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GAZZETTA MEDICA ITALIANA ARCHIVIO PER LE SCIENZE MEDICHE

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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2009 February;168(1):11-21

language: English

The anthropometric characteristics of Japanese baseball and female softball players

Yanagisawa O. 1, Maegawa T. 2, Funato K. 3

1 Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University Tokorozawa, Saitama 359-1192, Japan
2 Department of Sports Sciences Japan Institute of Sports Sciences Kita-ku, Tokyo, Japan
3 Sports Training Center, Nippon Sport Science University, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan


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Aim. The aim of this study was to determine the anthropometric characteristics of Japanese baseball and softball players.
Methods. The subjects were professional baseball players (26 pitchers and 30 position players) and elite amateur female softball players (9 pitchers and 30 position players). The measurement parameters included height, weight, body fat percentage, upper and lower limb girths and lengths. The subcutaneous adipose and muscle thickness of the limbs and abdomen and muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) of the thigh and trunk were also measured by a B-mode ultrasound apparatus and a magnetic resonance imaging system, respectively.
Results. Baseball pitchers showed significantly greater values than position players for body fat percentage, thigh and waist girths, subcutaneous adipose thickness (posterior site of the upper arm, anterior site of the thigh, posterior site of the leg), and muscle thickness (the subscapular site, anterior site of the thigh). Softball pitchers showed significantly greater values than position players for body weight, upper and lower limb lengths and girths, subcutaneous adipose thickness (subscapular site, anterior site of the thigh, abdomen site), and muscle thickness (the forearm, anterior site of the upper arm, anterior site of the leg). Furthermore, baseball players showed significantly greater CSA in non-throwing side of the trunk muscle than in throwing side, particularly in lateral abdominal muscles.
Conclusion. Softball players showed more differences between pitchers and position players in anthropometric measurements than baseball players. In contrast, baseball pitchers exhibited side-to-side differences in trunk muscle CSA compared to softball pitchers; this is partly attributed to the specific motion for baseball pitching.

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