Anthropometric characteristics of elite female junior rowers

Posted in Rowing research, with 2 Comments

Bourgois et al. (2000, 2001) have made two studies based on the participants of 1997 World Junior Rowing Championships to assess their anthropometric characteristics. The first study was based on the profile of male rowers, the second one (summarized here) on female rowers.

Anthropometric characteristics of elite female junior rowersThe authors (2001) measured 27 body dimensions (body mass, 6 heights or lengths, 4 breadths, 10 girths and 6 skinfolds) in 220 female rowers of the above-mentioned competition. The sample represented 90% of the total participants, who represented 38 countries.

The elite female junior rowers were found to be taller, heavier, with greater length, breadth and girth dimensions, but lower skinfold thicknesses than a representative sample of Flemish (Belgian) girls of the same chronological age. Compared with scullers, sweep rowers were heavier and taller, with greater length, breadth (except for femur width) and girth dimensions (except for calf girth). Sweep rowers also had greater skinfold thicknesses (except for the thigh and calf skinfolds). Finalists of the races were heavier and taller, with greater length, breadth (except for femur width) and girth dimensions (except for calf girth) than non-finalists. No significant differences were found for skinfold thicknesses between finalists and non-finalists.

What to learn from this?

Differences in anthropometry exist between elite female junior rowers and their non-rowing counterparts, between sweep and scull rowers and between finalists and non-finalists. These data could be used for profiling junior female rowers in your club.

 

Table 1. Anthropometric profile of female junior rowers competing at the FISA Championships, Hazewinkel 1997, with percentiles (P) of the reference data to which means of rowers correspond, and reference medians for Flemish (Belgian) girls
Dimension Mean ± s Range Percentile Median
 Body mass (kg)  69.5 ± 6.2  52.8 ± 87.0  P93  55.8
 Height (cm)  174.5 ± 6.2  157.5 ± 191.7  P97  163.7
 Sitting height (cm)  90.8 ± 3.0  81.8 ± 97.8  P90  86.8
 Leg length (cm)  83.9 ± 4.3  70.0 ± 96.9  P93  76.8
 Arm length (cm)  76.0 ± 3.4  67.0 ± 85.0  -d  -d
 Biacromial diameter (cm)  37.6 ± 1.6  33.6 ± 41.2  P91  35.2
 Bicristal diameter (cm)  29.4 ± 1.7  25.1 ± 38.3  P99  27.0
 Humerus width (cm)  6.6 ± 0.3  5.7 ± 7.9  P97  6.0
 Femur width (cm)  9.3 ± 0.5  7.4 ± 10.8  P95  8.5
 Biceps girth (cm) a  29.0 ± 1.5  24.3 ± 33.5  P90  25.8
 Upper arm girth (cm) b  27.5 ± 1.6 22.5 ± 32.2  P90  24.4
 Forearm girth (cm)  25.3 ± 1.1 22.0 ± 28.5  P94  22.8
 Thigh girth (cm)  58.5 ± 3.0 50.3 ± 65.5  P85  53.8
 Calf girth (cm)  36.6 ± 1.7 32.4 ± 41.2  P85  33.8
 Biceps skinfold (mm)  6.7 ± 2.4 2.9 ± 16.7  P41  7.2
 Triceps skinfold (mm)  14.0 ± 3.3 7.1 ± 27.2  P40  15.4
 Subscapular skinfold (mm)  10.2 ± 2.7 6.4 ± 20.5  P48  10.8
 Suprailiac skinfold (mm)  9.4 ± 3.6 4.4 ± 24.7  P45  10.9
 Thigh skinfold (mm)  22.3 ± 5.1 8.7 ± 40.6  – d  – d
 Calf skinfold (mm) c  16.0 ± 4.6 7.1 ± 28.3  P47  16.6
a Maximum girth of the tensed upper arm (maximum flexed); b midway between acromium and olecranon, arm relaxed; c calf skinfold in the reference group is measured at the level of the triceps surae just below the popliteal area, and in the rowers on the medial side of the calf at the level of the maximum girth; d data not available.
Bourgois et al. 2001.

 

Table 2. Differences in body dimensions among female junior rowers by boat category: sweep rowers and scullers (mean ± s)
 Dimension  Sweep rowers (n = 108)  Scullers (n = 111)  P-value
 Body mass (kg)  71.6 ± 5.6  67.4 ± 6.1  <0.01
 Height (cm)  176.3 ± 5.4  173.5 ± 6.5  <0.01
 Sitting height (cm)  91.3 ± 2.9  90.3 ± 3.0  <0.05
 Leg length (cm)  85.0 ± 3.7  82.8 ± 4.5  <0.01
 Arm length (cm)  76.7 ± 3.1  75.2 ± 3.6  <0.01
 Biacromial diameter (cm)  37.8 ± 1.5  37.3 ± 1.6  <0.05
 Bicristal diameter (cm)  29.8 ± 1.4  29.0 ± 1.8  <0.01
 Humerus width (cm)  6.7 ± 0.3  6.5 ± 0.3  <0.01
 Biceps girth (cm) a  29.3 ± 1.4  28.7 ± 1.6  <0.01
 Upper arm girth (cm) b  27.8 ± 1.5  27.2 ± 1.7  <0.01
 Forearm girth (cm)  25.6 ± 1.0  25.5 ± 1.1  <0.01
 Thigh girth (cm)  59.1 ± 2.9  57.8 ± 2.9  <0.01
 Biceps skinfold (cm)  7.4 ± 2.6  6.1 ± 2.0  <0.01
 Triceps skinfold (cm)  14.5 ± 3.2  13.5 ± 3.3  <0.05
 Subscapular skinfold (cm)  10.5 ± 2.7  9.8 ± 2.5  <0.05
 Suprailiac skinfold (cm)  9.9 ± 3.7  8.8 ± 3.3  <0.05
a Maximum girth of the tensed upper arm (maximum flexed); b midway between acromium and olecranon, arm relaxed.
Bourgois et al. 2001.

