The sport of swimming has many different disciplines and therefore different physical and physiological requirements depending on the events. In terms of body size and composition (anthropometry), swimmers are usually tall and relatively lean. Some level of 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, and body fat using skinfold measures.
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 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.
|Sport||Age||Height (cm)||Weight (kg)||BMI|
|OVERALL AVERAGE (all sports)||26.1||176.9||72.8||23.3|
|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|
Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Here is average data from the analysis of the anthropometric data of the aquatic sports participants at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
|Age (years)||height (m)||weight (kg)||BMI|
|AVERAGE (all sports)||26.8||1.77||72.0||22.9|
|all Aquatics athletes||23.9||1.79||72.3||22.4|
Olympic swimming champions in the 100m freestyle
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.
- fitness testing for swimming
- Olympic Games Anthropometry for all sports in 2012 and in 2016
- All about fitness testing, including anthropometry testing
- Anthropometry for diving and water polo
- fitness for swimming
- List of swimming endurance tests.
- A discussion on the fitness components for swimming.
- Poll about the fitness components for swimming
- Fitness Testing for Water Polo