Physical Characteristics Of The Athlete 30

Figure 7.

Figs. 7 and 8, a, b (pages 70 - 73), and Chart IV. (page 74), represent two young men whose peculiar development characterizes another branch of athletics. Fig. 7 has the college record as a hurdle-jumper. His height falls in the eighty per cent class, his height of knee in the forty per cent class, his sitting height in the seventy per cent, and his pubic arch in the eighty-seven and a half per cent class. When it is known that this man clears his hurdles in regular strides, "bucking" them, as it is termed, the advantage of the short leg, long thigh, and comparatively short body is manifest. The chest is small, and the girth of the chest in repose is proportionally larger than the girth of the chest when inflated. This is due to the fact that in most men the difference between the natural and inflated chest is due in part to the muscular development, so admirably exhibited in Fig. 8, a, b. In Fig. 7, Chart IV., the breathing capacity reaches the ninety per ct. class. Here the pectoral muscles show a comparatively slight development; but the breathing is largely abdominal, and the broad waist and deep chest indicate considerable mobility in the chest and abdominal walls. The gluteal muscles about the hips are well developed, as are also the muscles of the thigh and leg. The development of the arms and shoulders is not so favorable. The difference in favor of the right side of the body is probably due to the take off (start) of the jump being from the right leg. The outlines of the muscles in this case are remarkably well defined, indicating a fine condition.

Physical Characteristics Of The Athlete 31

Figure 8, a.

Figure 8, a and b. - S------, Yale, '89; age, 19 years, 1 month; weight, 138 lbs.; height, 5 feet, 8.5 inches. Holds the Intercollegiate record for broad-jumping, 21 feet, 7 1/2 inches; and the Yale record for pole-vaulting, 10 feet, 3 1/2 inches; and 5 feet, 6$ inches for the running high jump.

Physical Characteristics Of The Athlete 32

Figure 8, b. (See description, Page 72.)

Chart IV., plotted from Figs, 7 and 8.

Chart IV., plotted from Figs, 7 and 8.

In Fig. 8, a, b, Chart IV., the same peculiarity in the relative length of body, legs, and thighs is not so well marked. The bony framework in this case is considerably smaller, and the muscles are proportionally larger. Here the ability to excel in pole-vaulting rather than in long jumping is apparent. The peculiar development of the arms, chest, and shoulders is characteristic of the gymnast. The shortness of the upper and forearm affords an excellent leverage for the muscles attached to these bones, and this young man could easily excel on the parallel bars, horizontal bar, or rings. For a similar reason the intercollegiate record for pole-vaulting is within his grasp. The development above the hips may enable him to get a lift or elevation from the ground which he cannot obtain in any other way. This advantage, coupled with the relatively long and muscular thigh, the ability to run short distances, and to concentrate the nervous energy of the body into single efforts, gives the power needed.

How little this ability to make violent spasmodic efforts contributes to one's lasting or staying power may be inferred from a glance at the lung-capacity. Here depth of chest is to be attributed largely to muscular development, and the strength of lungs to the power of exhaling with a quick, explosive effort. Contrast the form of the chest and waist in this case (Fig. 8) with that of the long-distance runner from Yale (Fig. 6).

In connection with jumping, the measurements of W. B. Page, who recently represented this country in athletic contests in England, will be interesting. Page has a record of 6 feet 3 1/4 inches for high jumping. Considering his height (5 feet 6.9 inches), this performance is something phenomenal. We find his weight on the fifty-five per cent line, his height on the forty per cent, knee-height on the twenty per cent, sitting height just above the five per cent, pubic arch on the fifteen per cent, and height of sternum on the fifty-five per cent line. Although very short compared with the sitting height, the body is long compared with the stature, as evidenced by the high position of the sternum. This being proportionally several points above the total height on the chart, it would indicate a relatively short neck. It will be seen that the jumper's characteristics are wanting here in the relatively long thigh and short leg, though both are proportionally long for the body. When we come to consider the other measurements, this apparent disadvantage is to a certain extent accounted for. All the bone measurements are very small, and the muscle measurements exceedingly large, the girth of head falling on the five per cent line, while the girth of chest is on the ninety per cent line. The girth of the knee falls on the thirty per cent line, the girth of elbow on the twenty, and the girth of the thigh, calf, arm, and forearm near the eighty per cent line. If the measurements as plotted are correct, this man owes his success in jumping rather to his light, bony framework, short trunk, and superb muscular development than to the relative strength of limb that we find in many jumpers. In a person so constituted nearly every muscle in the body contributes something to the effort in jumping.

Physical Characteristics Of The Athlete 34

Figure 9.

Figure 9. - B------, Harvard, '87; age, 22 years, 3 months; weight, 172 lbs.; height, 5 feet, 9.3 inches. Pulled the past three years on the Harvard University crew; played centre-rush in the '86 Harvard foot-ball eleven, and has had at least five years of exercise as a rowing man and foot-ball player.