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Open AccessArticle

Anthropometric Profile of Soccer Players as a Determinant of Position Specificity and Methodological Issues of Body Composition Estimation

1
Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, School of Sport and Leisure, Melgaço 4960-320, Portugal
2
Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD), Vila Real 5001-801, Portugal
3
Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Nikaia 18450, Greece
4
School of Health and Caring Sciences, University of West Attica, Egaleo 12243, Greece
5
Institute of Primary Care, University of Zurich, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland
6
Medbase St. Gallen Am Vadianplatz, 9001 St. Gallen, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2386; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132386
Received: 2 June 2019 / Revised: 21 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 5 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Exercise and Sports Performance)
The aim of the present study was (a) to describe the anthropometric profile of a large group of soccer players based on different age groups and their playing positions on the field, and (b) to examine the variations of body composition among adult soccer players using diverse equations based on skinfold thickness. A total of 618 Greek soccer players who were grouped by age (i.e., 12–14, 14–16, 16–18, and 18–37 years) and playing position (i.e., goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, and forward) were evaluated for weight, height, and skinfolds. The Pařízková formula was used to estimate the percentage of body fat. Furthermore, for players who were 18 years or older the Reilly and Evans formulas was used to estimate the percentage of body fat. Independent of the age, in this large sample, goalkeepers presented higher values for weight, height and the percentage of body fat estimation as compared with other field positions. An anthropometric pattern was observed in each tactical position, namely, across a specific age of increasing maturation process (14–16 years). With the Pařízková formula, we found a mean (SD) range of variation in the percentage of body fat estimation between 4.87 ± 1.46 and 5.51 ± 1.46 as compared with the Evans formula. The same pattern of differences was found when the Reilly equation was considered. In conclusion, we observed a position specificity of anthropometric characteristics across different age categories. Additionally, the same data supported different validated equations which resulted in large differences in the final outcome estimations. View Full-Text
Keywords: anthropometry; soccer; position; skinfold equations anthropometry; soccer; position; skinfold equations
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Leão, C.; Camões, M.; Clemente, F.M.; Nikolaidis, P.T.; Lima, R.; Bezerra, P.; Rosemann, T.; Knechtle, B. Anthropometric Profile of Soccer Players as a Determinant of Position Specificity and Methodological Issues of Body Composition Estimation. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2386.

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