Muscle fibre type composition and body composition in hammer throwers

Gerasimos Terzis, Konstantinos Spengos, Stavros Kavouras, Panagiota Manta, Giorgos Georgiadis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Aim of the present study was to describe the muscle fibre type composition and body composition of well-trained hammer throwers. Six experienced hammer throwers underwent the following measurements: one repetition maximum in squat, snatch, and clean, standing broad jump, backward overhead shot throw and the hammer throw. Dual x-ray absorptiometry was used for body composition analysis. Fibre type composition and cross sectional area was determined in muscle biopsy samples of the right vastus lateralis. Eight physical education students served as a control group. One repetition maximum in squat, snatch and clean for the hammer throwers was 245 ± 21, 132 ± 13 and 165 ± 12kg, respectively. Lean body mass was higher in hammer throwers (85.9 ± 3.9kg vs. 62.7 ± 5.1kg (p < 0.01). The percentage area of type II muscle fibres was 66.1 ± 4% in ham-mer throwers and 51 ± 8% in the control group (p < 0.05). Hammer throwers had significantly larger type IIA fibres (7703 ± 1171 vs. 5676 ± 1270μm2, p < 0.01). Hammer throwing per-formance correlated significantly with lean body mass (r = 0.81, p < 0.05). These data indicate that hammer throwers have larger lean body mass and larger muscular areas occupied by type II fibres, compared with relatively untrained subjects. Moreover, it seems that the enlarged muscle mass of the hammer throwers contributes significantly to the hammer throwing performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-109
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Sports Science and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Athletic throws
  • Lean body mass
  • Track and field

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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