Somatic Profile of Competitive Sport Climbers
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Since rock climbing grows in popularity, the number of the respective scientific reports increases. However, those concerning anthropometric profile of elite climbers are scarce and inconsistent, thus the aim of the study was to describe the anthropometric characteristics of competitive sport climbers. Male rock climbers (n = 21) aged 17 - 29 years took part in the study; their climbing ability ranged from 6b to 8c in the French scale. Body height, body mass, arm span, length and girths of both extremities, shoulder and pelvis widths, as well as thickness of 5 skinfolds were determined. From these, body mass index (BMI), body fat content and selected anthropometric indices were calculated. Data collected for climbers were compared with those of untrained students (n = 165) of Warsaw Technical University. Although no between-group differences were found for body height, body mass, BMI or body fat content, the climbers exhibited significantly (p<0.001) lower pelvis-to-shoulder ratio, longer lower extremities (p<0.05), and greater arm length and arm span (p<0.001) compared to untrained students. The results of this study do not support the view that climbers are small in stature and of low body mass. It seems that the core of the issue is not in body size but rather in specific body proportions and this may be of great importance in selecting subjects to competitive sport climbing.
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