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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  BODY COMPOSITION, NUTRITION AND SUPPLEMENTATION 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 March;59(3):429-33

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08363-9

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Anthropometric characteristics of top-class Olympic race walkers

Josu GOMEZ-EZEIZA 1 , Nicholas TAM 2, Jon TORRES-UNDA 2, Cristina GRANADOS 1, Jordan SANTOS-CONCEJERO 1

1 Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain; 2 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Odontology, University of Basque Country UPV/EHU, Bilbao, Spain



BACKGROUND: Typical training programmes in elite race walkers involve high training volumes at low and moderate intensities, which have been reported to induce functional and structural adaptations at an anthropometric level. Since anthropometrical variables are closely related to movement efficiency and performance in endurance events, the aim of this study was to describe the anthropometric profile of world-class race walkers.
METHODS: Twenty-nine world-class race walkers (21 men and 8 women) participated in this study. Anthropometric characteristics, including height, body mass, eight skinfolds, five girths and four bone breadths were measured. Body composition, somatotype, somatotype dispersion mean, somatotype attitudinal mean and height to weight ratio, as well as skinfolds extremity to trunk ratio were also calculated.
RESULTS: Mean height, body mass and body mass index were 177.1±7.1 cm, 66.4±5.8 kg, and 21.2±1.3 kg·m2 for men and 165.6±4.5 cm, 53.6±3.7 kg, and 19.6±1.6 kg· m2 for women, respectively. Women presented greater body fat content (6.7±0.6 vs. 12.2±0.8%; very large effect), less muscle mass (65.6±4.6 vs. 61.6±2.6 kg; large effect), and were more endomorphic (large effect) than men. Men specialists in 20-km showed greater muscle mass (66.7±4.9 vs. 64.4±4.3 kg; moderate effect), and slightly higher skinfolds, girths, body fat content and were more mesomorphic than 50-km specialists (moderate effect).
CONCLUSIONS: The present study expands the limited knowledge on the anthropometric characteristics and somatotype elements of elite top-class race walkers. The characterisation of the morphology of elite race walkers provides coaches a reference values to control the training development of the race walker, as well as providing reference values to improve talent identification.


KEY WORDS: Walking - Anthropometry - Adipose tissue - Somatotypes - Athletes

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