A Comparison of Somatic Variables of Elite Ice Hockey Players from the Czech ELH and Russian KHL

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Abstract

The goals of this study were to evaluate the basic morphological variables of contemporary elite ice hockey players, compare the parameters of players in the top Russian ice hockey league (KHL) with those of the top Czech ice hockey league (ELH), and to evaluate the parameters of players according to their position in the game. The research participants included 30 KHL players (mean age: 27.1 ± 5.1 years) and 25 ELH players (mean age: 26.4 ± 5.8 years). We determined body height, body mass, and body composition (body fat, fat-free mass, segmental fat analysis). All measurements were performed at the end of preseason training. The KHL players had the following anthropometric characteristics: body height 182.97 ± 5.61 cm (forward) and 185.72 ± 3.57 cm (defenseman), body mass 89.70 ± 5.28 kg (forward) and 92.52 ± 4.01 kg (defenseman), body fat 10.76 ± 0.63 kg (forward) and 11.10 ± 0.48 kg (defenseman), fatfree mass 78.94 ± 4.65 kg (forward) and 81.42 ± 3.52 kg (defenseman). The values for ELH players were as follows: body height 182.06 ± 5.93 cm (forward) and 185.88 ± 7.13 cm (defenseman), body mass 88.47 ± 7.06 kg (forward) and 89.36 ± 10.91 kg (defenseman), body fat 12.57 ± 2.89 kg (forward) and 11.91 ± 3.10 kg (defenseman), fat-free mass 75.93 ± 6.54 kg (forward) and 77.46 ± 7.89 kg (defenseman). The results indicate that it is beneficial to ice hockey players to have increased body mass and lower body fat, which leads to higher muscle mass, thus enabling a player to perform at the highest level and meet the specific challenges of the game.

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