Vol 8 No 1 (2019): Volume 8, Issue 1, Year 2019
Articles

Biological maturation of Portuguese rhythmic gymnasts in different competition levels of performance

Amanda Batista
Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport (CIFI2D), Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Portugal.
Rui Garganta
Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport (CIFI2D), Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Portugal.
Lurdes Ávila-Carvalho
Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport (CIFI2D), Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Portugal.
Published March 27, 2019
Keywords
  • sexual maturation,
  • somatic maturation,
  • rhythmic gymnastics,
  • gymnasts,
  • biological maturation
How to Cite
Batista, A., Garganta, R., & Ávila-Carvalho, L. (2019). Biological maturation of Portuguese rhythmic gymnasts in different competition levels of performance. International Journal of Physical Education, Fitness and Sports, 8(1), 38-48. https://doi.org/10.26524/ijpefs1915

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Abstract

The aims of the present study were: (1) identify and compare the biological maturity in Portuguese gymnasts across competitive levels of performance; (2) investigate how morphological variables and training volume behave in the different status and indicators of maturity and (3) determinate if the maturity status influences the competitive performance. The sample (n=164) consisted of three competition levels (Base, 1st division and Elite) from Portugal. Anthropometric measurements and body composition were performed. For analysis of biological maturation, the sexual and somatic maturation were evaluated. For the statistical analyses, Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests, and Linear Regression were used. In total, 63.4% of gymnasts had not yet reached menarche and the higher competition level, lower the number of gymnasts with menarche. On mean, all groups had reached the age at peak height velocity. The higher the competition level, higher the chronological age and age at peak height velocity. Thus, the maturation indicators showed a delay in pubertal development in all competition levels and the elite gymnasts seem present a later pubertal development. The chronological age, the values of body mass, height, BMI and body fat increased with the maturity status according all maturity indicators. However, gymnasts with different maturity status revealed similar training volume. Finally, the maturational status explained 11.5% of competition success with higher advantage in the competitive performance to prepubertal gymnasts. Thus, the premenarchal status and a higher age at peak height velocity contribute to performance in Rhythmic Gymnastics. 

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