Calf Endurance and Achilles Tendon Structure in Classical Ballet Dancers

Jennifer A. Zellers, Katrina van Ostrand, Karin Grävare Silbernagel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Optimal lower leg function is critical for ballet dancers to meet their occupational requirements. Achilles tendon injury is particularly detrimental to ballet dancers. While standardized measures have been validated and incorporated into clinical practice for use in people with Achilles tendon injury, normative ranges specific to the dancer population have not been described. The purpose of this pilot study was to observe the performance of pre-professional ballet students and professional ballet dancers on a well-established test battery for lower leg functional performance as well as ultrasonographic evaluation of the structure of their Achilles tendons. The dancers in this study had significantly shorter Achilles tendons than non-dancers (p = 0.016). Dancers demonstrated significantly higher maximum heel-rise height on the heel-rise test for calf endurance (p < 0.001) but performed significantly less work than non-dancers (p = 0.014). The results of this study support the use of the heel-rise test as a tool for screening and to guide rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-69
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of dance medicine & science : official publication of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Calf Endurance and Achilles Tendon Structure in Classical Ballet Dancers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this