A New Strategy to Integrate Heath–Carter Somatotype Assessment with Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis in Elite Soccer Players
Department for Life Quality Studies, University of Bologna, 47921 Rimini, Italy
Department of Health, Performance and Recovery, Parma Calcio 1913, 40121 Parma, Italy
Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20129 Milano, Italy
Faculdade de Educação Física e Desporto, Universidade Lusófona, 1749-024 Lisboa, Portugal
CIPER—Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Human Performance, Faculty Human Kinetics, University of Lisbon, 1495-751 Lisboa, Portugal
Bioperformance & Nutrition Research Unit, Ingrediente Métrico S.A., 2740-262 Lisbon, Portugal
Medical Department Manchester City Football Club, Manchester 03101, UK
Department of Computer Science, University of Pisa, 56121 Pisa, Italy
Medical Department Parma Calcio 1913, 40121 Parma, Italy
Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sports 2020, 8(11), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8110142
Received: 3 October 2020 / Revised: 23 October 2020 / Accepted: 24 October 2020 / Published: 27 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health-Related Components of Physical Fitness in Individual, Combat and Team Sports)
Easy-to-apply and quick methods for evaluate body composition are often preferred when assessing soccer teams. This study aimed to develop new equations for the somatotype quantification that would reduce the anthropometric measurements required by the Heath and Carter method, integrating the somatotype assessment to the bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). One hundred and seventy-six male elite soccer players (age 26.9 ± 4.5 years), registered in the Italian first division (Serie A), underwent anthropometric measurements and BIA. Endomorphy, mesomorphy, and ectomorphy were obtained according to the Heath and Carter method, while fat mass (FM) and fat free mass (FFM) estimated using a BIA-derived equation specific for athletes. The participants were randomly split into development (n = 117) and validation groups (n = 59, 1/3 of sample). The developed models including resistance2/stature, FM%, FFM, contracted arm and calf circumference, triceps, and supraspinal skinfolds had high predictive ability for endomorphy (R2 = 0.83, Standard Error of Estimate (SEE) = 0.16) mesomorphy (R2 = 0.80, SEE = 0.36), and ectomorphy (endomorphy (R2 = 0.87, SEE = 0.22). Cross validation revealed R2 of 0.80, 0.84, 0.87 for endomorphy, mesomorphy, and ectomorphy, respectively. The proposed strategy allows the integration of somatotype assessment to BIA in soccer players, reducing the number of instruments and measurements required by the Heath and Carter approach.