Body Composition and Morphological Limbs Asymmetry in Competitors in Six Martial Arts

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Lucia Mala; Tomas Maly; Lee Cabell; Pavol Cech; Mikulas Hank; Klara Coufalova & Frantisek Zahalka


SUMMARY: The aim of this study was to compare body composition (BC) and morphological symmetry differences among elite athletes (n = 132) in six martial arts (judo, karate, fencing, wrestling, taekwondo, kickboxing). Multivariate analysis of variances (MANOVA) was used to compare the following variables: absolute (FFM) and relative (FFM ) value of fat free mass, percentage of fat mass (FMp), bone mass, protein mass, basal metabolic rate, absolute (TBW) and percentual (TBWp) value of total body water, segmental proportion of muscle mass, phase angle, and percent-age differences between the upper and lower limbs. MANOVA revealed significant differences in BC among the groups (λ = 0.01, F = 10.01, p< 0.01, ηp2 = 0.67). No significant differences were observed for FM, 104,256 pFFM, and TBW (p>0.05). In all other BC variables, significant differences were detected (p<0.05). The comparison of paired differences between limbs revealed significantly greater fluid volume in the preferred arm compared to the non-preferred arm in karate and fencing athletes. Significant differences (p<0.05) in favour of the preferred leg in all combat athletes were detected. This study revealed morphological differences among practitioners of different martial arts and between paired limbs.

KEY WORDS: Combat sports; Morphological asymmetries; Elite athletes; Fat mass; Fat free mass.

How to cite this article

MALA, L.; MALY, T.; CABELL, L.; CECH, P; HANK, M.; COUFALOVA, K. & ZAHALKA, F. Body composition and morphological limbs asymmetry in competitors in six martial arts. Int. J. Morphol., 37(2):568-575, 2019.