Could YOU compete at the Commonwealth Games? Scientist reveals the ideal physique

Were you born to be an elite athlete that might take house the gold on the Commonwealth Games?

While coaching the muscle tissues and growing stamina are each important, in addition to limitless dedication, different bodily traits put some sportspeople better off.

Studies have advised that the chance of changing into an elite athlete is influenced by genetics by over 70 per cent, relying on the game. 

With the Commonwealth Games heating up in Birmingham, Dr Adam Hawkey from Solent University has revealed precisely how physique sort could play an element in who will get a podium end.

Speaking completely to the MailOnline, he stated: ‘According to some analysis, innate elements essential to sporting efficiency – resembling energy, power, cardio capability, flexibility and coordination – are predominantly decided by our genetic make-up.’

Dr Hawkey, an Associate Professor of Sports Science and Human Performance, advised that swimmers profit from an extended physique and brief legs, so their centre of mass is additional up their physique and helps to cut back drag.

Many weightlifters could have an armspan shorter than their peak, because it means they’ve much less distance to cowl when shifting the bar.

While garden bowlers may possess an above common hand dimension, as this offers them higher management of the ball.

With the Games heating up in Birmingham, Dr Adam Hawkey from Solent University has revealed precisely how physique sort could play an element in who will get a podium end in several sports activities

Eilish McColgan (pictured), who won gold in the women’s 10,000 m at the Commonwealth Games this week is tall and lean so can take long strides as a distance runner

Eilish McColgan (pictured), who gained gold within the ladies’s 10,000 m on the Commonwealth Games this week is tall and lean so can take lengthy strides as a distance runner

Dr Hawkey added: ‘While muscle tissues could be educated to be extra highly effective and extra environment friendly, there’s evidence that, to some extent, our muscle varieties are pre-determined.

‘So if somebody is born with predominantly sort 1a muscle fibres they are going to be pre-dispositioned for energy, pace and power occasions.’

Type 1a muscle tissues have wealthy capillary provide, quite a few cardio respiratory enzymes and a excessive focus of myoglobin that improves the supply of oxygen.

‘While there isn’t any excellent physique sort for all sports activities, there are some particular traits that can massively profit sure disciplines,’ the scientist stated.

Swimming

To be an elite swimmer that spends an above common time with their head underwater, it will make sense that larger lungs present a pure benefit.

While it has yet to be concluded if the above-average lung dimension is influenced by genetics, Dr Hawkey stated that there are different traits that might give a swimmer the sting.

‘Height has of big affect on success,’ he stated, as pace in swimming is about stroke price multiplied by stroke size.

The common peak of swimmers within the finals on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games was 6’2″ (1.88 m) for men and 5’9″ (1.75 m) for ladies.

This is over six inches (15 cm) greater than the worldwide common for each genders.   

Dr Hawkey added: ‘However, being tall shouldn’t be mandatory a predictor of efficiency. More particularly, having an extended torso with lengthy arms, shorter legs, and slim hips all assist.

‘Long arms assist with attain, each for strokes and on the end, and a lengthy physique with brief legs implies that the centre of mass strikes nearer to the lungs, serving to with buoyancy and decreasing drag.

‘Having massive lungs additionally contributes to elevated buoyancy and moreover helps with endurance.’

Dr Hawkey said that 'height has of huge influence on success' in swimming, as speed is about stroke rate multiplied by stroke length. Long arms help with reach in strokes and at the finish

Dr Hawkey stated that ‘peak has of big affect on success’ in swimming, as pace is about stroke price multiplied by stroke size. Long arms assist with attain in strokes and on the end

Micheal Phelps, former aggressive swimmer and essentially the most adorned Olympian of all time, is 6'4" (1.93 m) and has a two-metre arm span

He also has large feet, wearing a size 14 shoe, and is double jointed at the elbows, knees and ankles

Micheal Phelps, former competitive swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, is 6’4″ (1.93 m) and has a two-metre arm span. He additionally has massive ft, carrying a dimension 14 shoe, and is double jointed on the elbows, knees and ankles, all of which give him a bonus

