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Anthropometric and maturational assessment of female gymnasts from varying performance levels Cameron, Katherine Susan Gacuk 1981

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ANTHROPOMETRIC AND MATURATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF FEMALE GYMNASTS FROM VARYING PERFORMANCE LEVELS  by  KATHERINE SUSAN GACUK CAMERON Honours Degree B . P . H . E . , Lakehead University,  1975  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES School of Physical Education and Recreation We accept this thesis as conforming to the required  standards  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA March, ©  1981  Katherine S. Cameron,  1981  In  presenting  requirements  this thesis  f o r an a d v a n c e d  of  British  it  freely available  agree for  that  Columbia,  f o r reference  the L i b r a r y  shall  and study.  I  f o r extensive  p u r p o s e s may  f u l f i l m e n t of the  degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y  I agree that  permission  scholarly  in partial  for  that  of this  thesis  n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my  S.AC_Jl  ,  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1W5  Date  It is  shall  permission.  Department o f  thesis  be g r a n t e d by t h e h e a d o f my  copying or publication  f i n a n c i a l gain  further  copying of t h i s  d e p a r t m e n t o r by h i s o r h e r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . understood  make  f o<3u*oO Columbia  written  i  ABSTRACT  Sixty-nine Canadian female gymnasts ages 11.5 to 18.0 years, from varying a b i l i t y  levels (National E l i t e = Group 1, Pre-National  E l i t e = Group 2, Competitive = Group 3, Recreational = Group 4 ) , were studied to determine relationships between performance and maturity, and between performance and anthropometric c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . esized that there would be s i g n i f i c a n t maturational  It was hypoth-  and anthropometric  differences among the a b i l i t y groups. Skeletal  age in reference to chronological age d i f f e r e n c e s ,  among the a b i l i t y groups, were assessed using analysis of variance, while differences in the incidence of menarche were assessed using chi-square analysis.  Anthropometric differences were assessed using multivariate and  univariate  analysis of covariance, with chronological age as the covariate. At a level of significance of p < .01, and using preplanned  orthogonal contrasts of Group 1 + 2 + 3 Group 3, and Group 1  vs  vs  Group 4, Group 1 + 2  Group 2, both of the maturational  of the anthropometric hypotheses were p a r t i a l l y  vs  and a l l f i v e  supported, with the  following s i g n i f i c a n t differences noted: Highly s k i l l e d gymnasts, in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts (Group 1 + 2 + 3  vs  Group 4, and Group 1 + 2  vs  ationally delayed both s k e l e t a l l y and menarcheally.  Group 3 ) , were maturAnthropometrically,  they were shorter in trunk length; smaller in t r i c e p s , s u p r a i l i a c , abdominal, front thigh, and medial c a l f s k i n f o l d s ; smaller in proportional  f a t mass;  and larger in proportional muscle mass. gymnasts (Group 1 + 2 + 3),  In a d d i t i o n , highly s k i l l e d  in comparison to recreational  gymnasts  (Group 4), were smaller in bi-epicondylar femur width, thigh g i r t h , and subscapular s k i n f o l d .  As w e l l , e l i t e gymnasts (Group 1 + 2),  in compar-  ison to lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts (Group 3), were smaller in s i t t i n g height and larger in proportional National  skeletal mass.  e l i t e gymnasts (Group 1),  in comparison to  e l i t e gymnasts (Group 2), were not maturational l y d i f f e r e n t , menarcheally.  pre-national skeletal l y or  Anthropometrically, they were shorter in trunk length,  longer in thigh length, and smaller in anterior-posterior The s i g n i f i c a n t maturational  chest depth.  differences noted among the  ability  groups were considered to be related to gymnastic performance, with higher s k i l l e d gymnasts being developmentally less mature than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts. The s i g n i f i c a n t anthropometric differences noted among the groups were considered to be related to gymnastic performance.  ability  More  s p e c i f i c a l l y , these differences were considered to be of biomechanical importance, and r e f l e c t i o n s of differences in a c t i v i t y l e v e l .  As w e l l ,  was suggested that these anthropometric differences were associated with maturational  differences.  The r e s u l t s of the maturational  and anthropometric assessments  indicated that there may be a relationship between gymnastic performance and maturity,  and between gymnastic performance and anthropometric  characteristics.  It  was proposed that further analysis of the anthro-  pometric parameters, with respect to proportional assessment, would be necessary before anthropometric c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s would c l o s e l y r e f l e c t maturational  differences.  it  iii  TABLE OF CONTENTS Page LIST OF TABLES  vii  Chapter 1  2  INTRODUCTION  1  STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM  2  HYPOTHESES  3  DEFINITION OF TERMS  4  DELIMITATIONS  6  LIMITATIONS  6  REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE  8  INTRODUCTION  8  I  9  II  ,  MORPHOLOGICAL DESCRIPTORS Somatotypical Analysis  9  Anthropometric Assessment  9  Body Composition Analysis  10  Summary:  20  Morphological Descriptors  MORPHOLOGY AND PERFORMANCE  .  .  .  21  Gymnastics and Other Sport Disciplines  21  Descriptive Studies of Gymnasts  24  Biomechanical Advantages of S p e c i f i c Physiques Summary: III  .  Morphology and Performance  PERFORMANCE AND MORPHOLOGY Fat Mass Content and A c t i v i t y Levels  •  •  27 31 32 33  iv Page C r i t i c a l Periods for Fat Mass Deposition  ••• •  •  •  35  Muscle Mass Content and A c t i v i t y Levels  •  •  •  •  36  C r i t i c a l Periods for Muscle Mass Deposition  •  •  •  37  Skeletal Mass Content and A c t i v i t y Levels •  •  •  •  38  •  •  39  C r i t i c a l Periods for Skeletal Mass Deposition Summary: IV  Performance and Morphology  PERFORMANCE AND MATURITY  43  Maturity and Population Studies  47  Maturity and A t h l e t i c Populations  48  External Stressors and Maturity  50  Exercise as a Maturity Stressor  51  Summary:  VI  VII  43  Maturity Indicators  Growth Rate Intervention and Catch-up Growth •  V  42  Performance and Maturity  MORPHOLOGY AND MATURITY  •  •  52 53 54  Height, Weight, and Maturity  54  Secular Trends  55  Endomorphy, Mesomorphy, and Maturity  56  The C r i t i c a l Mass Hypotheses  58  Summary:  60  Morphology and Maturity  MATURITY AND MORPHOLOGY  61  Height, Weight, and Maturity  62  Proportionality,  Shape, and Maturity  62  Endomorphy, Mesomorphy, and Maturity  64  Summary:  65  Maturity and Morphology  MATURITY AND PERFORMANCE Maturity and Muscular Development  66 66  V  Chapter  Page Early Maturity and Performance  68  Late Maturity and Performance  68  Maturity and C r i t i c a l Learning Periods  3  .  .  .  .  70  Age and Olympic Participation  71  Summary:  72  Maturity and Performance  METHODS AND PROCEDURES  73  SUBJECTS  73  PROCEDURES  74  MEASUREMENTS  76  Maturational I II  Measurements  76  Skeletal age  76  Menarche  76  Anthropometric Measurements I II  76  Height and Length Measurements  78  Breadth, Width, and Depth Measurements  III IV  .  .  .  85  Girth Measurements  90  Skinfold Thickness Measurements  96  V height and Proportional Mass Measurements  •  •  EVALUATION OF MEASUREMENTS . Maturational  104  Evaluation  105  Anthropometric Evaluation  •  105  STATISTICAL ANALYSIS  106  Test Groupings Statistical I II  Analysis of Maturational  99  106 Data  106  Skeletal age data  106  Menarcheal data  107  S t a t i s t i c a l Analysis of Anthropometric Data  •  •  •  •  107  vi Chapter 4  Page RESULTS AND DISCUSSION  108  RESULTS  110  MATURATIONAL ASSESSMENT  110  I II  Skeletal Age  110  Menarche  113  Summary of Results: Maturational Assessment  .  .  .  115  .  ANTHROPOMETRIC ASSESSMENT I II III IV V  116  Height and Length Measures  116  Breadth, Width, and Depth Measures  121  Girth Measures  124  Skinfold Thickness Measures  129  Weight and Proportional Mass Measures  132  Summary of Results: Anthropometric Assessment  .  .  .  .  136  DISCUSSION  137  MATURATIONAL ASSESSMENT  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  137  ANTHROPOMETRIC ASSESSMENT I II III IV V  5  Height and Length Measures  143 •  147  Breadth, Width, and Depth Measures  157  Girth Measures  165  Skinfold Thickness Measures  171  Weight and Proportional Mass Measures  174  MATURITY-ANTHROPOMETRIC RELATIONSHIP  183  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS  185  SUMMARY  185  CONCLUSIONS  189  SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH  190  REFERENCES  193  APPENDIX A  208  vii  LIST OF TABLES Table 1.  2.  Page Observed Cell Means and Standard Deviations For Chronological Age, Skeletal Age, and the Chronological Age Minus Skeletal Age Difference  .  .  .  m  .  Univariate Analysis of Variance Results For the Chronological Age Minus Skeletal Age Difference For Each Preplanned Orthogonal Contrast  112  3.  Observed Cell Frequencies For the Incidence of Menarche •  4.  Chi-Square Analysis Results For the Incidence of Menarche For Each Preplanned Orthogonal Contrast  114  Observed Cell Means and Standard Deviations For Height and Length Measures • •  117  Multivariate and Univariate Analysis of Covariance Results For Height and Length Measures For Each Preplanned Orthogonal Contrast  119  Observed Cell Means and Standard Deviations For Breadth, Width, and Depth Measures  122  Multivariate and Univariate Analysis of Covariance Results For Breadth, Width, and Depth Measures For Each Preplanned Orthogonal Contrast  123  Observed Cell Means and Standard Deviations For Girth Measures  125  Multivariate and Univariate Analysis of Covariance Results For Girth Measures For Each Preplanned Orthogonal Contrast  127  Observed Cell Means and Standard Deviations For Skinfold Thickness Measures  130  Multivariate and Univariate Analysis of Covariance Results For Skinfold Thickness Measures For Each Preplanned Orthogonal Contrast  131  Observed Cell Means and Standard Deviations For Weight and Proportional Mass Measures  133  Multivariate and Univariate Analysis of Covariance Results For Weight and Proportional Mass Measures For Each Preplanned Orthogonal Contrast  134  5.  6.  7. 8.  9.  10.  11. 12.  13.  14.  •  114  viii  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  To the members of my committee, Dr. S. R. Brown, Dr. H. S. G i l l e s p i e , Dr. A. T. L a s c a r i , Dr. R. E. Mosher, and Dr. R. W. Schutz, I would l i k e to express my appreciation for their assistance throughout the preparation of this t h e s i s . To the chairman of my thesis committee, Dr. R. E. Mosher, I would l i k e to express a special appreciation for his support and guidance throughout my academic career. I would l i k e to acknowledge the assistance of M. Gessaroli and T. Wood for computer programming, L. Grayson and M. Harrison for  taking  the radiographic photos, and J . Thayer for administering the questionnaire. Special thanks are due Dr. W. M. Ross for his continued interest in this project, and due A. Vajda-Janyk for her time and care in taking the anthropometric measurements and in assigning skeletal  ratings.  A sincere appreciation is extended to the participating gymnasts, their parents and coaches, and p a r t i c u l a r l y to the Canadian Gymnastics Federation and the National Women's Coach, Boris Bajin.  Without their co-  operation, consent, and concern, this research would not have been p o s s i b l e . F i n a l l y , a warm thank-you is reserved for my husband Brian, for his encouragements, and for allowing me the luxury of such an endeavour.  CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION  The factor of age presents unlimited problems in research involving anthropometric and performance comparisons between former and present Olympic Games and World Class competitors.  The ages of the female gymnastic  participants in these competitions appear to have decreased s u b s t a n t i a l l y ' with each successive Games.  A wide age range of these competitors has made  i t d i f f i c u l t to draw any conclusive information from anthropometric comparisons of former and present e l i t e ,  female gymnasts, other than the  identif-  ication of obvious physical differences that normally exist between the adult female f i g u r e , and the younger pre-pubescent or adolescent female f i g u r e . Many of today's e l i t e female gymnasts are in the age range when normal pubertal developments are expected to take place.  During the  pubescent years, dramatic physical changes'in s i z e , shape, and body compos i t i o n occur, along with d i f f e r e n t i a l organs.  changes in the reproductive and other  One such development is the onset of menarche, which marks a  d e f i n i t e stage of physical maturity in the female progression through adolescence towards ultimate adult, physical status. The recent trend of younger participants at e l i t e gymnastic competitions seems to indicate that female gymnasts are reaching their prime or "peaking" at younger ages.  This appears to be the case since,  accompanying this decrease in age, is a progressive increase in s k i l l complexity and the attainment of very high degrees of performance. 1  :  2  This age factor may play an important role in the evolution of gymnastic performance.  A logical inquiry from these observations i s ,  "whether or not certain physical advantages c o - e x i s t with the younger, female gymnast, rendering her a more appropriate candidate for gymnastictype movement than the o l d e r , female gymnast".  This inquiry may have some  support in the fact that fame for female gymnasts is often s h o r t - l i v e d , with female gymnasts tending to drop out of high caliber competition during, or soon after adolescence.  This early retirement may be due to the  stiff  competition imposed by upcoming gymnasts, who "win" their way into the e l i t e p o s i t i o n s , or due to the adolescent development of other i n t e r e s t s . An overlooked, and possibly unconsidered, factor involved in this early retirement trend may l i e in the fact that the body changes in s i z e , shape, p r o p o r t i o n a l i t y , and composition during puberty.  Some of these  obvious changes are; increases in height, weight, total body a d i p o s i t y , and the development of secondary sex c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s in general. A declining age of p a r t i c i p a t i o n , concurring with an increasing level of s k i l l complexity, may r e f l e c t the changing nature and evolution of "women's" gymnastics.  This trend suggests the p o s s i b i l i t y that important  relationships exist between maturational  status, anthropometric character-  i s t i c s , and success in gymnastic performance.  STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM It  i s the purpose of this research to investigate the p o s s i b i l i t y  that success in gymnastics is related to the concept of maturational and anthropometric c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . investigated are as follows:  age  More s p e c i f i c a l l y , the questions to be  3  1.  Are there maturational differences among national  elite,  pre-national e l i t e , l e s s e r s k i l l e d competitive and recreational gymnasts? 2.  Are there anthropometric differences among national  elite,  pre-national e l i t e , l e s s e r s k i l l e d competitive and recreational gymnasts?  HYPOTHESES It i s hypothesized that:  1.  The maturational  s t a t u s , as determined by s k e l e t a l age in  reference to chronological age, i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t among national e l i t e , pre-national e l i t e , l e s s e r s k i l l e d competitive and r e c r e a t i o n a l gymnasts.  2.  The incidence of menarche i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t among  national e l i t e , pre-national e l i t e , l e s s e r s k i l l e d competitive and recreational gymnasts.  3.  The measures of height and length are s i g n i f i c a n t l y  different  among national e l i t e , pre-national e l i t e , l e s s e r s k i l l e d competitive and recreational gymnasts.  4.  The measures of width, breadth, and depth are s i g n i f i c a n t l y  diff-  erent among national e l i t e , pre-national e l i t e , l e s s e r s k i l l e d competitive and recreational gymnasts.  4  5. elite,  The measures of g i r t h are s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t among national pre-national e l i t e ,  lesser s k i l l e d competitive and recreational  gymnasts.  6.  The measures of skinfold thickness are s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t  among national e l i t e ,  pre-national e l i t e ,  lesser s k i l l e d competitive and  recreational gymnasts.  7.  The measures of weight and proportional body mass are s i g n i f i c a n t l y  d i f f e r e n t among national e l i t e ,  pre-national e l i t e ,  lesser s k i l l e d compet-  i t i v e and recreational gymnasts.  DEFINITION OF TERMS Anthropometry:  as defined by Webster (1970: s . v . )  i s , "the study of  human body measurements, especially on a comparative b a s i s " .  Anthropometric C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s :  r e f e r s , in the present study, to  the s p e c i f i c height, length, width, breadth, depth, g i r t h , skinfold thickness, and weight measurements taken, as well as to the length and proportional •mass measures.derived.  Growth:  refers ,to the physical act of enlargement of a structure,  which may r e s u l t in volume increases and shape changes.  Maturation:  refers to the various stages of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n  of  c e l l s , t i s s u e s , and organs, in preparation for functional and structural changes.  It  is also the occurrence of physical and physiological changes  5  associated with progression towards ultimate and f u l l and function.  The term "development" is used synonymously with  Menarche: 1970: s . v . ) .  adult development  It  refers t o , "the i n i t i a t i o n  of menstruation"  is an objective and e a s i l y i d e n t i f i a b l e  "maturation".  (Webster,  stage in the  maturation sequence of the female.  Morphology: is a c o l l e c t i v e term, referring to the shape, b u i l d , physique, structure, composition, and proportions of the body. 1  Proportional Body Masses:  refers t o , the derived f a t ,  skeletal,  muscle, and residual weights of the body, expressed in percentages of the total body weight, with total body weight for these derivations calculated as the sum of the four derived weights, and not the conventionally observed scale weight.  Pubertal or Adolescent Developments:  r e f e r s , in the present study,  to the init-iation of the growth spurts in height and weight; to s p e c i f i c compositional, s t r u c t u r a l , and shape changes; as well as to physiological and functional developments, such as menarche, that accompany puberty.  Skeletal Age:  i s , "a measure of the developmental status of the  skeleton as disclosed by an x-ray film" (Greulich & Pyle, 1970:2), usually of the hand and wrist area.  The maturational  area "represents" the developmental status  status of the hand and wrist  of the skeleton as a whole  (Greulich & Pyle, 1970:11), and " r e f l e c t s " the developmental and functional status of the reproductive system (Greulich & Pyle, 1970:15).  The terms  6  "bone age" and "physiological age" are used synonymously with the term "skeletal  age".  DELIMITATIONS  1.  The present study is delimited to maturational  and anthropometric  assessments of Canadian female gymnasts, between the ages of and 18.0 years, with a b i l i t y  11.5  levels ranging from r e c r e a t i o n a l ,  through provincial competitive levels A & B, to pre-national and national  2.  team c a l i b e r .  The concept of maturity a)  is delimited  to:  skeletal age, as evaluated via the Tanner-Whitehouse II  Method,  twenty bone assessment, bone s p e c i f i c approach to assessing the skeletal maturity of the hand and wrist area (Tanner, Whitehouse, Marshall, Healy, & Goldstein, 1975); and b)  3.  the occurrence or absence of menarche.  The anthropometric assessment i s delimited to the 39 measurements evaluated, and more s p e c i f i c a l l y to the 11 height and length; 6 breadth, width, and depth; 11 g i r t h ; 6 skinfold thickness; 1 weight, and 4 proportional body mass measures.  LIMITATIONS  1.  S k i l l level c l a s s i f i c a t i o n into Research Groups 1, 2, and 3, is limited to the Canadian Gymnastics Federation categorization of gymnasts into "National  E l i t e , Pre-National  E l i t e , and Provincial  Competitive Levels A and B", respectively.  Categorization of  gymnasts is based on their performance in a test of "gymnastic fitness" comprised of a battery of individual physical fitness and standard gymnastic moves tests (Bajin, 1977).  Since the t r a i n i n g , competitive, and rest season may not coincide for gymnastic Groups 1, 2, and 3, i t  i s recognized that the state  of physical fitness "readiness" may not have been uniform among these groups.  This situation may have influenced the difference  values, among these groups, in those anthropometric readily influenced by a c t i v i t y level  variables  (weight, skinfold thickness,  proportional fat mass, g i r t h , proportional muscle mass measures).  The subjects' involvements in other sporting endeavours and physical pursuits were not c o n t r o l l e d .  8  CHAPTER 2." REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE  Introduction Research involving pre-adolescent and adolescent children involved in high levels of competition must be concerned with many variables in order to i s o l a t e those factors that may contribute s i g n i f i c a n t l y to the success of these young a t h l e t e s .  This thesis is directed toward i s o l a t i n g the  contribution of "maturity" and "morphology", as these two domains relate to success in gymnastics. The related l i t e r a t u r e for this study w i l l be presented under the following headings: I  MORPHOLOGICAL DESCRIPTORS:  conventional methods of describing the body morphologically.  II  MORPHOLOGY AND PERFORMANCE:  the importance of body "build" to performance outcomes.  III  PERFORMANCE AND MORPHOLOGY: the role of exercise in developing and altering body " b u i l d " .  IV  PERFORMANCE AND MATURITY:  physical exercise as i t affects  the  maturing processes. V  MORPHOLOGY AND MATURITY:  physical size and "build" as these  affect  the maturing processes. VI  MATURITY AND MORPHOLOGY:  the time and rate of maturity as they affect the ultimate adult physique.  9  VII  MATURITY AND PERFORMANCE:  physical changes associated with maturity as they affect  I  performance.  MORPHOLOGICAL DESCRIPTORS  Three of the conventional methods of describing the body morphologically are; somatotypical a n a l y s i s , anthropometric assessment, and body composition a n a l y s i s .  Somatotypical Analysis The concept of somatotyping, an evaluation of the total body's external  shape, the degree of endomorphy, mesomorphy, and ectomorphy  assessed through visual inspection of a series of photos, was introduced by Sheldon, Stevens, and Tucker in 1940.  In order to increase the  object-  i v i t y of the assessment, the Heath-Carter Method of Somatotyping, incorporating anthropometric elements into the photoscopic assessment, was later developed (Carter, 1975), based on e a r l i e r works of Cureton (1947, 1951), Parnell  (1954, 1958), and Damon et a l .  (1962) (all  cited in Carter,  1975:2-1).  Anthropometric Assessment Anthropometric analysis involves taking surface measurements of lengths, g i r t h s , widths, breadths, depths, and skinfold thicknesses.  These  surface measurements offer a means of assessing the d i s t r i b u t i o n of the body's composition; with girth measurements generally indicating muscular development; length, breadth, and width measurements  reflecting-skeletal  development; depth, breadth, and width measurements generally encompassing  10  the residual mass; and skinfold thickness measurements representing subcutaneous fat  the  distribution.  While the absolute values of anthropometric measurements are used for i n t e r - i n d i v i d u a l Levine, & Carter,  and group comparisons (Alexander,  1976; De Garay,  1974; Eiben, 1972; Hebbelinck & Ross, in Nelson &  Morehouse, 1974:546; Lewis, 1969; Nelson, 1974; Novak, Woodward, B e s t i t , & Mellerowicz,  1977; Ross & Day, 1972; Smit, 1973), conversion into proport-  ional values, the r a t i o of one measure to another or the adjustment of a l l measurements to a single measure, such as height, has also been employed. Proportional analysis has been used e f f e c t i v e l y  in comparisons between  individuals (Ross & Wilson, 1974), between groups (Eiben, Ross, Christensen, & Faulkner, 1976), in assessing biomechanical advantages of s p e c i f i c physiques (Hebbelinck & Ross, in Nelson & Morehouse, 1974:546; Le Veau, Ward, & Nelson, 1974; Tanner, 1964, and T i t t e l & Wutscherk, 1972, cited in Hebbelinck & Ross, in Nelson & Morehouse, 1974:546), and also in the monitoring of physical changes in shape and proportionality  due to growth,  maturity (Behnke, 1963; Behnke & Wilmore, 1974; B i e l i c k i & Waliszko,  1975;  Eiben, 1978; Huxley, 1932, cited in Behnke, 1961:953; Medawar, 1945; Ross & Wilson, 1974; Tanner & Whitehouse, 1976; Tosovsky, Prokopec, & Mejsharova, 1976), and altered levels of energy expenditure and nutritional  status  (Behnke & Wilmore, 1974).  Body Composition Analysis A computer search program described by Deutch and Ross (1978, cited in Drinkwater & Ross, 1980:178) provides a basic bibliography of over 800 papers in the area of body composition.  Comprehensive reviews of the various  techniques developed to assess body composition are presented by Behnke and -  11  Wilmore (1974), Brozek (1961), Friis-Hansen (1971), Ismail (1971), and Malina (1969b).  Jackson and Pollock (1976) provide the computational framework for  determining body composition from s k i n f o l d , g i r t h , and diameter measurements, through the use of multivariate s c a l i n g .  Kowalski (1972) examines the  limitations and strengths of such models in anthropometric research. Body composition analyses, especially of children and adolescence, are limited and fraught with problems of v a l i d i t y and r e l i a b i l i t y , with each technique and method having i t s own d i s t i n c t and inherent e r r o r s . Since d i r e c t compositional analysis involves the dissection of cadavers, the majority of the research to date has been conducted through indirect means.  While chemical analysis of cadavers provides the framework  for developing i n d i r e c t methods for estimating in vivo body composition (Brozek, 1961; Damon & Goldman, 1964; Malina, 1969b), the majority of indirect methods developed are validated against more widely recognized indirect methods (Behnke & Wilmore, 1974), which themselves "have not been, validated against d i r e c t a n a l y s i s .  As a r e s u l t , these i n d i r e c t methods also  involve major assumptions and e r r o r s , with regard to the amount and nature of the body components (Damon & Goldman, 1964).  (i)  "Fat .mass.  .The body has conventionally been divided into a  two component system comprised of a f a t mass and a f a t - f r e e or lean body mass.  The progenitor of most of the current procedures for  fractionating  the body weight into two compartments was Behnke (1942, c i t e d in Drinkwater & Ross, 1980:178).  Reviews of the techniques developed to assess body fat  are presented by Keys and Brozek (1953), and Reynolds (1950). The fat mass component has been i d e n t i f i e d through the use of anthropometric formulae (Behnke & Wilmore, 1974; Damon & Goldman, 1964;  12  Yuhasz, 1977), and equations involving skinfold measurements in the prediction of total body fat are e s s e n t i a l l y elaborations of the pioneer works of Matiegka (1921, cited in Drinkwater & Ross, 1980:178). Skinfold thickness measurements have been shown to be useful predictors of body fatness in children and adolescents (Durnin & Rahaman, 1967; Hammond, 1955), in adolescents (Durnin & Womersley, 1974; Forbes et al.,  1975, Michael & Katch, 1968, and Young et a l . , 1968, cited in Slaughter,  Lohman, & Boileau, 1978:470), in men and women (Damon & Goldman, 1964; Hammond, 1955; Keys & Brozek, 1953; Matiegka, 1921, cited in Keys & Brozek, 1953:264); and of body density in children (Parizkova, 1961a; Shephard, Jones, I s h i i ,  Kanek, & Albecht, 1969)  and adolescents (Parizkova, 1961a).  Tables to calculate body fat from skinfold measurements and body density have also been proposed (Durnin & Rahaman, 1967; Parizkova, 1961a). Skinfold th.rckness and girth measurements were found to be useful predictors of body density in college women (Katch & Michael ,--1968), and Best et a l .  (1953, cited in Brozek, 1961:923) found a close association  between percent body fat and the r a t i o of height to abdominal girth in adult men. Previous to Parizkova's investigations (1961a), there appears to have been no systematic investigation of the relationship of body fat  to  subcutaneous f a t during childhood and adolescence, and in a l a t e r review of the l i t e r a t u r e (Durnin & Rahaman, 1967), no equations were available for use with children or adolescents to derive body fat from measurements of body density. Although the s i t e at which skinfold thickness had the highest correlation with body density varied with age and sex, the high correlations found suggested that the relationship between density and percent fat  in  13  children and adolescents, may be close to that found in adults  (Parizkova,  1961a). Ongoing cadaver analysis at the V r i j e U n i v e r s i t e i t conjunction with Simon Fraser University interesting  Brussels,  in  (Canada), has revealed some  observations concerning body compositional a n a l y s i s : The basic assumptions that there are fixed relationships between external and internal a d i p o s i t y , and between adiposity and l i p i d , are not supported by cadaver a n a l y s i s . (Ross,  1980)  Previous accounts in the l i t e r a t u r e have also indicated the inadequacy of predicting total body fat from subcutaneous fat measurements.  A l l e n , Peng,  Chen, Huang, Chang, and Fang (1956) have demonstrated a c u r v i l i n e a r  relation-  ship between external and internal a d i p o s i t y , with fat persons having approximately  two-thirds of their excess adiposity subcutaneously located,  and thin persons having most of i t  internally  located.  While Durnin and  Womersley (1974) found males to have a higher proportion of body fat situated subcutaneously, than females, cadaver analysis (Alexander,  1964,  cited in Durnin & Womersley, 1974:87) revealed that the "subcutaneous accounted for only 0..2;of the total fat  in the men and 0.1  (referring to the r a t i o of subcutaneous f a t to total body Young et a l .  fat  in the women" fat).  (1964, cited in Shephard et a l . , 1969:1185) found  that the triceps skinfold did not correlate well with obesity in females of a given age group.  As w e l l , this skinfold has been found to show l i t t l e  increase with age (Parizkova,  1963; Shephard et a l . , 1969), and i t s use in  predicting body density and r e l a t i v e obesity is cautioned (Shephard et 1969).  al.,  Wilmore, Royce, Girandola, Katch, and Katch (1970b); Wilmore,  Girandola, and Moody (1970a); and Zwiren, Skinner, and Buskirk (1973) found  14  individual  skinfold thickness measurements b a s i c a l l y unsound in assessing  changes in body f a t with exercise, as s i g n i f i c a n t reductions in skinfold thicknesses were not reflected by changes in body density, body f a t ,  or  lean body weight. While Damon and Goldman (1964) found the accuracy of predicting body fat from anthropometric equations to vary with the degree of endomorphy and mesomorphy, Young et a l .  (1963, cited in Malina, 1969b:20) and S k e r l j ,  Brozek, and Hunt (1953) proposed that the relationship between subcutaneous skinfold thickness and total body fat may be a function of age and sex, as well as amount of f a t .  Both these studies indicated an increase in inner  fat at the expense of outer fat during the l a t e r phase of maturity in females. Skinfold thickness has been found to correlate negatively with body density (Malina,  1969b), and the relationship has been found to be  non-linear in both sexes (Durnin & Womersley, 1974). correlation found in boys than g i r l s  However, a higher  (Parizkova, 1961a) suggests the  p o s s i b i l i t y of separate equations' and s i t e selections for the sexes. From cadaver analyses, thickness of skin was found to vary with age, sex, and region of the body, with correlations between c a l i p e r and actual fat varying from .61 to .92 for females (Lee & Ng, 1965).  For the  same actual fat thickness, c a l i p e r readings were lower for females than males (Lee & Ng, 1965), with skinfold compressibility found to decrease with age (Brozek & Kinsey, 1960, cited in Durnin & Womersley, 1974:91).  There  is also some indication that the compressibility of thick skinfolds is greater than thin ones (Clegg & Kent, 1967).  Himes, Roche, and Siervogel  (1979) found s i g n i f i c a n t differences among individuals in the compressibility of s k i n f o l d s , and reported that the difference between actual f a t  thickness  15  and skinfold readings is systematic due to compression, with skinfold readings always underestimating actual fat thickness, but inconsistently so, depending on the s i t e and perhaps sex.  These studies serve to  indicate that there i s a degree of error introduced into results when constant pressure calipers are used in the estimation of total body f a t , in assessments of the d i s t r i b u t i o n of f a t ,  and in the appraisal of  variation in skinfold thickness and total body fat between i n d i v i d u a l s . Until body f a t ,  the exact relationships among subcutaneous, i n t e r n a l ,  and adiposity are i d e n t i f i e d ,  total  the skinfold c a l i p e r technique w i l l  continue to be accepted as a v a l i d and r e l i a b l e method for estimating  total  body fatness, based on the firmly established observations that: 1.  A considerable amount of body fat l i e s within the subcutaneous tissue (Malina,  2.  1969b).  Results are highly reproducible and therefore necessarily v a l i d .  reliable,  although not  Inter-rater differences in c a l i p e r readings have  led to reported maximum errors of 4% (Burkinshaw, Jones, & Krwpowicz, 1973)  and 6% (Womersley & Durnin, 1973)  body f a t ,  in the estimation of total  with no s i g n i f i c a n t difference in variance, between observers,  when the s i t e s were marked (Burkinshaw et a l . , 1973). 3.  Skinfold c a l i p e r measurements have a high correlation with measurements obtained through other i n d i r e c t techniques, such as ultrasonic depth (Bullen, Quaade, Olesen, & Lund, 1965)  and roentgenogrammetric  measurements (Garn & Gorman, 1956).  (ii)  Lean body mass.  association with n u t r i t i o n ,  Because of i t s l a b i l e nature and i t s  exercise, disease, and mortality,  the  fat  mass component of the body has received far more attention in the l i t e r a t u r e  16  than the lean body mass component.  The major obstacle in the current  estimates of body composition is the lack of a v e r i f i e d in vivo method for quantifying skeletal weight and muscle mass (Baker, 1961, Garn, 1963, and Moore et a l . , 1963, cited in Malina, 1969b:21,25). While the majority of the l i t e r a t u r e refers to a single d e f i n i t i o n of lean body mass for both sexes, Behnke and Wilmore (1974) term the anthropometrically calculated lean body weight in women "minimal weight".  This  measure is associated with the leanest individual for a given stature, and incorporates a certain amount of "essential fat"  in mammary and other t i s s u e .  In the male, minimal weight is tantamount to lean body weight. Malina (1969b) refers to lean body mass as an in vivo concept, , and f a t - f r e e body mass as an in v i t r o concept, with the difference between the two masses being in the amount of essential l i p i d s . Moore et a l . (1963, cited in Malina, 1969b:10) introduced the concept of body c e l l mass, "the working, energy metabolizing portion of the human body in r e l a t i o n to i t s supporting structure". Morales, Rathbun, Smith, and Pace (1945) regard the mammalian body as consisting of f i v e tissue components; f a t , muscle, s k i n , v i s c e r a l , and nervous t i s s u e . is reducible to f a t ,  From a biochemist's point of view, the body  osseous and non-osseous protein, mineral, and i n t r a -  c e l l u l a r and e x t r a - c e l l u l a r water (Malina, 1969b). In many of the early s t u d i e s , and in most studies where the lean body mass is considered subservient and secondary to the f a t mass, the lean body mass is derived by subtraction of the fat weight from the total body weight (Behnke & Wilmore, 1974).  Such a procedure leaves the prediction  and estimation of this mass, subject t o , affected by, and dependent on, the fat mass value and the accuracy with which this mass was obtained.  Ideally  the two mass components should be assessed independent of one another,  17  although, changes in the composition of the non-fat component of the body have been reported to occur with changing fatness (Keys & Brozek, 1953). Equations involving anthropometric surface measurements in the estimation of the lean body mass have been proposed and developed (Behnke, 1961; Behnke & Royce, 1966; Behnke, 1963, Hampton et a l . , 1966, and Roessler & Dunavant, 1967, cited in Forbes, 1972:336; Forsyth & Sinning, 1974,  cited  in Sinning, 1974:140; Matiegka, 1921, cited in Keys & Brozek, 1953:264; Wilmore & Behnke, 1970), and are often validated against more widely accepted, but not necessarily v a l i d i n d i r e c t methods.  The most popular i n d i r e c t method  used in these v a l i d a t i o n s , is the densitometric determinant of the lean body mass (Durnin & Rahaman, 1967; Cowgill, 1957, and Von Dobeln, 1959, cited in Bakker & Struikenkamp, 1977:194).  However, the s t a b i l i t y of the assumptions  upon which densitometry is based; notably^that  the lean body mass has a  constant density and a constant proportion of water, bone is a constant proportion of the lean body mass, and c e l l water is a constant proportion of c e l l mass (Wilmore et a l . , 1970a) has been questioned (Bakker & Struikenkamp, 1977; Wedgewood, 1963, cited in Wilmore et a l . , 1970ar316).  The density of the  lean body mass in normal humans has been shown to be dependent on age, sex, race, intensity of muscular a c t i v i t y , and nutritional  states (Bakker &  Struikenkamp, 1977; Parizkova, 1961a). Much of the change in the contribution of the skeleton to body weight during growth has been attributed to the maturation of the skeleton, the r e l a t i v e amount of bone to cartilage (Malina, 1969b), with a decrease in bone mineralization noted accompanying ageing (Behnke & Wilmore, Durnin & Womersley, 1974; T r o t t e r ,  1974;  1960, cited in Malina, 1969b:26).  The estimated muscular mass in females shows r e l a t i v e  stability  from 15 through 60 years, with a range of 23.0 to 24.3 kg (Malina, 1969b).  18  There is a lack of knowledge concerning body composition in c h i l d r e n , p a r t i c u l a r l y with respect to differences in the composition of the muscle and skeletal masses, and in their relationship to one another (Durnin & Rahaman, 1967). Although the estimative and predictive equations for body composition have inherent weaknesses^, the basic relationship that exists between body dimensions and weight allows for the description of the body's configuration in quantitative  terms (Behnke & Wilmore, 1974).  High corre-  lations between selected body circumferences, stature, and body weight (Behnke, 1961); and between skeletal diameters, stature, arid lean body weight (Behnke, 1961, cited in Behnke, 1963:191) have been demonstrated. Edwards (1950) noted a close relationship between subcutaneous tissue thickness and body weight however, Shephard et al . (1969) reported this relationship to be poor in adult women. The lean body mass has been successfully predicted from skinfold thicknesses, muscular g i r t h s , and skeletal width measurements; in prepubescent children (Slaughter et a l . , 1978; Wilmore & Behnke, 1970); from wrist breadth and height in children and adolescents (Bugyi, 1972); from skinfold and diameter measurements in wrestlers  (Sinning, 1974); and from  body diameters in college men (Wilmore & Behnke, 1968).  Parizkova (1963)  has also noted a positive relationship in children and adolescents, between thorax width, pelvis width, and the proportion~of lean body mass. The Behnke and Wilmore (1974) estimates of lean body weight are based on the assumption that a certain amount of lean body mass, "muscle mass", is associated with a given skeletal Behnke & Royce, 1966:76).  size (Behnke, 1963, cited in  The studies of Maresh'(1961) and Stuart et a l .  (1940) (Both cited in Malina, 1969b:32) indicated moderate correlations between bone and muscle during the early ages.  The relationship  between  19  s k e l e t a l measures and true lean body mass has however, been found by other i n v e s t i g a t o r s to be poor (Bakker & Struikenkamp, 1977).  Furthermore, the  studies of Baker (1961) and Tanner (1965) (both c i t e d i n Bakker & Struikenkamp, 1977:198) have shown no important degree of r e l a t i o n s h i p between muscle diameter and bone diameter.  Hebbelinck and Ross (1972,  c i t e d in Ross, M a r s h a l l , Vajda, & Roth, 1978:4) found the bone widths of young g i r l s to deviate i n a p o s i t i v e d i r e c t i o n and limb g i r t h s i n a negative d i r e c t i o n from r e l a t i v e height v a l u e s , and Ross, McKim, and Wilson (in T a y l o r , 1976:257) speculated that t h i s indicated that c h i l d r e n may have a p r o p o r t i o n a l l y greater amount of s k e l e t a l t i s s u e to muscle mass than a d u l t s , or less muscle mass per u n i t of s i z e . Drinkwater and Ross (1980) have developed the "phantom model", proposed by Ross and Wilson (1974), to include an anthropometric f r a c t i o n ation of the body mass into a four component system, comprised of muscle, s k e l e t a l , and residual masses.  fat,  The system i s , e s s e n t i a l l y based on  a proposition of Matiegka's (1921, c i t e d i n Drinkwater & Ross, 1980:178), in which the body i s d i v i s i b l e into an osseous, muscular, and skin plus f a t component.  F r a c t i o n a t i o n of the lean body components were  "arbitrarily"  derived from cadaver a n a l y s i s c i t e d by Behnke (1974, c i t e d i n Drinkwater & Ross, 1980:183). The ''Drinkwater T a c t i c " of f r a c t i o n a t i n g the body mass into a four component system has a number of a t t r a c t i v e 1.  features:  It accounts for t o t a l body mass with an absolute e r r o r tolerance of 5%, and has the t h e o r e t i c a l advantage of permitting a l l four components to be derived independent of one another and of t o t a l body mass, with the t o t a l mass serving as a major v a l i d i t y  2.  criterion.  The f a t mass v a l u e , when compared with those obtained through anthro-  20  p o m e t r i c r e g r e s s i o n e q u a t i o n s , i s n o t a " m a v e r i c k " e s t i m a t e , and l i e s i n the m i d - r a n g e o f t h e s e p r e d i c t i v e v a l u e s . 3.  The approach i s g e n e r a l , whereby, any measurement r e l a t i n g t o a p a r t i c u l a r t i s s u e mass, may be used as i t s p r e d i c t o r , by v i r t u e o f i t s d e p a r t u r e from a s p e c i f i e d , s i n g l e , r e f e r e n c e human, which be r e g a r d e d as a measuring d e v i c e f o r c o m p a r a t i v e  can  purposes.  ( D r i n k w a t e r & Ross, 1980:186)  Summary:  Morphological Descriptors The a c c u r a c y and v a l i d i t y o f a n t h r o p o m e t r i c e q u a t i o n s , t o p r e d i c t  the c o m p o s i t i o n o f the body, a r e a t t h i s time s u s p e c t because o f the o f v a l i d a t i o n a g a i n s t d i r e c t means.  absence  F u r t h e r m o r e , the g e n e r a l a p p l i c a b i l i t y  o f t h e s e e q u a t i o n s , t o p o p u l a t i o n s o t h e r than t h o s e from which they were o r i g i n a l l y d e r i v e d , s h o u l d not be assumed (Behnke & W i l m o r e , 1974;  Cureton,  B o i l e a u , & Lohman, 1975; Damon & Goldman, 1964; M a l i n a , 1969b; P a r i z k o v a , 1961a; Steinkamp e t a l . , 1965, c i t e d i n M a l i n a , 1969b: 19). P r e d i c t i v e f o r m u l a e tend t o be s p e c i f i c t o t e c h n i q u e ,  instrument,  s i t e , sex, age,' and sample; and t h e s e f a c t o r s most l i k e l y a c c o u n t f o r d i s c r e p a n c i e s o b s e r v e d i n the l i t e r a t u r e . In view o f r e c e n t f i n d i n g s from d i r e c t c o m p o s i t i o n a l a n a l y s e s , p r e v i o u s l y r e p o r t e d r e s u l t s and r e l a t i o n s h i p s s h o u l d be a c c e p t e d and c o n s i d e r e d w i t h some r e s e r v a t i o n s s i n c e , the b i o l o g i c a l c o n s t a n t s u n d e r l y i n g many i n d i r e c t body c o m p o s i t i o n e s t i m a t e s a r e q u e s t i o n a b l e (Damon & Goldman,  1964).  I t s h o u l d a l s o be r e c o g n i z e d t h a t most o f the a v a i l a b l e d a t a on body c o m p o s i t i o n i s d e r i v e d from c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l s t u d i e s which i n h e r e n t l y p o s s e s s a wide range o f s a m p l i n g v a r i a b i l i t y ( M a l i n a , 1969b).  21  II  MORPHOLOGY AND PERFORMANCE  T h e r e i s v o l u m i n o u s data t o s u b s t a n t i a t e t h e c l a i m t h a t morpho l o g i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s have a v e r y r e a l and m e a s u r a b l e e f f e c t on s p o r t performance.  I t has a l s o been e s t a b l i s h e d t h a t t h e " n a t u r e " o f t h e s p o r t  d i c t a t e s , t o a d e g r e e , those p h y s i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s n e c e s s a r y f o r s u c c e s s and u l t i m a t e i n c l u s i o n i n e l i t e  competitions.  G y m n a s t i c s and O t h e r S p o r t D i s c i p l i n e s By c o l l e c t i n g a n t h r o p o m e t r i c  d a t a on N a t i o n a l , World C l a s s , -and  Olympic a t h l e t e s , and comparing a t h l e t e s w i t h one a n o t h e r , o r t o a r e f e r e n c e population, the morphological  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f s p e c i f i c a t h l e t i c populat-  i o n s have been i d e n t i f i e d . I t i s w e l l documented and g e n e r a l l y a c c e p t e d s i z e , shape, c o m p o s i t i o n ,  and " p h y s i q u e "  that differences i n  i n g e n e r a l , e x i s t between e l i t e  p a r t i c i p a n t s o f v a r i o u s s p o r t s , and i t i s n o t u n r e a s o n a b l e t o p o s t u l a t e t h a t these d i f f e r e n c e s d e m o n s t r a t e t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between s t r u c t u r e and f u n c t i o n : The s t u d y o f champion a t h l e t e s , t h e r e f o r e may p r o v i d e i n f o r m a t i o n on t h e s t r u c t u r a l r e q u i r e ments f o r s u c c e s s i n t h e s p e c i f i c , t a s k s as w e l l as measures o f t h e d i f f e r e n c e s between t a s k s . ( C a r t e r , 1970:535) In a n t h r o p o m e t r i c  c o m p a r i s o n s o f Olympic f e m a l e a t h l e t e s , gymnasts  have c o n s i s t e n t l y been d e s c r i b e d as t h e s h o r t e s t and l i g h t e s t p a r t i c i p a n t s , i n c o m p a r i s o n t o swimmers, c a n o e i s t s , s p r i n g b o a r d and h i g h d i v e r s , f e n c e r s , e q u e s t r i a n , and t r a c k and f i e l d a t h l e t e s o f t h e 1964 O l y m p i c s ( H i r a t a , 1966); s p r i n t e r s , swimmers, d i v e r s , c a n o e i s t s , and w e i g h t t h r o w e r s o f t h e 1968 Olymp i c s (De Garay e t a l . , 1974); runners and swimmers o f t h e 1972 Olympics (Novak e t a l . , 1977); and i n c o m p a r i s o n t o r o w e r s , swimmers, c a n o e i s t s ,  22  f e n c e r s , and t r a c k s p r i n t e r s , but not 1500 meter t r a c k a t h l e t e s , who were the s m a l l e s t and l i g h t e s t o f t h o s e female a t h l e t e s sampled a t the  1976  Olympic Games (Ross, 1980). The 1968 Olympic gymnasts a l s o had the s m a l l e s t b i a c r o m i a l  and  b i i l i o c r i s t a l b r e a d t h s ; the s h o r t e s t arm, l e g , and trunk l e n g t h s ; the s m a l l e s t s k i n f o l d v a l u e s , and the l o w e s t endomorphic r a t i n g , o f the a t h l e t e s sampled.  They were more mesomorphic than the swimmers, d i v e r s , and s p r i n t -  e r s , and more e c t o m o r p h i c  than the c a n o e i s t s and w e i g h t throwers  (De Garay  e t a l . , 1974). The 1972 Olympic gymnasts a l s o had a s i g n i f i c a n t l y s m a l l e r b i c r i s t a l b r e a d t h than the r u n n e r s and swimmers, and o f the 33  anthropometric  measurements taken they had the s m a l l e s t v a l u e s , e x c e p t f o r lower l e g l e n g t h , f o r e a r m and upper arm g i r t h s , c o r r e c t e d upper arm d i a m e t e r , and f o r e a r m iliac crest skinfolds. smallest values.  In t h e s e l a t t e r measurements, the r u n n e r s had  and the  In the t r i c e p s and b i c e p s s k i n f o l d s , and p e r c e n t l e a n body  mass, the gymnasts had the l a r g e s t v a l u e s .  The gymnasts d i f f e r e d s i g n i f -  i c a n t l y from the r u n n e r s o n l y i n h a v i n g more f a t o v e r the biceps..  Compared  w i t h the swimmers, the gymnasts had s i g n i f i c a n t l y s m a l l e r f o r e a r m and upper arm g i r t h s ; b i - e p i c o n d y l a r femur w i d t h ; f o r e a r m , c a l f , i l i a c c r e s t , and u m b i l i c u s s k i n f o l d s . As w e l l , the gymnasts had s i g n i f i c a n t l y s m a l l e r abs o l u t e and p e r c e n t f a t masses., and a s i g n i f i c a n t l y l a r g e r p e r c e n t l e a n body mass and b i c e p s s k i n f o l d , than the swimmers (Novak e t a l . , 1977). The t e n d e n c y towards s h o r t n e s s " i n s t a t u r e and l i g h t n e s s i n w e i g h t , noted f o r Olympic female gymnasts, has a l s o been r e p o r t e d f o r l e s s e r s k i l l e d gymnasts, i n c o m p a r i s o n t o swimmers, d i v e r s , g o l f e r s , t r a c k and f i e l d , b a s k e t b a l l , f i e l d h o c k e y , S o f t b a l l , and t e n n i s a t h l e t e s ( M o r r i s , c i t e d i n C a r t e r , 1970:559); m i d d l e d i s t a n c e swimmers and r u n n e r s  1960,  (Novak e t a l . ,  23  1973); swimmers ( S p r y n a r o v a & P a r i z k o v a ,  1969); f i g u r e s k a t e r s , r o w e r s ,  swimmers, s k i e r s , c l i m b e r s , b o w l e r s , h a n d b a l l , v o l l e y b a l l , b a s k e t b a l l , t a b l e t e n n i s , and t r a c k and f i e l d a t h l e t e s (Medved, 1966); t r a c k and f i e l d a t h l e t e s ( N e l s o n , 1 9 7 4 ) , and i n c o m p a r i s o n t o p r o f e s s i o n a l and amateur g o l f e r s , b a s k e t b a l l , and t r a c k and f i e l d a t h l e t e s ( C a r t e r , 1970). Morris  (1960, c i t e d i n C a r t e r , 1970:560) a l s o r e p o r t e d t h a t o f . the  a t h l e t e s s a m p l e d , t h e d i v e r s , gymnasts, and t r a c k a t h l e t e s were t h e h i g h e s t , i n mesomorphy. Novak e t a l . (1973) a l s o r e p o r t e d t h e i r gymnasts t o have s i g n i f i c a n t l y s m a l l e r t h i g h , h i p , c a l f , and maximal c h e s t c i r c u m f e r e n c e s ; b i c r i s t a l , femural,  and  c o r r e c t e d t h i g h , and c a l f d i a m e t e r s t h a n t h e r u n n e r s .  As w e l l , t h e gymnasts had a s i g n i f i c a n t l y s m a l l e r body w e i g h t and f a t - f r e e mass, and a s i g n i f i c a n t l y s h o r t e r s t a t u r e than t h e r u n n e r s .  The t r i c e p s  s k i n f o l d was s i g n i f i c a n t l y s m a l l e r i n t h e gymnasts, compared w i t h t h e r u n n e r s and the swimmers.  Of t h e 31 a n t h r o p o m e t r i c measurements t a k e n , t h e gymnasts  had the s m a l l e s t v a l u e s , e x c e p t f o r t h e f o r e a r m , t h i g h , and c a l f c i r c u m f e r ences and d i a m e t e r s ,  where t h e swimmers had t h e s m a l l e s t v a l u e s , and e x c e p t  f o r t h e c o r r e c t e d u p p e r arm d i a m e t e r , where t h e gymnasts had a l a r g e r v a l u e than the r u n n e r s . The gymnasts o f S p r y n a r o v a and P a r i z k o v a ' s  study  (1969) were a l s o  s i g n i f i c a n t l y s h o r t e r and l i g h t e r , p o s s e s s e d a s m a l l e r a b s o l u t e l e a n body mass, p e r c e n t f a t mass, and a b s o l u t e f a t mass; and a h i g h e r p e r c e n t  lean  body mass t h a n t h e swimmers. N e l s o n (1974) a l s o f o u n d t h e gymnasts t o have a s i m i l a r c h e s t circumference  t o t h e t r a c k and f i e l d a t h l e t e s , w i t h t h e i r l e g c i r c u m f e r e n c e  l e s s than t h e t r a c k and f i e l d  athletes.  C a r t e r (1970) f o u n d t h a t a l m o s t a l l g r o u p s o f champion a t h l e t e s  -  24  are rated high on mesomorphy, and of the females, the track and f i e l d jumpers and runners have the lowest mesomorphic r a t i n g , and the gymnasts the highest.  Descriptive Studies of Gymnasts While descriptive studies of female gymnasts from e l i t e levels e x i s t , documented studies of female gymnasts from varying levels are sparse.  Most studies concerned with a b i l i t y  ability ability  and morphology  have involved e l i t e level gymnasts, and have compared the winners of a competition with the lesser placing participants: (Montpetit, in Salmela, 183; Pool, Binkhorst, & Vos, 1969; Youngren, 1969).  1976:  While these studies  are valuable, they do not provide a descriptive demonstration of morphological changes that may accompany progressive increases in a b i l i t y recreational  from  through to e l i t e l e v e l s .  Disparity in anthropometric descriptions of female gymnasts, that arise from inter-study comparisons, may be due to the fact that the  ability  l e v e l , age of the gymnasts, and the year that the study was conducted, varies from one study to another. In studies relating structure and function, a simple categorization such as "gymnasts", is misleading and inadequate for both descriptive and comparative purposes. . . . Adequate s t r u c t ural description of samples is necessary for correct interpretation of findings related to function. (Carter, S l e e t , & Martin, 1971:162) Pool et a l .  (1969) studied the anthropometric measurements of the  female competitors of the 1967 European Gymnastic Championship.  Concerning  anthropometric dimensions and performance, low correlations were found for height and weight,  and performance.  A positive correlation between  thorax  25  width and performance was found however, indicating that "possibly the best 1  gymnasts have more muscle mass and are therefore more strongly b u i l t " .  As  was expected, since "in gymnastics . . . body weight is a handicap and body fat a superfluous l o a d " , a negative correlation between the skinfold measure and performance was reported (Pool et a l . , 1969:336).  The Eastern gymnasts  i d e n t i f i e d as the "better" performers in comparison to the Western gymnasts, were younger, shorter, l i g h t e r , and had a smaller mean skinfold value. However, none of these differences was s t a t i s t i c a l l y Pool et a l .  significant..  (1969) also compared the results of their study with  those of six other studies of female gymnasts, from varying a b i l i t y  levels,  in the same age range of 19 to 25 years.  from the  These gymnasts were;  (a)  1964 Olympic Games, the mongolian and non-mongolian p a r t i c i p a n t s ; the 1961 World Championships of Students; top gymnasts, 1964; (e)  (b)  from  (c) from the Russian selection of  (d) from the Dutch selection of top gymnasts, 1966;  Dutch gymnasts of low capacity, 1966; and (f)  modern capacity, 1966.  Yugoslavian gymnasts of  A l l top gymnasts from the various countries had ..  similar mean heights and weights, ranging from 156.3 to 160.3 cm, and 51.0 to 55.3 kg, except the mongolian competitors who were shorter and l i g h t e r at 152.0 cm and 46.8 kg.  Even though-the Dutch mean performances were lower  than the Europeans, they had similar mean heights and weights.  However,  the mean height and weight values of the Dutch top gymnasts were s i g n i f i cantly shorter and l i g h t e r than lower c a l i b e r Dutch gymnasts, with a mean height of 167.7 cm and mean weight of 59.5 kg. The U.S. National  College Gymnastics Champions of 1970-71 were  studied by Sinning and Lindberg (1972).  With a mean age of 20 years, height  :of 158.5 cm, and weight of 51.1 kg, these female gymnasts were similar to the gymnasts of the European Championships described in Pool et a l . ' s study (1969).  26  The female gymnasts from Novak et a l . ' s study (1977) were a l l  from  one country that did not reach a s i g n i f i c a n t place during the 1972 Olympic Games. taller  These gymnasts, with a mean height of 163.5 cm, were substantially than the European and top ranking gymnasts from the various countries  described in Pool et a l . ' s study (1969), and t a l l e r  than the U.S. National  College champions studied by Sinning and Lindberg (1972).  With a mean weight  of 52.5 kg, they were however, similar to the gymnasts from these studies. Youngren (1969) studied the relationship of selected anthropometric measurements to gymnastic performance, in the 1968 U.S. National Women's Olympic T r i a l s .  These participants ranged in age -from 15 to 30 years, with  a mean age of 18.5 years, weight of 52.4 kg, and height of 159.7 cm.  No  s i g n i f i c a n t differences were found between the selected anthropometric measurements and placement, although many anthropometric variations were found among the top performers, and in general: Those who were shorter and of thinner skinfolds had a tendency to rank higher. . . . weight had l i t t l e effect on how a top gymnast placed. . . . Body type [described in terms of the ponderal index] was not s i g n i f i c a n t to the performance of top women gymnasts . . . However, body type was very similar in the women gymnasts. (Youngren, 1969:41-42) Montpetit  (in Salmela, 1976:183) noted the range in age, 18.5 to  19.9 years; in height, 158.9 to 162.3 cm; and weight, 46.8 to 52.5 kg, of the top f i v e female gymnastic teams and the tbp s i x , a l l around winners, at the 1972 Olympics, and concluded that once international  prominence is  attained, size is no longer decisive in determining gymnastic success.  The  correlation c o e f f i c i e n t between rank and height, calculated for the top 36 female gymnasts in these Games, resulted in a low "r" of Drazil  0.01.  (1971) has noted that the percentage of body fat in trained  27  female gymnasts does not exceed 10 to 15%, and Grossfeld has observed that: with rare exceptions, the maximum height for a female gymnast is 5 feet 5 inches Q~65.1 cm]. The other end of the scale is about 4 feet 10 inches [T47.3 l l • c  (Grossfeld, cited in Nichols, 1979:18) Ross (1980) compiled anthropometric data on 15 of the female gymnastic competitors at the 1976 Olympic Games, and described them in terms of over 51 v a r i a b l e s , including body compositional a n a l y s i s . In general, i t  has been noted that the higher the level  competition, the narrower the v a r i a b i l i t y Carter et a l . ' s  of  of physical c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s .  (1970) comprehensive investigations have led them to the  general consensus that; athletes are somatotypically d i f f e r e n t from the general  population; certain a t h l e t i c  groups are somatotypically d i f f e r e n t  from one another; and performers at the same level of competition, in the same sport, tend to be of similar physique.  Biomechanical Advantages of Specific Physiques While most descriptive and comparative studies have succeeded in identifying  the physical c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s common to participants of a part-  icular sport (Alexander, 1976; Chovanova, 1972; Ross & Day, 1972), there is usually only general, i f any, comment on how these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s aid or deter the athlete in performing s p e c i f i c elements of the sport. The biomechanical advantages afforded by certain physiques, in s p e c i f i c sporting endeavours, are very real  (Hebbelinck & Ross, in Nelson &  Morehouse, 1974:546; Lewis, 1969); and Khosla (1968) has gone as far as to suggest that certain events in the Olympic Games are unfair for s p e c i f i c competitors, because of their discusses the potential  "build".  In a l a t e r a r t i c l e ,  Khosla (1977)  of nations to win medals at the Olympic Games, based  28  on the d i s t r i b u t i o n of height found in the populations. Since gymnastic performance requires high r e l a t i v e , rather than absolute, strength, smallness is an advantage resulting in a high strengthto-mass r a t i o  (Le Veau et a l . , 1974)  since:  Strength is proportional to the square of any length (height) . . . we should expect strength to increase as the power 2 and mass as the power 3 of a chosen height value. (Ross & Marshall, 1979:13) The smaller stature observed in gymnasts also allows them to perform free f l i g h t spins and rotations more e a s i l y than larger  athletes  since: The small stature results in a smaller moment of i n e r t i a about an axis in the transverse plane through the mass center. . . . Further the moment of i n e r t i a of the total body about other axes such as the horizontal bar would also be l e s s . (Le Veau et a l . , 1974:150) and; When examining linear motion the i n e r t i a of the object is d i r e c t l y proportional to i t s weight. However, in angular (rotary) motion, not only is the weight important but also i t s d i s t r i b u tion in r e l a t i o n to the axis of rotation . . . . A smaller person has a smaller moment of i n e r t i a when rotation occurs about his center of gravity in free f l i g h t or when he rotates about his hands. (Nelson, 1974:46) The domination of men's gymnastics by the Japanese, in the 1972 Olympic Games, has led Le Veau et a l .  (1974) to speculations concerning  advantages that they may have as a r e s u l t of their physique.  In comparison  to the American male gymnasts, the Japanese gymnasts were shorter; smaller in hand, f o o t , shank, and arm lengths; greater in trunk and extremity  cir-  cumferences; and greater in chest circumference and body weight r e l a t i v e  to  29  height.  These differences appear to be conducive to movements in which the  body is supported by the arms and moved about the hands, with the shorter shank and smaller feet making i t easier to control the lower (Le Veau et a l . , 1974).  extremities  Furthermore, Nelson (1974) contends that a shorter  arm would be an asset for swings performed on the horizontal  bar; since:  [with a shorter arm] the center of gravity of the body is nearer the axis of rotation in swings on the bars. . . . fand this] tends to reduce the moment of i n e r t i a of the body when rotation occurs about the hands. (Nelson, 1974:46) S i m i l a r l y , Rozin (1974) noted that a gymnast with r e l a t i v e l y  long arms  would need to expend more e f f o r t in order to maintain his body in the iron cross held position on the r i n g s . The biomechanical requirements of the long horse vault may have created a disadvantage for the Japanese, and thus contributed to their low placement in this  event:  Since the height of the horse is standard, i t follows that a shorter person must raise his centre of gravity to a higher point before contacting the horse, which requires a greater v e r t i c a l v e l o c i t y at takeoff. (Le Veau et a l . , 1974:150) Furthermore, Nelson (1974) claims that a shorter lower limb is less suited to running, and this may affect the running approach to the v a u l t .  The  fact that this was the only event in which the Japanese men did not win at least two medals, and in which their  highest f i n i s h was fourth, perhaps  supports these contentions. In addition to these f a c t o r s , the takeoff in vaulting i s not completely dependent on the a b i l i t y of the gymnast, as a comparative study of f i v e internationally approved gymnastic vaulting boards revealed: There would be an advantage for those gymnasts  30  who use a beat board whose quality of e l a s t i c i t y was commensurate with their execution p o t e n t i a l , that is their body mass, their speed and their force of takeoff. (George, in Salmela, 1976:96) Furthermore, V a l l i e r e introduced the concept of "performance discrimination", notably that: The structure as well as the internal q u a l i t i e s of the apparatus do not provide equal advantages to a l l gymnasts during performance. Does not the diver adjust his diving board in r e l a t i o n to his execution p o t e n t i a l , while the pole vaulter s e l ects a pole that i s compatible with his weight and speed? There s t i l l remains much to do to ensure the fact that the gymnast w i l l become the only determining factor responsible for his performance. (Valliere, It  in Salmela, 1976:96-97)  appears that the best body type for a gymnast, who competes in  a l l events, is a compromise of the ideal morphological determinants  best  suited for a one-event s p e c i a l i s t , such that "deficiencies in one component may be r e c t i f i e d by a surplus in another"  (Salmela, H a l l e , P e t i o t ,  & Samson,  1976:169). Youngren (1969) noted that those gymnasts that placed well on the f l o o r exercise, also placed well on the beam, and those placing well on the uneven bars, also tended to place well on the vault.  Rozin (1974) considers  long arms a disadvantage on the r i n g s , but an asset in performing on the side horse, where swinging movements predominate. Hi rata (1966) claims that, in the Olympic Games the method of training has l i t t l e incidence on the r e s u l t s , because i t has reached the top level in each country: Physique and c o n s t i t u t i o n , which can by no means be reconstructed by t r a i n i n g , seem to have an important e f f e c t . . . . when training has reached the top l e v e l , the most adequate physique w i l l win. (Hirata, 1966:222)  31  Tanner (1964) and Eiben (1972) support the credence that athletes are both "born" and "made", and that top athletes been selected according to their  have already  body build by the time they have arrived  at the Olympics: Physique is a factor in the sort of success that may lead to inclusion in an Olympic Team; more negatively, that the lack of proper physique may make i t impossible for an athlete to reach that degree of success. But we do not suppose that winning the Olympic event has much to do with physique, except perhaps in some rare cases where one single man i s altogether outstanding. By the time the f i n a l s are reached even the physiques are becoming matched one with another. (Tanner, 1964:14)  Summary:  Morphology and Performance It  has long been recognized that body "build" is an important  prerequisite for successful participation  in high level  In comparison to other a t h l e t i c has been i d e n t i f i e d as short in stature,  sporting endeavours.  groups, the e l i t e female gymnast light  in weight, and possessing a  high percent lean body weight accompanied by a low percent fat weight, as well as a high mesomorphic component.  These c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s have been ass-  ociated with biomechanical advantages, such as a reduced moment of  inertia,  when rotation occurs about the transverse a x i s , around the center of or around the hands.  gravity,  As w e l l , these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s result in a high  strength-to-mass r a t i o , which is also conducive to gymnastic-type movements. In comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts, the e l i t e gymnast is shorter and l i g h t e r ,  and has smaller skinfold thicknesses.  Among e l i t e female gymnasts a narrow v a r i a b i l i t y observed. lighter,  in physique is  However, the more successful gymnasts tend to be shorter, and have smaller skinfold values.  A large thorax width has also  32  been i d e n t i f i e d with success at this  level.  Relationships between body morphology and the properties of standard gymnastic equipment have revealed the occurrence of a "performance discrimination f a c t o r " , advantage or potential  in that, the equipment does not offer the same to a l l  individuals.  The best morphological physique, for a gymnast competing in a l l events, has been i d e n t i f i e d as a compromise between the best build for each apparatus.  Ill  While i t  PERFORMANCE AND MORPHOLOGY  is recognized that successful participation  in a part-  i c u l a r sporting endeavour entails s p e c i f i c "physique requirements",  it  al so 'r_ea.li=zed: -tha-t" ^performance or training in that sport has the effect  is of  modifying s p e c i f i c physical parameters. It  is well accepted that exercise has a potentially  influence on modifying the body, i n t e r n a l l y  great  through compositional and  physiological changes, which are reflected externally  in altered contours  and dimensions (Brozek, 1961; Malina, 1969a), The potential  or a b i l i t y  of an individual  to respond to environ-  mental pressures, such as exercise, with short term phenotypic modifications, such as biochemical, p h y s i o l o g i c a l , and morphological a l t e r a t i o n s , red to as the concept of p l a s t i c i t y  (Malina,  1976).  Individuals vary considerably in their p l a s t i c responses. P l a s t i c i t y can be viewed in two ways, that operating during the period of growth and development (developmental p l a s t i c i t y ) / and that operating during adulthood. . . . and modifications in.the growth and development processes to environmental stress may become permanent and are  is r e f e r -  33  thus i r r e v e r s i b l e when adulthood is attained. . . . changes associated with regular physical a c t i v i t y r e f l e c t p l a s t i c responses and the limits of an i n d i v i d u a l ' s p l a s t i c i t y is set by his genotype. (Malina, 1976:157)  Fat Mass Content and A c t i v i t y Levels The consistently lower fat mass values of a t h l e t i c females, in comparison to r e l a t i v e l y  sedentary female reference populations,  the effect of exercise on the f a t mass component of the body.  illustrate  Percent fat  mass values of 20 to 30% have been noted for young adult women (Ljungren, 1965, cited in Novak et a l . , 1977:282; Malina, 1969b; Wilmore & Behnke, 1970); 14.8%, 19.2%, 23.4%, 24.9%, 21.7%, 24.0%, 22.2%, 23.2%, 23.6%, 28.1%, and 22.7%, for 8 to 18 year old females, i n c l u s i v e ; and 22.8 to 24.7% for 18.5 29.0 year olds (Forbes, 1972).  to  In comparison to these values, the percent  fat mass values of a t h l e t i c females, have been reported as 13.0% for e l i t e figure skaters (Faulkner, 1977); 11.1% (Ross, 1980), and 12.9% (Novak et a l . , 1977)  for Olympic gymnasts, 14.6% for prominent gymnasts (Novak et a l . , 1973),  16.8% for low caliber gymnasts (Sprynarova & Parizkova, 1969); 13.3% for Olympic runners (Novak et a l . , 1977), 16.8% for prominent runners (Novak et al.,  1973); 18.9% for Olympic swimmers (Novak et a l . , 1977), 17.0% for prom-  inent swimmers (Novak et a l . , 1973), and 19.2% for high c a l i b e r swimmers (Sprynarova & Parizkova, 1969). Since females are reported to possess more subcutaneous f a t males at almost a l l  than  ages (Bonnet, Rocour-Brumioul, & Heuskin, 1979; Edwards,  1951; Parizkova, 1963; Reynolds, 1950), i t  is of interest to note how  extreme a c t i v i t y may reduce this difference.  Smit (1973) compared the skin-  fold thicknesses of adult male and female gymnasts, and noted remarkably  34  small  differences. S i g n i f i c a n t reductions in the f a t  "content" of adolescent g i r l s  have been noted accompanying programs of regular physical a c t i v i t y  (Wells  et a l . , 1963), and Smit (1973) reported that skinfold values of gymnasts decreased as their number of a c t i v i t y  hours per week increased.  Johnson  (1969) noted that children involved in daily physical education c l a s s e s , in comparison to children participating  2 and 3 times a week, have smaller  fat mass contents. Parizkova (1959) studied a group of adolescent female gymnasts, and noted an increase in weight with no change in fat content, a 6 week period of t r a i n i n g . inactivity,  a further  following  However, after a 10 week period of r e l a t i v e  increase in weight, accompanied by a substantial  increase of 35.7% in subcutaneous fat  (sum of the s k i n f o l d s ) , was noted.  In comparison, a control group of females of the same age experienced a 6.9% increase in subcutaneous f a t ,  during the same 10 week period.  S i m i l a r l y , in a l a t e r study, Parizkova and Poupa (1963) studied a group of female gymnasts from the Czechoslovak!'an National Team, with a mean age of 23 years, and two groups of gymnastic sports students, with mean ages of 16 years.  After periods of intense t r a i n i n g , the weight  remained unchanged in the groups, while a d e f i n i t e increase in lean body mass was noted.  fall  in f a t content and  After periods of r e l a t i v e r e s t , body  weight rose s i g n i f i c a n t l y , along with increases in fat content.  These  changes were reported to have occurred in the younger gymnasts during considerably shorter periods. These studies demonstrate the e f f e c t of exercise in "reducing" and "checking" or maintaining  the fat  "content" of the body.  35  With weight reduction, as adipose tissue decreases in total s i z e , the total number of c e l l s remains constant. Hence weight reduction is achieved by a reduction in c e l l volume. (Hirsch, 1972:84)  Critical  Periods for Fat Mass Deposition Current evidence suggests that s p e c i f i c periods in the growth  sequence of the human are associated with deposition of adipose t i s s u e , hyperplasia, and with increases in adipocyte s i z e , hypertrophy. Hirsch (1972) claims that adipose c e l l s are l a i d down late in gestation, in the f i r s t year of l i f e , Bonnet et a l .  and in early adolescence.  (1979), in a cross-sectional study of normal weight  i n f a n t s , c h i l d r e n , adolescents, and a d u l t s , noted that c e l l size enlarged during the f i r s t six months of l i f e , were no s i g n i f i c a n t changes until increase in adipocyte s i z e .  significantly  but beyond the f i r s t year there  puberty, when there was a substantial  Concerning c e l l number, i t was observed that no  s i g n i f i c a n t increase of mature adipocytes occurred in the f i r s t year of  life.  However, the number progressively rose during childhood, and there was a s i g n i f i c a n t and very great increase during puberty, with the adult value being reached at the end of adolescence. Behnke and Wilmore (1974) suggest that random development of new adipocytes - probably occur -when f a t saturation  eel Is-"normally  present"  attain-'maxfrnal'  (about 85%) with t r i g l y c e r i d e . There i s some speculation that i f the periods of adipocyte m u l t i -  p l i c a t i o n can be pinpointed, control over "fat potential" may be possible (Hirsch, 1972).  Furthermore, according to Rarick (1947, cited in Barnes,  1979:117), percent body fat w i l l be lower in young adults who exercised as c h i l d r e n , and:.  '  -  36  exercise is more e f f e c t i v e in ment i f i t takes place during adolescence than i t is during (Rarick, 1947, cited  influencing developthe growth spurts of preadolescence. in Barnes, 1979:117)  Muscle Mass Content and A c t i v i t y Levels Physical training results in muscular hypertrophy and an increase in c o n t r a c t i l e proteins, whereas physical i n a c t i v i t y results in atrophy and a reduction of c o n t r a c t i l e proteins. (Malina, 1969a:21) The effects of exercise, on the muscle mass, can be observed d i r e c t l y in the increased muscular girths that r e s u l t after prolonged periods of- intense t r a i n i n g . Using a variety of weight training techniques, increased muscular girths have been reported in elementary children (Bready, 1961), in adolescent boys (Kusinitz et a l . , 1958), and in adults (Tanner, 1952, a l l cited in Malina, 1969a:24). Increased muscle mass can only r e s u l t from muscle work, supported by an appropriate increase in dietary intake. Without muscle work, no food, vitamin, hormone or drug w i l l increase muscle mass. (Smith, 1976:151) Bulky, bulging muscles are almost impossible for females to attain through strenuous exercise, such as weight l i f t i n g , testosterone l e v e l s .  because they possess low  Testosterone is a "powerful hormone involved in the  deposition of protein in the formation of muscle tissue" (Johnson, Updyke, Schaefer, & Stolberg, 1975:124). As w e l l , i t should also be noted that deterioration  in e f f i c i e n c y  of gymnasts and basketball players, undergoing strenuous t r a i n i n g , has been associated with breakdown of the lean body mass (Zhdanova & Parizkova, 1962, cited in Parizkova, 1968b:275).  37  In general, the type and intensity of the exercise, and hereditary influences, determine the appearance and shape of the muscles, as well as muscular development  (Church, 1976).  C r i t i c a l Periods for Muscle Mass Deposition During training there is an increase in muscle mass by an enlargement of the already existing fibers. Most investigators find no increase in the number of muscle c e l l s with t r a i n i n g , through a d i v i s i o n of already existing c e l l s . . . . The total amount of protein in the muscle increases with training and decreases with inactivity. Disuse atrophy is associated with a decline in m y o f i b r i l s , and the proportion of sarcoplasm proteins r i s e s . (Astrand & Rodahl, 1970:399) Whether or not the above is true during the active years of growth is not c l e a r .  Cheek (1968, cited in Ross, McKim, & Wilson, in Taylor,  1976:  257) presents longitudinal data which indicates an increase in skeletal muscle c e l l population for both boys and g i r l s , with a markedly greater increase in boys after I0h years.  The superior strength.performance of adult males over  adolescent males, and the lack of a comparable difference in females (Jones, 1949, cited in Reynolds, 1950:107), suggests the occurrence of  differential  increases in the male and not the female (Ross, McKim, & Wilson, in T a y l o r , 1976:257). It  has been speculated that exercise may be a determinant in c e l l  differentiation: If during the growth spurt exercise of the proper kind and amount is not forthcoming, stem c e l l s may d i f f e r e n t i a t e as fat c e l l s rather than muscle cells. If large percentages of our population are unexercised at the c r i t i c a l period of muscle c e l l increase, we should expect the deleterious effect on strength and stamina would be greater in males than females. (Ross, McKim, & Wilson, in Taylor, 1976:257)  38  Furthermore, Bowden and Goyer (1960, cited in Malina, 1969a:19) suggest that the size d i f f e r e n c e s , observed in the fibers of d i f f e r e n t muscles during normal growth, are d i r e c t l y related to functional  activity.  Malina (1969a) has commented on the necessity of distinguishing the growth of skeletal muscle due to exercise, from the increase in muscle due to normal growth.  Jokl et a l .  (1941, cited in Malina, 1969a:22) reported  s t r i k i n g increases in body weight in 16 to 21_year old male r e c r u i t s subjected to six months of systematic a c t i v i t y .  They attributed this increase to muscle  tissue gains and concluded that: Physical training may not be postponed until the age of developmental r i g i d i t y is reached. . . . t r a i n i n g , i f applied to younger age groups, is capable of producing a much greater influence upon development. Had the training which our r e c r u i t s received, been applied eight or ten years e a r l i e r , the effect would have been more marked; they would have developed a better physique. (Jokl et a l . , 1941, cited in Malina, 1969a:22)  Skeletal Mass Content and A c t i v i t y Levels The effect of exercise on the skeletal composition, is d i f f i c u l t  to assess.  structure, mass, and  Morphological v a r i a b l e s , that are  genetically endowed, are probably more obviously expressed in the skeletal mass than in the fat and muscle masses, which appear to be more malleable to the influences of exercise.  It  is known however, that moderate exercise  has a positive effect on bone growth by strengthening the organic matrix of the bone, through stimulating osteoblastic deposition: Bone is continually being deposited by osteoblasts, and i t is continually being absorbed where osteoclasts are active bone o r d i n a r i l y adjusts i t s strength in proportion to the degree of bone s t r e s s . Consequently bone thickens when subjected to heavy loads. . . . Even the shape of the bone can be  39  rearranged for proper support of mechanical forces by deposition and absorption of bone in accord with stress patterns the bones of children in whom the rate of deposition and absorption is r a p i d , show l i t t l e brittleness compared with the bones of old age, at which time the rates of deposition and absorption are slow Bone is deposited in proportion to the compressional load that the bone must carry. . . . the bones of athletes become considerably heavier than those of nonathletes Therefore continual physical stress stimulates osteoblastic deposition of bone. (Guyton, 1976:1058-1060) I n a c t i v i t y has been shown to have detrimental  effects on the  strength  and composition of bones, and bones subjected to immobilizing casts become thin and d e c a l c i f i e d through i n a c t i v i t y Guyton, 1976).  (Bullough, Goodfellow, & O'Connor, 1973;  Although resumption of physical a c t i v i t y  corrects this d i s -  turbance, many years may be needed to restore the loss (Kotte, 1966, cited in Malina, 1969a:17). While the mechanical stresses of normal weight-bearing,  and the  tension and compression of muscular f o r c e s , are generally recognized as essential for normal bone formation, development, and growth, the limits  of  tolerance, beyond which an increase in pressure or tension leads to destruction of bone, by resorption, remains undetermined (Malina,  Critical  1969a).  