The relationship between anthropometric characteristics and sports performance in national-level young swimmers


  • Ricardo Ferraz University of Beira Interior
  • Luís Branquinho University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal
  • Renata Loupo University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal
  • Henrique Neiva University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal
  • Daniel A. Marinho



Anthropometric characteristics, Swimming performance, Yield, Maturational state, Young Swimmers


The main aim of this study was to verify associations between the anthropometric characteristics of young swimmers of different genders and different competitive levels with sports performance in 50m and 400m freestyle races at different levels (U-13 - Swimmers A and U-12 - Swimmers B). In addition, it was also intended to investigate the magnitude of the correlations between some specific variables (i.e., height, weight and wingspan) and the swimming performance. All participants were analyzed, regarding their anthropometric characteristics and their performance in the 50m and 400m freestyle swim. A total of 98 swimmers aged between 11-13 years old (mean ± standard deviation: 12.63 ± 0.76 years of age, 1.59 ± 0.08m height, 47.11 ± 7.82kg body weight) participated in the study. The results suggest that anthropometric characteristics have a positive relationship in the performance of swimmers when comparing genders (p< 0,01), furthermore positive linear correlations was found in height (r = 0.305 and r = 0.253, p <0.01), weight (r = 0.202 and r = 0.140, p <0.01), and wingspan (r = 0.227 and r = 0.203, p < 0.01) for 50m and 400m freestyle swim. The swimmers’ efficiency of segmental movements was related to anthropometric characteristics and strongly associated with the length of the swimmers’ segments. These results may be due to the fact that swimmers’ maturational status may have played an important role, in the observed results. In addition, when comparing genders, the height and weight values ​​of male swimmers tended to be higher. Furthermore, the differences observed in the 50m and 400m freestyle swimming events were related to the relationship that anthropometric characteristics have on the biomechanical parameters of swimming, which influence swimming performance. This study concluded that the improvement of performance of each young national-level swimmer is strongly related to the rate of growth, development and maturation.


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