Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2010) 09, 104 - 109

Research article
Muscle Fibre Type Composition and Body Composition in Hammer Throwers
Gerasimos Terzis1, , Konstantinos Spengos2, Stavros Kavouras3, Panagiota Manta2, Giorgos Georgiadis1
Author Information
1 Athletics Laboratory, School of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Athens, Greece
2 Department of Neurology, Eginition Hospital, School of Medicine, University of Athens, Greece
3 Laboratory of Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics, Harokopion University of Athens, Greece

Gerasimos Terzis
✉ Department of Track and Field, School of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Athens, 41 Ethnikis Antistassin str., 172 37, Daphne, Athens, Greece
Publish Date
Received: 26-08-2009
Accepted: 21-12-2009
Published (online): 01-03-2010
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Aim of the present study was to describe the muscle fibre type composition and body composition of well-trained hammer throwers. Six experienced hammer throwers underwent the following measurements: one repetition maximum in squat, snatch, and clean, standing broad jump, backward overhead shot throw and the hammer throw. Dual x-ray absorptiometry was used for body composition analysis. Fibre type composition and cross sectional area was determined in muscle biopsy samples of the right vastus lateralis. Eight physical education students served as a control group. One repetition maximum in squat, snatch and clean for the hammer throwers was 245 ± 21, 132 ± 13 and 165 ± 12kg, respectively. Lean body mass was higher in hammer throwers (85.9 ± 3. 9kg vs. 62.7 ± 5.1kg (p < 0.01). The percentage area of type II muscle fibres was 66.1 ± 4% in hammer throwers and 51 ± 8% in the control group (p < 0.05). Hammer throwers had significantly larger type IIA fibres (7703 ± 1171 vs. 5676 ± 1270μm2, p < 0.01). Hammer throwing performance correlated significantly with lean body mass (r = 0.81, p < 0.05). These data indicate that hammer throwers have larger lean body mass and larger muscular areas occupied by type II fibres, compared with relatively untrained subjects. Moreover, it seems that the enlarged muscle mass of the hammer throwers contributes significantly to the hammer throwing performance.

Key words: Track and field, athletic throws, lean body mass.

           Key Points
  • Well-trained hammer throwers had increased lean body mass, higher type IIA muscle fibres cross sectional areas, as well as higher bone mineral density, compared to controls.
  • Increased lean body mass was closely related with hammer throwing performance.
  • The relative high percentage of type IIX muscle fibres in vastus lateralis in hammer throwers warrants further investigation.
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