Differences in anthropometry, somatotype, body composition and physiological characteristics of female volleyball players by competition level
Nikolaidis, P. T.
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Purpose The aim of this study was to compare female volleyball teams with different performance level and to identify the physiological characteristics that discriminate them. Methods Thirty-seven players (age 21.9 ± 4.8 years, mean ± standard deviation, body mass 66.3 ± 7.1 kg, stature 173.9 ± 7.3 cm) from teams A, B and C participating in the first, second and third Greek league, respectively, performed a series of anthropometric and physical fitness measures. Results Players of team A and B were taller than players of C [10.8 cm (4.7; 16.9), mean difference (95 % confidence intervals), and 7.4 cm (1.6; 13.3), respectively]. Players of A also had lower body fat [-5.8 % (-9.3; -2.3)] and higher fat-free mass than C [6.5 kg (1.8; 11.3)]. The mean somatotype of A was ectomorphic mesomorph, B was balanced endomorph and C was mesomorphic endomorph. Players of B jumped higher in squat jump, countermovement jump without and with arm-swing than their counterparts of C [4.9 cm (1.4; 8.5), 4.3 cm (0.3; 8.3) and 5.1 cm (0.9; 9.2), respectively]. Players of A scored better than those of C with regard to the strength of the right hand [5.9 kg (1.2; 10.6)] and the sum of both hands [10.2 kg (1.4; 19.1)]. Peak power in Wingate anaerobic test was better in team B than C [1.0 W kg-1 (0.0; 2.0)]. Team A and B scored higher in mean power either in absolute values [79 W (11; 147) and 77 W (10; 143), respectively] or in relative to body mass values [1.0 W kg-1 (0.1; 1.8) and 1.0 W kg-1 (0.2; 1.8), respectively] than team C. Conclusions These findings confirmed the importance of stature and jump ability for performance in volleyball. However, what is novel is that for the first time we identified differences in upper limbs’ muscle strength and in lower limbs’ muscle power among teams from different leagues, and based on these findings recommendations can be given on training goals and players’ selection.
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