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European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 113, Issue 8, pp 1979–1987 | Cite as

The physiological and biomechanical contributions of poling to roller ski skating

  • Øyvind Sandbakk
  • Gertjan Ettema
  • Hans-Christer Holmberg
Original Article

Abstract

Poling is considered to make a significant contribution to cross-country skiing with the skating technique. To better understand this contribution, the current investigation compared roller ski skating on a treadmill with the so-called G3 skating technique with (G3-P) and without poling (G3-NP). Seven male elite skiers performed 5-min submaximal tests at 8, 12, and 15 km h−1, as well as an incremental test to exhaustion with both techniques on a 5 % incline. Ventilatory variables were assessed by open-circuit indirect calorimetry and three-dimensional kinematics analyzed using the Qualisys Pro Reflex system. G3-P was associated with approximately 15 % higher peak velocity and 10 % higher peak oxygen uptake than G3-NP in the incremental test (both P < 0.01). All ventilatory variables, as well as heart rate and blood lactate concentration were lower with G3-P as compared to G3-NP at 12 and 15 km h−1 (all P < 0.01). Gross efficiency (i.e., the ratio of work rate to metabolic rate) at 12 km h−1 was higher in G3-P (14.9 %) than G3-NP (13.5 %) (P < 0.01). Moreover, with G3-P cycle time and length were both 30 % longer, with correspondingly reduced cycle rates (all P < 0.01). In addition, the ski gliding and swing phases were longer and the angle between the skis smaller with G3-P (both P < 0.01), whereas the push-off time was independent of technique and velocity. Taken together, these results indicate that poling makes an important contribution to propulsion and velocity during ski skating, specifically by enhancing peak oxygen uptake, skiing efficiency and associated biomechanical variables.

Keywords

Blood lactate concentration Center of mass movement Cross-country skiing Cycle length Cycle rate Oxygen uptake Ski angle Work economy 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported financially by the Mid-Norway Department of the Norwegian Olympic Committee. The authors would like to sincerely thank the subjects and their coaches sincerely for their valuable cooperation and participation in this study.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Øyvind Sandbakk
    • 1
  • Gertjan Ettema
    • 1
  • Hans-Christer Holmberg
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Human Movement ScienceNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Department of Health Sciences, Swedish Winter Sports Research CentreMid Sweden UniversityÖstersundSweden

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