductions. This study investigated the effect of an eight-week dance program on fascicle pennation angle, fascicle length, and thickness of the vastus lateralis (VL), tibialis anterior (TA), biceps femoris (BF), and gastrocnemius medialis (GM) muscles using ultrasound images. Thirty-four healthy older women were randomly assigned to either a dancing (DG: n = 19, 69.1 ± 6.5 years, 72.5 ± 11.7 kg) or control group (CG: n = 15, 71.5 ± 7.4 years, 70.9 ± 9.3 kg). After training, the DG showed greater (p < .05) thickness for VL (16%), TA (17%), BF (19%), and GM (15%); pennation angle for VL (21%), TA (23%), BF (21%), and GM (17%); and fascicle length for VL (11%), TA (12%), BF (10%), and GM (10%). These findings suggest that dance training was effective to change the lower limb muscle architecture in older female adults.
Cepeda is with Positivo University, Nucleus of Biological and Health Science, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil. Lodovico and Rodacki are with the Federal University of Paraná, Sector of Biological Sciences, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil. Fowler is head of Exercise and Sport Science, Manchester Metropolitan University Cheshire, United Kingdom.