Wiliam Carvajal MS, Hamlet Betancourt PhD, Sofia León PhD, Yanel Deturnel MS, Miriam Martínez, Ivis Echevarría, María Eugenia Castillo, Noemí Serviat MD MS
INTRODUCTION Athletes' kinanthropometric profiles are widely addressed in the scientific literature. Such profiles are particularly important in volleyball because absolute size contributes a significant percentage of total variance associated with athletic success. As in other team sports, volleyball players' kinanthropometric attributes correlate with the game's tactical demands. From 1992 through 2000, the Cuban women's volleyball team achieved top global performance, winning first place in three successive Summer Olympic Games.
OBJECTIVE Describe the kinanthropometric profiles of Cuban women Olympic volleyball champions during 1992–2000 and compare these by position played.
METHODS Measurements were taken of body composition, somatotype, proportionality and several anthropometric indicators in 41 Cuban women volleyball players, grouped by playing position. All were members of the national team that participated in the Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona (1992), Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000). Mean and standard deviations were calculated for all study variables. Analysis of variance was used to compare means for different positions for the variables weight; height; percent adipose, muscle and bone mass; body mass index; and muscle-to-bone ratio. Discriminant analysis was performed to identify anthropometric dimensions differentiating playing positions (center, spiker and setter), using p<0.05 as significance threshold. Results were presented in tables and figures.
RESULTS Centers presented greater absolute size and higher average adipose (22.8±1.7 kg) and bone (7.1±0.6 kg) mass. The mean somatotype of all volleyball players was balanced mesomorphic (2.7–3.6–2.9). Classified by position, centers (2.9–3.4–3.4) and spikers (2.8–3.6–2.9) presented an average mesomorphic–ectomorphic somatotype, and setters (2.6–3.7–2.6) were balanced mesomorphic. On assessing Somatotype Attitudinal Mean (SAM), centers and spikers showed more intrapositional homogeneity than that of setters. Centers were significantly taller (187.1±2.5 cm) than players in other positions. Centers' percent adipose tissue mass (28.9±2.7%) was significantly higher than that of setters (24.3±2.7%), who were leanest of all positions.
CONCLUSIONS The kinanthropometric profile of Cuban women Olympic volleyball champions was defined by considerable muscular-skeletal development, with a predominantly mesomorphic somatotype and low endomorphy. Height and body composition varied significantly by playing position.
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