Anthropometric characteristics of young venezuelan swimmers according with biological maturity status


There is limited information available on the maturation of child and adolescent athletes, considering that maturation is a factor that can affect performance. This study evaluates the anthropometry of 115 male Venezuelan swimmers (aged 7-17), at differing stages of biological maturity. The procedures employed adhere to International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry guidelines. Tanner's stages of genital maturation (G1-5) were used to subdivide the sample into the three categories posited by Nicoletti: prepuberty (G1), initial puberty (G2-3) and advanced puberty (G4-5).. Forward stepwise discriminant analysis was performed, using increase in hit rate as the selection criterion. A total of 35 variables were evaluated, from which stretch stature, triceps skinfold, subscapular skinfold, calf girth, relaxed arm girth, body mass, forearm length and thigh length were selected. This set produced a high aggregate hit rate (87%) of original grouped cases. Two linear discriminant functions (LDF1 and LDF2) emerged: LDF1 is capable of discriminating between prepuberty and advanced puberty and consists of stretch stature, body mass, forearm length, thigh length, relaxed arm circumference and calf circumference. LDF2 differentiates initial puberty from the other groups. This second set of discriminant variables comprises triceps skinfold and calf circumference. Confidence intervals demonstrate that two variables for body size, two for subcutaneous fatness, two for skeletal robustness and two for relative muscularity suffice to guide coaches when placing young swimmers into categories that best approximate the variability of maturation. Only triceps and subscapular skinfolds exhibited overlapping intervals in the three categories.

Key words: adolescents, sexual maturation, swimmers, kinanthropometry, discriminant analysis.

Sociedad Latinoamericana de Nutrición - Capítulo Venezolano - RIF: J-30843129-0
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