Skinfold Sum: Reference Values for Top Athletes

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Raul Garrido-Chamorro; José Enrique Sirvent-Belando; Marta González-Lorenzo; Cristina Blasco-Lafarga & Enrique Roche


Skinfold determinations from different body parts are occasionally used in prediction equations to calculate fatness. This is a critical parameter that conditions optimal sport performance. Reference values of skinfolds in top athletes do not exist. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to present skinfold reference values from a large population of athletes. Triceps, subscapular, suprailiac, abdominal, thigh and medial calf skinfolds were measured according to ISAK (International Society for Advancement of Kinanthropometry) norms in 2500 athletes. Six skinfold sums as well as partial sums from different body segments (upper, trunk and lower) were applied. Data show that the highest skinfold values were observed for thigh calf and abdominal, being the subscapular the lowest. Women presented higher skinfold values than men. Concerning partial sums, trunk and lower body segments presented the highest scores. Subjects practicing hockey, handball, indoor soccer, rowing, scuba diving and table tennis displayed the highest fat percents. In conclusion, fatty mass calculation in athletes should consider the six skinfold sum. In addition, body fat tends to be localized in the trunk and lower body segments in athletes and varies according to gender and sport discipline.

KEYWORDS: Anthropometry; Body fat; Skinfolds; Body segments; Sports.

How to cite this article

GARRIDO-CHAMORRO, R.; SIRVENT-BELANDO, J. E.; GONZÁLEZ-LORENZO, M.; BLASCO-LAFARGA, C. & ROCHE, E. Skinfold sum: reference values for top athletes. Int. J. Morphol., 30(3):803-809, 2012.