Original Research OLYMPIC SCIENTIFIC PROJECTS – Double Poling Kinematics and Performance in Cross-Country Skiing
Olympic skiers in the women’s 300-km race were analyzed as they double poled on a moderate downhill slope. Movement patterns of 20 skiers were analyzed, 10 from a top finishing group and 10 from slower finishers in the bottom third of the field. Skiers in the faster group not only were faster overall in the race but were faster as they double poled through the site (6.75 vs. 6.43 m/s). Cycle length was significantly correlated with cycle velocity (r = .81). Trunk flexion and shoulder extension during poling were similar between groups; however, considerable variability of shoulder positioning was noted for both groups of skiers. Distinct shoulder-elbow-pole positioning differences were noted among skiers. Disadvantageous positioning of the shoulder at the beginning of poling was related to poorer pole inclination during elbow extension. While many skiers in both fast and slow groups double poled with good positioning, others would benefit from greater shoulder flexion to maximize double poling performance.