Balance almost goes hand in hand with the co-ordination they will need; as they will be trying to move around the arena in order to try and push their opposition to the ground or out of the arena as well as trying to predetermine what their opponent might do next in order to get the advantage. They must try to do all of this while staying on their feet.
Sumo wrestlers also will need relatively good reaction times, in order to react to the opposition’s attacks, so they can turn them into a winning opportunity for them selves.
Sumo wrestling also involves a lot of health related fitness components, one of the main ones being a high percentage of body fat in their body composition. They need a lot of fat because when it comes to a wrestling match the lighter fighter is going to have a tough job in over coming a heavier opponent even if they have superior strength and power. Obviously having such a high percentage of body composition as fat is bad for them, in particularly their hearts; as the fat will store as cholesterol in the heart and arteries, and may eventually cause a heart attack or stroke.
This large amount of fat will mean their cardio vascular system will be very weak, as the fat they put on will to a certain extent be stored in their heart and arteries, which will have similar side effects to smoking, i.e. finding it hard to get blood through the body effectively due to clogging in heart and arteries, and eventually causing heart diseases or heart attacks.
Despite this sumo wrestlers still need a lot of specific types of strength which they will need to combine with speed to make them powerful. Sumo wrestlers will primarily need large gross/maximum strength, as if the fighters are evenly matched they will need to use the greatest force that they possibly can in order to push the other fighter out of the arena, i.e. their 1 rep max. They will also need good elastic/power strength due to the nature of the starts of the fight, as at the beginning they will run towards their opponent as fast as possible and try to overcome the resistance of the other opponent very quickly, so some bouts only last a very short time.
The strength training the sumo wrestlers do is quite intense and so can counter for the massive amount of fats they load on, as if they exercise hard enough and often enough, the cholesterol that could potentially be stored in the arteries will be used as an energy source during exercise.
When sumo wrestlers retire, they must be careful not to stop training too rapidly as the fat which was being used as energy source will just be left in their heart and arteries and their body would not be able to adjust to the changes quickly enough so their fats would soon be starting to clog their arteries. To lose all the fat they gained during wrestling, they must do a lot of anaerobic training in long low intensity periods as aerobic training is the best way to burn fat. But they must also do some aerobic training in order to keep their heart and arteries healthy.
As each position in football requires different skills I will focus on a the central mid fielder who has to be good at all aspects of the game, as they will have to defend and attack.
A mid fielder requires a lot of skill related components to cover each part of their game. They will need very good agility in order to run with the ball at speed and be able to change direction quickly to take the ball past another player. They also need agility when defending as they may have to run with a player who is carrying the ball and change direction quickly to try and tackle him. This goes in unison with needing good reaction times as they will need to react quickly to what the player with the ball is doing to either try and tackle him or intercept his/her shot or pass.
They will also need to have good balance so they don’t get pushed off the ball easily and so they can stay on their feet when in competition for the ball (50/50 situations).
When they have the ball they will need good co-ordination to be able to run with it and to be looking around them so they know who to pass to next or where to shoot. When running with the ball they will also need to be quite speedy to try and run it past the opposition. In defending situations they will have to be quick as well, in order to chase the player with the ball.
A footballer also requires a lot of health related fitness components in order to be the best they can. A midfielder will mainly need a good cardio vascular system so they can keep a good running pace throughout the game; but they also need a strong anaerobic system as well, so when they have to they can sprint without getting tired too easily. The best way for them to build up both of the cardio vascular systems is through fartlek training which can involve walking, jogging and sprinting. For example they could jog for 3 minutes, then sprint 50 metres then walk for 1 minute, then restart the cycle again.
They will need to have a high amount of muscular endurance to be able to keep running for long periods of time, and also to keep kicking the ball, as that will involve similar contraction each time you do it. To kick the ball they may also require some muscular power so they can hit the ball far enough to make his/her passes reach or so s/he can hit it hard enough to beat the goal keeper.
Footballers need to have very good upper body muscular strength as well so they won’t be easily pushed off the ball; and to give them a big advantage in 50/50 situations where they might be able to win the ball by simply being stronger.
Football players also need to be flexible so they can get extra reach when trying to win a header or stretching for a tackle. By being flexible they will also reduce the risk of getting an injury at a joint because when they stretch their joints (ligaments and tendons in particularly) they won’t cause them selves any damage as their joints will be used to that kind of intensity stretch.
Unlike a sumo wrestler who would have to stop training gradually to lower the risk of getting a heart attack or a stroke, a footballer could retire quite suddenly and still have no life threatening side effects. This is because they train aerobically and anaerobically, so when they retire their hearts won’t have grown so much that is could not cope with the sudden lack of aerobic exercise. Neither would they have to worry about their hearts clogging up with cholesterol. Although if they stopped suddenly some of their muscle would turn to fat, but not enough to cause any real damage; as footballers muscles are trained more for endurance rather than gross strength, so they aren’t big enough to reverse into any kind of life threatening fat.
