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  1. J Lewandowski,
  2. M Ogurkowska
  1. University School of Physical Education, Poznań, Poland


Background Accurate knowledge of the body build of top sports level volleyball player's is an important information as it is the basis for designation of model body build parameters, body proportions, and build type for a given playing position.

Objective The main objectives of this study are to define angle values of physiological curvature and segmental spine mobility of the women's volleyball national team members.

Design In order to obtain a complete picture of the female players' profile, to-date studies would need to be extended by knowledge on spondylometric characteristics of women playing volleyball professionally.

Setting Studies of somatic and spondylometric characteristics were performed using the tensometric electrogoniometry system. Percentile ranks of somatic and spondylometric characteristics of the female player subject were devised.

Participants The material includes 12 female players of Polish women's volleyball national team aged 20–27. The control group comprised female players from clubs competing in the Polish Women's Volleyball League.

Main outcome measurements Although volleyball is considered a no-contact sports discipline, the player's body – including the spine – is exposed to loads related to performing various elements of the game. In particular, major loads with vertical direction are related to the player's jumping to attack or block, and may be the cause of deformations. Spondylometric characteristics of the female player subjects are slightly different from those of athletes in other sports disciplines where jumping ability is the leading feature.

Results In the elite of Polish female volleyball players lumbar lordosis is dominant (33% above normal values), then cervical lordosis, while thoracic kyphosis is significantly flattened. Range of segmental spine mobility in most cases is lower than the adopted normal values. Significant forward flexion movement limitation in the thoracic section was observed. No functional symmetrisation of the subjects was observed.

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