Terzis, G., Georgiadis, G., Vassiliadou, E. et al. Eur J Appl Physiol (2003) 90: 10. doi:10.1007/s00421-003-0847-x
It is commonly accepted that shot put performance is mainly determined by the ability of the lower body to produce power. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between shot put performance and triceps brachii muscle fiber type composition and strength capacity. Thirteen male physical education students were selected to participate in the study based upon their shot put performance after 5 weeks of shot put technique instruction. At the completion of this technique-instruction period, they performed the following tests: shot put with a 6-kg shot, isokinetic torque measurements of the elbow extensors at 0, 0.52, 1.04, 1.57, 2.09, 3.14, and 4.19 rad·s−1, maximal strength (1 RM) and explosive-throwing bench-press tests, one-arm seated shot put with 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-kg shot. Whole-body and dominant upper-arm bioimpedance measurements were used to estimate whole-body and upper-arm muscle mass. Muscle biopsy samples from the long head of the dominant triceps brachii were obtained and analyzed for fiber type composition with ATPase histochemistry. Shot put performance was significantly correlated with type II fiber area (r=0.70, P<0.01), one-arm seated shot put (range r=0.60 to r=0.79, P<0.05), elbow extensors' isokinetic torque (range r=0.65 to r=0.78, P<0.05), bench-press tests (r>0.86, P<0.01) and estimated arm muscle cross-sectional area (r=0.68, P<0.05). These results suggest that fiber type composition and the functional capacity of triceps brachii muscle (e.g., isokinetic torque) explain a part of shot put performance. The magnitude of the correlation coefficients between shot put and the upper-body power tests suggests that other body parts (e.g., lower extremities) may play a significant role in this event.