Somatotypes and handgrip strength analysis of elite Serbian sambo athletes

Jelena Slankamenac • Tatjana Trivić • Damjan Jakšić • Miodrag Drapšin • Nemanja Lakićević • Patrik Drid

DOI: 10.31382/eqol.210601


The aim of this study was to establish whether there are differences between weight categories in different anthropometric measurements and handgrip strength between elite Serbian male and female sambo athletes divided into weight categories.
A total of 70 elite Serbian sambo athletes participated in the study, who were participants of the World Cadet Sambo Championship held in Novi Sad. Athletes are classified into categories according to gender and official weight categories. Using anthropometry, we calculated somatotypes and hand-grip strength. For statistical analysis, we used a one-way analysis of variance and Tukey’s post hoc tests to compare group differences by weight categories.
Somatotype analysis shows that a typical somatotype in male sambo athletes was endomorphic mesomorphs. In female groups, the most common somatotype in the lightest categories was mesomorphic ectomorphs, and in the heaviest categories were endomorphic mesomorphs. Examining the handgrip for both left and right hand, as well as in total, shows that there is a statistically significant difference between the categories. In total, the strength of the handgrip increases progressively in groups. In male categories, the difference exists between the first 4 groups and -78kg, as well as between -42kg and -46kg and the heaviest weight category. Differences between weight categories in female athletes were found between the lightest group and last six groups in total, in favor of the last six.
Anthropometric measurements revealed a statistically significant difference between weight categories. Mesomorphy was the most dominant somatotype in male categories, while female athletes differed concerning weight category. The achieved results can serve as data to compare the somatotype and handgrip strength of elite sambo athletes on a national and international level. These findings suggest that the handgrip strength and somatotypes are the keys to success in relation to the weight category.

Keywords: hand strength • skinfold • somatotypes • body weight • martial arts • combat sports.


Ackland, T.R., Lohman, T.G., Sundgot-Borgen, J., Maughan, R.J., Meyer, N.L., Stewart, A.D., & Müller, W. (2012). Current status of body composition assessment in sport. Sports Medicine42(3), 227-249.

Blackwell, J.R., Kornatz, K.W., & Heath, E.M. (1999). Effect of grip span on maximal grip force and fatigue of flexor digitorum superficialis. Applied Ergonomics, 30(5), 401-405.

Carter JRL, Heath BH. Somatotyping: Development and Applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1990.

Dadelo, S., Mečkovskis, A., & Štarevičius, E. (2013). Sports and combat sambo exposure and differences in stage-activity. Ugdymas. Kūno kultūra. Sportas, 2, 12-18.

Drid, P., Tabaković, S., Eliseev, S., Selimovic, N., Jakšić, D., Trivić, T., & Ostojić, S. (2018). Somatotypes of elite male and female junior sambo athletes. Archives of Budo, 14, 189-195.

Franchini, E., Takito, M.Y., Kiss, M.A.P.D.M., & Strerkowicz, S. (2005). Physical fitness and anthropometrical differences between elite and non-elite judo players. Biology of Sport, 22(4), 315.

Franchini, E., Sterkowicz-Przybycien, K., & Yuri Takito, M. (2014). Anthropometrical profile of Judo Athletes: comparative analysis between weight categories. International Journal of Morphology, 32, 36-42.

Franchini, E., Julio, U.F., Panissa, V.L., Lira, F.S., Gerosa-Neto, J., & Branco, B.H. (2016). High-intensity intermittent training positively affects aerobic and anaerobic performance in judo athletes independently of exercise mode. Frontiers in Physiology, 7, 268.

Goran, M.I., Gower, B.A., Treuth, M., & Nagy, T.R. (1998). Prediction of intra-abdominal and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue in healthy pre-pubertal children. International Journal of Obesity, 22(6), 549-558.

Lagan Evans, C., Close, G., Morton, J. (2011). Making weight in combat sports. Strength and conditioning Journal, 33(6), 25-39.

Loucks, A.B. (2004). Energy balance and body composition in sports and exercise. Journal of Sports Sciences, 22(1), 1-14.

Matigka, J. (1921). The testing of physical efficiency. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 4, 223-230.

Mendes, S.H., Tritto, A.C., Guilherme, J.P.L., Solis, M.Y., Vieira, D.E., Franchini, E., … & Artioli, G.G. (2013). Effect of rapid weight loss on performance in combat sport male athletes: does adaptation to chronic weight cycling play a role? British Journal of Sports Medicine, 47(18), 1155-1160.

Osipov A.Y., Kudryavtsev, M.D., Jagiełło, W., Iermakov, S.S., & Błach, W. (2020). Increasing of special physical fitness of the female athletes practicing sambo. Archives of Budo, 16, 53-59.

Serporezyuk, S.D., & Chekhranov, Yu.V. (2014). Formation of basics of tactics of wrestling in standing position in junior sambo wrestling. Physical Culture: upbringing, education, workout, 2, 34-36.

Shyamal, K., & Yadav, K.M. (2009). An association of handgrip strength with some anthropometric variables in Indian cricket players. Facta universitatis-series: Physical Education and Sport, 7(2), 113-123.

Vardar, S., Tezel, S., Öztürk, L., & Kaya, O. (2007). The relationship between body composition and anaerobic performance of elite young wrestlers. Journal of Sport Science and Medicine, 6, 34-38.