3 It is independent of size, age and gender. SomatotypeDefinitionSomatotype is a physique classification system which recognises a body shape category, which necessarily falls between pre-determined end limits.It is defined as a quantified expression and description of the present morphological conformation of a person.It is independent of size, age and gender.
4 SomatotypeSomatotype is a three figure reference which characterises physique and body shape.It comprises values, originally proposed on a 7-point scale, which summarise the physique, and can be plotted on the tri-polar somatochart.
5 Somatotype Components Average valueEndomorphyMesomorphyEctomorphy23456leanfatslendermuscularheavylight
6 SomatotypeHistoryOriginally proposed as a genotypic morphology rating on a 7 point scale by Sheldon (1940), drawing from earlier work of Kretschmer (1921) who classified three ‘poles’ to represent extreme physique variation, and Viola (1933) which related dimensions of the thorax, trunk and limbs to a ‘normotype’Partly influenced by an alternative methodology from Parnell (1954), Heath and Carter (1967) introduced a three numeral rating somatotype which has become the most universally applied, which involved a photoscopic and anthropometric method, later to be revised in 1990.
11 Anthropometric Somatotype Assessment (Heath & Carter, 1967)EndomorphyRoundness or fatness, based on 3 skinfolds Independent of sizeMesomorphyMusculo-skeletal robustness, based on elbow & knee breadths, and corrected girths of calf and upper armEctomorphyRelative fragility, based on height and weightDerived on 10 measurementsIndependent of sizeDescriptor of shapeAssumes proportionality of size, development and symmetryOnly relative data on composition
12 Measurements Required Total mass (kg)Stature (cm)Upper arm circumference (cm)Max. Calf circumference (cm)Femur breadth (cm)Humerus breadth (cm)Triceps skinfold (mm)Subscapular skinfold (mm)Supraspinale skinfold (mm)Medial calf skinfold (mm)Measurements on the Right; Larger girths in the case of Left handed subjects; mean of 2 or median of 3.
13 Endomorphy calculation Add the skinfolds at the triceps, subscapular and supraspinale sitesMultiply this sum by / heightThis total (in mm) is “X” in the following calculation:Endomorphy= X X X3
14 Mesomorphy calculation Record height (H), humerus breadth (HB) and femur breadth (FB), max calf girth and max upper arm girth, with the arm flexed to 45º and tensed.Calculate corrected arm (AG) and calf girth (CG) by subtracting triceps and medial calf skinfolds from the respective girths.Substitute these values in the following equation:Mesomorphy = 0.858HB FB AG CG H + 4.5
15 Ectomorphy calculation Record height in cm and weight in kg Divide the height by the cube root of weight to calculate the reciprocal of the ponderal index or RPI. The magnitude of the RPI determines which formula is used to calculate ectomorphy.If RPI > 40.74, Ectomorphy = 0.732RPIIf < RPI < 40.74, Ectomorphy = 0.463RPIIf RPI < 39.65, Ectomorphy = 0.5
16 RoundingFrom equations - round decimal to one decimal place egFor general description, plotting and category boundaries, round to the nearest half uniteg. 3-4-1Rating form are in nearest half units
17 Somatotype Attitudinal Distance The distance between any two somatopoints (in 3D space)- calculated in component unitsSAD A,B = [(endoA-endoB)2 + (mesoA - mesoB) 2 + (ectoA - ectoB) 2 ]0.5where A and B are two somatotypesSomatotype Attitudinal MeanThe average 3D distance between all somatoplots and their mean
18 Physique advantagesAbsolute strength, injury resistance, hypothermia resistance, positive self imageCardiac healthLow energy cost of locomotionpower:weight ratioInjury protection via diminished forcesAbsolute mass for blocking sports; Hypothermia resistance, floatation
19 Physique disadvantages Power at expense of endurance; poor heat dissipation; exercise can become obsessive in bodybuildersLow power: weight; high energy cost of locomotion; impaired heat dissipation; cardiac risk factors; low self esteemLack of upper body strength; risk of diminished self image
20 Somatotypes of 106 male athletes MesomorphyEndomorphyEctomorphyData from Stewart & Hannan, (2000)
21 Somatotype Convergence Athletes’ physiques evolve according to training status and periodisation. Variation in physique (i.e. SAM) reduces as competitive standard increases, as the athletes become increasingly selectedEarly trainingPerformance peakDiscus throwersHigh jumpers400m runnersSumo wrestlers
22 Somatotype comparison in cyclists Reference: AnthropometricaRoad racing cyclists’ data from Stewart & Hannan (2000)
23 SummaryThe relevance of somatotype in sportEach component independently affects performance in most sportsTalent identification for sporting potential of individualsTool for matching individuals with sports which they may have advantages forTool for determining training goals and outcomesAffects body image and self esteem
24 ReferencesAnthropometrica: Norton, K & Olds, T. (Eds) (1996) University of New South Wales PressCarter J.E.L. and Heath, B.H. (1990). Somatotyping: Development and applications. Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press.Eston, R. & Reilly, T. (Eds) (2001) Kinanthropometry and exercise physiology lab manual, volume 1. London: Routledge
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