In order to examine the physical and physiological demands of water polo, we assessed the profile of elite water polo players. Nineteen male professional water polo players (age: 25.5±5.0 years, height: 184.5±4.3 cm body mass: 90.7±6.4 kg) underwent body composition assessment by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. We also evaluated peak oxygen consumption V̇O2peak lactate threshold (LT), energy cost of swimming (Cs), anaerobic capacity and isokinetic shoulder strength. Body fat (%) was 16.8±4.4, lean mass (LM) 75.1±4.9 kg and bone mineral density (BMD) 1.37±0.07 g·cm-2. V̇O2peak was 57.9±7 ml·kg-1 ·min-1. LT was identified at 3.9±0.7 mmol·l-1 at a swimming velocity (v) of 1.33±0.05 m·s-1 with a heart rate of 154±7 bpm, corresponding to an intensity of 83±9 of V̇O2peak. The average Cs of swimming at the LT was 1.08±0.04 kJ·m-1. Cs at LT was correlated to body mass index (BMI) (r=0.22, P=0.04) and to swimming performance at 400 m (r=0.86, P=0.01) and 4×50 m (r=0.84, P < 0.01). Internal rotator muscles were stronger compared to the external rotators by a 2:1 ratio. This study provides a quantitative representation of both physical and physiological demands of water polo and proposes a comprehensive battery of tests that can be used for assessing the status of a team.
- Body composition
- Energy cost of swimming
- Lactate threshold
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Physiology (medical)