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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1994 Dec;34(4):383-9.

Anthropometric and somatotype variables related to strength in American football players.

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Human Performance Laboratory, Brighton University, Eastbourne, UK.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in somatotype, % fat, and strength in relation to body mass of two groups of American football players. One hundred and forty-three football players (85 high school and 58 college) were classified into five weight groups (< 73 kg, 73-82 kg, 83-91 kg, 91-100 kg, > 100 kg). Body composition was estimated from skinfold, and somatotype was determined using the Heath-Carter method. Strength was measured from one-repetition maximum (1-RM) lifts in the bench press and deadlift. Most of the somatotypes were dominant mesomorphs for the high school player and endomesomorphs for the college player. The weight groups in both the high school and college footballer showed significant differences in % fat, somatotype, and strength measures between the lower and higher weight categories. Weight was a greater factor dictating strength in either lift in the high school player than in the college player. A higher mesomorphic component was a more important factor determining strength in the college player while a lower ectomorphic component contributed more in the high school player. The proportion of the variance accounted for by regression equations for the bench press and deadlift was 17% to 41% in the high school player and 35% to 61% in the college player. Although football requires a large individual at certain positions, the question remains concerning overall size versus muscularity to achieve a superior performance level.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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