Effects of Body Position on Slide Boarding Performance by Cross-Country Skiers

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Abstract

Purpose:

In this study, we examined the effects of body position (from deep to high position) in slide boarding by well-trained cross-country skiers. The main hypothesis was that a deeper, more "crouched" position would lead to reduced air resistance and enhanced power production during explosive extension of the lower limbs, and thereby to an increased performance, even though the upper extremity may not be used for poling in this deep position.

Methods:

Measurements (air resistance in a wind tunnel, power output, kinematics, gas exchange, and blood lactate levels) were performed during a 30-s maximal test and a 3-min maximal test performing (imitation) ski-skating movements on a sliding board at three different body positions (high, moderate, and deep).

Results:

Our findings indicate that a deep position enhances power production by 24% and reduces air resistance by 30% for the 30-s maximal test. Power production did not increase in the 3-min test, but lactate levels after exercise were increased in the deep position. Calculated efficiency was not affected by body position.

Conclusion:

The current results indicate that for a short duration, the deeper sit provides sufficient advantages that it may prove useful to apply such a position in sprint ski-skating, even though the use of the upper extremities in poling will be strongly hampered.

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