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Sports Biomech. 2006 Jan;5(1):23-46.

Biomechanical validation of a specific upper body training and testing drill in cross-country skiing.

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  • 1Department of Sport Science and Kinesiology, University of Salzburg, Austria.

Erratum in

  • Sports Biomech. 2006 Jul;5(2):313-4.


The aim of this study was to perform a biomechanical validation of a double poling imitation drill on a rollerboard. Six elite cross-country skiers performed three imitation drill trials at maximal speed at 13 degrees inclination and in double poling on roller skis on a paved road of 3 degrees. Pole and strap forces, elbow and hip angles and EMG activity of eight upper body muscles were measured. Force curves showed similar characteristics, except for impact force occurring only at pole plant in double poling on roller skis. Double poling on a rollerboard includes an eccentric roll-down phase not appearing in double polling on roller skis. Forces on the rollerboard were similar to those on roller skis. Courses of the elbow angles indicated similar shapes, except for the angle at the start of the propulsion phase and, consequently, during flexion (p < 0.01). Propulsion time and cycle duration were longer and frequency lower on the rollerboard (all p < 0.001). Muscle activities were not significantly different, except for stronger biceps brachii (p < 0.01) and weaker erector spinae activation (p < 0.05) on the rollerboard. Muscle coordination patterns showed similar onset and offset points of each muscle and comparable activations in both activities, except for biceps brachii. Two movement strategies on the rollerboard were found, which led to small differences in measured variables. The biomechanical validity of double poling on a rollerboard can be judged as moderately high, being aware of the differences in some variables that might be considered in training sessions on the rollerboard, particularly when using intervals with high number of repetitions.

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