• Johanna Weber Neurocognition and Action – Biomechanics, Bielefeld University,Germany; Institut für Sportwissenschaft, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel,Germany



wheel gymnastics, body fat percentage, judges, competitive results


In some sports which focus on aesthetic aspects, such as figure skating, gymnastics and dancing, there is a strong demand for athletes to be and look lean. This demand could lead to pressure on the athletes and cause health problems. It must be clarified whether this is also the case in wheel gymnastics. For this purpose, the percentage of body fat and competitive results of 203 wheel gymnasts (183 female, 20 male, age 21.2 ± 11.9 and 16.8 ± 4.9 respectively; body fat percentage 14.5 ± 3.4 and 8.0 ± 3.7 respectively) were assessed crosssectionally and tested for correlation between the percentage of body fat and competitive results. Furthermore, their body fat percentage was compared to that of athletes from other aesthetic sports, and it was investigated whether judges might be influenced by percentage of body fat. For this purpose, technical difficulties in training and competition were compared for gymnasts with different percentages of body fat, at the same time taking into account the rating of judges` performance as perceived the gymnasts and their satisfaction with their results. The difference between the technical difficulty during training and competition correlates positively with the body fat percentage (p ≤ .010, r = .268). Gymnasts who are a) not content with judges’ ratings; b) content with their own performance, and c) have a higher percentage of body fat, significantly differed from gymnasts where fewer than three of these parameters were true regarding deductions for technical difficulty (p ≤ .000, η2 = .323).


Download data is not yet available.


Ávilla-Carvalho, L., Klentrou, P., da Luz Palomero, M. & Lebre, E. (2013). Anthropometric profiles and age at menarche in elite group rhythmic gymnasts according to their chronological age. Science & Sports, 28, 172 – 180. DOI:

Bacciotti, S., Baxter-Jones, A., Gaya, A., & Maia, J. (2017). The physique of elite female artistic gymnasts: a systematic review. Journal of human kinetics, 58(1), 247-259. DOI:

Bacciotti, S., Baxter-Jones, A., Gaya, A., & Maia, J. (2018). Body physique and proportionality of Brazilian female artistic gymnasts. Journal of Sports Sciences, 36 (7), 749-756. DOI:

Bayo, M. (2001). Nutritional problems in female elite gymnasts. Revista Espanola de Nutricion Comunitaria 7(3 – 4), 78 – 85.

Borrione, P., Battaglia, C., Fiorilli, G., Moffa, S., Tsopani, D., Piazza, M., & Di Cagno, A. (2013). Body image perception and satisfaction in elite rhythmic gymnasts: A controlled study. Medicina dello sport, 66(1), 61-70.

Camargo, C. T. A., Gomez-Campos, R. A., Cossio-Bolaños, M. A., Barbeta, V. J. D. O., Arruda, M., & Guerra-Junior, G. (2014). Growth and body composition in Brazilian female rhythmic gymnastics athletes. Journal of Sports Sciences, 32(19), 1790-1796. DOI:

Claessens, A. L., Lefevre, J., Beunen, G., & Malina, R. M. (1999). The contribution of anthropometric characteristics to performance scores in elite female gymnasts. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 39(4), 355.

D’Alessandro, C., Morelli, E., Evangelisti, I., Galetta, F., Franzoni, F., Lazzeri, D., Piazza, M. & Cupisti, A. (2007). Profiling the diet and body composition of subelite adolescent rhythmic gymnasts. Pediatric Exercise Science, 19 (2), 215-227. DOI:

De Oliveira, G. L., de Pinho Gonçalves, P. S., de Oliveira, T. A. P., Valentim Silva, J. R., Roquetti Fernandes, P., & Fernandes Filho, J. (2017). Assessment of Body Composition, Somatotype and Eating Disorders in Rhythmic Gymnasts. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, 20 (1), 125 - 139.

