Olympic lightweight and open-class rowers possess distinctive physical and proportionality characteristics

D.A. Kerr, W.D. Ross, K. Norton, P. Hume, M. Kagawa, Tim Ackland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rowers competing at the 2000 Olympic Games were measured for 38 anthropometric dimensions. The aim was to identify common physical characteristics that could provide a competitive advantage. The participants included 140 male open-class rowers, 69 female open-class rowers, 50 male lightweight rowers, and 14 female lightweight rowers. Body mass, stature, and sitting height were different (P < 0.01) between the open-class and lightweight rowers, as well as a comparison group of healthy young adults ("non-rowers", 42 males, 71 females), for both sexes. After scaling for stature, the open-class rowers remained proportionally heavier than the non-rowers, with greater proportional chest, waist, and thigh dimensions (P < 0.01). Rowers across all categories possessed a proportionally smaller hip girth than the non-rowers (P < 0.01), which suggested the equipment places some constraints on this dimension. Top-ranked male open-class rowers were significantly taller and heavier and had a greater sitting height (P < 0.01) than their lower-ranked counterparts. They were also more muscular in the upper body, as indicated by a larger relaxed arm girth and forearm girth (P < 0.01). For the male lightweight rowers, only proportional thigh length was greater in the best competitors (P < 0.01). In the female open-class rowers, skinfold thicknesses were lower in the more highly placed competitors (P < 0.0 1). In conclusion, the rowers in this sample demonstrated distinctive physical characteristics that distinguish them from non-rowers and other sports performers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-53
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Fingerprint

Cite this