Background: Studies on the anthropometric, physical and physiological characteristics among Malaysian Paralympic powerlifters are limited. This study examined the sociodemographic, clinical information and anthropometric physical parameters of Paralympic powerlifters in Malaysia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted during a Powerlifting Workshop and National Championship in 2016. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on powerlifters’ sociodemographic, sports participation history and medical information. All participants underwent a structured physical medical examination and anthropometric assessments.
Results: Fifty-two powerlifters participated in this study. Mean age of participants was 24.50±SD8.25 year. The majority of the participants were men (82.7%) and most had spinal cord injury (34.6%) or amputation of the lower limb (26.9%). Most of the powerlifters competed at district and state level championships and 42.3% had represented Malaysia at international competitions. Women powerlifters had a significantly higher amount of body fat compared to men (35.61% vs 19.80%; p=0.003). Male power-lifters had significantly longer arm and forearm length (30.10±IQR3.00 cm vs 23.00±IQR2.13 cm; p=0.020). A significantly positive relationship was found between age, experience, weight, BMI, LBM, arm circumferences (relaxed and tensed) and the powerlifter’s best lift. Age, experience, body weight, BMI, lean body mass, body fat, hip circumference and arm circumferences (relaxed and tensed) met the criteria for inclusion in a multivariate model. Years of experience and non-dominant arm circumference (tensed) were significant predictors of best lifts among powerlifters.
Conclusion: In conclusion, assessment of anthropometric measures could be useful in monitoring athletes’ progress with training and have a role in the talent identification program for Paralympic powerlifters.