Sports anthropological and somatotypical comparison between young male shotputters and javelin throwers of different performance classes and recreational athletes


  • Christoph Raschka Institute of Sports Sciences, Julius-Maximilians-University, Judenbühlweg 11, D-97082 Würzburg
  • Katrin Vöth Institute of Sports Sciences, Julius-Maximilians-University, Judenbühlweg 11, D-97082 Würzburg
  • Kim Kuczera Institute of Sports Sciences, Julius-Maximilians-University, Judenbühlweg 11, D-97082 Würzburg



sports anthropological investigation, somatotypical investigation, shot putters, junior athletes, javelin throwers, sports anthropometry


This study examines anthropometric and somatotypical differences between German male junior shot putters (n = 19) and javelin throwers (n = 19).

Recreational athletes (n = 11) served as the control group (age range 16 – 23 years).

Overall, the shot-putters were larger and had longer legs and arms as compared to the junior javelin throwers. For the smaller javelin throwers of the higher performance category shorter legs compared to the height of the hull were observed on average. There was a notably shorter leg of the spear throwers. The powerful javelin throwers had longer arms than the less powerful.

For all anthropometric widths and depths, and the circumferences and the body weight, the junior shout putters achieved higher values than the spear throwers and recreational athletes.

The skinfold thicknesses, the body fat mass and the BMI were highest among the shot putters.

The shot putters had the highest values for endomorphy and pyknomorphia (Knussmann), on the other hand, the lowest values for ectomorphy.

For the shot putters body height, shoulder width, hand width, foot width, chest circumference, minimal forearm circumference, calf circumference, arm span, plastic index and macrosomia were positively related to performance. Some skinfolds (calf, thigh) correlated negatively with the shot put distances.

For the javelin throwers radiale, stylion, dactylion and ectomorphy correlated negatively with the throw widths, but the AKS index, the BMI, the Quetelet index, the Rohrer index, the Livi index, the Pelidisi index, the Broca index, mesomorphy, the metric index and plastic index correlated positively with the performance.

The higher class shot putters of the present study achieved a mean somatotype of 2.9 – 5.6 – 1.1 and the higher class javelin throwers of 2.1 – 4.9 – 1.8. As the shot putters and the javelin throwers of the present investigation were rather young, there is still a significant development potential for the mesomorphic component in comparison to Olympians.


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