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ORIGINAL ARTICLES  BODY COMPOSITION 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2015 January-February;55(1-2):51-7

Copyright © 2015 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Anthropometric and physiologic profiles of female professional yoga practitioners and energy expenditure during asanas execution

Cè E. 1, Maggioni M. A. 1, Boniello S. 2, Veicsteinas A. 1, 2, Merati G. 1, 2

1 Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 2 Center of Sport Medicine, Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation, Milan, Italy


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AIM: The present study aimed to: 1) define the anthropometric and physiological profiles of female professional yoga practitioner compared to that of other athletes; 2) evaluate the energy expenditure (EE) during a yoga session.
METHODS: The percentage fat mass (FM%) and fat free mass (FFM%), the maximal aerobic power (VO2max), the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of knee extensor muscles and the maximal anaerobic alactacid power (Wmax) were assessed in a group of yoga practitioners (Yo), long distance runners (LDR), sprinters (Spr), karate practitioners (Ka) and sedentary control subjects (Con). EE was evaluated in Yo during a yoga session (execution of a sequence of six yoga postures, called asanas).
RESULTS: FM% was significantly higher in Con (24.2±2.6%) than in other groups (18±1.9%, pooled data, P<0.05). FFM% did not differ among groups. VO2max was higher in LDR (55.6±1.8 mL min-1 kg-1) compared to other groups (41.7±3 mL min-1 kg-1, pooled data, P<0.05). MVC and Wmax were higher in Yo, Spr and Ka than in LDR and Con (P<0.05). In Yo, EE increased in comparison to baseline, during Sirasana execution only (+59%, P<0.05).
CONCLUSION: These data suggest that chronic yoga practice is associated with 1) values of FM%, FFM%, MVC and Wmax similar to those induced by sports requiring high degree of force and power of lower limb muscles, with maximal aerobic performance similar to control subjects; 2) low EE during most asanas execution.

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