Growth velocity and final height in elite female rhythmic and artistic gymnasts
The aim of this study was to determine the impact of intensive training on adult final height in elite female rhythmic and artistic gymnasts.
The study included 215 rhythmic gymnasts (RG) and 113 artistic gymnasts (AG).
AG were below the 50th percentile, while RG were taller than average. Final adult height was lower than target height in AG, while in RG, it exceeded target height. AG started training earlier than RG (p<0.001) and reported lower intensity of training (p<0.001). RG were taller than AG, with higher target height, greater final height-target height and lower body fat and BMI (p<0.001). Using multiple regression analysis, the main factors influencing final height were weight SDS (p<0.001), target height SDS (p<0.001) and age of menarche (p<0.001) for RG, and weight SDS (p<0.001) and target height SDS (p<0.001) for AG.
In both elite female RG and AG, genetic predisposition to final height was not disrupted and remained the main force of growth. Although in elite RG genetic predisposition for growth was fully preserved, in elite female AG final adult height falls shorter than genetically determined target height, though within the standard error of prediction.
Key wordsAdult height Artistic gymnasts Athletes Final height Growth Growth velocity Gymnastics Rhythmic gymnasts
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