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Article Title

Comparisons of Lean Mass Proportionalities between Male and Female College Athletes

Abstract

Allison Oligschlaeger1, Monica L. Hunter1, Jana L. Arabas1, Jerry L. Mayhew1, and William F. Brechue2

1Truman State University, Kirksville, MO; 2A. T. Still University, Kirksville, MO

Few studies have assessed regional lean mass proportionalities (LM%) between men and women competing in similar sports. Assessing LM% may identify performance differences between sexes in different sports. PURPOSE: To compare absolute and relative LM among men and women in comparable sports. METHODS: NCAA Division-II athletes (M = 106, age = 20.4 ± 1.2 yrs, height = 182.4 ± 8.6 cm, weight = 79.4 ± 12.2 kg; W = 90, age = 20.5 ± 1.2 yrs, height = 168.1 ± 7.6 cm, weight = 63.3 ± 9.1 kg) from 5 compatible sports (cross-country, soccer, basketball, swimming, and baseball/softball) were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Arms, legs, and trunk relative LM were expressed relative to total LM. RESULTS: A sex x sport multivariate ANOVA revealed that men had significantly greater LM in arms (8.5 ± 1.5 kg), legs (22.5 ± 3.5 kg), and trunk (30.3 ± 3.7 kg) than women (4.7 ± 0.7, 15.8 ± 1.9, 21.6 ± 2.2kg, respectively). Among sports, cross-country had the lowest LM for arms (5.3 ± 1.8 kg), legs (16.2 ± 3.2 kg), and trunk (23.0 ± 4.0 kg), while basketball had the highest (7.5 ± 2.4, 21.7 ± 4.7, and 28.4 ± 5.5 kg, respectively). There was no significant difference among soccer (6.2 ± 2.0, 18.6 ± 3.3, 25.0 ± 4.4 kg, respectively), swimming (6.7 ± 2.0, 17.9 ± 3.7, 25.8 ± 4.9 kg, respectively), and baseball/softball (7.1 ± 2.3, 20.1 ± 4.6, 26.7 ± 6.0 kg, respectively). Arm LM% for men (13.1 ± 1.1%) was significantly higher than for women (10.5 ± 0.9%) while trunk %LM was significantly higher in women (48.0 ± 1.5%) than in men (46.9 ± 1.6%). Leg LM% was not significantly different between men (34.7 ± 1.7%) and women (35.0 ± 1.6%). Cross-country (11.0 ± 1.9%) and soccer (11.5 ± 1.8%) had significantly lower arm LM% than basketball (12.1 ± 1.5 %), baseball/softball (12.1 ± 1.5%), and swimming (12.2 ± 1.5%), which did not differ significantly. Swimming (33.4 ± 1.2%) and cross-country (34.2 ± 1.5%) had significantly lower leg LM% than baseball/softball (35.1 ± 1.5%), soccer (35.1 ± 1.4%), and basketball (35.5 ± 1.6%), which did not differ significantly. Basketball (46.7 ± 1.6%) and baseball/softball (46.9 ± 1.4%) had significantly lower trunk LM% than soccer (47.2 ± 1.4%), swimming (48.3 ± 1.3%), and cross-country (48.6 ± 1.8%), which did not differ significantly. CONCLUSION: Although significant, LM variability across comparable sports appears to be small in magnitude.

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