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flatwater kayaking, postural stabilization, pain, strength, ergometer

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The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) exercise on maximum paddling force (PF) and self-reported pain perception in the shoulder girdle area in flatwater kayakers. Twenty male flatwater kayakers from a local club (age = 21.9 ± 2.4 years, body height = 185.1 ± 7.9 cm, body mass = 83.9 ± 9.1 kg) were randomly assigned to the intervention or control groups. During the 6-week study, subjects from both groups performed standard off-season training. Additionally, the intervention group engaged in a DNS-based core stabilization exercise program (quadruped exercise, side sitting exercise, sitting exercise and squat exercise) after each standard training session. Using a kayak ergometer, the maximum PF stroke was measured four times during the six weeks. All subjects completed the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire before and after the 6-week interval to evaluate subjective pain perception in the shoulder girdle area. Initially, no significant differences in maximum PF and the DASH questionnaire were identified between the two groups. Repeated measures analysis of variance indicated that the experimental group improved significantly compared to the control group on maximum PF (p = .004; Cohen’s d = .85), but not on the DASH questionnaire score (p = .731) during the study. Integration of DNS with traditional flatwater kayak training may significantly increase maximum PF, but may not affect pain perception to the same extent.

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Journal of Human Kinetics, v. 61, issue 1, p. 15-27