Anthropometric Characteristics, Body Composition and Somatotype of Elite Pan-American Race Walking 20K

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Espinoza-Navarro, O.; Lizana, P. A.2; Gómez-Bruton, A.; Brito-Hernández, L. & Lagos-Olivos C.


The anthropometric and somatotype evaluation is an essential tool in the selection and control of high-performan- ce athletes. The aim of this study was to describe the somatotype and body composition of male elite race walkers (20 k modality), and its relationship with athletic performance. Twenty-four race walkers participated in this study. The sample was divided into two groups: the race walkers with the best performance (upper 25 percentile; n=7) and the second group (n=17) that corresponds to the rest of the participants. Weight (kg), height (cm), seven skinfolds, two diameters and five perimeters were measured. Body fat percentage (BF%) were estimated with the Yuhasz formula, and the somatotype was used applying the Heath-Carter method. The best performing athletes were taller (178.3 ± 4.4 cm vs. 173.7 ± 5.6 cm, p <0.05) and showed a greater ectomorphic component (p<0.05) than the rest of the participants. The somatotype of the best performance athletes was 2.2-2.8-4.1 against the 2.5-3.8-2.9 of the lowest performing athletes. The average time (hours, minute, seconds) of execution of the race in athletes of better performances was 1:22:40, in comparison with the athletes of lower performances with 1:32:41 (p<0.02). The ectomorphic component and height are morphological characteristics that can determine athletic performance of race walkers. It is suggested to consider these factors in the selection of the race walkers.

KEY WORDS: Race walking; Somatotype; Ectomorphy; Athletics; Anthropometry.

How to cite this article

ESPINOZA-NAVARRO, O.; LIZANA, P. A.; GÓMEZ-BRUTON, A.; BRITO-HERNÁNDEZ, L. & LAGOS-OLIVOS, C. Anthropometric characteristics, body composition and somatotype of elite Pan-American race walking 20K. Int. J. Morphol., 37(4):1220- 1225, 2019.