Comparison of body composition and physical fitness in elite and non-elite Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes

    B. Ferreira Marinho, , , L. Vidal Andreato, B. Follmer, E. Franchini

a Physical Education Department, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, Brazil
b State University of Santa Catarina, Center of Physical Education, Physiotherapy, and Sports, Florianópolis, Brazil
c Physical Education Department, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil
d School of Physical Education and Sport, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Science & Sports Journal

Objective
This study was designed to investigate whether there are differences in body composition, flexibility, muscle strength and endurance between elite and non-elite Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes.

Methods
Eighteen male brown and black belts Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes were divided into two groups: elite group (EG) (n = 8, 25 ± 2 years old, 76 ± 10 kg) and non-elite group (NEG) (n = 10, 24 ± 4 years old, 72 ± 5 kg). The sample performed assessments to estimate the body composition via skinfold thickness; maximal strength via 1-RM tests in the bench press and squat exercises; abdominal and upper limb strength endurance using 1-min sit-up and 1-min push-up tests, respectively; and flexibility by sit-and-reach test. Independent Student t test was used to compare groups and Cohen’s effect size (d) was also calculated.

Results
Groups differed in the percentage of body fat (EG: 11.2 ± 3.0%, NEG: 14.8 ± 3.0%, P = 0.049, d = 1.20), bench press 1-RM (EG: 111 ± 6 kg, NEG: 98 ± 6 kg, P < 0.001, d = 2.17), 1-min sit-up test (EG: 46 ± 4 reps., NEG: 40 ± 3 reps., P = 0.007, d = 1.70), 1-min push-up test (EG: 41 ± 3 reps., NEG: 36 ± 3 reps., P = 0.018, d = 1.67) and sit-and-reach test (EG: 40 ± 3 cm, NEG: 32 ± 3 cm, P < 0.001, d = 2.67). The groups did not differ for the absolute maximal strength in the squat (EG: 91 ± 8 kg, NEG: 88 ± 7 kg, P = 0.410, d = 0.40) and relative maximal strength in the bench press (EG: 1.46 ± 0.13 kg/kg, NEG: 1.36 ± 0.11 kg/kg, P = 0.096, d = 0.40) and squat (EG: 1.20 ± 0.13 kg/kg, NEG: 1.23 ± 0.13 kg/kg, P = 0.700, d = 0.23).

Conclusions
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu elite athletes showed lower body fat percentage, higher abdominal and upper limb strength endurance, higher flexibility and absolute maximal strength in the bench press compared to non-elite athletes.

Keywords
Combat sports; Sports performance; Physical assessment

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