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Anthropometry and Gymnastics

There are many components of fitness that are important for successful performance for a gymnast. Although skill, flexibility and strength are important, being a specific body size and maintaining a low level of body fat is equally important.

The basic measurements of height and weight are important to monitor growth and changes with training. Being small and flexible is advantageous in body rotation activities such as in gymnastics.

Body fat can be measured using the skinfold method. If this is not available, it can be replaced by regularly monitoring body weight changes which would give an indication of body fat changes (assuming limited changes in muscle mass). Excess body fat would affect the gymnast's ability to move freely, and reduce their power to weight ratio important for lifting their body weight.

Anthropometry and Olympic Athletes

London 2012 Olympic Games

Here is some information from the analysis of the anthropometric data (height, weight and age) from the gymnastics participants at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The gymnasts are not surprisingly shorter than the average Olympian, with rhythmic gymnastics taller than artistic gymnasts. Rhythmic gymnasts had the youngest average age of all sports. Unfortunately there was no weight recorded for the gymnasts and therefore no BMI data.

Sport Age Height (cm) Weight (kg) BMI
OVERALL AVERAGE (all sports) 26.1 176.9 72.8 23.3
Gymnastics - Artistic (all) 22.1 161.1 - -
Gymnastics - Artistic (females) 19.7 155.2 - -
Gymnastics - Artistic (males) 24.5 166.9 - -
Gymnastics - Rhythmic (females) 19.5 170.1 - -
Trampoline (all) 25.6 166.3 - -
Trampoline (females) 25.8 161.8 - -
Trampoline (males) 25.5 171.1 - -

Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Here is average data from the analysis of the anthropometric data of the gymnastics competitors at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

  Age (years) height (m) weight (kg) BMI
AVERAGE (all sports) 26.8 1.77 72.0 22.9
gymnastics (all) 22.6 1.64 54.3 20.2
gymnastics (females) 21.2 1.62 49.6 19.0
gymnastics (males) 25.2 1.68 63.3 22.4

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