Bone Mineral Density and Content of Collegiate Throwers: Influence of Maximum Strength

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Bone is a plastic tissue, changing in density and size with different levels of stress. Furthermore, it appears that BMD is altered in a site specific manner. However, BMD has not been studied extensively in all types of athletes, particularly well trained strengthpower athletes, such as throwers. The pwpose of this study was to examine the BMD of USA Division I collegiate throwers (shot put, discus, etc.). BMD was compared to normative data and to different athletes. Measures of whole body maximum strength and throwing performance were correlated with BMDs. Potential right/left side and sex differences were examined. Athletes were 4 males, 3 females age 19.9 ± 0.9 years. BMD was measured with a DEXA Maximum isometric strength was measured using a midthigh pull standing on a force plate. Force time-curves were generated during the strength tests. Peale force (PF) and normalized pealc force (PFa) were correlated with BMDs. Comparison indicates throwers have denser bones compared to normative data and compared to other types of athletes. Male throwers tend to have greater total body BMD than female throwers (p < 0.05). Dominant arm showed slightly greater BMD compared to non-dominant (p < 0.05). Furthermore, BMD is related to PF (r = 0.68) and PFa (r = 0.56). Throwers have greater BMD's than non-athletes or most other types of athletes. However, throwers showed only a small indication of sidedness. These observations likely stem from their training program (whole body heavy loading).


Birmingham, AL

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