The Effect of Fitness Components on Health
In terms on flexibility in agility on a sumo wrestler’s health, the nature of the sport that they play means, that they may have good flexibility during wrestling but after they retire, the sport will have more negative effects on their flexibility and agility when they are older. This is because the huge forces being put on their joints, in particular their knees and ankles which can have up to 150kg on top of them. Although their joints (ligaments, tendons, bones etc) will become stronger and adapt to the weight changes, without proper guidance it is easier for a sumo wrestler to become to heavy too quickly, so in the long run their joints will be very weak and will almost definitely require some kind of support to walk/move with.
To counter this though sumo wrestlers do have very good balance which will benefit their health, as if they do make sure that they keep their joints healthy enough so that they do not become too weak after retirement, then their extremely good balance should mean that they will be able to walk with very little help until a very old age.
Sumo wrestlers also need a lot of muscle to be an effective wrestler, which can make them healthier while they wrestle but can easily be lost and turn to fat if they do not diet and exercise appropriately after retirement from wrestling.
Sumo wrestlers do require a high percentage of body fat, but obviously this is not good for the body and is not healthy, as although sumo wrestlers eat moderately healthy food they eat it in large quantities and often combine it with a lot of beer which makes you fat quite quickly. This large amount of fat will not only have effects on limbs and joints but more seriously it can have fatal effects on the internal organs, in particular on the arteries, where fat will be stored as cholesterol and can easily lead to heart defects and illness. If a sumo wrestler weighing 150kg does not diet properly after retirement with cardio vascular exercise, they will almost certainly shorten their life considerably compared to someone with average weight and health.
High blood pressure is another very important aspect of health that sumo wrestlers need to think about when training and when retiring. This is because if the heart and arteries are clogged with deposits of cholesterol the width of the arteries is going to decrease, as a direct result of this blood pressure will increase. If the arteries and heart are under high blood pressure for a long period of time the inner walls of the arteries (essentially the coronary arteries) will be come damaged due to the stress being put upon them. This leaves them vulnerable to a build up of fat deposits, which can in turn block up the arteries even more, which will lower the amount of blood and therefore oxygen getting around the body. Without treatment and correct guidance high blood pressure can lead to heart failure, strokes, kidney damage and in some cases a loss of vision. (Exercise and Physiology).
The high percentage of body fat also has a very negative effect on their body structure and mobility; as the body (in particularly the joints and bones) is not designed to withstand such high forces upon them. The main joints under high amounts of stress would be the pelvis joints, knee joints and ankle joints (especially the achilles tendon which is carrying the whole weight of the body and is already prone to injury in people of the correct weight ranges). Arthritis is a common joint problem, although it is mainly connected to old age it has been proven that the chance of getting arthritus rises in overweight people () such as sumo wrestlers. The most common form of arthritis in obese people is osteoarthritis (http://www.arthroscopy.com/sp07001.htm), which is a break down of the cartilage in the knee; once the cartilage breaks down the bones begin to rub together and eventually the joint will lose mobility all together; osteoarthritis is very commonly found within the knee and hip joints.
The high amount of weight being put on the bones and joints can also have much more short term effects than arthritis. Due to the high amount of force being exerted on the long bones of the lower body they are much more prone to fracture as if they land awkwardly putting all their weight on one leg they’re much more likely to fracture their femur, tibia or fibula than someone in their appropriate weight bracket. Also during sumo wrestling or during normal life if they fall over the automatic reaction is to put your hands out in front of you; but with the excess weight sumo wrestlers are carrying it is much more likely that they might fracture their wrist, or their arm bones (radius, ulna and humerous).
The risk of short term joints problems are also increased by excess body fat; in the same way that bones can be easily fractured by higher forces from an overweight person; ligaments and synovial capsules can also be more susceptible to injury in obese people such as sumo wrestlers; simply because of the weight being put on them during every day life, and especially during wrestling.
The constant improvement of flexibility over a footballer’s career will put them in good stead for when they are elderly, as you often find that elderly people have a very restricted movement around their joints (a common illness is arthritis where the cartilage has worn down where two bones meet and the bones are then rubbing). Yet for a footballer who has quite good flexibility s/he should find that in later life they will be an advantage to people who play little sport or sports which require very little flexibility.
This can also work negatively though, as if a football player plays too regularly without professional guidance/treatment (i.e. a sports physiotherapist) s/he could easily wear down or damage their cartilage which would obviously hinder them in their later life. Despite specialized support some professional footballers still suffer from joint problems, either a sudden injury from an accident while playing football, or an injury just through the stress on the joints from rigorous day in day out training.
A footballers reaction times will also benefit them in everyday life, as clearly if you can react to bad situations quickly your more likely to come out of them in good health. Having good reaction times is also partly knowing what is going on around you, so in terms of health if you have good reaction times you will also have a better sense of what is going on around you.
In terms of a footballer’s health the balance they gain from playing football can benefit them in later life, as many elderly people have to rely on some kind of support to get them around; this is generally because of weakness in muscles or joints, but it can also be because of a lack of their kinaesthetic sense, and essentially a lack of equilibrium as if they don’t naturally know where their limbs are in relation to rest of their body they cannot balance properly.