De Onis, M., Onyango, A. W., Borghi, E., Siyam, A., Nishida, C., Siekmann, J. (2007). Development of a WHO growth reference for school-aged children and adolescents. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 85, 660 – 667. DOI:

De Sousa Fortes, L. D. S., Neves, C. M., Filgueiras, J. F., Almeida, S. S., & Ferreira, M. E. C. (2013). Body dissatisfaction, psychological commitment to exercise and eating behavior in young athletes from aesthetic sports. Revista Brasileira de Cineantropometria & Desempenho Humano, 15(6), 695-704. DOI:

Deutscher Turner-Bund (2008). Technisches Komitee Rhönradturnen im DTB in Zusammenarbeit mit dem IRV Wertungsbestimmungen 1997, Überarbeitete Ausgabe 2008 mit Einarbeitung aller aktuellen Änderungen (Band 1: Allgemeiner Teil). [Technical committee wheel gymnastics in the German Gymnastics Federation together with the code of points of the International Wheel gymnastics Federation 1997, corrected version of 2008 with current changes (volume 1: general rules).] Protocol of the proceeings of the technical committee of wheel gymnastics in the German Gymnastics Federation in 2007/ 2008.

Findlay, L. C., & Ste-Marie, D. M. (2004). A reputation bias in figure skating judging. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 26(1), 154-166. DOI:

Galetta, F., Franzoni, F., D'Alessandro, C., Piazza, M., Tocchini, L., Fallahi, P., Antonelli, A., Cupisti, F. & Santoro, G. (2015). Body composition and cardiac dimensions in elite rhythmic gymnasts. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 55(9), 946-952.

Georgopoulos, N., Markou, K. B., Theodoropoulou, A., Bernadot, D., Leglise,

M. & Vagenakis, A. G. (2002). Growth retardation in artistic compared with rhythmic elite female gymnasts. The Journal of Clinical Epidemiology and Metabolism, 8(7), 3169 – 3173. DOI:

Gonçalves, C. E. B., Rama, L. M. L. & Figueiredo, A. B. (2012). Talent Identification in Sport: an Overview of Some Unanswered Questions. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 7 (4), 390 - 393. DOI:

Granacher, U., & Borde, R. (2017). Effects of sport-specific training during the early stages of long-term athlete development on physical fitness, body composition, cognitive, and academic performances. Frontiers in physiology, 8, 810. DOI:

Gurd, B., & Klentrou, P. (2003). Physical and pubertal development in young male gymnasts. Journal of Applied Physiology, 95 (3), 1011-1015. DOI:

Harris, M. B., & Greco, D. (1990). Weight control and weight concern in competitive female gymnasts. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology 12(4), 427 - 433. DOI:

Hundrieser, M. (2012). Belastungen und Beanspruchungen bei der Disziplin Sprung im Rhönradturnen und die daraus resultierenden Konsequenzen für das Training. [Strains and demands in the gym-wheel vault discipline and implications for training], Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Thesis for the Master of Education.

Jackson, A. S., & Pollock, M. L. (1978). Generalized equations for predicting body density of men. British journal of nutrition, 40(3), 497-504. DOI:

Jackson, A. S., Pollock, M. L., & Ward, A. N. N. (1980). Generalized equations for predicting body density of women. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 12(3), 175-181. DOI:

Jonnalagadda, S. S., Ziegler, P. J., & Nelson, J. A. (2004). Food preferences, dieting behaviors, and body image perceptions of elite figure skaters. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 14(5), 594-606. DOI:

Kauther, M. D., Rummel, S., Hussmann, B., Lendemans, S., Wedemeyer, C., & Jaeger, M. (2015). Wheel-gymnastic-related injuries and overuse syndromes of amateurs and professionals. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, 23(8), 2440-2448. DOI:

Klentrou, P., & Plyley, M. (2003). Onset of puberty, menstrual frequency, and body fat in elite rhythmic gymnasts compared with normal controls. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 37(6), 490-494. DOI:

Kromeyer-Hauschild, K., Wabitsch, M., Kunze, D., Geller, F., Geiß, H. C., Hesse, V., von Hippel, A., Jaeger, U., Johnsen, D., Korte, W., Menner, K., Müller, G., Müller, J. M., Niemann-Pilatus, A., Remert, T., Schaefer, F., Wittchen, H.-U., Zabransky, S., Zellner, K., Ziegler, A. & Hebebrand, J. (2001). Percentiles of Body Mass Index in Children and Adolescents Evaluated from Different Regional German Studies. Monatsschrift Kinderheilkunde, 149(8), 807-818. DOI:

Leskošek, B., Čuk, I., Pajek, J., Forbes, W., & Bučar-Pajek, M. (2012). Bias of judging in men's artistic gymnastics at the European championship 2011. Biology of Sport, 29(2). DOI:

Matthys, S. (2012). Talent identification, development and selection in youth handball players: contribution of cross-sectional and longitudinal measures of anthropometry, physical performance and maturation (Doctoral Dissertation, Ghent University).