Periods for Skeletal Mass Deposition The potential  genetic factors  size of the skeletal  structure is predetermined by  (Church, 1976; Johnson et a l . , 1975), and the effect  stressors such as exercise have on this potential  is not e n t i r e l y  that  understood.  Since bone is continually undergoing change through osteoblastic deposition and osteoclastic absorption (Guyton, 1976), experiences periods of "steppedup growth" (Tanner,  1962), and does not e n t i r e l y  stop growing until  approxim-  ately the second decade of l i f e (Greulich & Pyle, 1970; Tanner et a l . , 1975),  40  it  is probably more vulnerable to "stressors" during the developmental  y e a r s , before f u l l maturity is reached. Arnold (1930) and Correnti  (1941, both cited in Tanner,  1962:  134-135) claim that exercise increases the rate of growth, and Prives (1960, cited in Malina, 1969a:24) found physical exercise to favour growth of bone in length.  On the other hand, Rarick (1960, cited in Johnson et a l . ,  1975:123) claims that heavy pre-pubertal  exercise may result in a somewhat  heavier and shorter skeletal structure, and Goodings and Neuhauer (1965, cited in Malina, 1969a:18) noted increased v e r t i c a l  growth of the  vertebral  bodies, in the absence of normal weight-bearing f u n c t i o n , during the growing years of humans. Beyer (1896", cited in Malina, 1969a :22)  studied a group of 16 to 20  year old male cadets subjected to six months of systematic "gymnastic" activity,  and reported an average increase in stature for this group, of  about one inch over controls.  Since the greatest gain occurred between 16  and 17 years of age, Beyer inferred that factors capable of influencing growth would exert their effect at a time when the growth impulse was strong. The specialized use of body p a r t s , and l a t e r a l size d i f f e r e n c e s , provide a possible means of assessing the effects of physical a c t i v i t y on bone growth and development.  Van Dusen (1939, cited in Malina, 1969a:23)  found that the right upper extremity measurements in c h i l d r e n , one through eight years, were generally larger than the l e f t .  The measurements of the  right tended to be larger more frequently with increasing age, suggesting development through specialized use.  From radiographs, Vicinus (1962,  cited in Malina, 1969a:23) noted a tendency for the right hand of adults to be larger than the l e f t , in both length and width, with differences breadths more marked.  Buskirk et a l .  (1956, cited in Malina, 1969a:24)  in  41  found nationally ranked tennis players to have greater musculature and osseous development, in both length and width of the radius and ulna, in the dominant hand and forearm than in the non-dominant members.  Since  the players had participated extensively during their teen y e a r s , this l a t e r a l i t y difference was attributed  to the effects of exercise on bone  growth during adolescence. While there is some speculation that participation in s p o r t s , during adolescence, may have an unfavourable effect on the adolescent female boney p e l v i s , Erdelyi (1962) did not confirm this hypothesis, and the data of Ivata and Kadsuo (cited in E r d e l y i , 1962:177) also disputes this claim. In a comparative study of female gymnasts, and a corresponding reference population, Smit (1973) found the i n t e r c r i s t a l width to be f a r smaller in gymnasts.  The biacromial width, in comparison, was found to be  nearer to the norms in spite of the r e l a t i v e shortness of the gymnasts. Buckler and Brodie (1977) reported similar results for 10 to 19 year old boys involved in gymnastics.  Parizkova (1968a), in a study of active and inactive  boys followed longitudinally from 11 to 15 years, found the active-boys after a f i v e year period, developed a larger biacromial breadth, and a s i g n i f i c a n t l y narrower pelvis in r e l a t i o n to their height, and to their biacromial breadth, than the less active boys.  These results suggest that:  Gymnastics, in addition to i t s obvious influence on the musculature has a favourable influence upon skeletal growth in the region of the shoulders. (Smit, 1973:484) The increased biacromial diameter is secondary to the prolonged physical a c t i v i t y , implying that muscular growth and use can influence the way in which bones develop. (Buckler & Brodie, 1977:462)  42  Adams (1938, cited in Malina, 1969a:22) found Negro women, ages 17 to 21 years, subjected to strenuous physical labor during their childhood years, to be t a l l e r , heavier, and larger in muscle g i r t h , chest breadth and depth, and hip and knee width, than women of the same age not subjected to such s t r e s s .  S i m i l a r l y , Godin (1920, cited in Malina,  1969a:22) found "gymnasts" (active youths), ages 14% to 18 years, to be t a l l e r , heavier, and larger in thoracic and forearm measurements than "nongymnasts".  The size differences in both these studies were attributed  to  the programs of heavy physical work.  Summary:  Performance and Morphology Exercise has been shown to dynamically affect the body for short  terms, and possibly to the extent of resulting in some permanent tissue changes as c r i t i c a l  periods have passed.  The effects of exercise on the  fat and muscular components of the body are e a s i l y observed and accepted. It  is known that exercise has a positive effect on strengthening the organic  matrix of the bone.  However, whether or not exercise can substantially  a l t e r the development, structure, and size of the skeleton s t i l l  remains  an unanswered question. Type of exercise, as well as genetic contributory f a c t o r s , to a degree, the extent of morphological changes possible.  dictate  Genetic factors  may well dictate the v u l n e r a b i l i t y of the body to s p e c i f i c exercise " s t r e s s o r s " , and may affect the same individual in different ways at  different  times, depending on the stage of maturity reached. While moderate exercise may favourably affect and stimulate  growth,  excessive, strenuous exercise may deter and negatively affect normal growth patterns and potentials.  The maximum tolerance l i m i t s , beyond which the  43  positive effects of exercise and training cease to e x i s t , and the negative destructive forces come into operation, have not been determined.  IV  PERFORMANCE AND MATURITY  As the number of pre-adolescent and adolescent children p a r t i c i pating in strenuous training programs increases, concern over the effect of exercise on the growth and maturing processes has taken on a new emphasis: In 1966, 5 year olds weren't running marathons or training as Olympic gymnasts in the numbers they are today. Can cumulative microtrauma of some sort change the picture when preadolescents t r a i n long and hard? (Barnes, 1979:116) Krustev (1977:25), in an Olympic Committee B u l l e t i n , raised the question of setting age l i m i t s for participants in the Olympic Games, with concern for "the potential  danger to health which such rigorous training at a very early  age might e n t a i l " .  These concerns are well founded since:  Puberty by i t s e l f is for the organism a stress which may cause troubles; i f during this period, the individual undergoes training to i t s extreme l i m i t s , the stimulation which puberty exercises spontaneously on the endocrine glands is summed with that caused by motor a c t i v i t y ; by consequence the functional load of a fast physical development is added to that of the t r a i n i n g ; i t is a vicious c i r c l e with cumulative a c t i o n , whose negative effects sometimes appear prematurely, but more often later on. (La Cava, 1974:163) Maturity  Indicators While the term "growth" usually refers to the physical act of  enlargement of a structure, such as a bone length, muscle g i r t h , or volume increase; the term "maturity"  is reserved for "qualitative"  structure, and involves d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n  changes in the  of the c e l l s , leading to shape and/or  44  functional changes: While growth and development proceed concomitantly in the normal c h i l d , they are to some degree potentially independent processes. (Greulich & P y l e , 1970:2) There are a number of ways in which the level of maturity of the body, and the rate of maturity can be assessed and monitored. techniques presently u t i l i z e d for.females (a)  Among the  are:  morphological age: the changing shape and proportions of the body (Behnke & Wilmore, 1974; B i e l i c k i & Waliszko, 1975; Eiben,  1978;  Ross & Wilson, 1974; Tanner & Whitehouse, 1976; Tosovsky et a l . , 1976). (b)  secondary sex c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s :  the stages of development of the  breasts, and pubic and a x i l l a r y hair (Marshall,  1972;  Tanner, 1962, 1978), as well as the number of maturity indicators or developmental milestones experienced, such as peak height spurt and menarche (Eveleth & Tanner, 1976; Tanner, 1962, (c)  dental age:  1978).  the number of primary and secondary teeth erupted  (Anderson, 1975; Demerjian et a l . , 1973, cited in Tanner,  1978:  82; Eveleth & F r e i t a s , 1965; Eveleth & Tanner, 1976; Filippson & H a l l , 1976; McGregor, Thomson, & B i l l e w i c z , 1968). (d)  endocrine secretion patterns:  The presence and level of hormones  c i r c u l a t i n g in the blood (Reiter & Kulinh, 1972; Tanner, 1978). (e)  skeletal  age:  assessing the stages of development of the bones  from radiographs (Greulich & Pyle, 1970; Tanner et a l . , 1975).  (i)  Skeletal age as a maturity indicator.  Skeletal age as a  maturity indicator has a number of a t t r a c t i v e features:  45  1.  It  can be assessed with r e l a t i v e l y  objective c r i t e r i a , and can be used  throughout the entire lifespan until  completion of skeletal develop-  ment (Greulich & P y l e , 1970; Tanner et a l . , 1975). 2.  The radiograph is e a s i l y attained without involving personal questioning or examination.  3.  The data is portable, and can be re-evaluated.  4.  As well as making the d i s t i n c t i o n between growth and maturity, method i s able to d i f f e r e n t i a t e  the  between "slow growers" and those who  are inherently short; as well as between "fast growers" and those who are inherently t a l l 5.  The maturational  (Johnston, 1962; Tanner et a l . , 1975).  changes in the skeleton are intimately  related  to  those of the reproductive system (Tanner et a l . , 1975), and are associated with other growth and maturity  indicators:  Menstruation generally occurs between the skeletal ages of 13 and 14 years and i t is said never to have been seen in a g i r l with a skeletal age of less than 12.5 years or more than 14.5 years. (Marshall, 1974:310) The ulnar sesamoid of the f i r s t metacarpophalangeal j o i n t . . . showed a very close relationship with the onset of secondary sex c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and with ages at i n i t i a t i o n and peak of adolescent height velocity. Usually i t became v i s i b l e radiographica l l y .5 years after the onset of pubic hair development, .75 years a f t e r the i n i t i a t i o n of the height spurt and .7 years before peak height velocity. It indicates that puberty has already started and that height velocity is in the a c c e l erating phase and that 88% of adult height is reached. (Onat & Numan-Cebeci, 1976:659) 6.  The method is useful in the prediction of adult height from height during childhood or early adolescence (Acheson & Dupertuis, 1957; Tanner et a l . , 1975), and in the prediction of menarche.  Menarche usually occurs  between 10.0 and 16.5 years chronologically (Tanner, 1962), and between  46  12.5 and 14.5 years, s k e l e t a l l y  (ii)  (Marshall, 1974).  Skeletal age rating systems.  The most commonly used methods  of assessing skeletal maturity are those developed by Greulich and Pyle (1970) and Tanner et a l .  (1975), in which the l e f t hand and wrist area is rated.  Systematic differences between the two methods have been reported, with the Tanner-Whitehouse II  method, bone s p e c i f i c approach, y i e l d i n g a substantially-  higher value than the Greulich-Pyle method, atlas approach, for the same radiograph (Ross, McKim, & Wilson, in T a y l o r , 1976:257). The r e l a t i v e s t a b i l i t y of the rating systems is based on the s t a b i l i t y of the maturing sequences of the skeleton: The bone stages and their individual sequences are the same in a l l populations. (Tanner et a l . , 1975:18) and t h i s , is evident both before and after b i r t h . (Greulich & Pyle, 1970:24) Each bone passes through a l l stages, although stages l a s t for varying times. (Tanner et a l . , 1975:4) and, The bone stages and their individual sequences are unaffected by starvation. (Tanner et a l . , 1975:18)  (iii)  Menarche as a maturity indicator.  Menarche, as a maturity  i n d i c a t o r , is commonly used to assess the rate of maturity of most female populations (Eveleth & Tanner, 1976).  Menarcheal surveys are usually  conducted using one of three methods:  (a)  prospective method - recording  the onset of menarche in a longitudinal  study; (2)  retrospective method -  recording recalled age of menarche; (3)  status quo method - recording whether  or not menarche has occurred at the time of investigation (De Wijn, 1966).  47  The strengths and weaknesses of each method are reviewed in Atwood and Taube (1976) and De Wijn (1966). The time of menarche is also valuable as a maturity indicator because of i t s relationship to other developmental milestones, such as peak height v e l o c i t y .  "Menarche occurs almost invariably after the apex of the  height spurt has passed" (Deming, 1957, cited in Tanner, 1962:39).  Greulich '  and Pyle (1970) noted ;this invariable pattern in a study of eight menarcheal age groups, where the maximum annual increment in height occurred.consistently during the-year preceeding that in which the menarche took place.  Maturity and Population Studies The most conventional method of assessing the rate of maturity of female populations is through the age at menarche (Eveleth & Tanner, 1976). In every population there appears to be e a r l y , l a t e , and average maturing females (Tanner, 1962), and differences in rate of maturation, as measured by age at menarche, exist between national or r a c i a l groups i r r e s pective of environmental and geographical differences (Eveleth & Tanner, 1976).  Ages of menarche of 12.3 years, for middle class European descendants  l i v i n g in Santiago; 12.8 years, for the United States population in general; 15.1 y e a r s , for A s i a t i c s l i v i n g in Maya; and a much l a t e r age of menarche of 18.4 years, for females of New Guinea; have been reported (Eveleth & Tanner, 1976).  Mean ages at menarche; in six recent (1965-1973) n o n - a t h l e t i c ,  American samples, ranged from 12.20 to 12.65 years (Malina, Harper, Avent, & Campbell, 1973:12).  The standard deviation of most samples is about + 2  years (Eveleth & Tanner, 1976). Because there is a r e l a t i v e l y high correlation between the onset of menarche in mothers and daughters (Damon, 1974; Damon, Damon, Reed, &  48  Valadian, 1969; Tanner, 1962), and between s i s t e r s (Damon et a l . , Tanner, 1962), and a very much higher one between identical  1969;  twins (Damon  et a l . , 1969; Petersen, 1979; Tanner, 1962), there is a genetic  implication  connected with age of menarche: Distribution of age of menarche in the population is Gaussian . ' . ' . t h e time of menarche is to a considerable extent under hereditary control and depends on the combined actions of genes at several d i f f e r e n t l o c i rather than on any single a l l e l e . . . . . t h i s genetic control evidently operates throughout the whole process of growth and the conclusions regarding age at menarche apply equally to rate of development in general. /(Tanner,  1962:114-115)  Genetic factors currently account for only 10 to 15% of variation in age at menarche, "a proportion that is increasing as growing uniformity of nutrition and health eliminates other variables" (Petersen, 1979:47).  Maturity and A t h l e t i c Populations The ages of menarche of a t h l e t i c  populations have been studied  with the purpose of evaluating whether or not e l i t e performers, and those involved in physical training programs, d i f f e r with respect to the average rate of maturity, as defined by the normal population. Erdelyi (1962) and Rarick (1973, cited in Ross, Brown, Faulkner, & Savage, 1976:191) found the age of menarche of young female athletes be about the same as non-athletes.  to  Furthermore, Erdelyi (1962) concluded  that participation in active competitive sports does not disturb the onset of menarche. Astrand, Engstrom, Eriksson, Karl berg, Nylander, Salt-in, and  49  Thoren (1963) found Swedish swimmers to have an e a r l i e r menarche in r e l a t i o n to Swedish norms, and Bugyi and Kausz (1970) found eight of the best Hungarian swimmers to be advanced in skeletal age, in relation to their chronological age, by approximately 5.1 months. Malina et a l . (1973) found the mean age of menarche of college track and f i e l d athletes  (13.58 years) to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y l a t e r than that  found in a reference population of non-athletes  (12.23 y e a r s ) .  The ages of  menarche of the a t h l e t i c groups did not d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y among themselves. However, increasing lateness in menarche for these athletes was reported in the following order; shot putters  (13.44 y e a r s ) , sprinters (13.54 y e a r s ) ,  distance runners (13.58 y e a r s ) , discus and j a v e l i n throwers (13.60 y e a r s ) , and jumpers and hurdlers (13.73 years). In a l a t e r study, Malina, Spirduso, Tate, and Baylor (1978) found Olympic volleyball candidates to have a s i g n i f i c a n t l y l a t e r age of menarche (14.18 years) than high school (13.02 y e a r s ) , and college (13.05 years) a t h l e t e s , with the high school and college athletes having a s i g n i f i c a n t l y l a t e r menarche than a non-athletic sample (12.29 y e a r s ) . athletes,  In the college  increasing lateness in menarche was reported in the following order:  golfers (12.50 y e a r s ) , volleyball players (12.54 y e a r s ) , swimmers (12.84 y e a r s ) , basketball players (12.89 y e a r s ) , gymnastic and track athletes,(13.21 years, n = 6, combined), and tennis players (13.73 y e a r s ) .  The Olympic  volleyball candidates attained menarche s i g n i f i c a n t l y later than a l l the sport s p e c i f i c groups, except the gymnastic and track, and tennis  athletes.  Faulkner (1977) reported an age of menarche of 14.0 years for e l i t e female figure skaters, and noted that none of the outstanding singles under 12 years had experienced menarche.  Ross et a l . (1976) reported ages  of menarche of 14.0 years, for e l i t e Canadian junior and senior figure  50  skaters; and 12.9 years, for e l i t e Canadian alpine r a c e r s .  In comparison  to this l a t t e r study, two high school reference samples had ages of menarche of 12.9 and 12.4 years, and a university sample had an age of menarche of 12.9 years.  External Stressors and Maturity External  " s t r e s s o r s " , such as climate (Eveleth & Tanner, 1976),  season (Bojlen & Bentzon, 1974; B u r r e l l , Tanner, & Healy, 1961; Hillman, S l a t e r , & Nelson), a l t i t u d e lighting  (Jafarey,  ( F r i s c h , 1973; Petersen, 1979),  artificial  Khan, & Jafarey; McClintock, 1971, cited in Johnston,  1974:167), parental age (Hillman et a l . , 1970; Newton & De Issekutz-Wolsky, 1969), and sleep (Goldfarb, 1977), to name but a few, have been shown to have an effect on the rate of  maturity.  In comparison to these external that nutrition maturity,  stressors, it  has been observed  has a very strong and s i g n i f i c a n t influence on the rate of  and especially in influencing the time of adolescence (Goldfarb,  1977; Tanner, 1962): Skeletal maturation is slower everywhere in the worse-off compared to the better-off socioeconomic groups. (Tanner et a l . , 1975:19) Tanner et a l . (1962:121) have found that malnutrition delays the appearance of the adolescent growth spurt.  in pre-adolescence Dreizen et a l . (1967,  cited in Johnston, 1974:165) and Frisch and Revelle (1969) have found that undernutrition delays menarche, while Charzewska, Ziemlanski, and Laseck (1975), Kralj-Cercek (1956), and Skerlj 170)  (1947, cited in Damon et a l . ,  1969:  have reported lower ages of menarche in populations with high consump-  tions of animal proteinous foods.  51  There appear to be many factors influencing the age of menarche, and Kralj-Cercek (1956) presents age of menarche as a mathematical  function  incorporating environmental, n u t r i t i o n a l , s o c i a l , and physique f a c t o r s .  Exercise as a Maturity Stressor The impact of exercise on the body is very dramatic, and a l l i t s effects may not have been i d e n t i f i e d .  of  Continuous,"strenuous'exercise  may act on the body and the maturing systems in much the same way as other external  s t r e s s o r s , with i t s effect and influence subject to " c r i t i c a l  growth  periods" and genetic v u l n e r a b i l i t y . During moderate to intense exercise, growth hormone c i r c u l a t e s in the blood stream (1965, U.S. Department of Health Report, cited in Smit, 1973:484).  Although this hormone is necessary for normal growth from birth  to adulthood, i t s function in adult l i f e is not e n t i r e l y understood (Tanner, 1978), and furthermore: GH does not act d i r e c t l y on the bones to make them grow . . . but on the l i v e r to stimulate production of another hormone, called somatomedin . . . a smaller molecule, that acts on the growing cartilage c e l l s at the ends of bones, and probably on muscle c e l l s , whose growth is also stimulated by GH. (Tanner, 1978:93) Increased concentrations of growth hormone in the blood, as a r e s u l t of exercise, does not necessarily indicate the potential size.  for an increase in  Differences, between normally large and normally small children and  adults, are not caused by differences in GH secretion (Tanner,1978:93): Perhaps i t is the receptors in the cartilage c e l l s which control size . . . normal children have plenty of GH and are not turned into normally big ones by being given GH in excess. (Tanner, 1978:93)  52  Two longitudinal growth were located.  studies on the effects of rigorous training on  Astrand et a l .  (1963) studied g i r l  commenced training before thirteen years of age.  swimmers, who had  The growth curves from  the 7th to 16th year were normal, and at 18 years a medical disclosed no harmful effects of the t r a i n i n g .  Motajova  examination  (1974) studied g i r l  gymnasts involved in strenuous t r a i n i n g , and a control group of females, from their'11th to 15th year.  At the end of the 4th year no s i g n i f i c a n t  differences, between the groups, in bone age were found. Since the mechanism that triggers menarche may not be the same as that which causes resumption of the menses after exercise, weight l o s s , or starvation induced amenorrhea ( B i l l e w i c z ,  Fellowes, & Hytten, 1976), the  contribution of exercise to the disruption of the menstrual cycle can not be considered as evidence that exercise disrupts the maturing processes.  Growth Rate Intervention and Catch-up Growth The body is continually undergoing change due to the growth, maturing, and ageing processes, which are constantly being influenced by such factors as d i e t , exercise, and external  stressors in general.  The existence of a "catch-up" growth phenomenon that occurs when adverse conditions are removed, strongly suggests the existence of a genetically established and predetermined plan or course of growth that is highly resistant to change (Tanner,  1963):  When recovery takes place a "catch-up" period of growth ensues during which growth may proceed at as much as twice i t s normal rate for the age concerned. (Tanner,1962:133) Furthermore, females show a greater resistance to growth changes caused by environmental  stressors than males (Crimson & Turner, 1953, and Greulich, 1951,  53  cited in Tanner, 1962:127).  Summary:  Performance and Maturity There is substantial evidence that f a c t o r s , such as n u t r i t i o n ,  affect the growth and maturing processes of the female, and interfere with normal development.  Whether or not strenuous, prolonged exercise, stresses  the body in much the same way, is not known.  It  has not been established  whether the mechanism controlling the onset of the menses is the same as that c o n t r o l l i n g resumption of the menses following exercise and weight loss induced amenorrhea.  The effect on growth and maturity,  of growth hormone  secretions, in.response to exercise, i s not known. Skeletal age and age of menarche are two useful maturity often used in population surveys of rate of maturity.  indicators  Although there is  large v a r i a t i o n , in the population, in the age of menarche, there is a high correlation between the ages of menarche of related females. that there is a genetic control over this variable.  This suggests  Furthermore, the  existence of a "catch-up" growth phenomenon suggests the existence of a strong genetic control .over the rate of growth, and possibly maturity, and suggests a control that is highly resistant to external  s t r e s s o r s , that  may include the stress of exercise. Consistent trends concerning age of menarche and sport  participation  have been reported, with gymnasts and figure skaters tending to be late maturers, and swimmers tending to be early maturers. The l i t e r a t u r e to date tends to indicate that exercise does not substantially affect the maturing processes.  However, this relationship has  not been investigated in l i g h t of the present trend toward younger p a r t i c i pation in strenuous training programs.  54  V  MORPHOLOGY AND MATURITY  While the maturing process per se involves changes in s i z e , shape, composition, and p r o p o r t i o n a l i t y , i t has been speculated that these parameters are c l o s e l y related to the i n i t i a t i o n of the maturing processes.  Height, Weight, and Maturity Women who mature early were reported to be less slender at maturity (McNeill & Livson, 1963), with a lower ponderal index  (height-to-weight  r a t i o ) (Hillman et a l . , 1970) than late maturing women. Children with an early puberty were found to be t a l l e r and heavier than late maturers, some time before puberty (McNeill & Livson, 1963). Richey (1937, cited in Tanner, 1962:87) found early maturers to be t a l l e r and heavier than late maturers, at ages 6, 7, arid 8 years, and Dupertuis and Michael (1953, cited in Tanner, 1962:102) found that "as early as two years old those who at puberty will height than do early maturers".  be late maturers w e i g h t e s s ' f o r ' t h e i r "  S i m i l a r l y , Shuttleworth (1939, cited in  Tanner, 1962:102) reported this relationship as far back as six years. Acheson and Hewett (1954, cited in Acheson and Dupertuis, 1957: 167) found children who reached a s p e c i f i c skeletal maturation stage " l a t e " , were t a l l e r at that stage than children who reached the same stage "early". Richey (1937, cited in Tanner, 1962:97) found no difference in height between e a r l y , l a t e , and average maturing females, while Stone and Barker (1937, cited in Tanner, 1962:96) have shown late maturers to be s l i g h t l y t a l l e r at maturity than early maturers, tFrisch'(1969) reported late maturers to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y t a l l e r than early maturers, at the  initiation  of the adolescent growth spurt, and at the maximum rate of growth peak.  55  Frisch and Revelle (1971) reported that the mean height at menarche increased s i g n i f i c a n t l y as the menarcheal age increased.  Zacharias, Rand,  and Wurtman (1976) found that a g i r l who experiences menarche at an early age, is l i k e l y to be shorter than a g i r l who is older when this event occurs. For g i r l s of the same height at menarche, the older ones tended to be l i g h t e r and thinner; and the younger ones tended to be heavier (Johnston, Malina, & Galbraith, 1971; Zacharias et a l . , 1976).  At a constant menarcheal  weight, the early maturers were found to be shorter than the late maturers (Johnston et a l . , 1971). In general, a late menarche is associated with thinness, and a t a l l e r , l i g h t e r body; and an early menarche is associated with stoutness, and a shorter, heavier body (Johnston et a l . , 1971; Zacharias et a l . , 1976). Linear people, both men and.women, develop l a t e , . . . [and i t is] l i k e l y that linear individuals are less advanced in growth at a l l ages, and proceed in a more l e i s u r e l y way along their (Tanner, 1962:102). Secular Trends An association between height, weight, and rate of maturity, to be evident in the secular trends that have been i d e n t i f i e d .  appear  Analysis of  growth data has revealed that the whole process of growth and maturity has been progressively "stepped-up", with children getting progressively t a l l e r , and heavier, sooner; and with the growth spurt and time of menarche occurring earlier  (Bakwin, 1964, Towns et a l . , 1966, Roberts & Dann, 1967, Harper &  C o l l i n s , 1972, and Zacharias et a l . , 1970, cited in Johnston, 1974:168; Eveleth & Tanner, 1976; Tanner, 1962). differences in rate of maturity,  Recognizing the existence of r a c i a l  i t has been noted that:  In Norway the average g i r l begins to menstruate  56  at just over 13 years of years in the 1840's. In the average age at f i r s t clined from 14.2 in 1900  age, as opposed to 17 the United States . . . menstruation has deto about 12.45 today. (Petersen, 1979:45)  On the other hand, the data of Damon et a l . ,  (1969) suggests that,  in a general way, those factors affecting secular trends in adult height are not necessarily the same factors affecting secular trends to age at menarche. The secular trend of an e a r l i e r menarche has also been associated with a number of other v a r i a b l e s , such as improved n u t r i t i o n a l ,  environmental,  and health care factors (Johnston, 1974; Petersen, 1979; Tanner, 1962), the breaking down of genetic isolates (Broman et a l . , 1942, cited in Tanner, 1962:150), and the occurrence of heterosis (Huise, 1957, and Lasker, 1960, cited in Tanner, 1962:151). Recent investigations have suggested that, in some countries, the downward trend in age of menarche is coming to a halt (Brundtland & Walloe, 1973, and Zacharias et a l . , 1973, cited in Dann & Roberts, 1973:266; Dann & Roberts, 1973).  Damon (1974) and Zacharias et a l .  (1976) have also reported  secular trends of an e a r l i e r menarche to be no longer observable, and the data of Maresh (1972) indicates the p o s s i b i l i t y of a trend in the opposite direction.  Endomorphy, Mesomorphy, and Maturity "Relative fatness in children has been associated with an early menarche" (Ross et a l . , 1976:191), and "at least in countries where n u t r i tion may be more than adequate, fatness and maturity go together" 1962:102).  (Tanner,  Furthermore, early maturers have been found to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y  more endomorphic than late and average maturers (Garn & H a s k e l l , 1960; & Revelle, 1971; Reynolds, 1950; Rona & P e r e i r a , 1974; Zuk, 1958).  Frisch  57  Garn and Haskell (1960) found that the f a t t e r the c h i l d , the he/she i s , and the more advanced the skeletal age. progress appear to be l i n e a r l y related Rona & P e r e i r a , 1974).  taller  Fat and developmental  (Garn & Haskell, I960; Reynolds, 1950;  However, an asymptotic point, beyond which increased  fatness is no longer associated with accelerated development, is speculated (Garn & Haskell, 1960).  Bruch (1941, cited in Johnston, 1974:161) found  c l i n i c a l l y obese children to be as much as 1% years advanced in age of menarche, and Hammar et a l .  (1972, cited in Johnston, 1974:162) found obese  g i r l s to reach menarche at an average age of 11.3 years, and non-obese at 12.8 years. Reynolds' comprehensive study (1946, cited in Reynolds, 1950:11) of fat patterning and maturity suggests the existence of developmental differences in subcutaneous fat in e a r l y , l a t e ,  and average maturing females.  Early maturing females were found to have r e l a t i v e l y  greater fat measurements  in childhood, and prior to puberty, than late and average maturing females. S i m i l a r l y , Garn and Haskell (1960) found g i r l s who were r e l a t i v e l y  fat  at  8.5 to 9.5 years, to be advanced in the age of menarche, and in the age of attainment  of t i b i a l  union.  Children between 1% and 12% years, who were  one standard deviation above the mean in normalized fat scores, were advanced s k e l e t a l l y by approximately  .4 years, and were t a l l e r  than the average for  their age, by about 6 months growth. Barker and Stone (1936) and Wallau (1939, both:icited in Tanner, 1962:101) have shown "pyknic" (endomorphic) women to experience menarche approximately eight months ahead of "leptosomic" (ectomorphic) women. Kraij-Cercek (1956) reported that g i r l s of the "Baroque" type (pyknic, broadbuilt,  feminine)  reach menarche e a r l i e r - t h a n - g i r l s  of the "renaissance ^  type (medium b u i l d ) , with the "gothic" type (linear or boyish build)  1  having  58  the latest menarche. McNeill and Livson (1963) found that both endomorphy and ectomorphy were related to maturity, while mesomorphy was found to be e s s e n t i a l l y unrelated. Johnston (1974) cautions against i n t e r p r e t i n g relationships between body build and rate of  "cause-effect"  maturity:  Increased amounts of depot fat do not "cause" menarche to be early . . . Rather these would seem to be the result of other determinants of growth v a r i a t i o n , be they hormonal, n u t r i t i o n a l , hereditary . . . Thus, in a l l probabili t y , a late maturing female w i l l tend to have a more linear physique due to a longer period of pre-adolescent growth, characterized by r e l a t i v e l y greater amounts of growth of the shafts of the long bones. (Johnston, 1974:162)  The C r i t i c a l Mass Hypotheses Frisch and Revelle (1970) proposed the hypothesis that c r i t i c a l body weights may trigger certain adolescent events in females.. analyses of data from three longitudinal growth studies, they mean heights and weights, at three maturational  From their interpolated  events; at menarche, at  the i n i t i a t i o n of the weight spurt, and at the time of maximum rate of weight gain, and proposed that these events occurred at "invariant" mean weights of 48 kg, 31 kg, and 39 kg, respectively.  They proposed that  menarche occurs when: attainment of a body weight in the c r i t i c a l range causes a change in metabolic r a t e , which in turn, reduces the s e n s i t i v i t y of the hypothalamus to estrogen, thus a l t e r i n g the ovarian-hypothalamus feedback. (Frisch & Revelle, 1970:398) F r i s c h , Revelle, and Cook (1973) expanded the hypothesis to include  59  discussion of a c r i t i c a l  "metabolic" mass component.  and weight values previously interpolated  From the height  (Frisch & Revelle, 1970),  they calculated total body water, lean body weight, and fat values, and noted the change in these components, between the maturational  events.  They proposed that: Total water and lean body weight are more c l o s e l y correlated with metabolic rate than body weight . . . as is expected since they represent the metabolic mass, as a f i r s t approximation. (Frisch et a l . , 1973:479) In 1974, to include c r i t i c a l  Frisch and McArthur revised the c r i t i c a l mass hypothesis fat mass values, calculated from total body water,  necessary for the onset of the menses, and for the maintenance of menstruation.  They proposed that: the minimal weight for body height for the onset of menstrual cycles . . . is equivalent to about 17% fat of body weight. . . . about 22% fat of body weight, indicates a minimal weight for height necessary for the restoration and maintenance of menstrual cycles for women of age 16 years and over. (Frisch -•& McArthur, 1974:949)  In 1976,  Frisch presented a nomogram for estimating total body water as a  percentage of body weight (an index of fatness) from height and weight values of females. The concept of " c r i t i c a l masses" is not a new one.  In 1923, Moulton  (cited in Friss-Hansen, 1971:272; and Parizkova, 1961a:805-806) introduced the concept of "chemical maturity",  indicating that at a certain age a  constant composition of water, protein, and ash content would be achieved. The Frisch-Revelle (1970), Frisch-Revelle-Cook (1973), and the Frisch-McArthur (1974) hypotheses have been tested against other longitudinal  growth data, and have found l i t t l e support and much skeptical  60  c r i t i c i s m (Billewicz et a l . , 1976; Cameron, 1976; Crawford & Osier, 1975; Johnston et a l . , 1971; Johnston, Roche, S c h e l l , & Wettenhall,  1975).  One of the major shortcomings of the hypotheses is that they are based on interpolated and not d i r e c t l y observed data. then treated as i f they are observed values. allotting all  The new data are  Furthermore, the process of  g i r l s of a given height and weight the same body water value,  and thus the same "fatness" value, is questioned (Billewicz et a l . , 1976), as this implies that there i s no compositional variation between individuals of s i m i l a r s i z e .  As welT, the invariant mean values specified in the original  hypothesis appear to be representative of central  tendencies, and applicable  to group means, and not to i n d i v i d u a l s , who demonstrate their own unique patterns of growth (Billewicz et a l . , 1976; Crawford & Osier, 1975; Johnston et a l . , 1975).  Summary:  Morphology and Maturity It  appears that females who are above average for their age, in  height, weight, and fat "content", are also advanced in maturity,  and reach  menarche at an e a r l i e r age than their peers. In general, an early menarche i s associated with stoutness, shortness, and a heavy body; while a late menarche is associated with thinnessand_a  taller,'1ighter.body.  The secular trend of an e a r l i e r menarche has been associated with the secular trend of children getting progressively t a l l e r  and heavier sooner.  The concept of " c r i t i c a l metabolic masses" triggering  certain  adolescent events, has not received much support. Although exercise has the effect of modifying the "physique" and .composition of the body, i t  is not known at this time, whether a modification  61  of the body's physical morphology can, in turn, substantially affect  the  rate of maturity, which appears to be a predetermined genetic t r a i t .  VI  MATURITY AND MORPHOLOGY  While i t has been demonstrated that early and late maturers possess d i s t i n c t l y d i f f e r e n t physiques, at the i n i t i a t i o n of s p e c i f i c adolescent events, there is some speculation that the time and rate of maturity may also affect.the  ultimate, adult physique, with early maturers possessing d i f f e r e n t  physical c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , as a d u l t s , than late maturers. P r a c t i c a l l y a l l of our knowledge on morphological changes accompanying growth and maturity is substantiated from longitudinal studies.  Since  most of these studies are concerned primarily with the dramatics surrounding adolescence, they usually delve d e s c r i p t i v e l y into these events, and comment b r i e f l y , i f at a l l , on the persistence of certain growth trends into adulthood.  The effect of s p e c i f i c growth c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and phenomena, upon  ultimate, adult physique, has not received much attention in the  literature.  Although e a r l y , average, and late maturers pass through the same maturational  and growth events, and in r e l a t i v e l y  the same order, the  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the adolescent events appear to d i f f e r depending on the time of maturity: The e a r l i e r the spurt occurs, the more intense i t appears to be . . . the e a r l i e r the menarche, the greater the peak v e l o c i t y ; and the e a r l i e r the menarche, the less time elapses between i t and peak v e l o c i t y . . . . as a result of the greater peak the total contribution of the spurt to adult height is also greater in early maturing chiIdren. (Tanner, 1962:94)  62  Height, Weight, and Maturity Richey (1937, cited in Tanner, 1962:96-97) found l a t e maturers to be l i g h t e r  in weight than early maturers, both at menarche and at 18  years, with no difference in adult height reported. and Shuttleworth  Stone and Barker (1973)  (1939, both cited in Tanner, 1962:97) found late maturing  females to be s l i g h t l y t a l l e r  as a d u l t s .  Frisch and Revelle (1969) reported  that the adult height, at age 18 years, of four maturity groups, with ages of menarche of 11.4,  12.5,  13.5, and 14.4 years, was approximately the same,  except for the l a t e s t maturing group which was shorter by 8 centimeters. This group showed a mean peak height increase that was lower than the others, and was also found to be lighter  in weight at age 18 years.than the others.  