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Body physique and composition in premenarchal ballerinas and female athletes in aesthetic sports

Marjeta Misigoj-Durakovic, Vlatko Vucetic, Zijad Durakovic, Jasenka Wolf-Cvitak, Branka Matkovic, Naima Corovic, Aleksandra Bonevski
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 20 Number 4: Page 175 (December 2005)

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Abstract: Ballet, rhythmic gymnastics, and figure skating are disciplines that are begun early in childhood and pose high demands on the performers¿ functional and energy capacities, which may influence the development of the body¿s physique and composition. This study investigated whether differences in the body¿s physique and composition were preexistent in young, premenarchal ballerinas and female athletes in aesthetic sport disciplines before training was started. Twenty-four anthropometric measurements were made of body physique and composition, and body mass index (BMI) and fat percentage were calculated. The groups of premenarchal dancers and athletes did not differ significantly in body height, body mass, or BMI. They also showed similarities in skeletal measurements, with the exception of ankle diameter. In measurements sensitive to specific training loads, significant differences were found, most notably in figure skaters, who had markedly greater arm circumferences than did ballerinas and rhythmic gymnasts. Ballerinas and rhythmic gymnasts did not have significant differences in soft tissues measurements, with the exception of the calf skinfold thickness, which was significantly greater in ballerinas. Skinfold thickness and body fat percentage were higher in skaters than in rhythmic gymnasts and ballerinas. Young ballerinas and rhythmic gymnasts were more slender with lower skinfold values and limb circumferences than skaters.

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