Anthropometry for Swimming

The sport of swimming has many different disciplines and therefore different physiological requirements depending on the events. In terms of body size and composition (anthropometry), swimmers are usually tall and relatively lean. Some body fat is not a hindrance as it can add to buoyancy in the water. The usual anthropometric measures for swimmers would include height, weight, sitting height, arm span, hand span, body fat using skinfold measures.

Anthropometry and Olympic Athletes

Here is some information from the analysis of the anthropometric data (height, weight and age) from the aquatic sports participants at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The water polo players were the tallest, and with the swimmers were taller than the average Olympian. The other aquatics events are included for comparison.

22.9 165.5 59.8 21.7
23.0 160.2 53.8 20.9
22.9 170.8 66.0 22.6

 

Sport Age Height (cm) Weight (kg) BMI
OVERALL AVERAGE (all sports) 26.1 176.9 72.8 23.3
Swimming (all) 22.4 179.5 71.6 22.1
Swimming (females) 21.4 172.9 62.8 21.0
Swimming (males) 23.2 185.7 79.8 23.1
Synchronized Swimming (females only) 22.8 168.6 - -
Water Polo (all) 26.8 185.6 85.4 24.5
Water Polo (females) 24.2 175.5 69.8 22.6
Water Polo (males) 28.5 192.6 96.2 25.9
Diving (all) 22.9 165.5 59.8 21.7
Diving (females) 23.0 160.2 53.8 20.9
Diving (males) 22.9 170.8 66.0 22.6

We have also compared the anthropometric measurements of Olympic swimming champions in the 100m freestyle, showing how body size and shape has changed in elite sport over the last century.

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