Mies, H. (1994). Anthopometrische und geschlechtsspezifische Untersuchung zentraler und dezentraler Elemente unter biomechanischem Aspekt – dargestellt am Beispiel des Rhönradturnens. [Anthropometric and gender-specific of central and decentral elements considering biomechanical apsects – displayed in wheel gymnastics] Thesis for the First State Exame, University of Koblenz-Landau, Koblenz.

Müller, W., Groschl, W., Müller, R., Sudi, K. (2006). Underweight in ski jumping: the solution of the problem. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 27, 926–934. DOI:

Parm, A. L., Saar, M., Pärna, K., Jürimäe, J., Maasalu, K., Neissaar, I., & Jürimäe, T. (2011). Relationships between anthropometric, body composition and bone mineral parameters in 7-8-year-old rhythmic gymnasts compared with controls. Collegium antropologicum, 35(3), 739-745.

Plessner, H. (1999). Expectation biases in gymnastics judging. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 21(2), 131-144. DOI:

Plessner, H., & Haar, T. (2006). Sports performance judgments from a social cognitive perspective. Psychology of sport and exercise, 7(6), 555-575. DOI:

Potter, A. B., Lavery, E. S., & Bell, R. A. (1996). Body fat and body mass index measurements in preprofessional dance students: A comparison of formulas. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 11, 43-46.

Rummel, S. (2016). Rhönradturnen – Verletzungen und Überlastungsschäden bei Amateuren und Leistungssportlern. Wheel gymnastics – Injuries and overuse at subelite and elite level. Dissertation, University of Duisburg – Essen.

Samuelsen, L. – V. (2003). Zum Anforderungsprofil im Rhönradwettkampfsport und Auswirkungen auf eine Trainingskonzeption für internationale Wettkämpfe. [Demands profile in wheel gymnastics and consequences for the conception of training or international competitions] Diploma Thesis, German Sports Academy, Cologne.

Schek, A. (2001). Nutritional supplements in competitive sport: necessity or market strategy?. LEISTUNGSSPORT, 31(5), 10-16.

Schevchenko, I., Abramov, V. V., Gibson, P. Τ., & Omar, H. Α. (2008). Medical supervision of young female athletes training in complex coordinational sports. International journal of adolescent medicine and health, 20(3), 343-352. DOI:

Schwidergall S, Weimann E, Witzel C, Mölenkamp G, Brehl S, Böhles H. (1998). Ernährungsverhalten bei weiblichen und männlichen Hochleistungsturnern [Nutritional behavior of female and male high performance gymnasts], Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift, 148(10), 243 - 4.

Sebesta, I. (2002). Rhönrad- Report. Köln: Sport & Buch Strauß.

Šibanc, K., Kalichová, M., Hedbávný, P., Čuk, I., & Pajek, M. B. (2017). Comparison of morphological characteristics of top level male gymnasts between the years of 2000 and 2015. Science of Gymnastics Journal, 9(2), 201 - 211.

Siri, W. E. (1956). The gross composition of the body. Advances in biological and medical physics. 4, 239-280. DOI:

Stokić, E., Srdić, B., & Barak, O. (2005). Body mass index, body fat mass and the occurrence of amenorrhea in ballet dancers. Gynecological endocrinology, 20(4), 195-199. DOI:

Vandorpe, B., Vandendriessche, J., Vaeyens, R., Pion, J., Lefevre, J., Philippaerts, R., & Lenoir, M. (2011). Factors discriminating gymnasts by competitive level. International journal of sports medicine, 32(08), 591-597. DOI:

Weyermann, C. (2016). Zusammenhang zwischen der Rumpfkraft und der Wettkampfleistung in der Senior- sowie Jugendkategorie im Rhönradturnen bezüglich der verschiedenen Disziplinen. [Connection between core power and competitive performance in senior and youth wheel-gymnasts per discipline]. Master Thesis Sports Physiotherapy, University of Salzburg.

Wilmore, J. H. (1991). Eating and weight disorders in the female athlete. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 1(2), 104-117. DOI:







How to Cite


Similar Articles

1-10 of 202

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.