Hierarchical differences in body composition of professional Sumo wrestlers

Ann Hum Biol. 1999 Mar-Apr;26(2):179-84. doi: 10.1080/030144699282886.


The body composition of 36 professional Sumo wrestlers and 39 collegiate male students were assessed densitometrically. The means of body weight, BMI and %fat for Sumo wrestlers were 117.1 kg, 36.5 and 26.2%, extraordinarily large compared with untrained men (p < 0.001). Results of the analysis of variance of divisions of Sumo wrestlers revealed significant differences in body weight, fat-free mass, fat mass, BMI, fat-free mass index (FFM/height2) and fat mass index (FM/height2). For the visual expression of the hierarchical differences of body composition, fat mass index and fat-free mass index of the wrestlers in various leagues were plotted on a body composition chart. Wrestlers in the Sekitori division had significantly larger fat-free mass index scores in comparison with wrestlers from the lower divisions who share a common area of the chart. The cut-off point of fat-free mass index which divided Sekitori wrestlers from other wrestlers is approximately 30 and this value may be one of the anthropometrical indications of whether or not a Sumo wrestler is destined to be successful.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Densitometry
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / anatomy & histology
  • Wrestling / classification
  • Wrestling / physiology*