Tanner (1962:102) reported no s i g n i f i c a n t relationship between age at menarche and adult height, weight, or triceps skinfold thickness. However, Hillman et a l . (1970) and Tanner (unpublished data, as cited in Tanner, 1962:102) reported a strong association between menarcheal age and adult body form, and women with a high ponderal index as a d u l t s , had a s i g n i f i c a n t l y later onset of the menses.  Zuk (1958) also found early  maturers to be less ectomorphic at age 17 years than late and average maturers.  Proportionality, Shape, and Maturity While some differences in physique are the result of variations in the magnitude of the growth spurt and i t s time of i n i t i a t i o n ,  others, such  as the wider shoulders of the male and the wider hips of the female, result at adolescence through d i f f e r e n t i a l in shape and tissue structure.  growth r a t e s , which account for differences Still  other d i f f e r e n c e s , such as the relat4  i v e l y longer male forearm, develop continuously throughout the whole period  63  of growth (Tanner, 1962:40). Bayley (1943b, cited in Tanner, 1962:102) noted that late maturing g i r l s have wider shoulders, as a d u l t s , than early maturing g i r l s . Malina (1978, cited in Malina et a l . , 1978:221) found the late maturing g i r l  to be c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y longer-legged and narrower hipped,  with a more linear physique and less weight for height, with less fatness, than the early maturing female.  Tanner (unpublished, cited in  Tanner, 1962:102) s i m i l a r l y confirmed a l i n e a r i t y height and b i - i l i a c diameter for late maturers. in Tanner, 1962:97) attributed  relative  relationship between Shuttleworth  (1939, cited  the greater adult height observed in late  maturing females to a greater leg length. These results may indicate that late maturing g i r l s have an adolescent spurt appoximating the boys' spurt, in composition, as well as in time (Tanner, 1962).  The difference in height, and the  relatively  longer legs of the male, in comparison to the female, is due to a later age of maturity,  and more s p e c i f i c a l l y , to a longer growing period p r i o r to the  adolescent spurt (Tanner, 1962): In g i r l s the spurt begins about 2 years e a r l i e r than in boys . . . and is somewhat smaller in magnitude. . . . the peak height velocity averaging about 8 cm. per year [Tn females] . . . . In the immediate preadolescent years, i t is the legs which are growing r e l a t i v e l y fastest of a l l skeletal dimensions . . . and so i f allowed to grow for an extra 2 years before the spurt, the legs become r e l a t i v e l y longer. (Tanner, 1962:1,46) Smit (1973:484) attributed  the longer lower limbs in proportion  to total height, observed in gymnasts, to their "reaching a pubertal spurt sooner than those from the population".  However, i t  growth  is apparent from  the above quotation, that this is due, in f a c t , to a delayed spurt.  64  The degree of androgyny; "the masculinity of form in the female, or femininity in the male" (Tanner, 1962:102), has been studied in an attempt to associate i t with certain developmental events, such as the time of i n i t i a t i o n of the growth spurt, and menarche.  Deming (1957, cited  in Tanner, 1962:104) did not find g i r l s with growth spurts resembling that of boys, to have a more masculine physique, as a d u l t s , than the average. Malina and Zavaleta (1976) investigated the relationship between androgyny scores and age of menarche in female track and f i e l d a t h l e t e s , and found low and non-significant r e s u l t s . study by Hebbelinck et a l .  Olympic female swimmers and d i v e r s , in a  (1975, cited in Malina & Zavaleta, 1976:444),  were found to have androgyny scores in the masculine range.  The androgyny  scores however, are said to confuse mesomorphy with masculinity, and endomorphy with femininity  (Tanner, 1962:104).  Endomorphy, Mesomorphy, and Maturity Zuk (1958) studied the changes in physique with maturity, attempt to determine the degree of s t a b i l i t y of the somatotypes.  in an  Mesomorphy  and endomorphy in females, were found to increase consistently from 12 to 17 years, and from 17 to 33 years, while ectomorphy declined c o n s i s t e n t l y . In general, the somatotype tended to be f a i r l y stable and consistent from early adolescence through adulthood.  The endomorphic component fluctuated  randomly from l a t e adolescence to adulthood, but tended to be stable within the adolescent years, and females, as they grew o l d e r , tended to take on endomorphy. Boothby et a l . (1952, cited in Tanner, 1962:102) found a clear tendency for those with an early menarche to have more subcutaneous fat age 18 years than those with a late menarche.  However, Zuk (1958) found  at  65  late maturers to have a higher degree of endomorphy at age 33 years, than early and average maturers.  This difference however, was reported as not  statistically significant. L i t t l e research e f f o r t has been directed towards monitoring shape changes from childhood, through adolescence, and into adulthood.  The general  impression however, is that; "shape changes far less than size at least from 2 years onwards" (Tanner, 1962:91).  Summary:  Maturity and Morphology The time of maturity has been shown to affect the physical  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the adolescent events.  Although the l i t e r a t u r e  conclusive, the rate of maturity appears to have some e f f e c t on the  is nonultimate  adult morphology, with late maturers tending, as adults, to have a more linear physique, a higher ponderal index, narrower h i p s , and longer l e g s , but not necessarily a t a l l e r  stature.  Differences in adult physique, and especially the longer lower limbs found in late maturers, may r e s u l t both from differences in the rate of growth, and the time of i n i t i a t i o n of the growth spurt. Somatotype components appear to be f a i r l y stable from early adolescence throughout adulthood.  However, the endomorphic component  fluctuates randomly and tends to increase with age. In view of these findings: It would c e r t a i n l y be wrong to leave any impression that the adolescent spurt, whether late or e a r l y , causes any radical changes in body b u i l d ; i t c e r t a i n l y does not. It adds only the f i n i s h i n g touches to a physique which is recognized years before. (Tanner, 1962:104)  66  VII  MATURITY AND PERFORMANCE  The process of physical growth and maturity  involves dramatic  changes in s i z e , shape, composition, and proportionality  (Edwards,  1950,  1951; Friis-Hansen, 1971; Garn & Haskell, 1960; Malina, 1974; Parizkova, 1961a; Reynolds, 1950; Skerlj et a l . , 1953; Tanner, 1962).  These changes  are especially marked at adolescence: Every muscular and skeletal dimension of the body seems to take part in the adolescent growth spurt. Even the head diameters, p r a c t i c a l l y dormant since a few years after b i r t h , accelerate somewhat in most i n d i v i d u a l s . The cartilages of the wrist grow and ossify more r a p i d l y . The heart grows f a s t e r ; so also do the abdominal v i s c e r a . The reproductive organs in particular enlarge. (Tanner, 1962:10) Since each stage of maturity  presents a d i f f e r e n t  and changed  physique, there may also e x i s t , concurrent with these physical  alterations,  changes in physical potential and performance. In view of the s i g n i f i c a n t contribution of physical morphology to performance outcomes, i t is not unreasonable to expect performance potential  to vary in r e l a t i o n to the  stage of maturity reached.  Maturity and Muscular Development In males, puberty is accompanied by an increase in muscular development (Tanner, 1965, as cited in Malina, 1969b:22) and strength, and these are attributable  to an increase in hormonal secretions (Clarke,  1973; Jones, 1949, cited in Reynolds, 1950:107).  In females, l i t t l e ,  1968, if  any, strength increase is detected accompanying pubertal development, and although there is an increase in hormone production, i t that experienced in males (Church, 1976).  is not as great as  67  Espenchade (1940, 1960, cited in Malina, 1974:127) found that performance in a variety of motor tasks requiring power, speed, co-ordination, and balance, reached a plateau in females at 14 years of age, with l i t t l e improvement thereafter.  agility,  approximately  Johnson and Buskirk  (1974) have observed similar r e s u l t s , with performance in some tasks showing s l i g h t declines after the age of 14 years.  Whether or not these declines  are functions of biological ageing is questionable however, since Kriesel (1977) noted-an obvious unwillingness in g i r l s to perform strength tasks to the best of their a b i l i t y .  related  Furthermore, the cross-sectional  studies of Fleishman (1964) and Hunsicker and Reiff  (1966, both cited in  Malina, 1974:128) indicate a s l i g h t but continued improvement in runningand jumping performance of g i r l s , through to 17 years. Hebbelinck and Ross (1972, cited in Ross, McKim, & Wilson, in Taylor, 1976:257) found that in female c h i l d r e n , bone widths deviate in a positive d i r e c t i o n , and comparable girths in a negative d i r e c t i o n , from r e l a t i v e height values, suggesting that children have greater tissue r e l a t i v e to muscle mass than a d u l t s .  skeletal  They proposed that this  "reduced" proportion of muscle mass was a physiological reason why children are at a disadvantage in r e l a t i v e strength and stamina. The theoretical  expectancy of weakness with increasing size has  recently been shown to be non-applicable to growing c h i l d r e n , as the basic assumption of geometrical  similarity  is not tenable, since children change  in shape and composition as they gain in height-(Ross & Marshall, 1979:15): The muscular girths increase with age. Thus we have a r e l a t i v e increase in muscle mass with growth which must be taken into account when appraising strength and r e l a t i v e strength performances in growing c h i l d r e n . (Ross & Marshall, 1979:15)  68  Early Maturity  and Performance  Although there appears to be no strength "advantage" in pubertal development, for the female, an e a r l i e r maturation has been associated with improved performance of 12 year old female swimmers (Kanitz & Bar-Or, 1973, cited in Bar-Or, Zwiren, & Ruskin, 1974:214).  Asmussen (1966) discusses  changes in anthropometric dimensions accompanying puberty, in r e l a t i o n aerobic capacity and strength, and presents a credible case for  to  attributing  some of the improvements in performance, e s p e c i a l l y of female swimmers, to an e a r l i e r  maturity. During the adolescent growth spurt there i s a f a i r l y  regular order  in which the various dimensions accelerate: hands and feet reach adult size f i r s t , followed by c a l f and forearm, then hips and chest width, then by shoulders, and l a s t l y by trunk length and chest depth. (Hebbelinck & Ross, 1974:546) Hebbelinck and Ross (in Nelson & Morehouse, 1974:546) have commented on the "tempting" speculation that the sequence of events of maturity, with the hands and feet being r e l a t i v e l y  especially  large with respect to the body and  to the shoulders, may provide a biomechanical advantage for young swimmers, with respect to propulsion and resistance in the water.  Late Maturity and Performance While certain advantages have been associated with an early or advanced maturity, late  there are also advantages associated with a delayed or  maturity: In swimming and perhaps other sports where body weight i s supported or gives a biomechanical advantage, e a r l i e r maturation with a concomitant increase in size may be an advantage. However,  69  a post-adolescent increase in body mass due to an increased"percentage of fat may be a deterrent to sports requiring force to support or move the whole body mass. Thus in some track events and possibly in gymnastics and figure skating, delayed maturation may be somewhat of an advantage. (Ross et a l . , 1976:191) In a longitudinal study of female non-athletes, Espenchade (1940, cited in Malina et a l . , 1973:12) found the better performers, on a test battery of track and f i e l d related items, to be late maturers, both menarcheally and s k e l e t a l l y . Faulkner (1977) studied the physique c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of nationally ranked senior figure skaters and outstanding skaters under the age of 12 years, and concluded that the growth characteristics of the younger skaters, including their low fat content, small general s i z e , l i g h t weight, and their proportional length and width measurements, provided biomechanical advantages in the'performance of acrobatic moves: The proportionally wider knee widths and longer feet may benefit s t a b i l i t y . . . . The r e l a t i v e l y narrow bitrochanteric and mesosternal widths . . . may be advantageous in performing some motor s k i l l s . (Faulkner, 1977:92-93) A l l of the outstanding skaters under 12 years of age were pre-menarcheal, and the differences in proportional measures between these skaters and the senior skaters were attributed to differences in maturity. Concerning shock absorption and j o i n t structure, i t appears that children are well equipped to absorb forces caused by physical a c t i v i t y : For their s i z e , children have proportionately larger knees, ankles and f e e t . Thus they have proportionately greater area for weight-bearing stress than adults. In a d d i t i o n , from early infancy to the adolescent growth spurt children tend to grow t a l l e r more quickly than they add weight: this l i n e a r i t y i s an advantage in meeting the stress of running. On the other hand  70  young tissue may be more vulnerable to s t r e s s induced injury. (Ross, cited in Taunton, 1979:20) Johnston et a l .  (1975) reported that a structural factor  affect-  ing running performance is the width of the p e l v i s , with a wider pelvis providing a less e f f i c i e n t angle for weight bearing and for attachment of the tendons of the quadraceps muscle group.  Since there are structural and  shape changes occurring in the hip j o i n t with growth and development (Bullough et a l . , 1973; Ralis & McKibbin, 1973); and at puberty, " G i r l s have a p a r t i c u l a r l y large spurt in hip width" (Tanner, 1962:45), i t  is possible  that these changes also affect the e f f i c i e n c y of the running s t r i d e .  Maturity and C r i t i c a l Learning Periods Ross and Marshall (1979:15) have noted that skating professionals seem resigned to the dictum that, " i f a g i r l does not double jump by the time she is twelve, she never w i l l " , and have suggested that there may exist a " c r i t i c a l pre-pubertal  learning period", where skating s k i l l s can be  mastered easier than after puberty, when there may be structural advantages.  Faulkner (1977) has also commented that although the  diselite,  adult female figure skater possesses physical factors that can be regarded as "deterrents" to performance, these disadvantages are offset by her acquisition of required s k i l l s before these factors came into play. The importance of the pre-pubertal growth period to future potential  and a t h l e t i c success has been studied by Bannister (1968) and  Ekblom (1970, both cited in B a i l e y , 1973:5). importance of pre-pubertal  These studies emphasize the  training in the setting of upper limits of the  functional aerobic capacity.  The necessity of building world class  athletes  71  by beginning training before the ages of 10, 11, and 12 years is emphasized by Councilman (cited in B a i l e y , 1973:5).  Age and Olympic Participation From observing the ages of the female Olympic p a r t i c i p a n t s ,  it  appears that they are younger in comparison to the male p a r t i c i p a n t s . Hi rata noted that the ages of the female participants of the 1964 Olympic Games ranged from 13 to 35 years, with a mean of 22.8 years, and concluded that: The best period of man's physical function is in his age of 20 to 30 years in males and 17 to 25 years in females. And i t may be concluded that the male's development is completed l a t e r than the females and maintained longer. (Hirata, 1966:208) In comparison to other Olympic sports, i t appears that the female gymnasts are among the youngest participants.  De Garay et a l .  (1974) found  the female gymnasts of the 1968 Olympic Games, with ages ranging from 13 to 26 years, and a mean age of 17.8 years, to be_among theyoungest of these Games.  Novak et a l .  participants  (1977) has observed that:  While track and f i e l d events are dominated by adult women, figure skating, gymnastics and p a r t i c u l a r l y swimming seems to have more record holders in the teenage group. (Novak et a l . , 1977:275) Krustev (1977) reported a lowering in the average age of both the participants and the medalists of women's gymnastics, in the Olympic Games. The average age of the participants dropped from 23 years 10 months (range 18 to 38 y e a r s ) , in the 1896 to 1956 Games; to 18 years 2 months (range 14 to 31 y e a r s ) , in the 1976 Olympic Games.  The average age of the medalists  dropped from 25 years 6 months (range 19 to 31 y e a r s ) , to 19 years 2 months  72  (range 15 to 24 years).  An association between age and performance appears  to be apparent s i n c e , comcomitant with these decreases in age, there is also observed an increase in the display and mastery of complex s k i l l s .  Summary:  Maturity and Performance The physical changes and developments accompanying puberty may  affect  performance and performance p o t e n t i a l .  While improvements in strength  related s k i l l s are observed accompanying puberty in males, no such improvements are seen in the female, with performance tending to plateau at  this  time. A late maturity  in the female may provide an advantage in sports,  such as gymnastics and figure skating, where smallness in general to perform complex s k i l l s , and where r e l a t i v e , is displayed.  rather than absolute, strength  In these sports, the longer pre-pubertal  delayed maturity  is required  period accompanying  is associated with an "extended c r i t i c a l  learning period",  a period when s p e c i f i c complex s k i l l s can be mastered with ease, and after which mastery may not be possible. In comparison to the males, the female Olympic participants appear to be younger, and in comparison to the other female a t h l e t e s , the gymnasts are among the youngest p a r t i c i p a n t s . There appears to be an association in female gymnasts between age and performance s i n c e , concomitant with increasing displays of complex s k i l l s , there is also observed a decrease in the ages of the gymnasts and the medalists of the Olympic Games.  participating  73  CHAPTER 3  METHODS AND PROCEDURES  SUBJECTS  Sixty-nine Canadian female gymnasts between the ages of 11.5 and 18.0 years participated in the study.  Descriptions of the test groups, and  subject selection for these groups, are as follows: Group 1 Fifteen of the seventeen designated Canadian National Gymnastics Team Members (1977) were available for testing during an o f f i c i a l Gymnastics Federation Training Camp.  Canadian  These gymnasts, termed "National  E l i t e " , are c l a s s i f i e d by the Canadian Gymnastics Federation as Level  III  or Level IV gymnasts, based on their performance results from a battery of physical fitness and standard gymnastic moves t e s t s . These are Canada's best.gymnasts and comprise the Canadian National Gymnastics Team competing internationally  in World and Olympic  Games competitions. Group 2 Thirteen of approximately t h i r t y - f i v e e l i g i b l e gymnasts were available for t e s t i n g .  These gymnasts, termed "Pre-National  E l i t e " , are  c l a s s i f i e d by the Canadian Gymnastics Federation as Level I or Level  II  gymnasts, based on their performance results from a battery of physical fitness and standard gymnastic moves t e s t s .  74  These gymnasts have a very real potential  of becoming national  team members, and are e l i g i b l e for selection for some international tournaments (Bajin,  1978:1).  Group 3 Twenty gymnasts between the ages of 11.5 and 18.0 years were randomly selected from the Vancouver and Thunder Bay areas to represent this test group.  These gymnasts, termed "Competitive", are c l a s s i f i e d by  the Canadian Gymnastics Federation as Competitive Level A or Level B gymnasts, and are active participants of c e r t i f i e d Regional and Provincial Competitions.  Some of these gymnasts have attempted the Canadian Gymnastics  Federation e l i t e t e s t s , but none have met the requirements for the lowest l e v e l , Level  I.  Group 4 Twenty-one gymnasts between the ages of 11.5 and 18.0 years were randomly selected from the Vancouver and Thunder Bay areas to represent this test group.  These gymnasts, termed "Recreational", have never trained  f o r , or competed i n , c e r t i f i e d Provincial or Regional Level A or Level B competitions. These gymnasts have attended gymnastic classes for at least one year, and for at least one hour per week.  PROCEDURES Participants selected for the study were sent an introductory l e t t e r explaining the nature of the project, i t s testing concerns, and the subject's expected involvement.  The parent or guardian of each subject  was then contacted by phone, at which time any concerns were discussed, and an appointment for having the radiographic photo taken was arranged.  75  Prior to the actual test session the project was again explained to the p a r t i c i p a t i n g gymnasts. A l l radiographic photos were taken by one of two q u a l i f i e d technicians at one of two medical i n s t i t u t i o n s , U.B.C. Medical Institution and Health Centre in Vancouver, or S t . Joseph's General Hospital in Thunder Bay.  The procedures for hand positioning specified in the Tanner-  Whitehouse II  Radiographic Atlas (Tanner et a l . , 1975:41) were followed.  A l l radiographs were taken in random order. Menarcheal data were collected at the time when the radiograph was taken, by one of two females, the author, or a previously instructed assistant. A l l anthropometric measurements were taken by the same Internationally C e r t i f i e d C r i t e r i o n Anthropometrist, aided by a recorder previously instructed in recording procedures.  The same measurement tape,  c a l i p e r s , and anthropometers were used for a l l subjects.  One of two beam  scales validated f o r precision was used in the attainment of body weight. Group 1 subjects had t h e i r anthropometric measurements taken as a group, while a l l other subjects were randomly measured. t e s t i n g , a l l subjects were a t t i r e d  For this phase of the  in two piece bathing suits or under-  garments . In order to accommodate the gymnasts, the anthropometric measurements were taken at a variety of gymnastic training centres, and over several days.  The complete series of anthropometric measurements for  each individual subject was taken at a single test session. The anthropometric measurements and the radiograph were not taken on the same day, f o r a l l subjects. maturational  However, complete anthropometric and  data for a single subject were collected within seven days.  76  Complete data c o l l e c t i o n for the study took place from December 28th, 1977 to January 30th, 1978.  MEASUREMENTS  The present study consisted of maturational  and anthropometric  measurements.  Maturational I  Measurements Skeletal age.  One radiographic photo of the l e f t hand and  wrist was taken for each subject to provide a measure of the overall maturation of the skeleton, as expressed in terms of a skeletal age.  II  Menarche.  The status quo method of data c o l l e c t i o n was used,  in that i t was determined whether menarche had, or had not occurred.  Anthropometric Measurements A total of 35 anthropometric variables were d i r e c t l y measured, and 8 anthropometric variables were further derived from these d i r e c t l y observed measurements.  A l i s t of these anthropometric variables is provided  on the following pages, after which a detailed explaination of the variables is presented. A detailed description of the anthropometric measurements, and the procedures, techniques, and landmarks employed in taking them, i s provided in this text because there is at this time, no internationally recognized single manual or source referencing these s p e c i f i c s , which often vary from one study to another (Ross, 1980).  The following series of anthropometric measurements were taken.  Heights and Lengths  Girths  vertex standing height  relaxed arm girth  s i t t i n g height  flexed arm girth  acromial height *  forearm girth  radial height  wrist  *  girth  s t y l i o n height *  chest girth  dactyl ion height *  waist girth  i l i o s p i n a l e height  thigh girth  trochanterion height  calf  symphysion height *  ankle girth  tibial  head girth  height  foot length  girth  neck girth  Note: * measurements not used in s t a t i s t i c a l analysis  Breadths, Widths and Depths  Skinfolds  biacromial breadth  triceps skinfold  bii1iocristal  subscapular skinfold  breadth  transverse chest width  s u p r a i l i a c skinfold  anterior-posterior chest depth  abdominal skinfold  bi-epicondylar humerus width  front thigh skinfold  bi-epicondylar femur width  medial c a l f skinfold  Weight body weight  78  The following measurements were derived from the d i r e c t l y observed measurements previously l i s t e d .  Lengths:  upper arm, forearm, hand, trunk,  Proportional Masses:  fat,  thigh.  s k e l e t a l , muscle, r e s i d u a l .  The landmarks and terminology referred to were those established by, Brown, Carter, Hebbelinck, Ross, Behnke, J r . , and Savage, in a Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation Study Group (Ross, Brown, Hebbelinck & Faulkner,, in Shephard & Lavallee, 1978:44-49). The landmarks were i d e n t i f i e d by palpation of the skeleton and were marked with a dermatographic p e n c i l .  Care was taken to ensure that  movement of the underlying skin did not misplace the actual marking. Prior to taking the actual measurement, the anthropometrist again identi f i e d the point, ensuring that the landmark was i d e n t i f i e d  I  accurately.  Height and Length Measurements  Unless otherwise indicated, the following conditions applied to the height and length measurements:  Instruments A l l height and length measurements, except foot length, were made with an adaptable Martin design anthropometer, comprised of four, 50 centimeter long segments, and a horizontal  pointed crossbar.  (Manufactured by G P M and distributed by Siber-Hegner).  79  Accuracy  Measurements were read to the nearest 0.1  centimeter. "  Body Position The subject stood erect, feet together, with toes directed forward, and with the weight equally distributed on both feet.  The head  and eyes were fixed in the Frankfort plane, and the arms were extended loosely down the sides of the body with the fingers extended,' but not held along the thighs. Technique The anthropometer base was s t a b i l i z e d oh the standing surface by the anthropometrist and was located in f r o n t , and to the right side,/"of the subject.  The anthropometer spine was held vertical and stable by the  supporting base and the anthropometrist. The anthropometer crossbar was lowered down the v e r t i c a l spine until  the point of the arm was on the designated landmark.  "The anthropo-  meter arm indicated the height from the f l o o r of each designated landmark" (Whittingham,  1978:72).  A l l measurements were taken from the right side of the body.  I  (i)  Vertex Standing Height Definition of measurement:,  "Maximum height from the soles of the  feet to the vertex when the head is in the Frankfort Plane"  (Whittingham,  1978:61). Landmark:  "Vertex - the most superior point on the s k u l l , in the  mid-sagittal plane when the head is held in the Frankfort Plane"  (Ross et  80  a l . , in Shephard & Lavallee, 1978:46). Technique:  The anthropometer base was s t a b i l i z e d on the standing  surface by the anthropometrist and was located posterior to the subject. The anthropometer spine was held v e r t i c a l and stable by the supporting base and the anthropometrist. The horizontal crossbar of the anthropometer was brought down in the mid-sagittal plane to s i t firmly on the subject's vertex.  I  (ii)  S i t t i n g Height Definition of measurement:  "The maximum height of the vertex  while seated with the head in the Frankfort Plane" (Whittingham,  1978:64).  This measurement is also referred to as stem height. Landmark:  The vertex  Body P o s i t i o n :  (see Vertex Standing Height)  The subject sat on a table with her knees bent  over the edge at approximately 90 degrees, and with her legs suspended. The subject's hands rested on her thighs.  With the weight equally d i s -  tributed on the buttocks, and with the sacral and thoracic spine resting against the anthropometer, the subject was instructed to " s i t t a l l " and was manually assisted to do so.  The head was positioned in the Frankfort  plane. Technique:  The technique was the same as that used in taking the  Vertex Standing Height measurement, only with the anthropometer base s t a b i l i z e d on the s i t t i n g surface.  I  (iii)  Acromial Height Definition of measurement'-:  The height from the soles of the feet  to the acromial point with the arms relaxed and hanging loosely at the s i d e s .  81  Landmark:  "Acromiale - Acromial point - the point a t . t h e superior  and external border of the acromial process when the subject i s standing erect with relaxed arms"  (Ross et a l . , i n Shephard & L a v a l l e , 1978:47).  This point was located by palpating along the length of the spine of- the s c a p u l a , or by having the subject bend the trunk l a t e r a l l y to relax the d e l t o i d muscles (Whittingham, 1978:74).  I ( i v ) Radial Height D e f i n i t i o n of measurement:  The height from the soles of the feet  to the r a d i a l p o i n t , with the arms relaxed and hanging loosely at the s i d e s . Landmark:  "The point at the upper and l a t e r a l border of the head  of the radius" (Ross et a l . , in Shephard & L a v a l l e e , 1978:47). This point was located by palpating downward i n the l a t e r a l dimple at the elbow where the r o t a t i n g head of the radius could be f e l t under the stationary condyle of the humerus, e s p e c i a l l y when the subject s l i g h t l y pronated and supinated the forearm. (Whittingham, 1978:75)  I (v) S t y ! i o n Height D e f i n i t i o n of measurement:  The height from the soles of the feet  to the s t y l i o n point with the arms relaxed and hanging loosely at the s i d e s . Landmark:  "The most d i s t a l point of the s t y l o i d process of the  radius" (Ross et a l . , i n Shephard & L a v a l l e e , 1978:47). By approaching the area from the d i s t a l aspect of the w r i s t j o i n t , t h i s point was located i n the "anatomical snuff box" or that t r i a n g u l a r area formed when the thumb was extended l a t e r a l l y .  The area was defined by the  raised tendons of the muscles of the abductor p o l l i c u s longus and extensor p o l l i c u s brevis with the extensor p o l l i c u s longus.  Palpation of the point  82  during passive abduction and adduction of the hand and wrist also aided in identifying the landmark (Ross et a l . , in Shephard & Lavallee, 1978:47).  I  (vi)  Dactyl ion Height Definition of measurement:  The height from the soles of the feet  to the most d i s t a l point of the third d i g i t (middle f i n g e r ) , with the arms hanging at the sides of the body and the fingers outstretched downwards (Ross et a l . , in Shephard & Lavallee, 1978:47). Landmark:  "Tip of the middle f i n g e r " , also termed Dactyl ion  III  (Ross et a l . , in Shephard & Lavallee, 1978:47).  I  (vii)  Iliospinale  Height:  Definition of measurement:  The height from the soles of the feet  to the i l i o s p i n a l e point. Landmark:  I l i o s p i n a l e - the anterior superior i l i a c spine.  The  most pronounced t i p , and not the most f r o n t a l l y curved s i t e of the c r i s t a i l i a c a , i s the designated landmark (Ross et a l . , in Shephard & Lavallee, 1978:48). The anthropometrist palpated anteriorly along the crest of the ilium following the curve downwards until  the landmark, a prominent poster-  i o r l y directed curve, was detected (Whittingham,  I  1978:76).  ( v i i i ) Trochanterion Height Definition of measurement:  The height from the soles of the feet  •to the trochanterion point. Landmark:  "Trochanterion - the most superior point on the greater  trochanter of the femur" (Ross et a l . , in Shephard & Lavallee, 1978:48).  83 T h i s p o i n t was l o c a t e d by h a v i n g the s u b j e c t s l i g h t l y a b d u c t h i s l e g and move i t f o r w a r d and backward, w h i l e the a n t h r o p o m e t r i s t p a l p a t e d the femur p r o g r e s s i v e l y upwards t o d e t e r m i n e the landmark,.on the .uppermost p o i n t o f the g r e a t e r t r o c h a n t e r (Ross e t a l . , i n Shephard & L a v a l l e e , 1978:48).  I ( i x ) Symph.ysion H e i g h t D e f i n i t i o n o f measurement:  The h e i g h t from the s o l e s o f the f e e t  t o the symphysion p o i n t . Landmark:  "The s u p e r i o r b o r d e r o f t h e symphysis p u b i s a t the  m i d s a g i t t a l p l a n e " (Ross e t a l . , i n Shephard & L a v a l l e e , 1978:47). The landmark i s g e n e r a l l y a t t h e upper l e v e l o f the p u b i c h a i r zone and i s l o c a t e d by p r o c e e d i n g downward from the n a v e l , p a l p a t i n g the abdominal w a l l w i t h t h e l e f t thumb u n t i l the boney s u r f a c e o f t h e p u b i s i s located.  The f o r e s i d e o f the s u b j e c t ' s symphysis and g e n i t a l i a a r e  i n f e r i o r t o t h e landmark (Ross e t a l . , i n Shephard & L a v a l l e e , 1978:46).  I (x) T i b i a l H e i g h t D e f i n i t i o n o f measurement;  The h e i g h t from the s o l e s o f the f e e t  to the t i b i a l externum p o i n t . Landmark:  T i b i a l e externum p o i n t above the c a p i t u l u m f i b u l a r e on  the l a t e r a l b o r d e r o f the head o f the t i b i a (Ross e t a l . , i n Shephard & L a v a l l e e , 1978:48). The p o i n t i s l o c a t e d a t the c e n t r e o f t h e t r i a d formed by the e p i c o n d y l a r femur, the e p i c o n d y l a r t i b i a , and the head o f t h e f i b u l a , and i s i n p r a c t i c a l l y the same t r a n s v e r s e p l a n e as the t i b i a l e i n t e r n u m p o i n t on t h e m e d i a l b o r d e r o f t h e head o f the t i b i a (Ross e t a l . , i n Shephard & L a v a l l e e , 1978:48).  84  The upper border of the t i b i a was located by palpating the tendon of the quadraceps muscle at the d i s t a l end of the p a t e l l a , and location of the landmark was f a c i l i t a t e d  by having the subject flex her  knee, while palpation continued at.the frontal collaterale  I  (xi)  (Whittingham,  border of the ligamentum  1978:77).  Foot Length Definition of measurement:  the akropodion" (Whittingham, Landmarks:  "The distance from the pternion to  1978:90).  "Pternion - the most posterior point on the heel of  the foot when the subject is standing" (Ross et a l . , in Shephard & Laval l e , 1978:49). "Akropodion - the most anterior point on the toe of the foot when the subject is standing.  This may be the f i r s t or second phalange"  (Ross et a l . , in Shephard & Lavallee, 1978:49). Instrument:  The upper section of the Martin  anthropometer,  which is comprised of a double scale of measurements in cm. and mm., was used as a large s l i d i n g c a l i p e r with the addition of two straight and pointed crossbars. Accuracy: Technique:  Measurement was read to the nearest .01  centimeters.  "The c a l i p e r was fixed at the pternion and adjusted  to the akropodion" (Whittingham,  1978:91).  The crossbars were applied to  the points at approximately halfway along their  length.  Derived Lengths The following lengths were derived from the d i r e c t l y observed height measurements, described previously.  85  I  (xii)  Upper Arm Length Definition and Derivation:  to the radial  I  (xi i i)  point.  Upper Arm Length = Acromial Height - Radial  to the s t y l i o n point.  (xiv)  The distance from the radial  point  Forearm Length = Radial Height - Stylion Height.  Hand Length Definition and Derivation:  to the dactyl ion point.  I  Height.  Forearm Length Definition and Derivation:  I  The distance from the acromial point  The distance from the s t y l i o n point  Hand Length = Stylion Height - Dactyl ion Height.  (xv) Trunk Length Definition and Derivation:  to the symphysion point "projected"  The distance from the acromial  point  horizontally.  Trunk Length = Acromial Height - Symphysion Height.  I  (xvi)  Thigh Length Definition and Derivation:  The distance from the symphysion point  to the t i b i a l externum point "projected" Thigh Length = Symphysion Height - T i b i a l  II  horizontally. Height.  Breadth, Width, and Depth Measurements  Unless otherwise indicated, the following conditions applied to the breadth, width, and depth measurements:  Instruments The biacromial and b i i l i o c r i s t a l breadth, and the transverse  86  chest measurements were made with a large, s l i d i n g anthropometer, an adaptation of the Martin anthropometer.  The upper section of the Martin  anthropometer, which is divided into a double scale of centimeters and millimeters, was used with the addition of two pointed crossbars. (Manufactured by G P M and distributed by Siber-Hegner). Anterior-posterior chest depth was measured using the wide spreading c a l i p e r s , an adaptation of the Martin c a l i p e r , consisting of a crossbar and two curved o l i v e tipped branches.  (Manufactured by G P M  and distributed by Siber-Hegner). The bi-epicondylar humerus .and the bi-epicondylar femur width measurements were made with the Mitutoyo vernier c a l i p e r s , as adapted by Carter in 1975 (Whittingham,  1978:57).  The caliper consisted of a cross-  bar f i t t e d with two branches, each .having a 15 millimeter disc at  their  end to serve as the contact points.  Accuracy A l l measurements were read to the nearest 0.1 centimeter,  except  the bi-epicondylar humerus and femur widths which were read to the nearest 0.01  centimeter.  Body Position As stated in Height and Length Measurements.  Technique Since the purpose of these measurements was to measure "skeletal" dimensions, the instrument was held firm against the subject during readings in order to reduce the influence of the subcutaneous f a t .  87  A l l measurements involving the extremities were taken with the right appendages of the body.  II  (i)  Biacromial Breadth Definition of measurement:  most lateral  "The maximum distance between the  aspect of the acromion processes" (Whittingham,  Landmarks: acromion processes. superior lateral  The most lateral  1978:89).  aspects of the right and l e f t  These aspects were s l i g h t l y i n f e r i o r to the most  margin defined as the acromiale (Whittingham,  Body P o s i t i o n :  1978:89).  As stated, and with the shoulder g i r d l e in a  relaxed standing position and not abducted or adducted. Technique:  As stated, and with the pointed crossbars of the  anthropometer directed upwards from the rear as the horizontal bar was held parallel  to the f l o o r and supported on the anthropometrist's forearms  (Whittingham,  1978:89).  The crossbars were applied to the body at approx-  imately halfway along t h e i r length.  II  (ii)  B i i l i o c r i s t a l Breadth Definition of measurement:  "The maximum distance between the  two i l i a c crests or the i l i o c r i s t a l diameter" Landmarks: crista iliaca".  (Whittingham,  " I I i o c r i s t a l e - the outermost lateral  1978:89). point of the  These landmarks are usually encompassed when obtaining  b i i l i o c r i s t a l breadth (Ross et a l . , in Shephard & Lavallee, 1978:48). Technique:  As stated, and the pointed crossbars were directed  upwards, posteriorly from the f r o n t , at an angle of approximately 30 degrees (Whittingham,  1978:90).  The horizontal bar was held p a r a l l e l  and supported on the anthropometrist's forearms.  to the f l o o r  The crossbars were applied.  88 to the body a t a p p r o x i m a t e l y  II ( i i i ) T r a n s v e r s e  halfway along t h e i r length.  C h e s t Width  D e f i n i t i o n o f measurement:  "The t r a n s v e r s e d i s t a n c e from the  most l a t e r a l p o i n t s o f the c h e s t a t the l e v e l o f the f o u r t h r i b " ( W h i t t i n g h a m , 1978:90), t a k e n d u r i n g the pause between normal e x p i r a t i o n and i n s p i r a t i o n . T h i s w i d t h i s a l s o r e f e r r e d to as the breadth  o f the t h o r a x " ' Landmarks:  ( C a r t e r 1976:3).  The most l a t e r a l p o i n t s o f the r i b s a t the l e v e l o f  the f o u r t h c o s t o s t e r n a l a r t i c u l a t i o n Technique:  "transverse  (Carter,1976:3).  The s u b j e c t ' s arms were r a i s e d w h i l e the c a l i p e r was  p o s i t i o n e d and then l o w e r e d f o r the  reading.  