Densiometric determination of body composition and anthropometric assessment of somatotype and skeletal diameters were obtained on 39 male and 67 female Junior Olympic swimmers to determine the extent to which specific traits characterized these elite adolescent performers when compared to adult competitors or other adolescent athletes and non-athletes. Comparisons of the male and female Junior Olympic swimmers with respective samples of adult competitors revealed the younger groups having lower levels of lean body weight, in spite of similar skeletal dimensions. Similar comparisons of somatotype revealed equivalent or slightly less mesomorphic characteristics in the Junior Olympians. When compared to elite adolescent runners, the Junior Olympic swimmers of either sex displayed larger biacromial diameters, body weight, fat weight, and relative fat levels. Differences between Junior Olympic swimmers and adolescent non-athletes were also noted with the former group tending to be taller, broader in biacromial diameter, heavier in body weight and lean body weight, but with only the female swimmers displaying lower levels of fatness. These results indicate that particular anthropometric traits distinguish elite adolescent swimmers from older competitors, adolescent athletes in other sports, and non-athletic peers.
Thorland, William G.; Johnson, Glen O.; Housh, Terry J.; and Refsell, Mark J.
"Anthropometric Characteristics of Elite Adolescent Competitive Swimmers,"
4, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol55/iss4/3