The fastest athletes in the 100 metres 

Usain Bolt (August 2009) – 9.58 seconds

Tyson Gay (September 2009) – 9.69 seconds

Yohan Blake (August 2012) – 9.69 seconds

Asafa Powell (September 2008) – 9.72 seconds

Justin Gatlin (May 2015) – 9.74 seconds

Christian Coleman (September 2019) – 9.76 seconds

Trayvon Bromell (September 2021) – 9.76 seconds

Fred Kerley (June 2022) – 9.76 seconds

Ferdinand Omanyala (September 2021) – 9.77 seconds

Nesta Carter August 2010) – 9.78 seconds

Micheal Phelps, former competitive swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, is 6’4″ (1.93 m) and has a two-metre arm span.

He additionally has massive ft, carrying a dimension 14 shoe, and is double jointed on the elbows, knees and ankles.

Dr Hawkey stated: ‘Large fingers and ft can be utilized as paddles and flippers respectively – each serving to to propel the swimmer ahead quicker. 

‘Having excessive ranges of flexibility – particularly hyperextension of the elbows, knees, and ankles – allow swimmers a higher vary of motion.’

Athletics 

Athletics covers a broad vary of disciplines, which is mirrored by the physique varieties that profit the athletes most.

Explosive occasions like sprinting and shot put require higher ranges of quick twitch fibres within the muscle tissues that contract rapidly and provide brief bursts of energy.

Studies have discovered that elite energy athletes are sometimes born with a genetic variant within the ACTN3 gene, that’s associated to muscle composition.

This variant causes muscle cells to provide alpha-actinin-3, a protein that causes fast-twitch muscle fibres to quickly contract. 

Dr Hawkey added: ‘Competitors in distance occasions profit from taller, leaner physique varieties, which allow them to take longer extra environment friendly strides, masking extra floor with much less effort.’

Scotland’s Eilish McColgan, who gained gold within the ladies’s 10,000m on the Commonwealth Games this week, embodies this at 5’11” (1.8 m) and 117 lb (53 kg).

‘Therefore, spare a thought for the multi-event athletes, like gold medal-winning heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who must compete in events across the power-endurance spectrum,’ said Dr Hawkey.

‘These competitors must make some compromises, but generally lean towards the power events.’

Dr Hawkey said: 'Competitors in distance events benefit from taller, leaner body types, which enable them to take longer more efficient strides, covering more ground with less effort'

Dr Hawkey said: ‘Competitors in distance events benefit from taller, leaner body types, which enable them to take longer more efficient strides, covering more ground with less effort’

Cycling 

Since the pandemic, there has been a huge boom in cycling in the UK, with Brits of all demographics donning the Lycra.

Studies have proven {that a} bicycle owner’s peak, mass and muscle composition play an element of their efficiency on two wheels.

Athletes trained in explosive sports, like track cycling, may benefit from shorter femurs, as they resist the jumping movement less than longer ones.

Dr Hawkey said: ‘Sprint cyclists are significantly shorter, heavier and stronger, with larger chest, arm, thigh and calf girths than other cyclists.

‘Competitors in road cycling, which involves greater distances, tend to be lighter, leaner and have increased capacity to utilise oxygen. 

‘Their longer leg-to-height ratios compared to other groups also results in reduced aerodynamic drag, which slows down the bike.

‘Mountain bikers, like Evie Richards who won gold yesterday, need to have a combination of characteristics from their track and road counterparts.’

For cyclists, a short torso and longer legs gives a longer leg-to-height ratio, resulting in reduced aerodynamic drag which slows down the bike

For cyclists, a short torso and longer legs gives a longer leg-to-height ratio, resulting in reduced aerodynamic drag which slows down the bike

Mountain biker Evie Richards (pictured) gained gold for England on the Commonwealth Games. At 5'7" (1.64 m) she is of average height, giving her a balance of strength and endurance

Mountain biker Evie Richards (pictured) won gold for England at the Commonwealth Games. At 5’7″ (1.64 m) she is of common peak, giving her a stability of power and endurance 

Weightlifting

Being naturally muscular would, in fact, be useful to knowledgeable weight lifter, however it isn’t the one trait that Commonwealth athletes would profit from.

