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Anthropometric predispositions for swimming from the perspective of biomechanics

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Early identification of anthropological potential in swimmers is considered important to the recruitment and selection of children and adolescents to perform extensive and strenuous training. The aim of the research was a comparative analysis of the anthropometric parameters and indicators of adult, elite swimmers with people who had never trained for swimming. It was assumed that the specific characteristics of the swimmers’ somatic composition referred to the laws of swimming biomechanics. Methods: Anthropometric measurements were taken in a group of elite male swimmers (N = 28), aged 17–24. The same set of measurements was taken in a homogeneous control group of students of physical education. An anthropometric profile significantly differentiating swimmers from the control group was constructed. Next, a linear forward stepwise discriminant analysis was conducted to investigate which indices can be used to distinguish the two groups. Results: It seems significant that a specific somatic composition trait of swimmers in the form of a relatively long shank was observed, which had not been observed in earlier studies. Additionally, indices of relatively slim hand dimension, and indices describing a “reversed triangle” shape of trunk, were the most powerful discrimination variables between the two examined groups. Conclusion: The results obtained cannot be generalised to the entire population of swimmers, however referring them to the laws of biomechanics of swimming allows for the continuation of research into identifying the prognostic traits desirable for success among young swimmers.
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Bibliogr. 30 poz., rys., tab.
  • Academy of Physical Education, Department of Swimming, Wrocław, Poland
  • Land Forces Military Academy, Department of Physical Education and Sport, Wrocław, Poland
  • University of Technology and Humanities, Department of Marketing and Logistics, Radom, Poland
  • Academy of Physical Education, Department of Swimming, Wrocław, Poland
  • Department of Anthropology, Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Wrocław, Poland
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