The p o i n t e d c r o s s b a r s were d i r e c t e d downwards a t about 30 d e g r e e s , and the measurement was  t a k e n d u r i n g the pause between normal e x p i r a t i o n  and i n s p i r a t i o n . The c r o s s b a r s were a p p l i e d to the body a t  approximately  h a l f w a y a l o n g t h e i r 1ength. Because d i s t o r t i o n o f the r i b cage by a p p l i e d p r e s s u r e t o o c c u r when m e a s u r i n g young c h i l d r e n , s p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n was a p p l y i n g the c o r r e c t p r e s s u r e and c a r e was  is likely  given to  t a k e n to e n s u r e t h a t the c r o s s -  bar arms d i d not s l i p i n t o an i n t e r c o s t a l s p a c e ( W h i t t i n g h a m , 1978:90).  II ( i v ) A n t e r i o r - P o s t e r i o r C h e s t Depth D e f i n i t i o n o f measurement:  "The d e p t h o f the c h e s t a t the l e v e l  o f the f o u r t h i n t e r c o s t a l a r t i c u l a t i o n a t end t i d a l e x p i r a t i o n " ( W h i t t i n g h a m , 1978:92). Landmark:  " M e s o s t e r n a l e - p o i n t l o c a t e d on the c o r p u s s t e r n i a t  the i n t e r s e c t o f the m i d s a g i t t a l p l a n e and the h o r i z o n t a l p l a n e a t the  89  midlevel of the fourth chondrosternal a r t i c u l a t i o n "  i  (Ross et a l . , in  Shephard & Lavallee, 1978:46). Recognizing that the f i r s t a r t i c u l a t i o n was under the c l a v i c l e , counting was started at the manubriosternal j o i n t , which corresponds to the level of the second costal c a r t i l a g e (Ross et a l . , in Shephard & Lavallee, 1978). Body P o s i t i o n : Technique:  As stated for S i t t i n g Height.  One of the tips of the curved branches was placed on  the landmark, and the other on a spinous process judged to be at the same level as the f i r s t point.  The measurement was taken during the pause  between normal expiration and i n s p i r a t i o n . As the force generated in this c a l i p e r is magnified, l i g h t pressure was applied to the instrument (Whittingham,  II  1978:93).  (v) Bi-epicondylar Humerus Width Definition of measurement:  "The width between the medial and  l a t e r a l epicondyles of the humerus, with the arm horizontal and forming a right angle with the forearm" (Carter, Landmark:  1976:3).  "The point on either epicondyle of the d i s t a l  extremity of the humerus most l a t e r a l to the medial plane of the bone" (Carter,  1975:A-2). Body P o s i t i o n :  The right arm was raised forward to approximately  the level of the shoulders, and the forearm flexed at the elbow forming a right angle with the upper arm (Carter, Technique:  1975:A-3).  Starting several centimeters proximal to the elbow  j o i n t the condyles were palpated (Whittingham,  1978:91).  90  "The discs on the branches of the calipers were applied against the epicondyles in such a manner as to bisect the angle of the j o i n t and to l i e in the same plane as the limb" (Carter,  II  (vi)  Bi-epicondylar Femur Width D e f i n i t i o n of measurement:  lateral  1975:A-2).  The width between the medial and  epicondyles of the femur, with the thigh horizontal and forming  a right angle with the lower l e g . Landmark:  "The point on either epicondyle of the d i s t a l  extremity of the femur most l a t e r a l (Carter,  to the medial plane of the bone"  1975:A-2). Body P o s i t i o n :  The right foot was raised and placed f l a t on a  bench so that the t i b i a was v e r t i c a l to the f l o o r , and at right angles to the femur. Technique:  Starting several centimeters proximal to the knee  j o i n t the condyles were palpated (Whittingham, 1978:92). Also as stated for Bi-epicondylar Humerus Width.  Ill  Girth Measurements  Unless otherwise indicated, the following conditions applied to the girth measurements:  Insruments As cloth f i b e r tape tends to stretch with use, a l l  girth  measurements were taken with a narrow and f l e x i b l e steel tape.  The tape  used was a Wyteface Tiptop, two meter long tape, #860358, manufactured by Keuffel & Esser.  91  Accuracy A l l measurements were read to the nearest 0.1  centimeter.  Body Position As stated for Height and Length Measurements.  Technique A crossed tape technique was used such that the zero l i n e of the tape was in l i n e with the measuring aspect of the tape. The tape was always in the h o r i z ontal plane of the body part being measured. (Whittingham, 1978:79) Light pressure s u f f i c i e n t to maintain the tape's p o s i t i o n , but so as not to produce indentation of the s k i n , was applied. A l l measurements involving the extremities were taken with the right appendages of the body.  Ill  (i)  Relaxed Arm Girth Definition of measurement:  The circumference of the relaxed  upper arm, taken at mid-distance between the acromion and the olecranon processes. Landmark:  Halfway between the acromion and the olecranon  processes of the right arm. With the elbow s l i g h t l y f l e x e d , a tape was placed posteriorly on the acromiale, and extended to the point of the elbow. was marked by a horizontal l i n e .  A vertical  The mid-distance  l i n e joining the acromiale and  the point of the elbow was projected, and a v e r t i c a l mark along this.: projection was drawn to intersect with the horizontal  line.  92  III  (ii)  Flexed Arm Girth Definition of measurement..:  "The maximum girth of the flexed  (and tense) arm when measured at right angles to the long axis of the humerus "  (Whittingham,  1978:81) .  Landmark;: On the flexed bicep muscle. Body Position : With the upper arm h o r i z o n t a l , the forearm was supinated and f u l l y flexed at the elbow.  The subject clenched her f i s t and  contracted the biceps as strongly as possible (Carter,  1975:A-3).  Technique : The tape was passed around the muscle and the region of the muscle explored, with the tape always at right angles to i t s long axis  Ill  (Carter,  (iii)  1975:A-3).  Forearm Girth Definition of measurement:  Maximum girth of the forearm when  measured at right angles to the long axis of the radius, with the forearm extended at the elbow and held in the anatomical position (open palm to the front) (Whittingham, Landmark: Technique:  1978:81).  In the region of the most muscular part of the forearm. The tape was passed around the forearm one to two  centimeters d i s t a l to the elbow, and manipulated to obtain the maximum girth at right angles to the long axis of the radius (Whittingham,  Ill  1978:82).  (iv) Wrist Girth Definition of measurement:  "Minimal girth of the wrist when  measured at right angles to the long axis of the radius at a point proximal to the s t y l o i d processes of the radius and ulna " (Whittingham,  1978:82).  93  Landmark:  Proximal to the s t y l o i d processes of the radius and ulna.  Body P o s i t i o n : Technique:  The arm and hand were held in l i n e and h o r i z o n t a l .  The tape was passed around the w r i s t , proximal to the  s t y l o i d processes of the radius and ulna, and manipulated to obtain the minimal girth measured at right angles to the long axis of the radius (Whittingham,  Ill  1978:82).  (v) Chest Girth Definition of measurement:  "Girth at the level of the fourth  costosternal a r t i c u l a t i o n obtained when the subject was in the end-tidal phase of expiration" (Whittingham, Landmark: Technique:  1978:82).  Mesosternale - see Anterior-Posterior Chest Depth. The measurement was made facing the subject.  With  the subject's arms raised to the h o r i z o n t a l , the tape was placed around the chest at the level of the landmark.  The arms were lowered to hang  freely at the s i d e s , and after checking to ensure that the tape was in a horizontal p o s i t i o n , the measurement was taken (Whittingham,  1978:83).  The measurement was taken during the pause between normal expiration and i n s p i r a t i o n .  Ill  (vi)  Waist Girth Definition of measurement:  "Girth at the level of the noticeable  waist narrowing located approximately halfway between the costal border and the i l i a c crest" (Whittingham, Landmark: Technique:  1978:83).  At the narrowest point of the waist. Light pressure was applied to the tape as i t was  manipulated to find the smallest girth measurement in this area.  94  III  (vii)  Thigh Girth Definition of measurement:  The g i r t h , "one centimeter d i s t a l  to  the horizontal gluteal fold at the lower border of the gluteus maximus" (Whittingham,  1978:84).  Landmark:  At the upper t h i g h , just below the gluteus maximus  muscle. Body P o s i t i o n :  The subject stood with legs s l i g h t l y parted to  permit passage of the tape around the limb (Whittingham,  1978:84).  Weight was equally distributed on both limbs. Technique:  The tape was placed perpendicular to the axis of the  thigh, with i t s upper border about one centimeter d i s t a l to the gluteal fold (Carter,  Ill  1976:4).  ( v i i i ) Calf Girth Definition of measurement:  "Maximum c a l f girth when measured at  right angles to the long axis of the t i b i a " Landmark:  (Whittingham,  1978:84).  On the gastrocnemius muscle.  Body P o s i t i o n :  The subject stood with her feet approximately 10  centimeters apart, and with weight equally distributed on both limbs. Technique:  The tape was passed around the l e g , near the top of  the c a l f muscle, then lowered and manipulated to obtain the greatest measured at right angles to the long axis of the t i b i a  Ill  (ix)  (Carter,  girth  1975:A-3).  Ankle Girth Definition of measurement:  "Minimal girth of the ankle located  proximally to the m a l l e o l i " (Whittingham,  1978:85).  95  Landmark:  Proximal to the m a l l e o l i .  Body P o s i t i o n : Technique:  As stated for Calf G i r t h .  "The tape was passed around the ankle proximal to  the malleoli and manipulated to obtain minimal girth at right angles to the long axis of the t i b i a "  (Whittingham,  Due to the e l l i p t i c a l  1978:85).  shape of the ankle, visual judgement of  "minimal girth" was inaccurate, and manipulation of the tape was manditory (Whittingham,  Ill  (x)  1978:85).  Head Girth Definition of measurement:  "The maximum g i r t h of the head,  immediately superior to the g l a b e l l a r point" (Whittingham, Landmark:  Glabellar point (brow r i d g e ) .  Body P o s i t i o n : Technique:  1978:85).  As stated for S i t t i n g Height.  "The tape was pulled tight to minimize the c o n t r i -  bution of soft tissue and hair to the true boney measurements" (Whittingham,  Ill  (xi)  1978:85).  Neck Girth Definition of measurement:  "The circumference of the neck taken  at a level immediately superior to the larynx" (Whittingham, Landmark:  Immediately superior to the larynx.  Body P o s i t i o n : Technique:  As stated for S i t t i n g Height.  "The tape was kept horizontal to the longitudinal  axis of the neck with l i t t l e tension applied to the tape" 1978:86).  1978:86).  (Whittingham,  96  IV  Skinfold Thickness Measurements  Unless otherwise indicated, the following conditions applied to the skinfold measurements:  Instruments A l l skinfold measurements were taken with the Harpenden skinfold caliper (Manufactured by Holtain and distributed by Quinton Instruments). This c a l i p e r has a spring which exerts a p r a c t i c a l l y constant tension of 10 gm/mm jaw surface over the measuring range 2 to 40 mm. (Tanner, 1962:241) 2  Accuracy Measurements were read to the nearest 0.1  millimeter.  Body Position As stated in Height and Length Measurements.  Technique "The objective is to measure the thickness of a complete double layer of skin and subcutaneous tissue without including any underlying muscle tissue "  (Carter, 1975:A-l).  In a l l instances the skinfold was picked up at the landmark. A f o l d of skin plus underlying fat was grasped between the thumb and three f i n g e r s , with the back of the hand facing the measurer. Keeping the jaws of the calipers at right angles to the body surface, the contact faces of the caliper were placed one centimeter below the lowest f i n g e r , and at the depth of the mid-finger t i p . The trigger of the caliper was released and while the pressure on the fingers was maintained the .measurement was taken. The measurement was taken two seconds after the c a l i p e r jaws were applied. The arms of the c a l i p e r were always at right angles to the s k i n f o l d .  97  (Whittingham,  1978:67)  The measurement was repeated i f the calipers began to s l i p during the measurement. A l l measurements were made on the right side of the body, except for the umbilicus measurement (abdominal), which was taken on the l e f t s i d e .  IV (i)  Triceps Skinfold Definition of measurement:  A measurement of a double layer of  skin and subcutaneous tissue taken on the triceps muscle, mid-distance between the acromiale and the point of the elbow. Landmark: Technique:  As stated for Relaxed Arm G i r t h . As stated, and the skinfold ran p a r a l l e l  to the  long axis of the arm.  IV ( i i )  Subscapular Skinfold Definition of measurement:  A measurement of a double layer of  skin and subcutaneous tissue taken below the scapula. Landmark:  "Just beneath the i n f e r i o r angle of the scapula in a  direction which was obliquely downwards and outwards" (Carter, 1976:5). Technique:  As stated, and "The forefinger was placed on the  landmark and the thumb picked up the natural fold such that the l i n e of the f o l d ran at approximately 40 degrees to the horizontal"  (Whittingham,  1978:69).  IV ( i i i )  Suprailiac Skinfold Definition of measurement:  A measurement of a double layer of  skin and subcutaneous tissue taken just above the i l i o s p i n a l e .  98  Landmark:  The skinfold was picked up f i v e to seven centimeters  superior to the i l i o s p i n a l e , and on an imaginary l i n e joining the acromiale and i l i o s p i n a l e (Whittingham,  1978:70).  i l i o s p i n a l e - - see I l i o s p i n a l e  Height  acromiale  - - see Acromial Height  Technique:  As stated, and "the l i n e of the fold sloped downward  towards the midline at an angle of approximately 45 degrees"  (Whittingham,  1978:70).  IV (iv)  Abdominal Skinfold Definition of measurement:  A measurement of a double layer of  skin and subcutaneous tissue taken to the l e f t of the umbilicus. Landmark:  "The skinfold was selected f i v e to seven centimeters  to the l e f t of and level with the umbilicus" (Whittingham, Technique: (Whittingham,  IV (v)  1978:70).  As stated, and "the l i n e of the fold was v e r t i c a l "  1978:70).  Front Thigh Skinfold Definition of measurement:  A measurement of a double layer of  skin and subcutaneous tissue taken on the anterior of the thigh, mid-distance between the i l i a c fold and the patella Body P o s i t i o n :  (Whittingham,  1978:71).  As stated for Bi-epicondylar Femur Width, and  with the thigh muscle relaxed. Technique:  As stated, and "the l i n e of the skinfold was parallel!  to the long axis of the thigh" (Whittingham,  1978:71).  - With some subjects, the'.skinfold was p a r t i c u l a r l y - . d i f f i c u l t to grasp and the procedure was p a i n f u l .  In these cases, the subject was  99  instructed to support the underside of the thigh with the hands.  When  the weight of the underthigh was heavy, i t was necessary for the anthropometrist to further support the knees, with her knee under, the thigh (Whittingham,  IV (vi)  1978:71).  Medial Calf Skinfold Definition of measurement:  A measurement of a double layer of  skin and subcutaneous tissue taken on the medial aspect of the c a l f . Landmark:  The measurement was made on the most medial aspect of  the c a l f , at the level where the girth was seen to be maximal  (Whittingham,  1978:71). Body P o s i t i o n :  As stated for Bi-epicondylar Femur Wiidth, and  with the c a l f muscle relaxed. Technique: (Whittingham,  1978:72).  V  V (i)  "The l i n e of the skinfold was v e r t i c a l "  Weight and Proportional Mass Measurements  Weight Definition of measurement:  The weight of the body taken in  minimal c l o t h i n g . Instruments:  Body weight was determined for a l l  subjects with  either a Detecto-Medic beam s c a l e , or a Horns ful1-capacity beam scale (Both distributed by Industrial Accuracy:  Scales L t d . ) .  Body weight was recorded to the nearest 0.1  kilogram.  Both scales were calibrated for accuracy, and where a p p l i c a b l e , corrections  100  were made to the recorded weight. all  statistical  Corrected weight values were used in  tests;  Body P o s i t i o n :  The subject, wearing minimal clothing stood in  the center of the s c a l e ' s platform. Technique:  The locking device was turned to the free p o s i t i o n .  With the subject standing on the platform, the weight indicators were adjusted until a balance was reached.  The weight of each subject was  then recorded.  V (ii)  Proportional Fat Mass Definition of measurement:  The percent of estimated total body  weight, that is fat weight (estimated total body weight is calculated as the sum of the anthropometrically derived f a t ,  s k e l e t a l , muscle, and  residual masses). Derivation of measurement:  The following d i r e c t l y observed  variables were used in calculating the proportional fat mass: t r i c e p s , subscapular, s u p r a i l i a c , abdominal, front thigh, and medial c a l f s k i n f o l d s , and vertex standing height.  V (iii)  Proportional Skeletal Mass Definition of measurement:  The percent of estimated total body  weight that is skeletal weight (see Proportional Fat Mass). Derivation of measurement:  The following d i r e c t l y observed  variables were used in calculating the proportional skeletal mass: bi-epicondylar humerus and femur widths, wrist and ankle g i r t h s , and vertex standing height.  101  V (iv)  Proportional Muscle Mass Definition of measurement:  that is muscle weight  The percent of total body weight  (see Proportional Fat Mass).  Derivation of measurement:  The following d i r e c t l y observed  variables were used in calculating the proportional muscle mass: relaxed arm,'.chest, thigh, c a l f , and forearm g i r t h s ; t r i c e p s , subscapular, front thigh, and medial c a l f s k i n f o l d s ; and vertex standing height.  V (v) Proportional Residual Mass Definition of measurement:  The percent of total body weight  that is residual weight (see Proportional Fat Mass). Derivation of measurement:  The following d i r e c t l y observed  variables were used in calculating the proportional residual mass: biacromial and b i i l i o c r i s t a l breadths, transverse chest width,  anterior-  posterior chest depth, and vertex standing height.  Derived Proportional Masses The f a t ,  s k e l e t a l , muscle, and residual masses were derived from  the d i r e c t l y observed anthropometric v a r i a b l e s , previously described. The Drinkwater Tactic (Drinkwater & Ross, 1979), which provides an anthropometric fractionation of the body mass into f a t ,  s k e l e t a l , muscle,  and residual mass components, was used to determine these masses, and their subsequent proportional mass contribution to total body weight. Total body weight in these equations is the sum of the derived component weights; the s k e l e t a l , r e s i d u a l , muscle, and fat weights, and is referred to as the "predicted body weight".  This predicted body weight may  vary from the observed and d i r e c t l y measured "true body weight", with the  102  difference between the two weights, indicating the a b i l i t y of the anthroSEE pometric components to estimate "true" or observed body weight (APPENDIX A) The proportional mass contribution of each mass component was calculated as: the mass in kg.  X  100  predicted mass (which is the sum of the 4 mass components). Masses were calculated for each subject, in each group, using the formulae  1 M  -z X S + P  =  170.181  where:  M = the estimated mass (Fat, S k e l e t a l , Muscle, Residual), h = the subject's height, d = 3 for a l l masses. P = a s p e c i f i c Phantom value which changes for each mass. S = a s p e c i f i c Phantom standard deviation value for the mass being estimated  Mass  P_  S  fat  12.13  3.25  skeletal  10.49  1.57  muscle  25.55  2.99  residual  16.41  1.90  D. T. Drinkwater and W. D. Ross, "Anthropometric fractionation of body mass", in Kinanthropometry II, ed. M. Ostyn, G. Beunen and J . Simons, (Baltimore: University Park Press, 1980), p. 183.  103  z = the mean phantom z value, calculated for each subject, from the selected subset of variables.  The subset of variables used in calculating the s p e c i f i c masses, and the Phantom s p e c i f i c a t i o n values used in calculating the z score values, for each individual  subject, are: 2 Phantom Specification Values  Fat Mass Variables  ^  -  triceps skinfold  15.4  4.47  subscapular skinfold  17.2  5.07'-  s u p r a i l i a c skinfold  15.4  4.47  abdominal skinfold  25.4  7.78  front thigh skinfold  27.0  8.33  medial c a l f skinfold  16.0  4.67  Skeletal Mass Variables bi-epicondylar humerus width  6.48  .35  bi-epicondylar femur width  9.52  .48  wrist girth  16.35  .72  ankle girth  21.71  1.33  biacromial breadth  38.04  1.92  transverse chest width  27.92  1.74  biiliocristal  28.84  1.75  17.50  1.38  Residual Mass Variables  breadth  anterior-posterior  2  I b i d . , p.  chest depth  181.  104  Phantom Specification Values Muscle Mass Variables  p_  £  relaxed arm girth - ( TT X triceps skinfold*)  22.05  1.91  chest girth - ( TT X subscapular skinfold*)  82.36  4.86  thigh g i r t h - ( TT X front thigh skinfold*)  47.33  3.59  c a l f girth - ( TT X medial c a l f skinfold*)  30.22  1.97  forearm girth  25.13  1.41  Note: *skinfolds expressed in centimeters The Phantom z values for these variables were calculated from the formula : 3  z  where: z = the Phantom z value (for the subject) for the variable sought h = the subject's height d = 1 for a l l  of these calculations  p = the Phantom s p e c i f i c a t i o n value for the variable s = the Phantom standard deviation value for the variable v = the subject's value for the variable being converted to a z score  EVALUATION OF MEASUREMENTS  Chronological Age Chronological age, for each subject, was calculated in decimal years, from the birthdate and the date when the radiograph was taken.  3  I b i d . , p.  183.  105  Maturational  Evaluation  A l l skeletal pometrist.  radiographs were assessed by the c r i t e r i o n  anthro-  Each radiograph was i d e n t i f i e d by a randomly assigned number,  permanently embedded in the f i l m at the time of exposure.  The  identities  of the radiographs, and the chronological ages of the subjects remained anonymous to the r a t e r .  The rater was given a l l  radiographs at one time,  and the radiographs were assessed in no s p e c i f i c order. The Tanner-Whitehouse II  Method, the 20 bone s p e c i f i c approach  for the assessment of the skeletal  bones of the wrist and hand, was used  exclusively in assigning skeletal  ages to the radiographs.  The rater was  trained and practised in this method. A difference value for Chronological Age minus Skeletal Age was computed f o r each subject.  A positive value indicated a younger skeletal  than chronological age, or a "delayed skeletal chronological age.  A negative value indicated an older skeletal  chronological age, or an "advanced skeletal chronological age,.  age" in reference to the than  age" in reference to the  The absolute difference value indicated the amount of  this deviation in decimal years. the chronological and skeletal  A difference value of zero indicated that  ages were i d e n t i c a l .  The s t a t i s t i c s on menarche were compiled by the  author.  Anthropometric Evaluation A l l anthropometric derivations were calculated by the author. Proportional mass measurements were calculated in a computer program developed by T. Wood (1980).  106  Mean and standard deviation values:  for the maturational  and  anthropometric v a r i a b l e s , for each test group, were obtained using the computer program SIMPLE DATA DESCRIPTION (Halm, 1974).  STATISTICAL ANALYSIS  Test Groupings The research groups, designated as Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, and Group 4, were combined into the following preplanned orthogonal contrasts, for a l l  statistical  Statistical I  analyses:  Group 1 + Group 2 + Group 3  vs  Group 4  Group 1 + Group 2  vs  Group 3  Group 1  vs  Group 2  Analysis of Maturational Skeletal  age data.  Data  A difference value for Chronological Age  minus Skeletal Age was calculated for each subject. analysis of the Tanner-Whitehouse II a skeletal full  age  system (Tanner et a l . , 1975) considers  age of 16 years as a f u l l y mature skeleton, subjects assessed at  maturity (that is a skeletal  age rating of 16 y e a r s ) , and over the  chronological age of 16 years, were given a skeletal their chronological age. eliminate  Since the skeletal  age rating equal to  This adjustment was necessary in order to  the introduction of a r t i f a c t u a l  Chronological Age minus Skeletal  Age d i f f e r e n c e s , caused exclusively by the rating system's d e f i n i t i o n " f u l l " maturity.  It  is recognized however, that this adjustment  conservative procedure s i n c e , hypothetically,  of  is a  a chronologically aged 18 year  o l d , with^a f u l l maturity rating of 16 years, and an adjusted skeletal  age  107  rating of 18 y e a r s , may have "just" attained f u l l maturity, and thus also "just" attained the skeletal  rating of 16 years.  Chronological Age minus Skeletal Age values were subjected to an analysis of variance test with application of the preplanned comparisons previously stated, using the computer program MULTIVAR (Finn, 1978).  II  Menarcheal data.  The incidence of menarche values were  subjected to a chi-square analysis test with application of the preplanned comparisons previously stated.  S t a t i s t i c a l Analysis of Anthropometric Data The 39 anthropometric variables analyzed s t a t i s t i c a l l y , for group d i f f e r e n c e s , were assembled into appropriate subset c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s as follows: Heights and Lengths  (M  variables)  Breadths, Widths, and Depths Girths  (11  Skinfolds Weight  (6  variables)  variables) (6  variables)  (1 variable)  and Proportional Masses (4 v a r i a b l e s ) .  Each c l a s s i f i c a t i o n group of variables was subjected to a multivariate and univariate analysis of covariance t e s t , with application of the preplanned comparisons stated previously, using the computer program MULTIVAR (Finn, 1978).  The mean chronological ages for the various  groups were not s i m i l a r , and since i t  ability  has been shown that the absolute  values for s p e c i f i c anthropometric variables are functions of age (Burgess, 1937, cited in Greenberg & Bryan, 1951:163), chronological age was used as a covariate.  108  CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Sixty-nine gymnasts of varying a b i l i t y  levels were studied to  determine i f s i g n i f i c a n t differences existed among national e l i t e , national e l i t e ,  lesser s k i l l e d competitive and recreational  respect to maturational  pre-  gymnasts, with  and anthropometric c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s .  Fifteen of the designated National Team Members formed testing Group 1, termed "National  Elite".  Complete anthropometric, radiographic,  and menarcheal data were obtained on a l l f i f t e e n subjects. Thirteen e l i t e gymnasts represented the "Pre-National a b i l i t y group and formed testing Group 2. menarcheal data were obtained on a l l  Elite"  Complete anthropometric and  thirteen subjects.  Radiographic data  were obtained on eight of the subjects. Forty-one non-elite gymnasts of varying gymnastic a b i l i t y were randomly selected to represent the lesser s k i l l e d , "Competitive", Group 3; and the "Recreational", Group 4, a b i l i t y groups.  Complete anthropometric,  radiographic, and menarcheal data were obtained on a l l  subjects in these two  groups, with the exception of one radiograph for one subject in Group 4. In this chapter the results and discussions are presented in the following manner: Under the heading RESULTS, reference is made only to those results s i g n i f i c a n t at a level of p < .01. hypotheses takes place.  Based on these r e s u l t s , reference to a l l  109  Reference to the s i g n i f i c a n t maturational  differences, that emerge  from the orthogonal contrasts, takes place under the s u b - c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s of Skeletal Age, and Menarche. Reference to the s i g n i f i c a n t anthropometric differences, that emerge from the orthogonal contrasts, takes place under the c o l l e c t i v e categorial  term to which that variable belongs.  is dependent on a s i g n i f i c a n t  Discussion of a univariate  multivariate.  The results are presented under the following headings: MATURATIONAL ASSESSMENT I  Skeletal Age,  II  Menarche,  Summary of Results:  Maturational Assessment  ANTHROPOMETRIC ASSESSMENT I III  Height and Length Measures,  II  Breadth, Width, and Depth Measures,  Girth Measures, .IV Skinfold Thickness Measures, ~V  Weight and Proportional Mass Measures, Summary of Results:  Anthropometric Assessment  Under the Heading DISCUSSION, reference is made to both s i g n i f i c a n t and non-significant r e s u l t s . The discussion proceeds under the following headings: MATURATIONAL ASSESSMENT ANTHROPOMETRIC ASSESSMENT I III  Height and Length Measures, Girth Measures,  V  II  Breadth, Width, and Depth Measures,  IV Skinfold Thickness Measures,  Weight and Proportional Mass Measures  MATURITY-ANTHROPOMETRIC RELATIONSHIP  110  RESULTS  MATURATIONAL ASSESSMENT I  Skeletal Age Hypothesis 1 The maturational status, as determined by skeletal age in reference to chronological age, is s i g n i f i cantly d i f f e r e n t among national e l i t e , pre-national e l i t e , lesser s k i l l e d competitive and recreational gymnasts. Table 1 presents the observed c e l l means and standard deviations  for the chronological age, skeletal age, and the chronological age minus skeletal age d i f f e r e n c e . Table 2 presents the univariate analysis of variance results for the chronological age minus skeletal age d i f f e r e n c e , for each preplanned orthogonal  contrast.  Differences, in the mean chronological age minus skeletal  age  d i f f e r e n c e , in the following comparisons were found to be s i g n i f i c a n t at p < .001 and p < .0003 respectively: Group 1 + 2 + 3  vs  Group 4  Group 1 + 2  vs  Group 3  The difference in the mean chronological age minus skeletal age difference between Group 1 and Group 2 was not s i g n i f i c a n t (p <  The results of this study p a r t i a l l y  support the above hypothesis  that there are s i g n i f i c a n t differences in maturational four groups.  .03).  Group 1, 2, and 3, taken together,  status among the  in comparison to Group 4,  was found to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y younger in mean skeletal age in reference to  TABLE 1 OBSERVED CELL MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS FOR CHRONOLOGICAL AGE, SKELETAL AGE, AND THE CHRONOLOGICAL AGE MINUS SKELETAL AGE DIFFERENCE Group 1+2  1+2+3  Chronological Age (decimal years) (n=15)  (n=13)  (n=20)  (n=21)  X  15.1  14.3  15.0  s.d.  1.4  1.3  1.4  •'  (n=28)  (n=48)  15.3  14.7  14.8  1.4  1.4  1.4  Chronological Age For Those Subjects With Skeletal Assessments (decimal years) (n=15) X  (n=8)  (n=20)  (n=20)  (n=23)  (n=43)  15.1  14.1  15.0  15.2  14.7  14.8  1.4  1.1  1.4  1.4  1.4  1.4  X  12..9  13.0.  14.4  14.8  12.9  13.6  s.d.  .8  .9  1.5  1.6  .8  1.4  Chronological Age Minus Skeletal Age (decimal years) ~ X 2,2 . 1.2  .6  ,3  1.8  1.3  1.2  1.1  1.0  1.2  's."d: Skeletal Age (decimal years)  _  s.d.  1.0  .6  TABLE 2 UNIVARIATE ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE RESULTS FOR THE CHRONOLOGICAL AGE MINUS SKELETAL AGE DIFFERENCE FOR EACH PREPLANNED ORTHOGONAL CONTRAST  Orthogonal 1+2+3 vs 4  Chronological  Contrasts  1+2 vs 3  1 vs 2  Age Minus Skeletal Age Difference  F P <  (n=63)  (n=43)  li.48 •  15.20  .001  .0003  (n=23) 5.07 .03  113  chronological age (1.0 decimal years).  Similarly Group 1 and 2, taken  together, in comparison to Group 3, was found to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y younger in mean skeletal age in reference to chronological age (1.2  decimal years).  Group 1 was found to be younger than Group 2 in mean skeletal age in reference to chronological age (1.0 decimal years).  However, due  possibly to the small sample s i z e , this difference was not s i g n i f i c a n t and thus does not support the stated hypothesis. Thus, the national e l i t e ,  pre-national e l i t e ,  and lesser s k i l l e d  competitive gymnasts, taken together, have a s i g n i f i c a n t l y younger mean skeletal age in reference to chronological age than do recreational gymnasts. S i m i l a r l y , national e l i t e and pre-national e l i t e gymnasts, taken together, have a s i g n i f i c a n t l y younger mean skeletal age in reference to chronological age, than do lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts.  However, national  elite  gymnasts do not d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y in mean skeletal age in reference to chronological age from pre-national e l i t e gymnasts.  II  Menarche Hypothesis 2 The incidence of menarche is s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t among national e l i t e , pre-national e l i t e , lesser s k i l l e d competitive and recreational gymnasts. Table 3 presents the observed c e l l frequencies for the incidence  of menarche. Table 4 presents the chi-square analysis results for the incidence of menarche for each preplanned orthogonal contrast.  Differences in the mean incidence of menarche in the following comparisons were found to be s i g n i f i c a n t at p < .01:  TABLE 3 OBSERVED CELL FREQUENCIES FOR THE INCIDENCE OF MENARCHE  Group 1  2  3  4  1+2  1+2+3  (n=15)  (n=13)  (n=20)  (n=21)  (n=28)  (n=48)  2  6  13  19  8  21  65.0  90.5  Frequency of Menarche  Percent of Subjects to Have Experienced Menarche 13.3  46.2  28.6  TABLE 4 CHI-SQUARE ANALYSIS RESULTS FOR THE INCIDENCE OF MENARCHE FOR EACH PREPLANNED ORTHOGONAL CONTRAST Orthogonal Contrasts 1+2+3 vs 4  1+2 vs 3  1 vs 2  Incidence of Menarche x  2  p <  21.65  7.45  .01  ^0_1  3.8 p > .05  43.8  115  Group 1 + 2 + 3  vs  Group 4  Group 1 + 2  vs  Group 3  The difference in the mean incidence of menarche between Group 1 and Group 2 was not s i g n i f i c a n t (p >  .05).  The results of this study p a r t i a l l y support the above hypothesis that the incidence of menarche is s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t among the four groups.  Group 1, 2, and 3, taken together, was found to have a s i g n i f i c a n t l y  smaller mean incidence of menarche than Group 4 (46.7%).  Similarly Group 1  and 2, taken together, was found to have a s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller mean incidence of menarche than Group 3 (36.4%). Group 1 was found to have a smaller mean incidence of menarche than Group 2 (32.9%).  However, due possibly to the small.sample s i z e , this d i f f -  erence was not s i g n i f i c a n t and thus does "not support'the. stated•hypothesis. Thus, the national e l i t e ,  pre-national e l i t e ,  and lesser s k i l l e d  competitive gymnasts, taken together, have a s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller mean incidence of menarche than do recreational gymnasts.  Similarly,  national  e l i t e and pre-national e l i t e gymnasts, taken together, have a s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller mean incidence of menarche than do lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts.  However, national e l i t e gymnasts do not have a s i g n i f i c a n t l y  d i f f e r e n t mean incidence of menarche than do pre-national e l i t e gymnasts.  Summary of Results:  Maturational Assessment  S t a t i s t i c a l analysis of the two maturity  i n d i c a t o r s , skeletal age  and menarche, disclosed that Hypotheses 1 and 2 were p a r t i a l l y supported. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , the s t a t i s t i c a l analysis indicated that at a level of significance of p < .01:  116  1.  National e l i t e ,  pre-national e l i t e , and lesser s k i l l e d competitive  gymnasts, taken together, in comparison to recreational gymnasts, are maturationally delayed, both s k e l e t a l l y and menarcheally.  2.  National e l i t e and pre-national e l i t e gymnasts, taken together, in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts, are maturationally delayed, both s k e l e t a l l y and menarcheally.  3.  National e l i t e gymnasts, in comparison to pre-national e l i t e gymnasts, are not maturationally d i f f e r e n t ,  s k e l e t a l l y or menarcheally.  ANTHROPOMETRIC ASSESSMENT  I  Height and Length Measures Hypothesis 3 The measures of height and length are s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t among national e l i t e , pre-national e l i t e , lesser s k i l l e d competitive and recreational gymnasts. Table 5 presents the observed c e l l means and standard deviations  for the eleven height and length measures. Table 6 presents the multivariate  and univariate analysis of  covariance results f o r the height and length measures f o r each preplanned orthogonal contrast, using chronological age as the covariate.  Group 1 + 2 + 3 1+2+3  vs  vs  Group 4.  In the orthogonal contrast Group  Group 4, the highly s i g n i f i c a n t multivariate  F (p < .001)  was due primarily to the trunk length difference (univariate with some contribution from the s i t t i n g height difference  p < .0001) .  (univariate  TABLE 5 OBSERVED CELL MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS FOR HEIGHT AND LENGTH MEASURES Group 2  3  4  1+2  1+2+3  (n=15)  (n=13)  (n=20)  (n=21)  (n=28)  (n=48)  Variables (cm.)  Vertex Standing Height  X s.d.  154.0 6.8  152.6 8.7  156.4 4.5  157.0 6.2  153.4 7.6  154.6 6.6  Tibial  X s.d.  40.4 2.7  40.1 2.4  40.6 1.5  40.4 2.1  40.3 2.5  40.4 2.2  I l i o s p i n a l e Height  X s.d.  86.3 4.9  84.9 5.3  86.6 3.2  86.4 4.4  85.6 5.0  86.0 4.3  Trochanterion Height  X s.d.  79.0 4.5  78.5 4.4  79.8 2.7  79.5 3.9  78.7 4.4  79.2 3.8  Foot Length  X s.d.  23.1 1.1  22.8 1.2  22.9 .9  23.2 .9  22.9 1.2  22.9 1.1  S i t t i n g Height  X s.d.  80.2 3.3  79.5 4.3  82.5 3.0  83.3 3.3  79.9 3.8  81.0 3.7  Height  TABLE 5 CONTINUED  Group 1  2  3  4  1+2  1+2+3  (n=15)  (n=13)  (n=20)  (n=21)  (n=28)  (n=48)  Variables (cm.)  Upper Arm Length  X s.d.  30.0 1.7  29.1 1.8  29.9 1.2  29.6 1.9  29.6 1.8  29.7 1.6  Forearm Length  X s.d.  21.6 1.0  21.2 1.5  21.8 1.2  21.5 1.2  21.4 1.2  21.6 1.2  Hand Length  X s.d.  17.8 1.3  18.0 1.0  17.7 .9  18.3 1.1  17.9 1.1  17.8 1.1  Trunk Length  X s.d.  44.9 1.9  47.0 3.5  49.2 2.3  50.4 2.7  45.8 2.9  47.3 3.1  Thigh Length  X s.d.  38.9 2.6  35.6 2.6  37.1 2.3  36.8 2.2  37.4 3.1  37.2 2.7  TABLE 6 MULTIVARIATE AND UNIVARIATE ANALYSIS OF COVARIANCE RESULTS FOR HEIGHT AND LENGTH MEASURES FOR EACH PREPLANNED ORTHOGONAL CONTRAST Orthogonal Contrasts 1+2+3 vs 4  Multivariate  1+2 vs 3  1 vs 2  .001  .006  .0003  Univariates Vertex Standing Height  P <  .38  .14  .91  Tibial  P <  .75  .77  .98  P <  .89  .57  .75  Trochanterion Height  P <  .87  .44  .84  Foot Length  P <  .47  .91  .72  Sitting  P <  .02  .01  .82  Upper Arm Length  P <  .37  .57  .34  Forearm Length  P <  .60  .31  .75  Hand Length  P <  .19  .37  .34  Trunk Length  P <  .0001  .0001  .001  Thigh Length  P <  .28  .57  .002  Height  Iliospinale  Height  Height  to  120  p < .02).  A l l other height and length differences for this contrast were  not s i g n i f i c a n t (p's > Group 1 + 2 vs  .19). vs  Group 3.  In the orthogonal contrast Group  1+2  Group 3, the highly s i g n i f i c a n t multivariate F (p < .006) was due to the  trunk length difference (univariate p < .0001) and the s i t t i n g height difference (univariate p < .01).  A l l other height and length differences  for this contrast were not s i g n i f i c a n t (p's >  Group 1  vs  Group 2.  .14).  In the orthogonal contrast Group 1  vs  Group 2, the highly s i g n i f i c a n t multivariate F (p < .0003) was due to the trunk length difference (univariate p < .001) (univariate p < .002).  and the thigh length difference  A l l other height and length differences for this  contrast were not s i g n i f i c a n t (p's >  .34).  The results of this study p a r t i a l l y support the above hypothesis that measures of height and length are s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t among the four groups, with primary support due to differences noted in the trunk  .•  length measure, and secondary support due to differences noted in the s i t t i n g height and the thigh length measures. National e l i t e , pre-national e l i t e , and lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts, taken together, in comparison to recreational gymnasts, are s i g n i f i c a n t l y shorter in mean trunk length (3.1 cm). National e l i t e and pre-national e l i t e gymnasts, taken together,  in  comparison to lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts, are s i g n i f i c a n t l y shorter in mean trunk length (3.4 cm) and s i t t i n g height (2.6 cm). National e l i t e gymnasts in comparison to pre-national  elite  gymnasts, are s i g n i f i c a n t l y shorter in mean trunk length (2.1 cm) and s i g n i f i c a n t l y longer in mean thigh length (3.3 cm).  