Growth and Maturation of Gymnasts

Robert M. Malina, Adam D. G. Baxter-Jones, Neil Armstrong, Gaston P. Beunen, Dennis Caine, Robin M. Daly, Richard D. Lewis, Alan D. Rogol, Keith Russell

Abstract:

Short stature and later maturation of youth artistic gymnasts are often attributed to the effects of intensive training from a young age. …

… the Scientific Commission of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) convened a committee to review the current literature and address four questions:

(1) Is there a negative effect of training on attained adult stature?

(2) Is there a negative effect of training on growth of body segments?

(3) Does training attenuate pubertal growth and maturation, specifically, the rate of growth and/or the timing and tempo of maturation?

(4) Does training negatively influence the endocrine system, specifically hormones related to growth and pubertal maturation?

… Allowing for noted limitations, the following conclusions were deemed acceptable:

(1) Adult height or near adult height of female and male artistic gymnasts is not compromised by intensive gymnastics training.

(2) Gymnastics training does not appear to attenuate growth of upper (sitting height) or lower (legs) body segment lengths.

(3) Gymnastics training does not appear to attenuate pubertal growth and maturation, neither rate of growth nor the timing and tempo of the growth spurt.

(4) Available data are inadequate to address the issue of intensive gymnastics training and alterations within the endocrine system.

Role of Intensive Training in the Growth and Maturation of Artistic Gymnasts

The full PDF is linked.

In short, Artistic Gymnastics does not make you short.

Olympians Hannah Whelan (4ft 9in) and rower Josh West (6ft 91/2in).

tall and short

Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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