Dr Hawkey, who has expertise advising Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth athletes in a variety of sporting disciplines, says that this can be one sport the place shorter is best than longer.

Most individuals’s arm-spans are roughly the identical as their peak, however studies have proven that these with smaller forearm-to-torso ratio can carry comparatively bigger weights. 

He stated: ‘Shorter levers – on this case the arms – implies that powerlifters, like Scotland’s para-athlete Micky Yule, have much less distance to maneuver the bar. 

‘This is analogous for different lifting occasions, the place research has proven that being shorter, having shorter thighs and torsos, and a smaller thigh length-to-height ratio are all linked to improved efficiency.’

Research has proven that being shorter, having shorter thighs and torsos, and a smaller thigh length-to-height ratio are all linked to improved efficiency in weightlifting

Dr Hawkey said: 'Shorter levers - in this case the arms - means that powerlifters, like Scotland’s para-athlete Micky Yule (pictured), have less distance to move the bar'

Dr Hawkey stated: ‘Shorter levers – on this case the arms – implies that powerlifters, like Scotland’s para-athlete Micky Yule (pictured), have much less distance to maneuver the bar’

Lawn bowls 

Appendage dimension doesn’t simply play an element within the historically extra ‘lively’ occasions, as garden bowlers may even capitalise on their bodily dimensions.

Having maintain on the ball is essential in bowls, as gripping too tightly causes the arm muscle tissues to tighten and contract, including stress to the entire physique and affecting the bowler’s swing.

The heavier the ball is, the extra momentum it gathers and the better it’s to maneuver the opponent’s ball, nonetheless the ball should nonetheless match contained in the participant’s hand correctly, so a bigger hand ought to give a bonus.

Dr Hawkey stated: ‘In the extra sedate – though no much less aggressive – sport of garden bowls, bigger fingers can help with the bowler with the ability to have higher manipulation and subsequently management over the bowling ball, permitting for improved shot accuracy.’

Appendage size does not just play a part in the traditionally more 'active' events, as lawn bowlers could even capitalise on their physical dimensions

Appendage dimension doesn’t simply play an element within the historically extra ‘lively’ occasions, as garden bowlers may even capitalise on their bodily dimensions

'Larger hands can assist with the bowler being able to have greater manipulation and therefore control over the bowling ball' said Dr Hawkey. Pictured: Craig Bowler of Team England

‘Larger fingers can help with the bowler with the ability to have higher manipulation and subsequently management over the bowling ball’ stated Dr Hawkey. Pictured: Craig Bowler of Team England

Bigger bums assist athletes run quicker: Large gluteus maximus can enhance efficiency by as much as 44 per cent, examine exhibits 

Experts from Loughborough University found that sprinters (pictured) with a large gluteus maximus — the muscle that forms the bottom — can run up to 44 per cent faster

Experts from Loughborough University discovered that sprinters (pictured) with a big gluteus maximus — the muscle that kinds the underside — can run as much as 44 per cent quicker

Unsure who to position a guess on within the males’s 100 meters on the Commonwealth Games? Well, scientists could have a helpful mantra for you: ‘I like massive butts and I cannot lie.’

Experts from Loughborough University discovered that sprinters with a big gluteus maximus — the muscle that kinds the underside — can run as much as 44 per cent quicker.

The staff found this ‘booty enhance’ issue after evaluating the decrease physique muscle tissues of of males who had been both elite sprinters, sub-elite athletes or untrained.

Elite sprinters — these with a private better of beneath 9.99 seconds within the 100 metres — had been discovered to be not solely extra muscular usually, but in addition in a really particular method.

While their calf muscle tissues had been related in dimension to these of their sub-elite counterparts, others — together with the gluteus maximus and hip extensors — had been far greater.

The findings have the potential to revolutionise the bodily coaching and efficiency of many athletes, the researchers claimed.