121  II  Breadth, Width, and Depth Measures Hypothesis 4 The measures of breadth, width, and depth are s i g n i f i c a n t l y different among national e l i t e , pre-national e l i t e , lesser s k i l l e d competitive and recreational gymnasts. Table 7 presents the observed c e l l means and standard deviations  for the six breadth, width, and depth measures. Table 8 presents the multivariate  and univariate analysis of  covariance results f o r the breadth, width, and depth measures for each preplanned orthogonal contrast, using chronological age as the covariate.  Group 1 + 2 + 3 1+2+3  vs  vs  Group 4.  In the orthogonal contrast Group  Group 4, the s i g n i f i c a n t multivariate  to the bi-epicondylar femur width difference  F (p < .01) was due  (univariate  p < .002).  All  other breadth, width, and depth differences f o r this contrast were not s i g n i f i c a n t (p's > .09). Group 1 + 2 vs  vs  Group 3.  Group 3, the multivariate  In the orthogonal contrast Group 1 + 2  F was not s i g n i f i c a n t (p < .14), indicating  that differences in the breadth, width, and depth measures, for this contrast, were not s i g n i f i c a n t .  It is of interest to note however, that  irrespective of the multivariate  a n a l y s i s , univariate analysis  p < .007) shows the b i i l i o c r i s t a l  (univariate  breadth difference to be s i g n i f i c a n t for  this contrast.  Group 1  vs  Group 2.  In the orthogonal contrast Group 1 vs  Group 2, the highly s i g n i f i c a n t multivariate  F (p < .005) was due to the  anterior-posterior chest depth difference (univariate  p < .0008).  All  TABLE 7 OBSERVED CELL MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS FOR BREADTH, WIDTH, AND DEPTH MEASURES Group 2  3  4  1+2  1+2+3  (n=15)  (n=13)  (n=20)  (n=21)  (n=28)  (n=48)  X s.d.  34.1 1.6  33.4 2.1  34.8 1.5  34.6 1.8  33.8 1.9  34.2 1.8  X s.d.  24.0 1.3  23.5 2.1  25.2 1.4  25.3 1.9  23.8 1.7  24.4 1.7  X s.d.  23.0 1.2  22.6 1.5  23.7 1.3  23.4  23.2  1.4  22.8 1.4  Bi-epicondylar Humerus Width  X s.d.  6.1 .4  5.9 .4  6.1 .3  6.1 .3  6.0 .4  6.1 .4  Bi-epicondylar Femur Width  X s.d.  8.4 .3  8.3 .5  8.4 .3  8.7 .4  8.3 .4  8.4 .4  Anterior-Posterior  X s.d.  14.2 1.0  15.7 1.5  15.5 1.4  15.4 1.2  14.9 1.4  15.2  Variables (cm.)  Biacromial  Breadth  Biiliocristal  Breadth  Transverse Chest Width  Chest Depth  1.4  1.4  ro ro  TABLE 8 MULTIVARIATE AND UNIVARIATE ANALYSIS OF COVARIANCE RESULTS FOR BREADTH, WIDTH, AND DEPTH MEASURES FOR EACH PREPLANNED ORTHOGONAL CONTRAST Orthogonal 1+2+3 vs 4  Contrasts  1+2 vs 3  1 vs 2  p <  .01  .14  .005  Biacromial Breadth  p <  .80  .07  .66  Biiliocristal  p <  .09  .007  .98  Transverse Chest Width  p <  .92  .02  .85  Bi-epicondylar Humerus Width  p <  .90  .39  .27  Bi-epicondylar Femur Width  p <  ,002  .64  .66  Anterior-Posterior  p <  .71  .16  .0008  Multivariate Univariates  Breadth  Chest Depth  124  other breadth, width, and depth differences for this contrast were not s i g n i f i c a n t (p's >  .27).  The results of this study p a r t i a l l y support the above hypothesis that measures of breadth, width, and depth are s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t among the four groups, with primary support due to differences noted in the b i epicondylar femur width and the anterior-posterior chest depth measures. National e l i t e ,  pre-national e l i t e ,  and lesser s k i l l e d competitive  gymnasts, taken together, in comparison to recreational gymnasts, are s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller in mean bi-epicondylar femur width (.3  cm).  National e l i t e gymnasts in comparison to pre-national  elite  gymnasts, are s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller in mean anterior-posterior chest depth (1.5 cm). Although a number of d i f f e r e n c e s , with respect to the breadth, width, and depth measures, were noted between the national e l i t e and pre-national e l i t e gymnasts, taken together, and the lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts, none of these differences was s i g n i f i c a n t and thus the results of this contrast do not support the stated hypothesis.  Ill  Girth Measures Hypothesis 5 The measures of girth are s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t among national e l i t e , pre-national e l i t e , lesser s k i l l e d competitive and recreational gymnasts. Table 9 presents the observed c e l l means and standard deviations  for the eleven girth measures. Table 10 presents the multivariate  and univariate analysis of  covariance results for the g i r t h measures for each preplanned orthogonal contrast, using chronological age as the covariate.  TABLE 9 OBSERVED CELL MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS FOR GIRTH MEASURES Group 2  3  4  1+2  1+2+3  (n=15)  (n=13)  (n=20)  (n=21)  (n=28)  (n=48)  Variables (cm.)  Relaxed Arm Girth  X s.d.  23.4 1.5  23.0 2.3  24.6 ' 2.3  24.5 2.3  23.2 1.9  23.8 2.2  Flexed Arm Girth  X s.d.  25.0 1.4  24.7 2.4  26.0 2.1  25.6 2.1  24.8 1.9  25.3 2.1  Forearm Girth  X s.d.  22.1 1.1  21.5 1.7  22.7 1.4  22.3 1.2  21.8 1.4  22.2 1.5  Wrist Girth  X s.d.  14.5 .6  14.2 .9  14.5 .6  14.4 .6  14.3 .8  14.4 .7  Chest Girth  X s.d.  78.3 4.7  78.3 6.1  81.5 5.6  80.5 6.0  78.3 5.3  79.7 5.6  Waist Girth  X s.d.  61.1 3.2  62.6 6.5  63.9 4.2  64.9 5.4  61.8 4.9  62.7 4.7  ro  TABLE 9 CONTINUED  Group 1  2  3  4  1+2  1+2+3  (n=15)  (n=13)  (n=20)  (n=21)  (n=28)  (n=48)  Variables (cm.)  Thigh Girth  X s.d.  47.1 3.0  47.1 4.3  50.8 5.1  51.9 4.4  47.1 3.6  48.7 4.6  Calf Girth  X s.d.  30.2 2.9  31.3 3.1  31.7 2.0  32.6 1.8  30.7 3.0  31.1 2.7  Ankle Girth  X s.d.  19.2 1.1  19.4 1.5  19.7 1.1  20.0 .9  19.3 1.3  19.5 1.2  Head Girth  X" s.d.  53.5 .8  52.7 1.4  53.2 1.3  53.9 1.4  53.1 1.2  53.1 1.2  Neck Girth  X s.d.  29.8 1.0  29.6 2.2  30.6 1.6  30.3 1.6  29.7 1.6  30.1 1.7  TABLE 10 MULTIVARIATE AND UNIVARIATE ANALYSIS OF COVARIANCE RESULTS FOR GIRTH MEASURES FOR EACH PREPLANNED ORTHOGONAL CONTRAST Orthogonal Contrasts 1+2+3 vs 4  1+2 vs 3  1 vs  P <  .0004  .29  .04  Relaxed Arm Girth  P <  .42  .04  .92  Flexed Arm Girth  P <  .99  .06  .77  Forearm Girth  P <  .95  .04  .44  Wrist Girth  P <  .64  .52  .51  Chest Girth  P <  .87  .05  .34  Waist Girth  P <  .18  .18  .16  Thigh Girth  P <  .01  .004  .43  Calf Girth  P <  .05  .20  .07  Ankle Girth  P <  .10  .28  .49  Head Girth  P <  .03  .93  .13  Neck Girth  P <  .91  .08  .94  Multivariate Univariates  128  Group 1 + 2 + 3 1+2+3  vs  vs  Group 4.  In the orthogonal contrast Group  Group 4, the highly s i g n i f i c a n t multivariate  F (p < .0004)  was due primarily to the thigh girth difference (univariate  p < .01) with  some contribution from the head girth difference (univariate  p < .03).  All  other girth differences f o r this contrast were not s i g n i f i c a n t (p's > .05).  Group 1 + 2  vs  Group 3.  vs Group 3, the multivariate  In the orthogonal contrast Group 1 + 2  F was not s i g n i f i c a n t (p < .29), indicating  .  that differences in the girth measures, f o r this contrast, were not significant. multivariate  It i s of interest to note however, that irrespective of the a n a l y s i s , univariate analysis (univariate  p < .004) shows the  thigh girth difference to be s i g n i f i c a n t f o r this contrast. Group 1  vs  Group 2.  Group 2, the multivariate  In the orthogonal contrast Group 1 ' vs  F was not s i g n i f i c a n t (p < .04), indicating that  differences in the g i r t h measures, for this contrast, were not s i g n i f i c a n t . The results of this study p a r t i a l l y support the above hypothesis that measures of girth are s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t  among the four groups,  with primary support due to the difference noted in the thigh girth measure. National e l i t e ,  pre-national e l i t e ,  and lesser s k i l l e d competitive  gymnasts, taken together, in comparison to recreational gymnasts, are s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller in thigh girth  (3.2 cm).  Although a number of differences, with respect to the girth measures, were noted between national e l i t e and pre-national  e l i t e gymnasts, taken  together, and lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts; and between national  elite  a/.nd pre-national ..elite gymnasts, none of these" differences was s i g n i f i c a n t and thus the results o f these contrasts do not support.the stated hypothesis.  129  IV  Skinfold Thickness Measures Hypothesis 6 The measures of skinfold thickness are s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t among national e l i t e , pre-national e l i t e , lesser s k i l l e d competitive and recreational gymnasts. Table 11 presents the observed c e l l means and standard deviations  for the six skinfold thickness measures. Table 12 presents the multivariate and univariate  analysis of  covariance results f o r the skinfold thickness measures f o r each preplanned orthogonal contrast, using chronological age as the covariate.  Group 1 + 2 + 3 1+2+3  vs  vs  Group 4.  In the orthogonal contrast Group  Group 4, the highly s i g n i f i c a n t multivariate F (p < .0001)  was due to a l l of the skinfold thickness differences; the triceps (univariate p < .0001), subscapular (univariate p < .001), s u p r a i l i a c (univariate p < .009), abdominal (univariate p < .0002), front thigh (univariate p < .0001), and medial c a l f (univariate p < .0001).  Group 1 + 2 vs  vs  Group 3.  In the orthogonal contrast Group 1 + 2  Group 3, the s i g n i f i c a n t multivariate F (p < .01) was due primarily to  the triceps (univariate p < .001), s u p r a i l i a c (univariate p < .009), abdominal  (univariate p < .003), front thigh (univariate p < .004), and  medial c a l f (univariate p < .002) skinfold thickness d i f f e r e n c e s , with some contribution from the subscapular skinfold thickness difference  (univariate  p < .02).  Group 1  vs  Group 2.  In the orthogonal contrast Group 1 vs  Group 2, the multivariate F was not s i g n i f i c a n t  (p < .98), indicating that  differences in the skinfold measures, f o r this contrast, were not s i g n i f i c a n t .  TABLE 11 OBSERVED CELL MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS FOR SKINFOLD THICKNESS MEASURES Group 1  2  (n=15)  (n=13)  3 (n=20)  4 (n=21)  1+2  1+2+3  (n=28)  (n=48)  Variables (mm.)  Triceps Skinfold  X s.d.  7.0 1.5  6.7 1.1  9.3 1.9  11.5 3.5  Subscapular Skinfold  X s.d.  5.5 1.1  5.8 1.2  8.0 2.4  9.9 5.5  6.6 2.1  Suprailiac Skinfold  X s.d.  4.0 1.2  4.0 1.0  6.6 3.9  7.5 4.2  5.1 2.9  Abdominal Skinfold  X s.d.  5.0 1.3  4.9 1.2  9.0 4.9  11.7 6.1  5.0 1.2  6.7 3.9  Front Thigh Skinfold  X s.d.  11.2 3.2  11.4 3.3  15.5 4.6  19.3 6.0  11.3 3.2  13.1 4.3  Medial Calf Skinfold  X s.d.  6.4 1.9  6.2 1.6  8.9 1.9  10.9 4.2  6.3 1.7  7.4 2.2  6.9 1.4  7.9 2.0  GO  o  TABLE 12 MULTIVARIATE AND UNIVARIATE ANALYSIS OF COVARIANCE RESULTS FOR SKINFOLD THICKNESS MEASURES FOR EACH PREPLANNED ORTHOGONAL CONTRAST Orthogonal 1+2+3 vs 4  Contrasts  1+2 vs 3  1 vs 2  P <  .0001  .01  .98  Triceps Skinfold  P <  .0001  ,001  .94  Subscapular Skinfold  P <  .001  .02  .65  Suprailiac Skinfold  P <  .009  ,009  .71  Abdominal Skinfold  P <  .0002  ,003  .76  Front Thigh Skinfold  P <  .0001  .004  .65  Medial Calf Skinfold  P <  .0001  .002  .89  Multivariate Univariates  00  132  The results of this study p a r t i a l l y  support the above hypothesis  that measures of skinfold thickness are s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t among the four groups, with primary support due to differences noted in the t r i c e p s , s u p r a i l i a c , abdominal, front thigh, and medial c a l f skinfold thickness measures, and secondary support due to differences noted in the subscapular skinfold thickness measure. National  elite,  gymnasts, taken together,  pre-national  elite,  in comparison to recreational  s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller in mean triceps (3.6 s u p r a i l i a c (2.4 c a l f (3.5  and lesser s k i l l e d  cm), abdominal  (5.0  competitive  gymnasts, are  cm), subscapular (3.3  cm), front thigh (6.2  cm),  cm), and medial  cm) skinfold thickness measures. National  e l i t e and pre-national  e l i t e gymnasts, taken together,  in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts, are smaller in mean triceps (2.4 front thigh (4.2  cm), s u p r a i l i a c (2.6  cm), and medial c a l f (2.6  significantly  cm), abdominal  (4.0  cm),  cm) skinfold thickness measures.  Although a number of d i f f e r e n c e s , with respect to the skinfold thickness measures, were noted between national  e l i t e and pre-national  e l i t e gymnasts, none of these differences was s i g n i f i c a n t and thus the results of this contrast do not support the stated hypothesis.  V  Weight and Proportional Mass Measures Hypothesis 7 The measures of weight and proportional mass are s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t among national e l i t e , pre-national e l i t e , lesser s k i l l e d competitive and recreational gymnasts. Table 13 presents the observed c e l l means and standard deviations  for the single weight and the four proportional mass measures.  TABLE 13 OBSERVED CELL MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS FOR WEIGHT AND PROPORTIONAL MASS MEASURES Group 1  2  (n=15)  (n=13)  X s.d.  43.7 5.3  '  X s.d.  Mass *  .  3  4  1+2  1+2+3  (n=20)  (n=21)  (n=28)  (n=48)  44.1 8.0  48.7 6.7  50.0 7.8  43.9 6.6  45.9 7.0  9.5 1.1  9.4 .9  11.8  13.9 3.2  9.4 1.0  X s.d.  18.3 1.5  17.7 1.2  17.0 1.5  17.0 1.5  18.0 1.4  17.6 1.5  J s.d.  46.9  46.9 1.5  45.7  44.2 1.8  46.9 1.5  46.4  X s.d.  25.6 1.2  26.1 1.4  25.6 1.3  25.0 1.3  25.8 1.3  25.7 1.3  Variables  Body Weight (kg.)  Proportional  Fat Mass *  Proportional  Skeletal  Proportional  Muscle Mass *  Proportional  Residual Mass *  * Note: Masses expressed in percent  1.6  1.6  1.6  '  10.4 1.8  1.6  TABLE 14 MULTIVARIATE AND UNIVARIATE ANALYSIS OF COVARIANCE RESULTS FOR WEIGHT AND PROPORTIONAL MASS MEASURES FOR EACH PREPLANNED ORTHOGONAL CONTRAST Orthogonal Contrasts 1+2+3 vs 4  Multivariate  1+2 vs 3  1 vs 2  p <  .0001  .006  .37  Body Weight  p <  .07  .02  .32  Proportional Fat Mass  p <  .0001  .0003  .87  Proportional Skeletal Mass  p <  .35  .01  .04  Proportional Muscle Mass  p <  .0001  .009  .82  Proportional Residual Mass  p <  .04  .48  .35  Univariates  CO -F=.  135  Table 14 presents the multivariate  and univariate analysis of  covariance results f o r the weight and proportional mass measures f o r each preplanned orthogonal contrast, using chronological age as the covariate.  Group 1 + 2 + 3 1+2+3  vs  vs  Group 4.  In the orthogonal contrast Group  Group 4, the highly s i g n i f i c a n t multivariate  was due primarily to the proportional f a t (univariate muscle mass (univariate  F (p < .0001)  p < .0001) and  p < .0001) d i f f e r e n c e s , with some contribution  from the proportional residual mass difference  (univariate  p < .04).  Body  weight and proportional skeletal mass differences for this contrast were not s i g n i f i c a n t (p's > .07). Group 1 + 2 vs  vs  Group 3.  In the. orthogonal contrast Group 1 + 2  Group 3, the highly s i g n i f i c a n t multivariate  to the proportional f a t (univariate and muscle (univariate  F (p < .006) was due primarily  p < .0003), skeletal  (univariate  p < .009) mass d i f f e r e n c e s , with some contribution from  the body weight difference  (univariate  p < .02).  The proportional  mass difference f o r this contrast was not s i g n i f i c a n t (univariate  Group 1  vs  p < .01),  Group 2.  Group 2, the multivariate  residual p < .48).  In the orthogonal contrast Group 1 vs  F was not s i g n i f i c a n t (p < .37) indicating that  differences in the body weight and the proportional mass measures, f o r this contrast, were not s i g n i f i c a n t . The results of this study p a r t i a l l y  support the above hypothesis  that measures of weight and proportional mass are s i g n i f i c a n t l y  different  among the four groups, with primary support due to differences noted i n the proportional skeletal mass measure. National e l i t e ,  pre-national  elite,  and lesser s k i l l e d competitive  136  gymnasts, taken together, in comparison to recreational gymnasts, are s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller in mean proportional f a t mass (3.5%) and s i g n i f i c a n t l y larger in mean proportional muscle mass (2.2%). National e l i t e and pre-national e l i t e gymnasts, taken together, in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts, are s i g n i f i c a n t l y larger in mean proportional muscle (1.2%) and skeletal  (1.0%) masses; and s i g n i f i - i  cantly smaller in mean proportional f a t mass (2.4%). Although a number of d i f f e r e n c e s , with respect to the weight and proportional mass measures, were noted between national e l i t e and pre-national e l i t e gymnasts, none of these differences was s i g n i f i c a n t and thus the results of this contrast do not support the stated hypothesis.  Summary of Results:  Anthropometric Assessment  S t a t i s t i c a l analysis of the anthropometric measures of height and length; breadth, width, and depth; g i r t h ; s k i n f o l d ; and weight and proportional mass disclosed that Hypotheses 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 were p a r t i a l l y supported.  More s p e c i f i c a l l y , the s t a t i s t i c a l analysis indicated that at a  level of significance of p < .01:  1.  National e l i t e ,  pre-national e l i t e ,  and lesser s k i l l e d competitive  gymnasts, taken together, in comparison to recreational gymnasts, are shorter in mean trunk length, smaller in mean bi-epicondylar -femur width, thigh g i r t h , and t r i c e p s , subscapular, s u p r a i l i a c , abdominal, front t h i g h , and medial c a l f s k i n f o l d s .  They also have a smaller  mean proportional f a t mass and a larger mean proportional muscle mass ..  :  than the recreational gymnasts.  137  2.  National e l i t e and pre-national e l i t e gymnasts, taken together,  in  comparison to lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts, are shorter in mean s i t t i n g height and trunk length, and smaller in mean t r i c e p s , s u p r a i l i a c , abdominal, front thigh, and medial c a l f s k i n f o l d s . They also have a smaller mean proportional fat mass, and larger mean proportional muscle and skeletal masses, than the lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts. 3.  National e l i t e gymnasts, in comparison to pre-national e l i t e gymnasts, are shorter in mean trunk length, longer in mean thigh length, and smaller in anterior-posterior chest depth.  DISCUSSION MATURATIONAL ASSESSMENT Maturational  differences among national e l i t e ,  pre-national  lesser s k i l l e d competitive and recreational gymnasts were expected.  elite, Those  females involved in gymnastics and gymnastic-related sports, such as figure skating, in comparison to normal reference (Faulkner, 1977; Ross et a l . , in Taylor, 1976:257) and a t h l e t i c samples (Malina et a l . , 1973), have consistently been assessed as late maturers based on their ages of menarche. S i g n i f i c a n t maturational  differences among female gymnasts of  varying a b i l i t y levels were found in the present study.  These differences  indicated that there may be a relationship between gymnastic a b i l i t y and maturity, with highly s k i l l e d gymnasts being developmentally less mature than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts.  The fact that s i g n i f i c a n t maturational  differences were not found between national e l i t e and pre-national gymnasts, possibly serves to further support a m a t u r i t y - a b i l i t y  elite  relationship  138  since these two groups are considered to be r e l a t i v e l y close in  ability.  Some of the gymnasts who passed Level II and a l l the gymnasts of Level III, [Level III gymnasts referred to are categorized as pre-national e l i t e gymnasts] i f they also show very good results at selection meets, could be e l i g i b l e for selection for some international tournaments and dual meets' for junior and senior levels [junior and senior levels referred t o , are categorized as national el i t e gymnasts]. (Bajin, However, i t  1978:1)  should also be noted that the Chronological Age minus Skeletal  Age difference,  when compared between Group 1 and Group 2 was approaching  s i g n i f i c a n c e , with the former group being developmentally  less mature than  the l a t t e r group. Furthermore,  the maturity indicators suggest a consistent trend  concerning maturational status and success in gymnastics, such that • accompanying progressive increases in gymnastic a b i l i t y are progressive decreases in maturational status (Chronological Age minus Skeletal Age differences  increase such that; Group 4 < Group 3 < Group 2 < Group 1;  and also Group 1 + 2 + 3 < Group 1 + 2 .  The frequency (%)  of the  incidence of menarche decreases such that; Group 4 > Group 3 > Group 2 > Group 1; and also Group 1 + 2 + 3 > Group  1+2).  From these observations, i t can be hypothesized t h a t ; "those female gymnasts who are l a t e maturers, are more apt, than average or early maturing female gymnasts, to progress to higher performance l e v e l s " . It  i s not unreasonable to expect that maturity i s related both  d i r e c t l y and i n d i r e c t l y to success in gymnastics since: 1.  Some of the major physique c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of female gymnasts that have reached a high degree of success, a r e l a t i v e l y short stature and l i g h t weight; small skinfold thickness, g i r t h ,  bicristal  breadth, and trunk  length measurements; r e l a t i v e l y long l e g s , and low percent body fat  139  (De Garay et a l . , 1974; D r a z i l , 1971; Grossfeld, in Nichols, 1979:18; H i r a t a , 1966; Nelson, 1974; Novak et a l . , 1973, 1977; Pool et a l . , 1969; Sinning & Lindberg, 1972; Smit, 1973; Sprynarova & Parizkova, 1979; Youngren, 1969)  are also present in the young pre-pubescent and  late maturing female (Tanner, 1962).  r  The late maturing g i r l i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y longer-legged and narrower hipped, has a more linear physique, has less weight for height, and has less r e l a t i v e fatness than her early maturing peers. (Malina et a l . , 1978:221)  The ultimate adult physique of the late maturing female appears also to resemble that physique associated with success at e l i t e gymnastic l e v e l s . Although the l i t e r a t u r e is non-conclusive, "late" maturing females, as adults, are reported to be shorter than average (Frisch & Revelle,  1969)  or of average height (Tanner, 1962:96), to possess a higher ponderal index (Hillman et a l . , 1970), to be more ectomorphic (Zuk, 1958), have wider shoulders (Bayley, 1943b, cited in Tanner, 1962:102), and a smaller b i - i l i a c diameter in r e l a t i o n to height (Tanner, unpublished, cited in lanner,  1962:102) than average and late maturing females.  A delayed maturity with i t s concomitantly longer pre-pubescent period has been associated with an extended c r i t i c a l  learning period in female  figure skaters (Faulkner, 1977; Ross & Marshall, 1979). critical  Whether or not  learning periods per s e , do e x i s t in gymnastics and other  gymnastic-related sports, such as figure skating, is not known.  It  appears reasonable however, to suggest that a physique free of pubertal c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , such as increased weight, f a t ,  and overall dimensions,  (Tanner, 1962:10) would be an advantage in learning and mastering specific s k i l l s .  140  4.  The l i t e r a t u r e tends to indicate that puberty in females offers no "strength advantage", as i t does in males (Church, 1976)  and further-  more,'is associated with a plateau or decrease in performance (Espenchade, 1940, 1974).  1960, cited in Malina, 1974:127; Johnson & Buskirk,  This occurrence however, may well be a social or  life-style  related phenomenon rather than a result of biological maturity and ageing, since an obvious unwillingness in females to "perform" has been noted ( K r i e s e l , 1977), and the cross-sectional studies of Fleishman (1964) and Hunsicker and Reiff  (1966, both cited in Malina, 1974:128)  indicate a s l i g h t but continued improvement in performance through to 17 years. Furthermore, Pool et al . (1969:336) reported that strength> did r  not  correlate with performance in female gymnasts, and concluded that; "this measure lias l i k e l y no meaning for selection or training of top gymnasts".  This result is not surprizing in view of the fact that  gymnastic-activity for females involves " h i g h . r e l a t i v e , absolute strength" (Ross & Marshall, 1979:13).  rather  than  Thus, any strength i n -  crease that puberty may bring, without an associated increase in r e l a t i v e strength, would probably affect gymnastic performance very l i t t l e .  5.  Regular, strenuous exercise has a potentially great influence on modifying the body, compositionally, p h y s i o l o g i c a l l y , and dimensionally (Astrand & Rodahl, 1970; Behnke & Wilmore, 1974; Brozek, 1961; Malina, 1969a), and i t has been proposed that exercise carried to excess during or previous to the pubertal y e a r s , may a f f e c t the maturing processes by "loading" an organism already "stressed" by pubertal changes (La Cava, 1974).  Such a proposal is well founded since other external  variables,  141  such as sleep (Goldfarb, 1977)  and nutrition  (Charzewska et a l . ,  1975;  Kraij-Cercek, 1956; Tanner et a l . , 1975:19), are known to "stress" and affect s p e c i f i c adolescent events.  As w e l l , " c r i t i c a l metabolic  masses" have been associated with-triggering (Frisch & McArthur, 1974).  fat  the onset of menarche  In the event that such " c r i t i c a l masses"  do e x i s t , and at the present time there is a lack of evidence to suggest that they do (Billewicz et a l . , 1976; Crawford & O s i e r , 1975; Johnston et a l . , 1971, 1975), i t can be conjectured that exercise can d i r e c t l y affect the maturing processes by altering the composition of the body. Gymnasts at e l i t e and competitive a b i l i t y  l e v e l s , involved in  regular strenuous training regimes, display the effects of exercise in modifying the body (a low percent f a t mass in the presence of a high percent lean body mass), to a greater degree than gymnasts with less involvement.  Furthermore, without disregarding genetical associations  with the rate of maturity,  i t can be expected that those gymnasts  involved in more frequent and strenuous training programs, would r e f l e c t maturational  changes associated with exercise to a greater  extent, than gymnasts with less strenuous and regular If  involvement.  regular., strenuous exercise has the effect of altering the "normal"  rate of maturity, and/or maturity  of an i n d i v i d u a l , then dramatic changes in growth  should be "expected" upon cessation of a c t i v i t y ,  in  accordance with the "catch-up" phenomenon proposed by Tanner (1963). While there is no supportive documentation, a number of gymnasts have reported experiencing menarche following an extended period of r e s t , following cessation of strenuous t r a i n i n g , and accompanying increases in weight.  142  The advantage of a delayed maturity and an extended pre-pubescent period may be a very real and important factor in success for female gymnasts, since there is some speculation that female gymnasts from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe may be using a "brake" drug to remain petite and l i t h e , by delaying puberty (Quinn, 1979:50).  Dr. K l e i n , the chief medical examiner  at the 1978 World Gymnastic Championships, has reported seeing photos of a leading Soviet gymnast, showing a steady regression of breast development during a four year period.  It  is suspected that the drug acts on the  p i t u i t a r y gland, and gives the smaller, l i g h t e r females, a higher strengthto-weight r a t i o allowing them to outperform their competitors (Quinn,  1979:  50). The lowering in age of both the participants and the medalists of women's gymnastics in the O l y m p i c s f r o m the 1956 to the 1976 Games (Krustev, 1977), the domination of Olympic gymnastics by females in the teenage group (Novak et a l . , 1977), and the increasing complexity of s k i l l  performance,  has led to the speculation that the "younger" gymnast may possess d i s t i n c t "advantages" over the "older" performer, by virtue of her unique b u i l d . Since a "performance discriminating f a c t o r " , in that the equipment does not offer equal advantages to a l l gymnastics ( V a l l i e r e ,  gymnasts, is recognized as operating in  in Salmela, 1976:96), i t follows that those gymnasts  possessing physical attributes that "co-operate" with the equipment's properties and p o t e n t i a l s , are more successful in performing s p e c i f i c movements than those gymnasts with physical attributes that do not conform with the equipment's c a p a c i t i e s .  These attributes may well be uncontrollable  and unalterable physical expressions as skeletal "build" in general.  proportions, s i z e , or  There is the p o s s i b i l i t y then, that as yet  variables-are present in the young female gymnastic competitor,  unidentified rendering  143  her more "biomechanically" equipped to perform gymnastic-type movements than the "older" performer, and biasing performance in her favour. Whether or not the pre-pubescent female is better equipped "biomechanically" and f u n c t i o n a l l y , to perform complex gymnastic s k i l l s , and whether or not puberty is the "despoiler of a t h l e t i c maids" as Cranston (cited in Clark, 1980:6) contends, is at this time only speculative since there is an absence of d i r e c t evidence.  ANTHROPOMETRIC ASSESSMENT Anthropometric differences among national e l i t e , elite,  lesser s k i l l e d competitive and recreational  preTnational  gymnasts were expected  since: 1.  Disparity and inconsistencies in anthropometric descriptions of gymnasts have been a t t r i b u t e d ,  in p a r t , to a b i l i t y  differences  (Carter et a l . , 1971). 2.  S p e c i f i c anthropometric c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s have been shown to present biomechanical advantages (Hebbelinck & Ross, in Nelson & Morehouse, 1974:546; Khosla, 1968,  1977; Lewis, 1969), and to affect  performance  outcomes of gymnastic s k i l l s (George, in Salmela, 1976:96; Le Veau et a l . , 1974; Nelson, 1974; Ross & Marshall, 1979; Rozin, 1974; Salmela, 1976; V a l l i e r e , in Salmela, 1976:96).  These "advantageous"  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s were expected to be present more consistently in the higher s k i l l e d than in the lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts.  However, i t was  also considered that while s p e c i f i c physical c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s would be an advantage to performance in one event, they may serve as deterrents  144  to success in another (Le Veau et a l . , 1974; Rozin, 1974; Youngren, 1969).  Therefore, i t was recognized that the best body-type for gymnasts  competing in a l l events, would be a compromise of the ideal morphological determinants best suited for a one-event s p e c i a l i s t , as suggested by Salmela et a l .  (1976:169).  In this respect, i t was expected that  "dramatic differences" among the a b i l i t y groups would not be displayed, since the better gymnasts, competing in a l l events, would have physique c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a compromising nature.  3.  Exercise has the effect of modifying s p e c i f i c physical parameters, such as skinfold thickness values, and muscle girth dimensions (Brozek,  1961;  Malina, 1969a), and i t was expected that highly s k i l l e d gymnasts involved in frequent, vigorous training would display exercise induced changes to a greater extent than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts.  4.  Maturational  differences were expected among the a b i l i t y groups, and i t  was expected that these differences would be represented anthropometrica l l y , in those physical parameters, such as b i i l i o c r i s t a l breadth, height, weight, and percent body f a t , with maturity  undergoing changes associated  (Parizkova, 1959, 1961b; Reynolds, 1950; Tanner, 1962:45).  Because of the r e l a t i v e closeness in a b i l i t y of the national  elite  and the pre-national e l i t e gymnasts (Bajin, 1978), and because i t has repeatedly been shown that the higher the a b i l i t y level the narrower the v a r i a b i l i t y of physique (Carter,  1970; Montpetit,  in Salmela, 1976:183),  few s i g n i f i c a n t differences between these groups, in those anthropometric variables related to success, were expected.  Differences between these  groups were expected however, since anthropometric differences between  145  higher and lesser placing gymnasts at e l i t e competitions have been reported (Montpetit, in Salmela, 1976:183; Pool et a l . , 1969; Youngren, 1969).  It  was also considered that s i g n i f i c a n t differences would possibly indicate those anthropometric variables distinguishing the consistently "better" gymnasts, the national national  e l i t e s , from the "very good" gymnasts, the pre-  elites. Trends concerning anthropometric parameters and gymnastic  were not c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i a b l e  in the l i t e r a t u r e , due primarily to an  absence of studies concerned d i r e c t l y with varying a b i l i t y pometric parameters.  ability  levels and anthro-  Of the three studies located, involving these two.  variables . (Montpetit, in Salmela, 1976:183; Pool et a l . , 1969; Youngren, 1969), a l l were comparisons between the "winners" of a competition and the lesser placing p a r t i c i p a n t s .  Montpetit (in Salmela, 1976:183) compared the  top f i v e placing women's gymnastic teams at the 1972 Olympic Games. Although there were no consistent trends among the f i v e teams, in age, height, or weight,  the f i r s t and second placing teams were shorter in  height and l i g h t e r  in weight than the third placing team.  et a l .  S i m i l a r l y , Pool  (1969) compared the higher and lower placing gymnasts of the 1967  European Gymnastic Championships, and found the better performers to be younger, shorter, l i g h t e r , taken.  and smaller in the skinfold thickness meaurement  Youngren (1969) compared the placing and non-placing gymnasts at the  1968 U.S. .Olympic Gymnastic T r i a l s , and also noted that those gymnasts who were younger, shorter, and thinner in skinfold thickness measures, tended to rank higher. In the absence of studies concerned d i r e c t l y with varying levels of gymnastic a b i l i t y  and anthropometric parameters, trends concerning these  146  two variables were investigated and interpolated through comparisons of Olympic (De Garay et a l . , 1974; Hirata,  inter-study  1966;  Montpetit,  in Salmela, 1976:187; Novak et a l . , 1977; Pool et a l . , 1969; Ross, 1980), "highly s k i l l e d " (Carter, al.,  1970; Nelson, 1974; Novak et a l . , 1973; Pool et  1969; Sinning & Lindberg, 1972; Smit, 1973; Sprynarova & Parizkova,  1969; Youngren, 1969), and recreational Pool et a l . , 1969).  female gymnasts (Medved,  1966;  This procedure was followed with some reservation  however, since measurement techniques, and t h e . c r i t e r i o n for defining ability  l e v e l s , were not consistent from one study to the next.  These  inconsistencies may well account for anothropometric differences noted among the a b i l i t y  groups, as well as for the concealment of any "true" and  existing differences.  Even within the seemingly well defined a b i l i t y group,  "Olympic gymnasts", there exists varying a b i l i t y  levels.  The "Olympic  participants" of one country may well be, merely, of equal a b i l i t y "highly s k i l l e d " gymnasts of another. Novak et a l .  (1977:276) were a l l  The Olympic gymnasts studies by  from one country that "did not reach a  s i g n i f i c a n t place during the competition". Montpetit  to the  The Olympic gymnasts studied by  (in Salmela, 1976:183), comprised the "top f i v e teams" of the  1972 Olympic Games.  Furthermore, the a b i l i t y c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s "highly  s k i l l e d " and "recreational" contain much v a r i a b i l i t y  in terms of -  gymnastic-skill level and a b i l i t y . Age is another factor that may account for anthropometric differences noted among varying a b i l i t y same a b i l i t y .  l e v e l s , and among gymnasts of the  Large age differences among the various studies compared  may also mask "true" anthropometric differences and s i m i l a r i t i e s . is much v a r i a b i l i t y  There  in mean ages among the gymnastic groups referred to  147  in the inter-study comparisons.  The "Olympic gymnasts" vary in mean ages  from 17.0 to 23.1 years (De Garay et a l . , 17.8 y r s ; H i r a t a , 22.7 y r s ; Montpetit,  20.2 y r s ; Novak et a l . , 19.0 y r s ; Pool et a l . , 23.1 and 19.2 y r s ;  Ross, 17.0 y r s ) , the "highly s k i l l e d gymnasts" from 15.0 to 20.5 years . (Carter, age not given; Nelson, 20.5 y r s ; Novak et a l . , 14.3 y r s ; Pool et al.,  20.5 y r s ; Sinning & Lindberg, 20.0 y r s ; Smit, 15.0 y r s ; Sprynarova  & Parizkova, 17.2 y r s ; Youngren, 18.5 y r s ) , and the "recreational gymnasts" from 20.1 to 22.7 years (Medved, 20.1 y r s ; Pool et a l . , 22.7 y r s ) . The gymnasts in the varying a b i l i t y groups from the present study range in mean ages from 14.3 to 15.3 decimal years.  I  Height and Length Measures Vertex standing height.  The l i t e r a t u r e did not indicate a trend  towards shortness in stature with increasing gymnastic a b i l i t y , what was expected. Montpetit, Ross, 1980)  contrary to  Olympic gymnasts (De Garay et a l . , 1974; H i r a t a ,  in Salmela, 1976:187; Novak et a l . , 1977; Pool et a l . , did not d i f f e r  1969;  notably in mean height from highly s k i l l e d  gymnasts (Carter, 1970; Nelson, 1974; Novak et a l . , 1973; Pool et a l . , Sinning & Lindberg, 1972; Smit, 1973; Sprynarova & Parizkova, Youngren, 1969), or from recreational 1966).  1966;  1969;  1969;  gymnasts (Medved, 1966; Pool et a l . ,  However, in comparison to appropriate female reference populations,  the gymnasts described by Carter (1970), Medved (1966), Nelson (1974), Sinning and Lindberg (1972), and Smit (1973) were reported to be shorter in stature, with the Sinning and Lindberg gymnasts s i g n i f i c a n t l y shorter.  On  the other hand, the highly s k i l l e d gymnasts of Nelson's study (1974) were reported to be of s i m i l a r height to an appropriate reference population of females.  148  S i g n i f i c a n t differences in height between national e l i t e and pre-national e l i t e gymnasts, taken together, and lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts; and between national e l i t e and pre-national e l i t e gymnasts, were not expected based on the observation that e l i t e and highly s k i l l e d gymnasts in general are short, and i t appears that a r e l a t i v e l y short stature i s a prerequisite f o r successful p a r t i c i p a t i o n at these l e v e l s . A s i g n i f i c a n t difference between national e l i t e , elite,  pre-national  and lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts, taken together, and recreat-  ional gymnasts were expected s i n c e , a r e l a t i v e l y short stature does not appear to be a prerequisite for p a r t i c i p a t i o n at recreational s k i l l level i s r e l a t i v e l y  l e v e l s , where  low and emphasis i s generally placed on p a r t i c i -  pation, rather than.on performance. Although Group 1 + 2 + 3  has a shorter mean height than Group 4  (2.6 cm), Group 1 + 2 a shorter mean height than Group 3 (3.0 cm), and Group 1 a t a l l e r mean height than Group 2 (1.4 cm), these differences were not s i g n i f i c a n t .  However, they do indicate a trend towards shortness in  stature for higher s k i l l e d in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts. The non-significant difference in height noted between Group 1 and Group 2 was expected due to the r e l a t i v e closeness in a b i l i t y of these two groups (Bajin, 1978).  This r e s u l t is s i m i l a r to results noted in the studies  of Pool et a l . (1969) and Youngren (1969), in which higher placing gymnasts were not s i g n i f i c a n t l y different  in height from lower placing gymnasts of  similar a b i l i t y . . . However, the tendency for higher piacing .gymnasts to be shorter than lower placing gymnasts noted in these s t u d i e s , was not evident in the present comparison of national and pre-national e l i t e gymnasts. The non-significant difference noted between Group 1 + 2 + 3 and Group 4 i s not in agreement with the expected r e s u l t , and with the comparison of  149  gymnasts in Pool et a l . ' s study (1969), in which high caliber Dutch gymnasts were found to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y shorter in stature than lower c a l i b e r , noncompeting Dutch gymnasts.  The non-significant difference in the present  study may have occurred as a result of club "attitudes". the recreational  level  In clubs where  is viewed as a "base" for the competitive programs,  participants are often pre-selected on shortness in stature, v a r i a b l e s , for inclusion in the recreational g i r l s who are r e l a t i v e l y relatively  program.  