Fat and Fat Distribution in Elite Rhythmic Gymnasts

  • Marie-José Borst
  • Willy Pieter
  • Nadeshda Yastrjembskaya


Contrary to artistic gymnastics, only a few studies exist on rhythmic gymnastics. Some Contrary of them have focused on body composition of these athletes, but none of them has included purpose fat patterning. The purpose of this study was to assess relative body fat and fat patterning in American elite rhythmic gymnasts (n = 16) and to compare pre-menarcheal (mean age ± SEM: 13.30 ± 0.30 year) and post-menarcheal athletes (15.67 ± 0.62 years) on age, height, weight, body fat and fat distribution. In addition to age, height and weight of the athletes, the following skinfolds were taken: triceps, subscapular, supraspinale, abdominal, front thigh and medial calf. Analysis of variance was used to determine the differences between the pre- and post-menarcheal athletes on age, height, body weight and sum of six skinfolds. The postmenarcheal gymnasts were older and heavier than their pre-menarcheal colleagues. No other differences were found, althoughh the post-menarcheal athletes also had a much higher sum of six skinfolds (55.00 versus 45.65 mm). A larger sample size may have shown the latter difference to be statistically significant as well. When compared to a combined sample of Olympic artistic gymnasts, the rhythmic gymnasts gymnasts had a lower sum of six skinfolds (49.16 versus 51.05mm) and a simalar fat patterning. However, the Olympic gymnasts were also older (17.93 versus 14.19 years ). The older rhythmic gymnasts clearly had more relative body fat than the.Olympic artistic gymnasts, which may be related to the nature of the sport: there are no weight-bearing routines in rhythmic gymnastics.


Skinfold Thickness Peak Height Velocity Rhythmic Gymnast Olympic Athlete Subscapular Skinfold 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie-José Borst
    • 1
  • Willy Pieter
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nadeshda Yastrjembskaya
    • 4
  1. 1.SYNTEX B.V.RijswijkThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Lesgaft State Academy of Physical CultureSt. PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.Center for Research and CommunicationMetro ManilaPhilippines
  4. 4.Kaliningrad State UniversityKaliningradRussia

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