All footballers will have a good cardio vascular system, and in relation to their health it is very important, without a good cardiovascular system they couldn’t play football at a high standard for 90 minutes. Also in terms of their general health, a good cardio vascular system is very important as we rely on it to get oxygen around the body. Having a good cardio vascular system will definitely make you live for longer and more healthily, compared to someone who plays no sport. This is because the majority of deaths that occur in elderly people are due to the heart not being able to get enough oxygen to the muscles and most importantly the brain, which is what is sending the messages to the heart in order to make it contract. This usually happens during sleep when the heart it as it most rested state, and so isn’t getting enough oxygen round the body. Yet if you have a strong cardio vascular system, your heart will be more muscular and therefore pump more blood out in each contraction, so even at rest the brain will be getting sufficient amounts of oxygen at an elderly age.
Having good muscular endurance will benefit your general health as well as your football, this is because when your older if you have very weak endurance in your muscles you may well need some kind of aid to get around with it, i.e. a walking stick or in more extreme cases a wheel chair, this is due to your muscles no longer having the strength to contract effectively. Although having good muscular endurance while you’re at your “footballing” age will not help you when your getting elderly, due to reversibility effects on your muscles, it will give you a head start. It’s unlikely that professional footballers will need a walking aid when they are older because they almost definitely will have a passion for sport, so will want to continue playing it more leisurely after they retire, and therefore they will keep a lot of their muscular endurance.
Even though all of the fitness components used by professional footballers generally benefit your health, particularly in later life, they can also hinder your health. This is simply because of the amount of football and general exercise they do, most professional teams train 5/6 days a week with a game almost every week. Many injuries occur during training, either due to a one off accident, like pulling a muscle or breaking a bone. Injuries can also be related to the great amounts of training and playing football they do, as obviously this has its effects on the body and after too much strain someone can easily pick up an injury. Some Injuries also occur during the match, this can also be due to wear and tear but unlike training a player could easily be injured through a bad tackle, this can happen quite easily due to the nature of the professional game and its competitiveness.
(Information about health guidelines for Sumo Wrestling were emailed too me by the owner of )
The minimum requirements for height and weight in sumo wrestling are 170 cm and 75 kg, respectively. Average size of the men in the top division is around 150 KG. Sumo wrestlers are usually quite quick over 5 meters but not over any kind of longer distance (i.e. they would be terrible in a 100m sprint). They are very strong and fit for the purpose of throwing their opponent to the ground or out of the ring. Sumo wrestlers’ training is quite intense and strenuous; they train mainly on improving muscular strength (and power) and balance. They do a lot of martial arts training to improve their balance and fighting skills, which they then can incorporate into their sumo wrestling. The traditional food that sumo wrestlers eat is Chanko Nabe, which is a healthy meat and vegetable stew with rice. This meal is high in protein to build muscle and also high in complex carbohydrates to give energy, but is surprisingly low in fat. Although this meal is relatively balanced and healthy, it is eaten by sumo wrestlers in huge quantities, so that they can get the necessary amount of body composition as fat.
Although there are no real set health guidelines, most footballers are approximately 5-7ft, the majority being around 6ft tall; their weights will usually be in proportion to their height, so around 55-90kg correspondingly. Footballers are quick over 50 meters and will have the stamina too keep a good running pace throughout 90 minutes. The training raceme that professional footballers do is set by the coach of their club and is quite complex; it has many stages and adaptations. Each training scheme can be adapted for the position that you play in. All footballers will do some running training, mainly based around fartlek training that trains you aerobically as well as anaerobically by mixing all different paces of running, from walking to sprinting. Every player would also practice doing basic skills in repetition, i.e. practicing short passes, long passes, heading, controlling with feet, chest, knee and head. After going through the basics professionals would go into specific training, for example a defender would practice defensive headers for long periods of time, whereas a winger would practice crossing a moving ball and taking corners. A good example is David Beckham would specifically practiced taking free kicks and doing long lofted passes for long periods of time, because they are his specialty. A footballers diet would be much more balanced than a sumo wrestlers, and would not be eaten in excess. A footballers diet would consist mainly of carbohydrates, which would usually come in the form of bread, bananas, breakfast cereals and jelly babies are often used a source of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are so important because the body breaks them down into sugars, which the muscles use as their main fuel supply for running at any pace. Footballers will only eat small amounts of fat and moderate amounts of protein; they need protein in order to repair their muscles after demanding exercise. They will get protein predominantly from lean meats and fish. Too keep their diet balanced and healthy they will also eat plenty of fruit and vegetables in order to get the minerals and vitamins they need to stay healthy.
(Access date 1: 15/10/03, Access date 2: 23/10/03)
(Access date 1: 15/10/03, Access date 2: 23/10/03)
(Access date 1: 15/10/03, Access date 2: 23/10/03)
(Access date 1: 16/10/03, Access date 2: 23/10/03)