Die antropometriese sprong- en vloeritem-prestasiedeterminante van jong dogtergimnaste
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Although the available literature mentions a variety of anthropometric performance determinants for gymnastics, no one has until now made an attempt to determine the performance determinants of more advanced, young, South African (SA), female gymnasts. The purposes of this study were, therefore, firstly to determine the anthropometric variables that differ significantly (p ≤ 0,05) between successful and less successful young, SA, female gymnasts in the vault and floor item and secondly, to determine the anthropometric variables that contribute to the performance of young, SA, female gymnasts in the vault and floor item. Twelve young, female gymnasts (13,39 ± 2,14 years) from a gymnastics club in the North-West Province of South Africa participated in this study. Only gymnasts who participated at level 6-9 and junior as well as senior olympic level were selected to participate in this study. Sixty one anthropometric variables were measured on the dominant side of the body according to the methods of Norton et al. (1996). Firstly, the descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations) of the gymnastics population were calculated. This was followed by an analysis which intended to arrange the gymnasts in a ranking order according to the vault and floor performances (marks) that were reached during the South African Gymnastics Championships. Due to differences in the participation level, data was normalised by making use of correction factors. Independent t-tests and effect sizes revealed that the gymnasts who obtained the highest marks (top 5) during the execution of the vault and floor item during the South African Gymnastics Championships had statistical and practical significantly (p ≤ 0,05) larger relaxed and flexed upper arm, wrist and ankle circumferences as well as mesomorph values than the less successful gymnasts. The cluster analysis-reduced variables were used to perform a forward, stepwise multiple regression analysis which showed that flexed upper arm (53,93%) and chest circumference (3,6996); midstillion dactillion (12,38%), trochanterion-tibia1 lateral (5,77%) and foot length (1 1,50%); fat percentage (8,93%), ectomorphy (1,96%), bideltoied breadth (1,54%), triceps skinfold (0,23%) and iliospinal box height (0,07%) contributed 100% to the variance in gymnasts' vault performances. Bi-trochanterion- (34,86%), femur- (17,07%) and bi-deltoied breadth (4,93%); front thigh skinfold (19,71%); fat percentage (7,68%); acromial-radial (4,09%) and foot length (0,05%) as well as waist- (6,68%), chest- (2,92%) and gluteal thigh circumference (2;02%) were the anthropometric variables which contributed 100% to the variance in gymnasts' floor performances. Flexed upper arm circumference, fat percentage, ectomorphy, iliospinal box height and bitrochanterion and femur breadth as well as gluteal thigh circumference and foot length were, however, the only anthropometric variables which contributed significantly to gymnasts' vault and floor performances, respectively. The conclusion that can, therefore, be drawn is that larger upper arm and upper body circumferences; hand, foot, upper and total leg lengths; triceps skinfolds, fat percentages and ectomorphy as well as larger limb and torso circumferences; waist breadths; fat percentages and front thigh skinfolds as well as upper arm and foot lengths are the respective, important anthropometric vaulting and floor performance determinants for young, South African, female gymnasts and should be included in the sport scientific testing protocols of gymnasts.
- Health Sciences