 

Table 3. Differences in body dimensions among female junior rowers by performance: finalists and non-finalists (mean ± s)
Dimension Finalists (n = 112) Non-finalists (n = 94) P-value
 Body mass (kg)  71.3 ±5.9  67.7 ±6.1  <0.01
 Height (cm)  176.6 ±5.8  172.7 ±6.0  <0.01
 Sitting height (cm)  91.6 ±3.0  90.1 ±2.8  <0.01
 Leg length (cm)  85.1 ±3.9  82.6 ±4.3  <0.01
 Arm length (cm)  76.9 ±3.2  74.8 ±3.3  <0.01
 Biacromial diameter (cm)  37.9 ±1.6  37.2 ±1.5  <0.01
 Bicristal diameter (cm)  29.6 ±1.6  29.1 ±1.5  <0.01
 Humerus width (cm)  6.7 ±0.3  6.5 ±0.3  <0.01
 Biceps girth (cm) a  29.3 ±1.5  28.7 ±1.5  <0.01
 Upper arm girth (cm) b  27.8 ±1.6  27.3 ±1.6  <0.05
 Forearm girth (cm)  25.6 ±1.1  25.1 ±1.0  <0.01
 Thigh girth (cm)  59.2 ±2.6  57.8 ±3.0  <0.01
a Maximum girth of the tensed upper arm (maximum flexed); b midway between acromium and olecranon, arm relaxed.
Bourgois et al. 2001.

 

Table 4. Anthropometric profile chart for female junior rowers (n = 220)
Percentiles
 Dimension  5  10  25  50  75  90  95
 Body mass (kg)  59.0  61.4  64.9  70.0  73.3  77.1  79.7
 Height (cm)  164.8  166.6  170.6  175.2  178.5  182.8  184.7
 Sitting height (cm)  86.1  87.0  88.8  90.8  93.0  94.4  95.7
 Leg length (cm)  77.1  78.4  81.5  84.0  86.5  89.4  90.8
 Arm length (cm)  70.2  72.0  73.8  76.1  78.3  80.2  81.6
 Biacromial diameter (cm)  34.9  35.6  36.5  37.5  38.7  39.5  40.1
 Bicristal diameter (cm)  26.5  27.4  28.4  29.3  30.5  31.6  32.0
 Humerus width (cm)  6.1  6.2  6.4  6.6  6.8  7.0  7.1
 Femur width (cm)  8.5  8.8  9.0  9.3  9.6  9.9  10.1
 Biceps girth (cm)  26.4  27.0  28.0  29.0  29.9  30.8  31.5
 Upper arm girth (cm)  24.9  25.4  26.4  27.6  28.6  29.5  30.2
 Forearm girth (cm)  23.7  24.0  24.3  25.3  26.1  26.7  27.1
 Thigh girth (cm)  53.0  54.5  56.7  58.6  60.5  62.3  63.1
 Calf girth (cm)  33.8  34.4  35.5  36.6  37.8  38.6  39.2
 Biceps skinfold (mm)  3.7  4.2  5.0  6.4  7.7  10.4  11.8
 Triceps skinfold (mm)  8.8  10.1  11.6  13.6  16.2  18.6  19.7
 Subscapular skinfold (mm)  7.1  7.6  8.4  9.6  11.3  13.3  15.1
 Suprailiac skinfold (mm)  5.2  5.8  6.9  8.5  11.4  13.9  17.0
 Thigh skinfold (mm)  14.4  16.1  19.0  21.8  25.6  28.8  31.9
 Calf skinfold (mm)  9.2  10.5  12.4  15.6  19.2  22.6  24.4
Bourgois et al. 2001.

 

Source

Bourgois J, Claessens AL, Vrijens J, Philippaerts R, Van Renterghem B, Thomis M, Janssens M, Loos R, Lefevre J. Anthropometric characteristics of elite male junior rowers. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2000; 34: 213-217.

Bourgois J, Claessens AL, Janssens M, van Renterghem B, Loos R, Thomis M, Philippaerts R, Lefevre J, Vrijens J. Anthropometric characteristics of elite female junior rowers. Journal of Sports Sciences 2001; 19: 195-202.

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2 Comments

  1. Another analysis which would be interesting could be whether there was any difference between the small boats (single, double & pair) and the larger boats (quad & eight).

  2. Jaan Saks

    08.28.2013

    Hi Felicity, that would be an interesting topic indeed. Unfortunately we are not aware if that kind of research has been done. But we will keep our eyes open for that.