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Body Composition and Body Mass

The success of an athlete depends a lot on the body type. Body size, build, and body composition can impair or help performance. Athletic performance relates to body type (body shape and size), and body composition (muscular development and amount of body fat). Body fat contributes no strength advantage and limits endurance, speed, and movement through space. Olympic cross country skiers are extremely lean compared to average males and females.

The advantages of an appropriate amount and distribution of body fat are:

  • shock absorption (football)

  • buoyancy (swimming)

  • thermal insulation (swimming)

  • fuel stores (cross-country skiing)

The average percent of body fat values differ from sport to sport:

  • Basketball (men 9% and women 13%) are higher than cross country skiing (men 5% and women 11%), but are much lower than golf (men 13% and women 16%)

Training correctly can increase muscle mass, and good nutrition and correct exercise can change body composition. Olympic cross-country skiers need to be muscular for energy demands and lean for good performance.

Tongfang Health Technology (Beijing) Co.,Ltd