2022, Volume 18
The distribution of subcutaneous fat and fat pattern among male athletes of different combat sports
Aleksandra Stachoń1, Jadwiga Pietraszewska1, Anna Burdukiewicz1, Justyna Andrzejewska1
1Wydział Wychowania Fizycznego i Sportu, Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego we Wrocławiu, Wrocław, Poland
Author for correspondence: Aleksandra Stachoń; Wydział Wychowania Fizycznego i Sportu, Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego we Wrocławiu, Wrocław, Poland; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background and Study Aim: The distribution of fat can be of great importance to an athlete's body function, because individual adipose tissue deposits differ in metabolic and endocrine activity. The aim of the study was the answer to the question: whether the fat patterns of combat sports athletes differ among disciplines.
Material and Methods: Anthropometric measurements and body composition assessment of 390 combat sports athletes (boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu/BJJ, judo, karate, kick-boxing taekwondo, wrestling) were conducted. The body fat characteristics were determined based on skinfolds measurements, bioelectrical impedance analysis and also subcutaneous fat indices.
Results: The distribution of subcutaneous adipose tissue is similar in karate, taekwondo, judo and BJJ athletes, while the pattern of subcutaneous fat in boxers, kick-boxers and wrestlers differs slightly. Men practicing particular sports differ in limb to trunk subcutaneous fat proportion, as well as in total body fat. Kick-boxers have the highest proportion of subcutaneous fat, while judo and BJJ athletes have the lowest one. BJJ athletes are characterized by the greatest difference in subcutaneous fat distribution – limb fat is half that of the trunk. The distribution is more balanced in karate, kick-boxing and taekwondo athletes. In terms of total body fat content the wrestlers dominate, whereas judo and BJJ athletes had the lowest one.
Conclusions: Athletes representing various combat sports are characterized by different fat patterns. This became particularly apparent when the analysis simultaneously considered the thickness of the skinfolds in different parts of the body, the relative size of subcutaneous fat, and the percentage of total fat, as well as the distribution of subcutaneous fat on the limbs and torso.
Key words: body fat distribution, body composition, body build, adipose tissue, martial arts, skinfolds maps