t a l l pursue a c t i v i t i e s  among other  Perhaps too, those  other than gymnastics, while  short g i r l s are attracted to recreational  gymnastic c l a s s e s .  Because s i g n i f i c a n t height differences among the a b i l i t y groups were not found, this does not simultaneously indicate that height is not an important variable for participation and success in gymnastics.  A relatively  small stature, coupled with a l i g h t weight, has been shown to present a biomechanical advantage in performing gymnastic-type movements (Le Veau et al.,  1974; Nelson, 1974; Ross & Marshall, 1979). In comparison to Olympic gymnasts described by De Garay et a l .  (1974), Hirata  (1966), Montpetit (in Salmela, 1976:187), Novak et a l .  and Ross (1980), both the national  e l i t e and the pre-national  in the present study have a smaller mean height. competitors described by Pool et a l . than both the national  (1977),  e l i t e gymnasts  The non-mongolian Olympic  (1969) are also t a l l e r in mean height  e l i t e and the pre-national  e l i t e gymnasts, while  the mongolian competitors are the only Olympic gymnasts described in the l i t e r a t u r e to be similar in height to both the national pre-national  e l i t e and the  e l i t e gymnasts.  In comparison to highly s k i l l e d gymnasts described by Carter (1970), Nelson (1974), Sinning and Lindberg (1972), Smit (1973), Sprynarova and Parizkova (1969), and Youngren (1969), the competitive gymnasts in the  150  present study have a shorter mean height.  However, in comparison to the  highly s k i l l e d gymnasts described by Novak et a l . (1973), the competitive gymnasts have a similar mean height. In comparison to the recreational gymnasts described by Medved (1966) and Pool et a l .  (1969), the recreational gymnasts in the present  study have a shorter mean height.  Trunk length. the l i t e r a t u r e ,  This measurement appears to have been neglected in  with only a single study (De Garay et a l . , 1974)  this measure in an anthropometric series of measurements.  including  Speculations  concerning trunk length and a b i l i t y were not made although i t was noted in the l i t e r a t u r e that; "A very long torso . . . w i l l get in your way on the uneven bars" (Grossfeld, cited in Nichols, 1979:18). The trunk length measure was s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller in Group  1+2  +3 in comparison to Group 4, in Group 1 + 2 in comparison to Group 3, and in Group 1 in comparison to Group 2.  This consistency indicates a trend  towards shortness in trunk length for higher s k i l l e d gymnasts in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts, and a possible relationship between a b i l i t y and trunk length, with a shorter trunk length presenting an advantage in gymnastics.  Perhaps a short trunk length in r e l a t i o n to height may result  in a reduced moment of i n e r t i a about the trunk and head in twisting move- . ments.  Furthermore, proportional analysis of the trunk length measure,  in relation to leg length or height would have maturational  implications:  About a year separates the peaks of total leg length and trunk length . . . The spurt in height i s due more to an increase in length of trunk than length of l e g , however, and the r a t i o of trunk length/leg length always increases during adolescence. (Tanner, 1962:12-13)  151  These results indicate that the trunk length measure is worthy of  further  a n a l y s i s , especially with respect to proportional assessments. In comparison to Olympic gymnasts described by De Garay et a l . (1974), both the national  e l i t e and the pre-national  present study have a shorter mean trunk length.  It  e l i t e gymnasts in the should be noted however,  that the suprasternal point, used in obtaining this measure, was not the same landmark point as that used in the present study.  S i t t i n g height.  This measure appears to have been neglected in  the l i t e r a t u r e with only two studies (Nelson, 1974; Ross, 1980) this measure in an anthropometric series of measurements.  including  The Olympic  gymnasts described by Ross (1980), in comparison to the highly s k i l l e d gymnasts described by Nelson (1974), have a smaller mean s i t t i n g  height.  Based on this comparison i t was speculated that in the present study higher s k i l l e d gymnasts would possess a smaller mean s i t t i n g height than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts. The s i t t i n g height measure was s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller in Group  1+2  in comparison to Group 3, and the s i t t i n g height difference between Group 1+2+3  and Group 4 was approaching s i g n i f i c a n c e , with this former group  having a smaller mean than the l a t t e r .  These r e s u l t s , in conjunction with  those obtained for trunk length and vertex height, strongly suggest a trend towards shortness in the torso for higher s k i l l e d in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts.  These results also suggest that a short torso in  to height may be associated with gymnastic a b i l i t y , ing some biomechanical advantage, or i n d i r e c t l y ,  relation  either d i r e c t l y by provid-  possibly by presenting less  weight in the upper body; assuming that a long torso would weight more than a short.  Such a weight d i s t r i b u t i o n may have some implications for angular  152  (rotary) motion where "not only is the weight important but also i t s d i s t r i b u t i o n in r e l a t i o n to the axis of rotation"  (Nelson, 1974:46).  Further analysis is necessary however, before such relationships can be . established. In comparison to Olympic gymnasts described by Ross (1980), both the national e l i t e and the pre-national have a shorter mean s i t t i n g  e l i t e gymnasts in the present study  height.  In comparison to highly s k i l l e d gymnasts described by Nelson (1974), the competitive gymnasts in the present study have a shorter mean sitting  height.  Thigh length.  A trend concerning thigh length and gymnastic  a b i l i t y was not evident in an inter-study comparison of Olympic (Novak et al.,  1977; Ross, 1980)  and highly s k i l l e d gymnasts (Nelson, 1974).  The  gymnasts described by Ross (1980) were given two values for thigh length, each derived using d i f f e r e n t equations, with a difference of 13.6 cm in thigh length between the two measurements. illustrate  This difference serves to  that caution should be used in inter-study comparisons of  anthropometric measurements, especially with respect to those measurements l i k e l y to have varying landmark p o i n t s , or d e r i v a t i o n s . The thigh length measure was s i g n i f i c a n t l y longer in Group 1 in comparison to Group 2.  Since this was the only s i g n i f i c a n t difference to  emerge among the contrasts, i t However, since Group 1 + 2  is possible that this is a spurious r e s u l t .  and Group 1 + 2 + 3 ,  both have " s l i g h t l y " longer  mean thigh lengths than Group 3 and Group 4 r e s p e c t i v e l y , there appears to be a "suggestion" that highly s k i l l e d gymnasts, in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts tend to have longer thigh lengths.  153  Considering the thigh length r e s u l t s , those of the trunk  length,  and the tendency for higher s k i l l e d gymnasts to be shorter in vertex standing height than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts, i t appears that there may be proportional length differences among the a b i l i t y groups, especially with respect to the segmental lengths contributing to stature  height.  Furthermore, a thigh length, proportionately long in relation  to  total leg length or height, may indicate a developmental stage in the adolescent growth spurt since: Within the leg there is a d e f i n i t e gradient of timing. The foot has i t s rather small acceleration about 6 months before the c a l f and thigh. . . . . The c a l f length accelerates a l i t t l e before the thigh. (Tanner, 1962:12) Proportional analysis is necessary however, before these  proportionality  hypotheses can be tested among the present a b i l i t y groups. These results may indicate that there is a relationship between gymnastic a b i l i t y and thigh length, with a longer thigh length providing a biomechanical advantage to performance. the few d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g  Possibly this variable is one of  variables in which "better" gymnasts, the national  e l i t e s , can be distinguished from "very good" gymnasts, the  pre-national  elites. In comparison to Olympic gymnasts described by Ross (1980), both the national e l i t e and the pre-national have a longer mean thigh length.  e l i t e gymnasts in the present study  However, i t should be noted that the thigh  length measure in the present study was derived from an equation from that used by Ross. Novak et a l .  different  In comparison to Olympic gymnasts described by  (1977), both/, the national e l i t e and the pre-national  gymnasts have a shorter mean thigh length.  elite  However, the derivation of  154  the thigh length measure in this study."was"not specified._' "" In comparison to the highly s k i l l e d gymnasts described by Nelson (1974), the competitive gymnasts in the present study have a smaller mean thigh length.  However, the derivation of thigh length in this study was  not s p e c i f i e d .  Other height and length measures ( t i b i a l , i l i o s p i n a l e , and trochanterion height; f o o t , upper arm, forearm, and hand length). Trends concerning t i b i a l height (Nelson, 1974; Novak et a l . ,  1977;  Ross, 1980), forearm length (Nelson, 1974; Novak et a l . , 1977; Ross, 1980), and foot length (Nelson, 1974; Ross, 1980), and gymnastic a b i l i t y , were not evident in an inter-study comparison of Olympic and highly s k i l l e d gymnasts. The upper arm length was longer in Olympic gymnasts (Novak et a l . , 1977; Ross, 1980)  than in highly s k i l l e d gymnasts (Nelson, 1974).  i l i o s p i n a l e height was shorter in Olympic gymnasts (Ross, 1980) highly s k i l l e d gymnasts (Smit, 1973).  The  than in  These comparisons suggest a tendency  for higher s k i l l e d gymnasts to have a longer upper arm length and a shorter i l i o s p i n a l e height than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts. The hand length and trochanterion height measurements appear to have been neglected in the l i t e r a t u r e , with only a single study including a hand length measure (Ross, 1980), and only a single study including a trochanterion height measurement (Nelson, 1974).  There were also a few  studies referring to a "total leg length" measurement (De Garay et a l . , Pool et a l . , 1969; Ross, 1980).  1974;  In two of these studies, in which the leg  length measure was derived using the same equation, Olympic gymnasts (Ross, 1980), in comparison to highly s k i l l e d gymnasts (Pool et a l . , 1969), were found to have a longer mean total leg length.  This comparison suggests a  155  tendency for higher s k i l l e d gymnasts to have a longer leg length than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts. Speculations concerning the t i b i a l ,  i l i o s p i n a l e , and trochanterion  height, the f o o t , forearm, and hand length measurements, and gymnastic ability  in the present study were not made.  However, i t was noted in the  l i t e r a t u r e that highly s k i l l e d gymnasts, in comparison to an appropriate reference population of females, had "longer lower limbs proportionate their total height"  (Smit, 1973:484).  S i g n i f i c a n t differences among the national e l i t e , elite,  to  lesser s k i l l e d competitive and recreational  for any of these height and length v a r i a b l e s .  pre-national  gymnasts were not found  Furthermore, differences in  these v a r i a b l e s , among the various groups do not suggest any trends or tendencies. While s t a t i s t i c a l  analysis indicated non-significant differences  in these variables for the various contrasts, further analysis is necessary in order to determine whether or not proportional differences e x i s t . differences may,indicate developmental spurt.  Such  stages in the adolescent growth  A long t i b i a l length, in r e l a t i o n to thigh or total leg length; or  a long forearm length, in r e l a t i o n to upper arm or total arm length, may indicate s p e c i f i c stages in the growth sequences of these  extremities,  since during the adolescent growth spurt:  a n d  .  The c a l f length accelerates a l i t t l e before the thigh. (Tanner, 1962:12) The forearm has i t s peak velocity about 6 months ahead of the upper arm. It seems that the peripheral parts of the limbs are throughout growth more advanced than the proximal. (Maresh, 1955, cited in Tanner, 1962:12)  Relatively long legs (as measured by trochanterion or i l i o s p i n a l e height)  156  may indicate a delayed maturity  in which a longer pre-adolescent period  would provide "extra" growing time before the growth spurt: In the immediate preadolescent years, i t is the legs which are growing r e l a t i v e l y fastest of a l l skeletal dimensions . . . and so i f allowed to grow for an extra 2 years before the spurt, the legs become r e l a t i v e l y long. (Tanner, 1962:46) Proportionately longer feet and hands would also have maturational  impli-  cations (Hebbelinck & Ross, in Nelson & Morehouse, 1974:546): Foot length is probably the f i r s t of a l l skeletal dimensions below the head to cease growing. (Tanner, 1962:12) as well as biomechanical implications (Faulkner, 1977), such that longer feet and hands would benefit balance, and aid in movements where the body i s propelled from them. In comparison to Olympic gymnasts described by Novak et a l . both the national e l i t e and the pre-national  (1977),  e l i t e gymnasts in the present  study, have a shorter mean upper arm and forearm length, and a similar mean tibial  height.  However, the landmarks used in deriving these measurements  were not s p e c i f i e d .  In comparison to Olympic gymnasts described by Ross  (1980), both the national e l i t e and the pre-national shorter mean t i b i a l  e l i t e gymnasts have a  and i l i o s p i n a l e height, f o o t , upper arm, and forearm  length, and a similar mean hand length.  The same landmarks were used in  obtaining these measurements for this l a t t e r study as were used in the present study. In comparison to highly s k i l l e d gymnasts described by Nelson (1974), the competitive gymnasts in the present study have a shorter mean tibial  and trochanterion height, a shorter mean forearm and foot length,  and a similar mean upper arm length.  However, the landmarks used in  obtaining these measurements were not s p e c i f i e d .  157  II  Breadth, Width, and Depth Measures Biacromial breadth.  A trend concerning biacromial breadth and  gymnastic a b i l i t y was not evident in an .inter-study: comparison of Olympic (De Garay et a l . , 1974; Novak et a l . , 1977; Ross, 1980)  and highly s k i l l e d  gymnasts (Nelson, 1974; Novak et a l . , 1973; Sinning & Lindberg, 1972; Smit, 1973).  However, in comparison to an appropriate female reference  population, the highly s k i l l e d gymnasts of Sinning and Lindberg's study (1972) were reported to have a s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller biacromial  diameter.  A s i g n i f i c a n t difference in biacromial breadth was expected between national e l i t e ,  pre-national e l i t e ,  and lesser s k i l l e d competitive  gymnasts, taken together, and recreational gymnasts, based on the observation that e l i t e and highly s k i l l e d gymnasts appear to have r e l a t i v e l y wider biacromial breadths than recreational gymnasts.  It was also expected  that exercise would show a positive effect upon skeletal growth in the region of the shoulders, as was suspected to have occurred in previous studies of gymnasts (Buckler & Brodie, 1977; Parizkova, 1968a; Smit, 1973).  Further-  more, late maturing females, as a d u l t s , have been reported to have wider shoulders than early maturing females (Bayley, 1943b, cited in Tanner, 1962: 102).  Since i t was speculated that higher s k i l l e d gymnasts would be develop-  mentally less mature than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts, i t was expected that this difference would be displayed in the biacromial breadth measure. Although the biacromial breadth was smaller in Group 1 + 2 in comparison to Group 3, " s l i g h t l y " smaller in Group 1 + 2 + 3 in comparison to Group 4, and larger in Group 1 in comparison to Group 2, these differences were not s i g n i f i c a n t and in contradiction to the expected r e s u l t .  These  differences however, "suggest" a tendency for higher s k i l l e d gymnasts to shave a smaller biacromial breadth than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts.  158  It  is suspected that the "observed" wide biacromial  breadth  measure "appears" this way in relation to height, or to a "seemingly" narrow b i i l i o c r i s t a l breadth, and is not necessarily "wide" when considered alone, in absolute terms.  Furthermore, Smit (1973) noted that highly  s k i l l e d gymnasts, in comparison to an appropriate reference sample, had a smaller biacromial breadth in absolute terms however, in relation to height, they had a r e l a t i v e l y  large breadth.  their  Proportional analysis is  necessary however, before such a r e l a t i o n s h i p , among the present  ability  groups, can be investigated. In comparison to gymnasts of similar a b i l i t y  (Olympic gymnasts)  described in the l i t e r a t u r e (De Garay et a l . , 1974; Novak et a l . , Ross, 1980), both the national e l i t e and the pre-national  1977;  e l i t e gymnasts  in the present study have smaller mean biacromial breadths. In comparison to gymnasts of similar a b i l i t y  (highly  skilled  gymnasts) described in the l i t e r a t u r e , the competitive gymnasts in the present study have a similar mean biacromial breadth to the gymnasts described by Novak et a l .  (1973) and Sinning and Lindberg (1972); a smaller  mean breadth than the gymnasts of Nelson's study (1974); and a larger mean breadth than the gymnasts of Smit's study (1973).  B i i l i o c r i s t a l breadth.  A trend concerning b i i l i o c r i s t a l  breadth  and gymnastic a b i l i t y was not evident in an inter-study comparison of Olympic (De Garay et a l . , 1974; Novak et a l . , 1977; Ross, 1980)  and highly  s k i l l e d gymnasts (Nelson, 1974; Novak et a l . , 1973; Sinning & Lindberg, 1972; Smit, 1973).  However, in comparison to an appropriate  female  reference population, the highly s k i l l e d gymnasts of Sinning and Lindberg's study (1972) were reported to have a s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller b i i l i a c  diameter.  159  A s i g n i f i c a n t difference in b i i l i o c r i s t a l between national e l i t e ,  pre-national  elite,  breadth was expected  and lesser s k i l l e d competitive  gymnasts, taken together, and recreational gymnasts, based on the observation that e l i t e and highly s k i l l e d gymnasts appear to have a r e l a t i v e l y bii1iocristal  breadth than recreational  gymnasts.  smaller  Since i t was also  speculated that higher s k i l l e d gymnasts would be developmentally less mature than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts, i t was expected that this difference would be displayed in the b i i l i o c r i s t a l breadth measure.  Late maturing females, as  adults, have been reported to have smaller b i i l i a c diameters in r e l a t i o n  to  their height, than early maturing females (Tanner, unpublished, cited in Tanner, 1962:102).  Furthermore, at maturity  bones, with "a p a r t i c u l a r l y  there are changes in the pelvic  large spurt in hip width"  Although the b i i l i o c r i s t a l  (Tanner, 1962:45).  breadth was smaller in Group 1 + 2 + 3  in comparison to Group 4, in Group 1 + 2  in comparison to Group 3, and larger  in Group 1 in comparison to Group 2.-,-.these differences were not s i g n i f i c a n t and thus not "in agreement with the the expected r e s u l t .  -These differences  however, indicate a tendency for higher s k i l l e d gymnasts to have a smaller bii1iocristal  breadth than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts.  Furthermore, i t should  be noted that irrespective of the non-significant multivariate univariate analysis shows the b i i 1 i o c r i s t a l  analysis,  breadth difference to be  s i g n i f i c a n t for Group 1 + 2 in comparison to Group 3. It  is suspected that the "observed" narrow b i i l i o c r i s t a l  breadth  measure "appears" this way in r e l a t i o n to height or to a "seemingly" wide biacromial breadth, and is not necessarily "narrow" when considered alone, in absolute terms.  Furthermore, Smit (1973) noted that highly s k i l l e d  gymnasts, in comparison to an appropriate reference sample, had a smaller intercristal  width in absolute terms, and also in r e l a t i o n to their  height.  160  Proportional analysis is necessary however, before such a relationship among the present a b i l i t y have developmental  groups can be investigated.  Such an analysis would also  implications, as a broadening of the hips r e l a t i v e to  the shoulders and waist is characteristic of female adolescence  (Malina,  1974:119). In comparison to gymnasts of similar a b i l i t y  (Olympic gymnasts)  described in the l i t e r a t u r e (De Garay et a l . , 1974; Novak et a l . , Ross, 1980), both the national  e l i t e and the pre-national  in the present study have smaller mean b i i l i o c r i s t a l  1977;  e l i t e gymnasts  breadths.  In comparison to gymnasts of similar a b i l i t y  (highly  skilled  gymnasts) described in the l i t e r a t u r e , the competitive gymnasts in the present study have a similar mean b i i l i o c r i s t a l described by Novak et a l .  breadth to the gymnasts  (1973) and Sinning and Lindberg (1972); a  smaller mean breadth than the gymnasts of Nelson's study (1974); and a larger mean breadth than the gymnasts of Smit's study (1973).  Bi-epicondylar femur width.  A trend concerning bi-epicondylar  femur width and gymnastic a b i l i t y was not evident in an inter-study comparison of Olympic (Novak et a l . , 1977; Ross, 1980)  and highly s k i l l e d  gymnasts (Nelson, 1974; Novak et a l . , 1973; Pool et a l . , 1969; Sinning & Lindberg, 1972).  Speculations concerning bi-epicondylar femur width and  gymnastic a b i l i t y  in the present study were not made.  However,  the  observation of Adam's (1938, cited in Malina, 1969b:22), that women subjected to strenuous physical labor during childhood'had larger knee widths than women not subjected to such s t r e s s , was noted. The bi-epicondylar femur width was s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller in Group 1 + 2 + 3 in comparison to Group 4,  Since this was the only s i g n i f i c a n t  161  difference.;to emerge among the contrasts, i t spurious r e s u l t .  is possible that this is a  However, observing the similar mean values for Group.1,  Group 2, Group 3, and Group 1 + 2, i t can be conjectured that this measure is related to performance, such that highly s k i l l e d gymnasts, in general, have a similar bi-epicondylar femur width, and in comparison to recreational gymnasts have a s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller width.  This difference may be a  r e f l e c t i o n of the generally small skeletal structure associated with highly s k i l l e d gymnasts, and known to present d i s t i n c t advantages in performing gymnastic-type movements. This result may also have implications with respect to total body weight, with a small bi-epicondylar femur width indicating a small skeletal structure and thus a small skeletal  weight.  This measure should also be viewed in proportion to height or total leg length, since these comparisons have developmental implications: for their s i z e , children have proportionately larger knees, ankles and feet. (Ross, cited in Taunton, 1979:20) as well as biomechanical implications: The proportionally wider knee widths . . . may benefit s t a b i l i t y [and provide] a proportionately greater area for weight-bearing s t r e s s . (Faulkner, 1977:22) In comparison to gymnasts of s i m i l a r a b i l i t y  (Olympic gymnasts)  described in the l i t e r a t u r e (Novak et a l . , 1977; Ross, 1980), both the national e l i t e and the pre-national e l i t e gymnasts in the present study have s i m i l a r mean bi-epicondylar femur widths. In comparison to gymnasts of s i m i l a r a b i l i t y  (highly s k i l l e d  gymnasts) described in the l i t e r a t u r e (Nelson, 1974; Novak et a l . ,  1973;  Pool et a l . , 1969; Sinning & Lindberg, 1972), the competitive gymnasts in the present study have a s i m i l a r mean bi-epicondylar femur width.  162  Anterior-posterior chest depth. (Ross, 1980)  A tendency for Olympic gymnasts  to have a smaller anterior-posterior chest depth than highly  s k i l l e d gymnasts (Nelson, 1974; Novak et a l . , 1973; Sinning & Lindberg, 1972) was evident in an inter-study comparison of these two a b i l i t y  levels.  This  comparison was made with some reservation however, since the value obtained for this measurement is subject to the landmark points used, as well as to the technique followed.  With a difference of 8.3 cm in anterior-posterior  chest depth between two of the studies describing highly s k i l l e d gymnasts, it  is speculated that one of these measurements may have been taken at  e x p i r a t i o n , while the other at f u l l  inspiration.  full  Speculations concerning  anterior-posterior chest depth and gymnastic a b i l i t y in the present study were not made. Anterior-posterior chest depth was s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller in Group 1 in comparison to Group 2.  Since this was the only s i g n i f i c a n t difference  to emerge among the contrasts, i t  is possible that this is a spurious r e s u l t .  Conceivably however, this may well be one of the few  differentiating  variables distinguishing the "better" gymnasts, the national e l i t e s , from the "very good" gymnasts, the pre-national e l i t e s . Group 1 + 2  Furthermore, since  has a smaller mean anterior-posterior chest depth than Group 3,  and Group 1 + 2 + 3  has a " s l i g h t l y " smaller mean than Group 4, there appears  to be a tendency for higher s k i l l e d gymnasts to have a smaller mean chest depth than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts.  This difference may be a r e f l e c t i o n of  the generally small skeletal structure associated with highly s k i l l e d gymnasts, and known to present d i s t i n c t advantages in performing gymnastictype movements. This r e s u l t may also have implications with respect to the body mass components, with a small anterior-posterior chest depth indicating a  163  relatively  small skeletal  structure and thus, a small skeletal mass.  Since  the anterior posterior chest depth measure encompasses the organs of the chest, a small measure may also indicate a small residual mass. Although none of the individual subject's values for this  variable  are in discord with those of the other subjects, i t should not be overlooked that this s i g n i f i c a n t difference may be the r e s u l t of measurement e r r o r . Since this measurement is taken at that "instance" before normal i n s p i r a t i o n , i t i s possible that this "point" may have been misjudged for some i n d i v i d u a l s . In comparison to Olympic gymnasts described by Ross (1980), both the national e l i t e and the pre-national  e l i t e gymnasts in the present study  have a smaller mean anterior-posterior chest depth. In comparison to gymnasts of similar a b i l i t y  (highly s k i l l e d  gymnasts) described in the l i t e r a t u r e (Nelson, 1974; Novak et a l . ,  1973;  Sinning & Lindberg, 1972), the competitive gymnasts in the present study have a smaller mean anterior-posterior chest depth.  Other breadth, width, and depth measures (transverse chest and bi-epicondylar humerus widths). A trend concerning transverse chest width and gymnastic a b i l i t y was not evident in an inter-study comparison of Olympic (Ross, 1980) and highly s k i l l e d gymnasts (Nelson, 1974; Novak et a l . , 1973; Pool et a l . , 1969; Sinning & Lindberg, 1972). A tendency for Olympic gymnasts (Novak et a l . , 1977; Ross,  1980)  to have a larger bi-epicondylar humerus width than highly s k i l l e d gymnasts (Nelson, 1974; Novak et a l . , 1973; Sinning & Lindberg, 1972), was evident in an inter-study comparison of these two a b i l i t y  levels.  Speculations concerning the transverse chest and bi-epicondylar  164  humerus widths, and gymnastic a b i l i t y ,  in the present study, were not made.  However, the observation of Adam's (1938, cited in Malina, 1969b:22), that women subjected to strenuous physical labor during childhood had larger chest breadths than women not subjected to such s t r e s s , was noted. S i g n i f i c a n t differences among the national elite,  lesser s k i l l e d competitive and recreational  elite,  pre-national  gymnasts were not found  for the transverse chest or the bi-epicondylar humerus widths. differences any trends.  Furthermore,  in these v a r i a b l e s , among the various groups, do not suggest The non-significant transverse chest width differences-found .  among the a b i l i t y  groups are in discord with the findings of Pool et a l .  (1969), in that thorax width was found to correlate s i g n i f i c a n t l y with gymnastic performance. While s t a t i s t i c a l  analyses indicated non-significant  differences  in the bi-epicondylar humerus width for the various contrasts, further analysis is necessary in order to determine whether or not proportional d i f f e r e n c e s , e s p e c i a l l y with respect to height or total arm length, existence among the a b i l i t y  groups.  are.in  Furthermore, proportional assessments  of this variable may have developmental  as well as biomechanical  implications.  A proportionally wide bi-epicondylar humerus width while indicating a developmentally  immature physique (Ross, 1980)  would also benefit s t a b i l i t y  of  balances performed on the hands by presenting a larger surface area for weight-bearing  stress.  A proportionally wide bi-epicondylar humerus width,  especially in a post-pubescent gymnast, may also indicate the positive of exercise upon skeletal  growth in this region since:  bone thickens'when subjected to heavy loads . . . [and] is deposited in proportion to the compressional load that the bone must carry. (Guyton, 1976:1058)  effect  165  A proportionally wide transverse chest width may also indicate the  effects  of exercise in developing this area. In comparison to gymnasts of similar a b i l i t y  (Olympic gymnasts)  described in the l i t e r a t u r e , both the national e l i t e and the  pre-national  e l i t e gymnasts in the present study have similar mean bi-epicondylar humerus widths (Novak et a l . , 1977;  Ross, 1980), and smaller mean transverse chest  widths (Ross, 1980). In comparison to gymnasts of similar a b i l i t y  (highly  skilled  gymnasts) described in the l i t e r a t u r e (Nelson, 1974; Novak et a l . ,  1973;  Sinning & Lindberg, 1972), the competitive gymnasts in the present study have a similar mean bi-epicondylar humerus width.  The competitive gymnasts  also have a similar mean transverse chest width to the gymnasts from Pool et a l . ' s study (1969); a smaller mean width than the gymnasts described by Nelson (1974) and Novak et a l .  (1973); and a larger mean width than the  gymnasts of Sinning and Lindberg's study (1972).  Ill  Girth Measures Since i t  is well established that exercise has the effect  increasing muscular girths  of  (Bready, 1961, Kusinitz et a l . , 1958, Tanner,  1952,  cited in Malina, 1969a:24), i t was expected that highly s k i l l e d gymnasts involved in frequent and strenuous t r a i n i n g , would display larger exercise induced muscle girths than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts involved in fewer hours of concentrated a c t i v i t y . national  elite,  recreational  pre-national  elite,  relatively  Thus, s i g n i f i c a n t differences among  lesser s k i l l e d competitive and  gymnasts were expected.  Thigh g i r t h .  A trend concerning thigh girth and gymnastic  ability  166  was not evident in an inter-study Ross, 1980)  comparison of Olympic (Novak et a l . ,  and highly s k i l l e d gymnasts (Nelson, 1974; Novak et a l . ,  1977;  1973;  Sinning & Lindberg, 1972). The thigh girth measure was s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller in Group in comparison to Group 4.  1+2+3  In a multivariate sense, the thigh girth measure  was not s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller in Group 1 + 2 in comparison to Group 3. However, irrespective of the i n s i g n i f i c a n t multivariate a n a l y s i s , analysis shows the thigh girth difference to be s i g n i f i c a n t for contrast.  univariate  this  These results indicate a trend towards smallness in thigh girth  for higher s k i l l e d gymnasts in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts. Although these results are in the opposite direction to the expected r e s u l t s , they do not indicate that the effects of exercise are displayed to a greater degree in the lesser s k i l l e d compared to the higher s k i l l e d gymnasts, or that this former group has a larger "muscle" girth than the l a t t e r group.  Lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts consistently have a larger mean thigh  skinfold than higher s k i l l e d gymnasts, and since girth measures were not "corrected" for skinfold thickness, i t  is suspected that this former group  has a larger "absolute" thigh girth comprised of a smaller "muscle" g i r t h , r e l a t i v e to a larger layer of subcutaneous fat plus s k i n , than the l a t t e r group.  These results do however, r e f l e c t  the general smallness in physique  associated with highly s k i l l e d gymnast, in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts.  Furthermore, this "smallness" has been known to present d i s t i n c t  advantages in performing gymnastic-type movements. • Proportional assessments of the thigh g i r t h , especially with respect to height or total leg length, would more graphically identify shape differences .among the a b i l i t y  groups.- .Such, an assessment would also have  167  developmental implications, since major changes in the thigh girth  are  evident with growth: The p r i n c i p l e changes in shape . . . from 2.5 years to 12 years, are r e l a t i v e decrease in size of the waist, and enlargement of hips and thighs. Thus development to maturity can be followed progressively as the deviations of the converted dimensions migrate to the midline [which represents the f u l l y mature figure of a 20 - 24 year old female]. (Behnke & Wilmore, 1974:88-89) In comparison to gymnasts of similar a b i l i t y  (Olympic gymnasts)  described in the l i t e r a t u r e (Novak et a l . , 1977; Ross, 1980), both the national e l i t e and the pre-national  e l i t e gymnasts in the present study have  smaller mean thigh g i r t h s . In comparison to gymnasts of similar a b i l i t y gymnasts) described in the l i t e r a t u r e ,  (highly  skilled  the competitive gymnasts in the  present study have a similar mean thigh girth to the gymnasts described by Nelson (1974); a smaller mean girth than the gymnasts of Sinning and Lindberg's study (1972); and a larger mean girth than the gymnasts of Novak et a l . ' s study (1973).  Other girth measures (relaxed arm, flexed arm, forearm,  wrist,  chest, waist, c a l f , ankle, head, and neck g i r t h s ) . Trends concerning the relaxed arm, c a l f (Nelson, 1974; Novak et al.,  1973, 1977; Pool et a l . , 1969; Ross, 1980; Sinning & Lindberg, 1972),  flexed arm (Novak et a l . , 1973, 1977; Ross, 1980; Sinning & Lindberg, 1972), forearm (Nelson, 1974; Novak et a l . , 1973, 1977; Ross, 1980; Sinning & Lindberg, 1972), and waist girths  (Nelson, 1974; Ross, 1980; Sinning &  Lindberg, 1972), and gymnastic a b i l i t y were not evident in an inter-study comparison of Olympic and highly s k i l l e d gymnasts.  168  A tendency for Olympic gymnasts (Ross, 1980)  to have a larger  wrist girth than highly s k i l l e d gymnasts (Nelson, 1974; Sinning & Lindberg, 1972) was evident in an inter-study comparison of these two a b i l i t y  levels.  Nelson (1974) noted a tendency for highly s k i l l e d gymnasts to have larger chest circumferences than females from an appropriate reference population!  However, there appears to be no trend concerning chest girth  and gymnastic a b i l i t y  in an inter-study comparison of Olympic (Ross, 1980)  and highly s k i l l e d gymnasts (Nelson, 1974; Novak et a l . , 1973; Sinning & Lindberg, 1972).  This l a t t e r comparison was made with some reservation,  since the value obtained for this measurement is subject to the height of the tape, as well as to the technique followed.  Ross (1980) took the chest  girth measurement at the height of the fourth costosternal a r t i c u l a t i o n . Sinning and Lindberg (1972) recorded two values, one taken from a measurement made at the level of the a x i l l a , and the other from a measurement made at a level just below the breasts, while Novak et a l . (1973) recorded a maximum and a minimum chest girth measurement.  Specifics on the chest girth measure-  ment taken in Nelson's study (1974) were not given.  Furthermore, only the  study by Ross (1980) indicated the breathing phase in which the chest girth measurement was taken. The ankle, head, and neck girth measurements appear to have been neglected in the l i t e r a t u r e with only a single study including a head girth measurement (Nelson, 1974), and only a single study including a neck girth measurement (Sinning & Lindberg, 1972).  Two studies describing highly  s k i l l e d gymnasts included an ankle girth measurement (Nelson, 1974; Sinning & Lindberg, 1972). S i g n i f i c a n t differences among the national e l i t e , elite,  pre-national  lesser s k i l l e d competitive and recreational gymnasts were expected,  169  particularly  in the relaxed arm, flexed arm, forearm, and c a l f  Since these are r e l a t i v e l y  girths.  muscular s i t e s , i t was expected that the  effects  of exercise would be displayed at these s i t e s , to a greater extent in those highly s k i l l e d gymnasts involved in frequent and strenuous S i g n i f i c a n t differences in w r i s t ,  training.  chest, waist, ankle, head, and neck  g i r t h s , among'the a b i l i t y groups, were expected to a lesser degree. S i g n i f i c a n t differences among the national elite,  lesser s k i l l e d competitive and recreational  elite,  pre-national  gymnasts were not found  for the relaxed arm, flexed arm, forearm, w r i s t , waist, c a l f , ankle, chest, head, and neck g i r t h s . arm, forearm, w r i s t , consistent trends.  Differences among the a b i l i t y  groups, in the  flexed  ankle, head, and neck girths do not suggest any However, the relaxed arm, c a l f , chest, and waist  girths  are smaller in Group 1 + 2 + 3 in comparison to Group 4, and in Group  1+2  in comparison to Group 3, suggesting a tendency for higher s k i l l e d gymnasts to have smaller girth measurements, in these v a r i a b l e s , than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts. These r e s u l t s , especially those noted for the relaxed arm and c a l f g i r t h s , are in the opposite direction to the expected trend, and no tendencies concerning the flexed arm and forearm g i r t h s , and gymnastic were found, in contradiction to what was expected.  It  ability  is possible that,  similar to the thigh girth r e s u l t , the "muscular" g i r t h differences of the relaxed arm, flexed arm, forearm, and c a l f girths were obscured by the subcutaneous fat plus skin layer.  Furthermore, lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts in  comparison to higher s k i l l e d gymnasts consistently have larger mean t r i c e p s , subscapular, s u p r a i l i a c , abdominal, and medial c a l f s k i n f o l d s . measurements were not "corrected" for skinfold thickness, i t  Since girth  is suspected  that this former group has larger "absolute" g i r t h s , comprised of smaller  170  "muscle" girths r e l a t i v e to larger subcutaneous fat l a y e r s , than the l a t t e r group. Proportional assessments of the g i r t h measurements, especially • with respect to height, would more graphically identify shape differences among the a b i l i t y groups.  Such an assessment would also have developmental  implications, since during growth and maturity the head, waist, and c a l f girths become progressively smaller in proportion to height (Behnke & Wilmore, 1974:84-85). It 1+2+3  should be noted that the head g i r t h difference between Group  and Group 4, with the former group having a smaller mean than the  l a t t e r , was approaching s i g n i f i c a n c e .  This difference may be attributable  to the thickness of the h a i r , since this measure encompasses the hair as well as the s k u l l .  