Speed Skating the Curves: A Study of Muscle Coordination and Power Production

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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The purpose of this study was to describe the intermuscular coordination and power production for the constrained asymmetrical movement during skating the curves. Seven elite male speed skaters took part in the experiments. The speed skaters were simultaneously filmed from frontal and sagittal views. EMGs were obtained telemetrically and push-off force was registered with special skates. Inverse dynamic analysis yielded power production data, which differed for left and right leg. Marked differences were also found in intermuscular coordination of each leg. The activation patterns of the muscles were influenced by the asymmetrical nature and the typical body position during the speed skating movement. External power output was determined by three methods. The mean joint power output for left and right leg showed similar values as the external power output calculated from air and ice friction. These values were lower than the values predicted with a geometrical model for skating the curves.

The authors are with the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, v.d. Boechorststraat 9, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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