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Although muscle mass and strength are thought to be closely related to throwing performance, there are few scientific data about these parameters in elite shot-putters. The purpose of this case report was to present longitudinal data for muscle strength and body composition in relation to performance of an elite male shot-putter.
A male national champion with the best rotational shot-put performance of 20.36 m (in 2010) was followed from 2003 to 2011 (current age: 29 y). Data regarding body composition (dual X-ray absorptiometry), as well as 1-repetition-maximum muscle strength (bench press, squat, snatch) and rotational shot-put performance, were collected every February for the last 9 y, 4 wk before the national indoor championship event.
The athlete’s personal-best performances in squat, bench press, and snatch were 175 kg, 210 kg, and 112.5 kg, respectively. His peak total lean body mass was 92.4 kg, bone mineral density 1.55 g/cm2, and lowest body fat 12.9%. His shot-put performance over these 9 years was significantly correlated with 1-repetition-maximum squat strength (r = .93, P < .01), bench press (r = .87, P < .01), and snatch (r = .92, P < .01). In contrast, shot-put performance was not significantly correlated with any of the body-composition parameters.
The results of this case study suggest that elite rotational shot-put performance may not be directly correlated with lean body mass. Instead, it seems that it is closely related with measures of muscle strength.
The authors are with the Athletics Laboratory, School of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.