Upper-body testing of cross-country skiers

B Bilodeau, B Roy, M R Boulay
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 1995, 27 (11): 1557-62
The purpose of this study was to evaluate maximal oxygen uptake during treadmill running and double-poling with a ski ergometer twice during the competitive season. A progressive double-poling power test was also performed to measure maximal power output. The athletes were five male and five female cross-country ski racers. Testing was done in December and April. Results showed that for both male and female skiers, no difference was observed during the competition season. Athletes were then divided into two subgroups according to whenever they had their peaking period early (December-January) or late (March-April) during the season. Skiers peaking early had significantly higher values for all measurements during the upper-body VO2peak test in December compared to April. Values for the upper-body VO2peak test of the skiers peaking late significantly increased from December to April, in accordance with their fitness state. Furthermore, results of the upper-body power test showed that there was no difference for the skiers peaking early for both testing periods, while power output increased significantly from December to April for the skiers peaking late. Thus specific upper-body tests appear to be more related to the fitness state of cross-country skiers than a running VO2max test.

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