August 08, 2011
Throughout human history, some unanswerable questions have plagued the most brilliant minds of the times. Why are we here? What is the secret of life? And the greatest of all: Do tennis players or soccer players have more symmetrical butts?
Rest easy, Plato. We finally have our answer to the latter.
Very bored researchers in Spain recently discovered that the gluteal muscles of tennis players are more asymmetric compared to soccer players and the general population. Both sets of athletes had bigger legs than the control group of non-athletes. But while soccer players' dominant and non-dominant legs were respectively 32 percent and 35 percent bigger than the norm (nearly even), tennis players' legs were larger by percentages of 24 and 36, respectively. In layman's terms, one cheek is bigger than the other.
Eight male ITF players and 15 members of a men's first-division Spanish soccer team were given MRIs that measured various aspects and ratios of their posteriors.
The purpose of the study was to study asymmetry in athletes. Since both tennis and soccer are asymmetric sports (soccer players kick with one leg and tennis players predominantly favor one on groundstrokes and serves), researchers used athletes from those sports to investigate their hypothesis that hypertrophy of the legs is found amongst professionals.
Further study could give coaches insight into training methods that would prevent injuries and corrective shorts that wouldn't make Novak Djokovic look all lopsided-like from the back.