This difference may also indicate a developmental  difference between the two groups since during the adolescent growth spurt: the head diameters, p r a c t i c a l l y dormant since a few years after b i r t h , accelerate somewhat in most i n d i v i d u a l s . (Tanner, 1962:10) Furthermore, in general, the circumference of the head in r e l a t i o n to height becomes progressively smaller with growth and maturity  (Medawar,  1945;  Ross, 1980). Proportionally large w r i s t , ankle, and chest g i r t h s , in addition to having developmental implications, may also r e f l e c t the effects of exercise in developing these areas. In comparison to gymnasts of similar a b i l i t y described in the l i t e r a t u r e ,  (Olympic gymnasts)  both the national e l i t e and the pre-national  e l i t e gymnasts in the present study have smaller mean relaxed arm (Novak et a l . , 1977; Ross, 1980), flexed arm (Novak et a l . , 1977; Ross, 1980),  171  forearm (Novak et a l . , 1977; Ross, 1980), wrist (Ross, 1980), chest (Ross, 1980), waist (Ross, 1980), and c a l f girths (Novak et a l . , 1977; Ross, 1980). In comparison to highly s k i l l e d gymnasts described by Nelson (1974), the competitive gymnasts in the present study have a smaller mean relaxed arm, forearm, chest, c a l f , and ankle g i r t h ; a similar mean wrist and head g i r t h ; and a larger mean waist g i r t h . gymnasts described by Novak et a l .  In comparison to the  (1973), the competitive gymnasts have a  smaller mean relaxed arm g i r t h ; a larger mean flexed arm, forearm, and chest g i r t h ; and a similar mean c a l f g i r t h .  In comparison to Sinning and Lindberg's  gymnasts (1972), the competitive gymnasts have a larger mean relaxed arm and waist g i r t h ; a similar mean flexed arm, forearm, w r i s t , and a smaller mean c a l f g i r t h .  neck, and ankle g i r t h ;  In comparison to the highly s k i l l e d gymnasts  of Pool et a l . ' s study (1969), the competitive gymnasts have a smaller mean relaxed arm and c a l f  IV  girth.  Skinfold Thickness Measures It  is well established that exercise has the effect of reducing  the thickness of the subcutaneous fat layer (Johnson, 1969; Parizkova & Poupa, 1963; Smit, 1973; Well, J o k l , & Bohranen, 1963); and Smit (1973: 480)  noted that; "the skinfolds of gymnasts decreased as their hours of  a c t i v i t y per week increased".  Furthermore, exercise has also been noted  to "check" or maintain the level of fat in growing adolescence, so that as growth proceeds, the skinfold thickness measures remain r e l a t i v e l y (Parizkova, 1959).  constant  For these reasons, i t was expected that highly s k i l l e d  gymnasts, involved in frequent and rigorous t r a i n i n g , would display smaller skinfold thickness measures than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts, involved in comparatively fewer hours of concentrated  activity.  172  T r i c e p s , subscapular, s u p r a i l i a c , abdominal, front thigh, and medial c a l f skinfold thickness measures. A tendency for Olympic gymnasts to have smaller s u p r a i l i a c (Novak et a l . , 1973, al.,  1977; Ross, 1980)  and abdominal skinfolds (Novak  1973; 1977; Ross, 1980; Smit, 1973; Youngren, 1969)  s k i l l e d gymnasts was evident in an inter-study ability  et  than highly  comparison of these two  levels. A tendency for Olympic gymnasts (Novak et a l . , 1977; Ross,  1980)  to have a larger triceps skinfold than highly s k i l l e d gymnasts (Novak et al.,  1973; Pool et a l . , 1969; Smit, 1973; Youngren, 1969)  an inter-study comparison of these two a b i l i t y  was evident  in  levels.  Trends concerning the subscapular (Novak et a l . , 1973,  1977;  Pool et a l . , 1969; Ross, 1980; Smit, 1973), front thigh (Novak et a l . ,  1973,  1977; Ross, 1980; Youngren, 1969), and medial c a l f skinfolds (Novak et a l . , 1973, 1977; Ross, 1980), and gymnastic a b i l i t y were not evident in an i n t e r study comparison of Olympic and highly s k i l l e d gymnasts.  Although i t was  expected that the Olympic gymnasts would consistently have smaller skinfold thicknesses than highly s k i l l e d gymnasts, these results are not surprising in view of the findings of Wilmore et a l .  (1970a, 1970b) and Zwiren et a l .  (1973), in that skinfold measurements were found to be b a s i c a l l y unsound in assessing changes in body fat with exercise.  Furthermore, Young et a l .  (1964, cited in Shephard et a l . , 1969:1185) noted that the triceps skinfold did not correlate well with obesity.  It  should also be noted that trends  concerning skinfold thickness and a b i l i t y ,  in the inter-study comparisons,  may have been masked by variations in the landmark s i t e at which the measurement was taken.  Ross (1980) takes the s u p r a i l i a c skinfold measurement  approximately f i v e to seven centimeters  superior to the i l i o s p i n a l e , while  173  Novak et a l .  (1973, 1977)  takes this measurement at the i l i a c  crest.  Techniques and landmark points for the skinfold measurements were not " specified in the majority of the studies reviewed. A l l of the skinfold thickness measures, the t r i c e p s , subscapular, s u p r a i l i a c , abdominal, front thigh, and medial c a l f , were found to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller in Group 1 + 2 + 3 in comparison to Group 4, as was expected.  Similarly a l l of the skinfold thickness measures, with the  exception of the subscapular s k i n f o l d , were s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller in Group 1 + 2 in comparison to Group 3.  However, even the subscapular  skinfold was smaller in Group 1 + 2 in comparison to Group 3, with the skinfold difference for this contrast approaching s i g n i f i c a n c e . differences indicate a d e f i n i t e  These  trend towards smaller skinfold thickness  measurements for highly s k i l l e d in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts. None of the skinfold thickness measures, the t r i c e p s , subscapular, s u p r a i l i a c , abdominal, front thigh, or medial c a l f , was s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t in Group 1 in comparison to Group 2.  This result is not  surprising in view of the fact that these groups are very close in  ability,  and are assumed to have training programs of similar intensity and frequency.  Furthermore, this r e s u l t is in agreement with those results  reported by Pool et a l .  (1969) and Youngren (1969), in which higher placing  gymnasts did not have s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t skinfolds than lower placing gymnasts.  However, the "tendency" for higher placing gymnasts to have smaller  skinfold thickness measures than lower placing gymnasts, noted in these two studies, was not evident in the present comparison of national pre-national  e l i t e and  e l i t e gymnasts.  In comparison to the Olympic gymnasts described by Novak et a l . (1977) and Ross (1980) both the national  e l i t e and the pre-national  elite  174  gymnasts in the present study have a smaller mean t r i c e p s , subscapular, s u p r a i l i a c , abdominal, front thigh, and medial c a l f s k i n f o l d . In comparison to the highly s k i l l e d gymnasts described by Novak et a l .  (1973), the competitive gymnasts in the present study have a larger  mean t r i c e p s , subscapular, medial c a l f , and front thigh s k i n f o l d ; a similar mean abdominal s k i n f o l d ; and a smaller mean s u p r a i l i a c s k i n f o l d .  In compar-  ison to the gymnasts of Smit's study (1973), the competitive gymnasts have a similar mean triceps s k i n f o l d , and a smaller mean subscapular and abdominal skinfold.  In comparison to the gymnasts described by Youngren (1969), the  competitive gymnasts have a similar mean triceps and front thigh s k i n f o l d , and a smaller mean abdominal s k i n f o l d . measured by Pool et a l .  In comparison to the gymnasts  (1969), the competitive gymnasts have a larger mean  triceps and subscapular s k i n f o l d .  V  Weight and Proportional Mass Measures Practical and workable anthropometric equations for  fractionating  the body mass into muscular, s k e l e t a l , r e s i d u a l , and fat components have just recently been presented (Behnke & Wilmore, 1974; Drinkwater & Ross, in Ostyn et a l . , 1980:177).  As a r e s u l t , there were few studies located  referring to "muscular, s k e l e t a l , and residual masses" distinguishable from a lean body mass. Since exercise tends to reduce the fat  "content" of the body as  i t encourages the "deposition" of muscle tissue (Parizkova,  1959;  Parizkova  & Poupa, 1963), higher s k i l l e d gymnasts were expected to possess a smaller "proportional" fat mass, in r e l a t i o n to a larger "proportional" muscle mass, than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts. It was expected that higher s k i l l e d gymnasts would be shorter in  175  stature, and have generally smaller skeletal  and girth dimensions, as well  as smaller skinfold thicknesses,than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts.  Therefore,  i t was speculated that these differences would be reflected in smaller "absolute" f a t ,  s k e l e t a l , muscular, and residual masses f o r higher s k i l l e d  in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts.  However, i n .proportional  terms,  due to the expected smaller "proportional"  (percent) fat mass of the higher  s k i l l e d , in comparison to the lesser s k i l l e d gymnast, there would thus be a larger proportion '.of the body mass due to the other three mass components. Therefore, differences in the "proportional" s k e l e t a l , muscle, and residual masses among the a b i l i t y  groups were expected to emerge, with higher s k i l l e d  gymnasts having larger "proportional" muscle, s k e l e t a l , and residual masses than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts.  Furthermore, these differences were expected  to be the direct result of a smaller proportional  fat mass in the higher  s k i l l e d , in comparison to the lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts.  It  should also be  emphasized that the "proportional masses" incorporated a "calculated" mass, which is the sum of the four fractional  masses, in their d e r i v a t i o n , and  not the d i r e c t l y measured scale weight.  Weight.  A trend concerning weight and gymnastic a b i l i t y was not  evident in an inter-study comparison of Olympic (De Garay et a l . , Hirata, al.,  1966; Montpetit,  1974;  in Salmela, 1976:187; Novak et a l . , 1977; Pool et  1969; Ross, 1980), highly s k i l l e d (Carter, 1970; Nelson, 1974; Novak  et a l . , 1973; Pool et a l . , 1969; Sinning & Lindberg, 1972; Smit, Sprynarova & Parizkova, 1969; Youngren, 1969), and recreational (Pool et a l . , 1969).  However, in comparison to appropriate  1973; gymnasts  reference  populations, the gymnasts described by Carter (1970), Sinning and Lindberg (1972), and Smit (1973) were reported to be l i g h t e r  in weight, and the  176  Sinning and Lindberg gymnasts were s i g n i f i c a n t l y l i g h t e r .  On the other  hand, the highly s k i l l e d gymnasts of Nelson's study (1974) were found to be similar in weight to an appropriate reference population of females, to whom they were compared. S i g n i f i c a n t differences in weight among national national  elite,  elite,  pre-  and lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts were not expected,  based on the observation that e l i t e and highly s k i l l e d gymnasts, in general, "appear" l i g h t in weight.  It  also appears that a r e l a t i v e l y  l i g h t weight is  a prerequisite for successful participation at these l e v e l s .  Highly s k i l l e d  gymnasts were expected to possess a low "proportional" fat mass in  relation  to a high "proportional" lean body mass (muscle, s k e l e t a l , and residual masses), while lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts were expected to possess a higher "proportional" fat mass in relation  to their proportional  lean body mass.  These differences were expected as a product of the varying degrees of exercise involvement of the groups.  However, since adipose tissue is less  dense than muscle tissue (Behnke & Wilmore, 1974), and since "the bones of athletes  become considerably heavier than those of non-athletes"  (Guyton,  1976:1060), i t was conjectured that the compositional differences among.the a b i l i t y groups would cancel weight differences, and "absolute" weight would thus show no difference. It was expected that national  elite,  pre-national  elite,  and  lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts, taken together, would have a s i g n i f i cantly l i g h t e r mean body weight than recreational  gymnasts.  This speculat-  ion was based on the assumption that the higher s k i l l e d gymnasts would be smaller in height.and overall  skeletal  dimensions (indicating  less absolute  skeletal weight), and possess smaller skinfold thickness values  (indicating  -less absolute fat weight) and smaller girth measures (indicating  less  177  absolute muscle weight), than the recreational  gymnasts.  Furthermore,  was speculated that the "absolute" muscle mass (but not the muscle mass) would be less in the higher a b i l i t y overall  smallness in skeletal  it  proportional  group, due to their  general  dimensions, which according to Behnke (1963,  cited in Behnke & Royce, 1966:76) would indicate a smaller muscle mass since, a s p e c i f i c amount of lean body mass is associated with a given skeletal  size. Although Group 1 + 2 + 3  (4.1  has a smaller mean weight than Group 4  kg), Group 1 + 2 a smaller mean weight than Group 3 (4,8  Group 1 a smaller mean weight than Group 2 (0.4 not s i g n i f i c a n t . between Group 1 + 2  It  kg), and  kg), these differences were  should be noted however, that the difference in weight and Group 3 was approaching s i g n i f i c a n c e .  These  differences indicate a trend towards lightness in weight for higher s k i l l e d in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts.  These r e s u l t s , and especially  the non-significant weight difference noted between Group 1 and Group 2, 1  are in agreement with the results of Pool et a l . ' s study (1969), in that higher placing gymnasts tended to weigh less than lower placing gymnasts, but not s i g n i f i c a n t l y so. Although these results are not as expected, they are not " surprising in view of the fact that the anthropometric indicants of weight differences, height, and most of the other skeletal  dimensions, as well as  a l l of the girth measures, with the exception of the thigh g i r t h , were not s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t among the a b i l i t y  groups.  Differences in these  v a r i a b l e s , among the a b i l i t y  groups, were not of s u f f i c i e n t magnitude to  affect  However, since there was a tendency for  the weight measures.  higher s k i l l e d gymnasts to be both shorter and l i g h t e r than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts, perhaps a ponderal index (height-to-weight) comparison, among  178  the a b i l i t y groups, would be a more meaningful comparison. The non-significant weight difference between Group 1 + 2 + 3 , and Group 4, may be a r e f l e c t i o n of club "attitudes". recreational  In clubs where the  level i s viewed as a "base" for the competitive program,  participants are often pre-selected on lightness in weight, among other v a r i a b l e s , for inclusion in the recreational program. In comparison to gymnasts of s i m i l a r a b i l i t y  (Olympic gymnasts)  described in the l i t e r a t u r e (De Garay et a l . , 1974; H i r a t a , 1966; Montpetit, in Salmela, 1976:187; Novak et a l . , 1977; Pool et a l . , 1969; Ross, 1980), both the national e l i t e and the pre-national e l i t e gymnasts in the present study have smaller mean weights. In comparison to gymnasts of s i m i l a r a b i l i t y  (highly s k i l l e d  gymnasts) described by Carter (1970), Nelson (1974), Pool et a l . (1969), Sinning and Lindberg (1972), Smit (1973), Sprynarova and Parizkova (1969), and Youngren (1969), the competitive gymnasts in the present study have a smaller mean weight.  However, in comparison to the highly s k i l l e d gymnasts  described by Novak et a l . (1973), the competitive gymnasts have a larger mean weight. In comparison to the recreational gymnasts referred to in Pool et a l . ' s study (1969), the recreational gymnasts in the present study have a smaller mean weight.  Proportional f a t mass.  A tendency for Olympic gymnasts to have  a smaller percent fat mass (Novak et a l . , 1977; Ross, 1980) than highly s k i l l e d gymnasts (Novak et a l . , 1973; Sinning & Lindberg, 1972; Sprynarova & Parizkova, 1969), was evident in an inter-study comparison of these two ability  levels.  179  The proportional fat mass was s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller in Group 1 + 2 + 3 in comparison to Group 4, and in Group 1 + 2 in comparison to Group 3, as expected.  The non-significant proportional fat mass difference  between Group 1 and Group 2 was also expected, due to the r e l a t i v e closeness of the two groups, in training intensity and regime in general.  These  results suggest a trend towards smallness in proportional fat mass in higher s k i l l e d gymnasts in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts. While these results may r e f l e c t the effects of exercise in reducing the fat "content" of the body, they may also have developmental implications, especially since s i g n i f i c a n t differences in maturity were also reported for these contrasts.  Around the time of puberty there are  marked changes in the composition of the female body, with a noted increase in the fat "content" (Edwards, 1951; Parizkova, 1959; Reynolds, 1950). gymnasts that are further advanced in maturity, would l i k e l y exhibit  Those  this  increase to a greater extent than those gymnasts who are less mature. Furthermore, in the present study, lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts in comparison to higher s k i l l e d gymnasts were s i g n i f i c a n t l y more mature, and also had s i g n i f i c a n t l y larger proportional fat masses. Since the proportional fat mass value (also referred to as the percent fat mass value) .varies considerably with the derivative  equation  used (Damon & Goldman, 1964; Malina, 1969b; Steinkamp e t a l . , 1965, as cited in Malina, 1969b: 19),  it  is with much reservation that the percent fat mass  values in the present study are compared with those reported in the Keeping this point in view, i t  literature.  is noted that in comparison to the Olympic  gymnasts described by Novak et a l . (1977) and Ross (1980), both the national e l i t e and the pre-national mean proportional fat mass.  e l i t e gymnasts in the present study have a smaller This l a t t e r study employed the same equations as  180  the present study, in the calculation of proportional  f a t mass.  In comparison to the highly s k i l l e d gymnasts described by Novak et a l . (1973), Sinning and Lindberg (1972), and Sprynarova and Parizkova (1969), the competitive gymnasts in the present study have a smaller proportional  f a t mass.  Proportional significantly  muscle mass.  The proportional  larger in Group 1 + 2 + 3 in comparison to Group 4, and in  Group 1 + 2 in comparison to Group 3, as expected. proportional  muscle mass was  muscle mass difference  The non-significant  between Group 1 and Group 2 was also  expected, due to the r e l a t i v e closeness of the two groups in a b i l i t y and in training  regime.  These results suggest a trend towards larger proport- ..  ional muscle masses in higher s k i l l e d in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts, and generally r e f l e c t the e f f e c t of exercise in developing the muscular component of the body. The proportional  muscle mass value was derived from height,  "calculated" body weight, skinfold thickness, and girth measures.  Of these  measures, only the skinfold thicknesses and the thigh girth were, found to.be s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller in higher s k i l l e d in comparison to recreational gymnasts.  However, calculation of the proportional  muscle mass measure  incorporated muscle girths "corrected" for the subcutaneous f a t Furthermore, while larger girths  layer.  indicated larger "absolute" muscle masses  for lesser s k i l l e d in comparison to higher s k i l l e d  gymnasts/"corrected"  g i r t h s , led to smaller "proportional" muscle masses for the lesser s k i l l e d in comparison to the higher s k i l l e d gymnasts. In comparison to the Olympic gymnasts described by Ross (1980), both the national  e l i t e and the pre-national  e l i t e gymnasts in the present  181  study have similar mean proportional muscle masses.  This study employed  the same equation as the present study, in the calculation of proportional muscle mass.  Proportional skeletal mass.  The proportional  skeletal mass was  s i g n i f i c a n t l y larger in Group 1 + 2 in comparison to Group 3. Group 1 + 2 + 3  has a larger mean proportional  Although  skeletal mass than Group 4,  and Group 1 a larger mean mass than Group 2, these differences were not significant.  However, these results do indicate a tendency for higher  s k i l l e d gymnasts to have larger proportional  skeletal masses than lesser  s k i l l e d gymnasts. The proportional  skeletal mass value was derived from height,  "calculated" body weight, wrist and ankle g i r t h s , and bi-epicondylar humerus and femur widths.  Of these measures, only the bi-epicondylar femur  width was s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller in higher s k i l l e d in comparison to recreational  gymnasts.  While these results may indicate a smaller "absolute"  skeletal mass, they do not simultaneously indicate a smaller skeletal mass.  "proportional"  The fact that there was a s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller  proportional  fat mass in higher s k i l l e d in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts, indicates that "automatically"  the other mass components would have larger  weightings, with respect to the "calculated" weight.  Thus, the  skeletal mass measure has emerged as having a s i g n i f i c a n t l y  proportional proportional  larger  contribution to the "calculated" weight in higher s k i l l e d in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts. In comparison to the Olympic gymnasts described by Ross (1980), both the national e l i t e and the pre-national study have larger mean proportional  e l i t e gymnasts in the present  skeletal masses.  This study employed  182  the same equations as the present study, in the calculation of proportional skeletal mass.  Proportional residual mass.  Although Group 1 + 2 + 3  has a  larger mean proportional residual mass than Group 4, Group 1 + 2 a larger mean mass than Group 3, and Group 1 a smaller mean than Group 2, these . differences were not s i g n i f i c a n t . between Group 1 + 2 + 3  However, the residual mass difference  and Group 4 was approaching s i g n i f i c a n c e .  Furthermore, these results suggest a tendency for higher s k i l l e d gymnasts to have larger proportional residual masses than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts. The proportional residual mass was derived from height, the biacromial and b i i l i o c r i s t a l  breadths, the transverse chest width, and the  anterior-posterior ,chest depth.  Of these measures, only the anterior-  posterior chest depth was s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller in Group 1 in comparison to Group 2.  Considering these r e s u l t s , i t i s not surprising that the  proportional residual mass measures did not d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y for any of the contrasts. In comparison to the Olympic gymnasts described by Ross (1980), the national e l i t e gymnasts have a similar mean proportional residual mass, and the pre-national residual mass.  e l i t e gymnasts have a larger mean proportional  This study employed the same equations as the present study,  in the calculation of proportional residual mass.  183  MATURITY-ANTHROPOMETRTC RELATIONSHIP Because s i g n i f i c a n t differences in maturity were found among the a b i l i t y groups, i t was expected that these maturational  differences would  also be r e f l e c t e d in the anthropometric c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , since maturity and morphology are so c l o s e l y r e l a t e d ( F r i s c h & McArthur, 1974; F r i s c h & R e v e l l e , 1970, 1971; Garn & H a s k e l l , 1960; Johnston et a l . , 1971; Maresh, 1972; McNeill & L i v s o n , 1963; Reynolds, 1950). While absolute values of the anthropometric v a r i a b l e s i n d i c a t e q u a n t i t a t i v e growth, proportional developmental growth.  values more g r a p h i c a l l y  reflect  In the present study, a l l anthropometric v a r i a b l e s ,  with the exception of the proportional mass measures, were assessed in terms of t h e i r absolute values o n l y .  While anthropometric differences among the  gymnastic a b i l i t y groups were found, i t was not possible to maturational  developments from these d i f f e r e n c e s .  It  infer  i s possible however,  to impl i c a t e maturational  developments from proportional  differences.'  Furthermore, proportional  assessments are concerned with shape and not  amount, and therefore quantity i s not confused with representing a mature physique, as may e a s i l y occur when maturity i s implied from absolute values alone. The maturity-anthropometric  r e l a t i o n s h i p i s i l l u s t r a t e d by Ross  and Wilson (1974) i n a shape comparison between a pre-pubescent and a postpubescent female.  Using anthropometric variables p r o p o r t i o n a l l y adjusted to  a standard height, the pre-pubescent female in contrast to the post-pubescent female, has a shorter trunk length and a longer t o t a l leg l e n g t h , comprised of a longer lower leg and thigh l e n g t h .  These r e s u l t s are i n t e r e s t i n g  view of the findings noted in the present study.  in  Highly s k i l l e d gymnasts  in comparison to l e s s e r s k i l l e d gymnasts were found to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y  184  delayed in maturity  (Group 1 + 2 + 3  vs  Group 4, Group 1 + 2  vs  Group 3 ) ,  and anthropometrics!ly, were s i g n i f i c a n t l y shorter in trunk length (Group 1+2+3  vs  Group 4, Group 1 + 2  and thigh length (Group 1  vs  vs  Group 3, Group 1  vs  Group 2 ) ,  Group 2 ) , while s i g n i f i c a n t differences in  height were not found. From the discussion of the anthropometric v a r i a b l e s , i t i s evident that further analysis with respect to proportional assessments, is necessary to e x p l i c i t l y i l l u s t r a t e ability  levels.  shape differences among gymnasts from varying  Furthermore, such analysis i s necessary before anthropometric  variables can be closely associated with maturational  status.  185  CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS  SUMMARY Fame for female gymnasts is often s h o r t - l i v e d , with many highly s k i l l e d gymnasts dropping out of e l i t e c a l i b e r competitions during, or soon after adolescence.  Many of today's e l i t e female gymnasts are in the age  range when normal pubertal  developments, such as increases in weight,  height,  adiposity, and dimensions in general, are expected to occur. The recent trend towards younger participation at e l i t e gymnastic competitions, coupled with an increasing display of movement perfection and task complexity, seems to indicate that female gymnasts are reaching prime, or "peaking" at younger ages.  their  This trend also suggests the p o s s i b i l -  i t y that important relationships exist among maturational  status,  anthro-  pometric c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , and success in gymnastic performance. It was the purpose of this study to investigate  the p o s s i b i l i t y  that success in gymnastics is related to the concept of maturity and anthropometric c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . be s i g n i f i c a n t maturational  Furthermore, i t was hypothesized that there would (skeletal age in reference to chronological age;  incidence of menarche) and anthropometric differences  (height and length  measures; width, breadth, and depth measures; girth measures; skinfold thickness measures; weight and proportional mass measures) among national elite,  pre-national  gymnasts.  elite,  lesser s k i l l e d competitive and recreational  186  Sixty-nine Canadian female gymnasts, ages 11.5 to 18.0 years, with a b i l i t y levels ranging from recreational were participants were i d e n t i f i e d  in the study.  through to national  Performance levels and research groups  as; Group 1, National  E l i t e Gymnasts; Group 2,  E l i t e Gymnasts; Group 3, Competitive Gymnasts; and Group 4, Gymnasts.  elite,  A l l available subjects were participants  Pre-National  Recreational  in Groups 1 and 2, while  subjects were randomly selected to represent Groups 3 and 4. Maturational assessment for each subject consisted of a skeletal age r a t i n g , based on a radiographic photo of the l e f t hand and w r i s t , and an indication that menarche had, or had not occurred. Anthropometric assessment consisted of 39 selected variables. S p e c i f i c a l l y , 11 height and length; 6 breadth, width, and depth; 11 g i r t h ; 6 skinfold thickness; 1 weight and 4 proportional  mass measures were  evaluated. In a l l  statistical  analyses the following preplanned  contrasts were used; Group 1 + 2 + 3 and Group 1  vs  Group 2.  vs  Group 4, Group 1 + 2  The chronological age minus skeletal  orthogonal vs  Group 3,  age d i f f e r -  ence, when compared between groups, was assessed using analysis of variance. The incidence of menarche difference chi-square a n a l y s i s .  The anthropometric  multivariate and univariate as the covariate.  between groups was assessed using differences were assessed using  analysis of covariance, using chronological age  The level of significance for a l l  statistical  tests was  set at p < .01. The results of the s t a t i s t i c a l  tests indicated that the two  maturational hypotheses, and the f i v e anthropometric p a r t i a l l y supported.  hypotheses were  More s p e c i f i c a l l y , at a level of significance of  p < .01, the following results were noted.  187  Highly s k i l l e d gymnasts in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts (Group 1 + 2 + 3  vs  Group 4, Group 1 + 2  delayed both s k e l e t a l l y and menarcheally.  vs  Group 3) were maturationally  Anthropometrically, they were  shorter in trunk length; smaller in t r i c e p s , s u p r a i l i a c , abdominal, front thigh, and medial c a l f s k i n f o l d s ; smaller in proportional f a t mass and larger in proportional muscle mass. 1+2+3),  In a d d i t i o n , highly s k i l l e d gymnasts (Group  in comparison to recreational  gymnasts (Group 4 ) , were smaller  in bi-epicondylar femur width, thigh g i r t h , and subscapular s k i n f o l d . As w e l l , e l i t e gymnasts (Group 1 + 2 ) , i n comparison to lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts (Group 3 ) , were smaller in s i t t i n g height and larger in proportional skeletal mass. National e l i t e gymnasts (Group 1), in comparison to pre-national e l i t e gymnasts (Group 2 ) , were not maturationally d i f f e r e n t , menarcheally.  s k e l e t a l l y or  Anthropometrically, they were shorter in trunk length, longer  in thigh length, and smaller i n a n t e r i o r - p o s t e r i o r chest depth. The results of the maturational  assessment indicated that there  may be a relationship between gymnastic a b i l i t y and maturity,  with highly  s k i l l e d gymnasts being developmentally less mature than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts. The results of the anthropometric assessment indicated that there may be a relationship between gymnastic a b i l i t y and anthropometric  parameters.  It was suggested that the shorter s i t t i n g height, trunk and thigh lengths, observed in higher s k i l l e d in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts, provided s p e c i f i c biomechanical advantages in performing gymnastic-type movements. The smaller anterior-posterior chest depth, thigh g i r t h , and bi-epicondylar femur width, observed in higher s k i l l e d in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts, were considered to be r e f l e c t i o n s of the generally small physique  188  associated with biomechanical advantages for gymnastic-type movements. As well i t was considered that, due to the nature of the measurement, the anterior-posterior chest depth difference may have been a product of measurement  error.  The skinfold thickness, proportional  fat and muscle mass d i f f -  erences, among the a b i l i t y groups, were presumed related to differences in training regime, with higher s k i l l e d gymnasts involved in considerably more hours of intense training displaying smaller skinfold thickness values, a lower proportional fat mass, and a higher proportional muscle mass, than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts.  The larger proportional  skeletal  mass, observed in higher s k i l l e d in comparison to lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts, was attributed  to the low fat mass value of this former group, which  consequently led to a higher weighting of the skeletal mass, as well as of the other lean body mass components, when assessed in proportional terms of "calculated" total body weight. It  was conjectured that the differences noted, among the  ability  groups, in thigh and trunk length, s i t t i n g height, bi-epicondylar femur width, thigh g i r t h , and proportional fat mass, were r e f l e c t i o n s of maturational  differences.  However, i t was postulated that proportional analysis  of these v a r i a b l e s , in relation to height, would more c l o s e l y indicate developmental differences.  Furthermore, the s i g n i f i c a n t thigh and trunk -  length, and s i t t i n g height d i f f e r e n c e s , and the non-significant vertex standing height differences, suggested proportional differences among the a b i l i t y groups, in those segmental lengths comprising the vertex  standing  height measure. Since height and weight were not s i g n i f i c a n t l y different among the a b i l i t y groups, and since there was a tendency for higher s k i l l e d gymnasts to be shorter and l i g h t e r than lesser s k i l l e d gymnasts, i t was  189  speculated that a ponderal index comparison would be a meaningful  variable  to investigate. It was suggested that girth measurements "corrected" for the subcutaneous layer of fat plus s k i n , would be more appropriate in assessing muscular development at s p e c i f i c s i t e s . F i n a l l y , i t was proposed that further analysis of the anthropometric v a r i a b l e s , with respect to proportional assessments, would be meaningful in identifying shape differences among the a b i l i t y groups, and would more graphically i l l u s t r a t e maturity-anthropometric r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  CONCLUSIONS The two maturational  and the f i v e anthropometric hypotheses were  p a r t i a l l y supported at a level of significance of p < .01. maturational  Thus, there are  and anthropometric differences among national e l i t e ,  national e l i t e ,  pre-  lesser s k i l l e d competitive and recreational gymnasts.  More s p e c i f i c a l l y , at ;p < .01, the following results were noted: 1.  National e l i t e ,  pre-national e l i t e , and lesser s k i l l e d competitive  gymnasts, taken together, in comparison to recreational gymnasts, are maturationally delayed, both s k e l e t a l l y and menarcheally.  Anthropo-  m e t r i c a l l y , they are shorter in trunk length, smaller in bi-epicondylar femur width, thigh g i r t h , t r i c e p s , subscapular, s u p r a i l i a c , abdominal, front t h i g h , and medial c a l f s k i n f o l d s ; have a smaller proportional  fat  mass, and a larger proportional muscle mass. 2.  National e l i t e and pre-national e l i t e gymnasts, taken together,  in  comparison to lesser s k i l l e d competitive gymnasts, are maturationally delayed, both s k e l e t a l l y and menarcheally.  Anthropometrically, they  are shorter in s i t t i n g height and trunk length; smaller in t r i c e p s ,  190  s u p r a i l i a c , abdominal, front thigh, and medial c a l f s k i n f o l d s ; have a smaller proportional fat mass; and larger proportional muscle and skeletal masses. 3.  National e l i t e gymnasts, in comparison to pre-national are not maturationally  different,  e l i t e gymnasts,  s k e l e t a l l y or menarcheally.  Anthropometrically, they are shorter in trunk length, longer in thigh length, and smaller in anterior-posterior chest depth.  It  is both necessary and v i t a l  to the advancement of the sport of  gymnastics that coaches understand the relationships among anthropometric c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , maturity,  and performance, since the best performers may  not necessarily possess the potential  for future promise, and to select  teams on the grounds of present performance and physique alone is misleading, and may deter those with true potential  from p a r t i c i p a t i n g :  We wonder how much Canadian competitive talent is l o s t by f a i l u r e to recognize that youngsters with ideal physique c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s for these sports have a tendency to be late maturers. (Ross et a l . , in Taylor, 1976:277)  SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH There are many ways in which anthropometric and maturational can be observed and compared. gymnasts from varying a b i l i t y  The present study focused on comparing l e v e l s , on maturational  and anthropometric  parameters. It  data  i s proposed that conversion of the absolute anthropometric  values into proportional values, would result in the nascency of new information, that would be interpretable  in maturational  and possibly  191  biomechanical terms.  Furthermore, such assessments may aid in the  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of optimum body proportions f o r success in gymnastics. It would also be of interest to compare the values of the anthropometric variables-from each a b i l i t y group, with the s t a t i s t i c s from normative data, in order to identify the degree of deviation of the gymnastic populations from the norm.  Such comparisons would also offer  further  insights into the "uniqueness" of the female gymnast's physique. For example, recognizing that the present sample of gymnasts is comprised of females 11.5 to 18.0 years, with a mean age of 14.9 years, the anthropomet r i c s t a t i s t i c s of this population are compared with those of 14 year olds from a reference population described by Ross, Drinkwater, Whittingham, and Faulkner (in Berg & Erikson, 1980:3).  Compared with these 14 year o l d s ,  highly s k i l l e d gymnasts (Group 1 + 2 + 3 )  are at the 10th percentile f o r  height and the 20th percentile for weight; while recreational gymnasts (Group 4) are at the 20th percentile f o r height and the 45th percentile f o r weight.  These results indicate that while the gymnasts are comparatively  shorter in stature than the average 14 year o l d , they are heavier for their height i n comparison to those 14 year olds of the same height. the higher s k i l l e d gymnasts (Group 1 + 2 + 3 ) than the recreational gymnasts (Group 4 ) .  However,  are less heavy f o r their  height  Furthermore, this "heaviness" i s  probably due to muscular development and not excess adiposity s i n c e , muscular tissue is more dense than adipose tissue (Behnke & Wilmore, 1974), and exercise tends to encourage the "deposition" of muscle tissue (Smit, 1976) while i t discourages the "accumulation" of adipose tissue (Parizkova & Poupa, 1963).  The skinfold thickness values for these Groups further support this  contention. Most anthropometric and maturational  studies describing the female  192  gymnastic population have included only college aged gymnasts, and have been concerned with gymnasts from only one a b i l i t y l e v e l .  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Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 1973, 13(1), 213-218.  APPENDIX A  208  APPENDIX A  THE ABILITY OF THE DRINKWATER TACTIC* (ANTHROPOMETRIC FRACTIONATION OF BODY MASS) TO ESTIMATE OBSERVED BODY MASS IN THE PRESENT SAMPLE OF GYMNASTS  OBM  =  Obtained Body Mass = Scale Weight  PBM  =  Predicted Body Mass =  DIFF  =  (PBM - OBM) = Difference  % ERR =  DIFF OBM  Y A ;  1 n n  FAT MASS + MUSCLE MASS + SKELETAL MASS + RESIDUAL MASS  = % Error  i U U  Group 1  2  3  4  1+2  1+2+3  OBM  X  43.7  44.1  48.7  50.0  43.9  45.9  PBM  X  41.9  41.5  46.1  47.1  41.7  43.5  DIFF  X  -1.8  -2.6  -2.6  -2.9  -2.2  -2.4  % ERR  X  4.3  6.3  5.6  6.2  5.3  5.5  * Drinkwater & Ross,  1980  ro o  210  APPENDIX A CONTINUED  The Drinkwater  Tactic systematically underestimated obtained  body mass (scale weight) in the present sample of female gymnasts. The original  formulae (applied to the present sample) were based on  deviations from a unisex adult model, and i t  is hypothesized that the  s p e c i f i c anthropometric v a r i a b l e s , selected to represent the individual masses, do not r e f l e c t these masses in children as c l o s e l y as they do in adults.  

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