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Anthropometric Profile, Vertical Jump, and Throwing Velocity in Elite Female Handball Players by Playing Positions

Vila, Helena1; Manchado, Carmen2; Rodriguez, Nuria1; Abraldes, José Arturo3; Alcaraz, Pedro Emilio1; Ferragut, Carmen4

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: August 2012 - Volume 26 - Issue 8 - p 2146–2155
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31823b0a46
Original Research

Abstract: Vila, H, Manchado, C, Rodriguez, N, Abraldes, JA, Alcaraz, PE, and Ferragut, C. Anthropometric profile, vertical jump, and throwing velocity in elite female handball players by playing positions. J Strength Cond Res 26(8): 2146–2155, 2012—Women's handball is a sport, which has seen an accelerated development over the last decade. Although anthropometric and physical characteristics have been studied for male sports teams, in women's handball, studies are scarce. The aim of this study was twofold: first, to describe the anthropometric characteristics, throwing velocity, hand grip, and muscular power of the lower limbs in female handball players and second, to identify the possible differences in these parameters in terms of individual playing positions (center, back, wing, pivot, and goalkeeper). A total of 130 elite female Spanish handball players participated in the study (age 25.74 ± 4.84 years; playing experience 14.92 ± 4.88 years). Anthropometric assessment was performed for all the subjects following the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry protocols. Furthermore, all the subjects performed a vertical jump test (squat jump and countermovement jump). Hand grip and throwing velocity in several situations were also assessed. A 1-way analysis of variance and a Tukey post hoc test were used to study the differences among individual playing positions. Wings were less heavy, shorter, and showed a smaller arm span than did goalkeepers, backs and pivots (p ≤ 0.001). Additionally, pivots were heavier than centers. Backs and pivots exhibited higher muscular mass than did wings. Total players' somatotype was mesomorphy endomorphy (3.89–4.28–2.29). Centers showed higher throwing velocity levels than did wings in 9-m throws from just behind the line, with a goalkeeper. Backs exhibited higher hand-grip values than did wings. Statistical differences have been established between wings and other specific playing positions, especially with pivot and backs. Coaches can use this information to select players for the different specific positions.

1Department of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, San Antonio Catholic University of Murcia, Guadalupe, Murcia, Spain

2Department of General and Specific Didactics. Faculty of Education, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain

3Department of Physical Activity and Sport, Faculty of Sports Sciences, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain

4Faculty of Sport, University of Alcalá. Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain

Address correspondence to Carmen Ferragut Fiol,

© 2012 National Strength and Conditioning Association