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Physical characteristics, physiological attributes, and on-court performances of handball players: A review

The main purpose of this article was to review a series of studies (n=23) on physical characteristics, physiological attributes, throwing velocity and accuracy, and on-court performances of male handball players - amateur players, experienced players, professional players, and players on the national team. Five main findings emerged from our review: (1) Elite players are heavier and have higher fat-free mass than amateur players. (2) The maximal oxygen uptake of male players is between 50 and 60 ml · kg-1 · min-1. (3) Throwing velocity is higher by as much as 9% in elite male players compared with amateur male players. (4) Heart rates can rise above 160 beats · min-1 in male players during a game. (5) On-court distance covered in a game averaged approximately 4 km and ranged between 2 and 5 km, depending on playing position. Our methodological concerns based on the reviewed studies are: (a) a lack of on-court physiological data; (b) a lack of experimental/manipulative studies; (c) limited data on throwing accuracy; and (d) a lack of longitudinal studies. The practical implications include: (a) strength and power exercises should be emphasized in conditioning programmes, as they are associated with both sprint performance and throwing velocity; (b) speed and agility drills should also be implemented in conditioning programmes; and (c) specificity of training based upon the position of the player is of great importance when planning strength and conditioning programmes.
© Copyright 2009 European Journal of Sport Science. Taylor & Francis. All rights reserved.

Subjects: handball high performance sport elite sport O2-uptake strength throws physiology sport physiology body indices anthropometry movement precision training physical conditioning ability
Notations: sport games biological and medical sciences
DOI: 10.1080/17461390903038470
Published in: European Journal of Sport Science
Published: 2009
Volume: 9
Issue: 6
Pages: 375-386
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced