SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1993

Functional and Technical Evaluation of the Skier by a Specific Ergometer


Alpine skiing can be considered as a skilled sport with mixed (aerobic/anaerobic) characteristics, that requires a high muscular effort. Environmental and technical difficulties often make “field” tests difficult. Therefore, we used a skiing simulator (named Ski Master) to carry out tests capable of giving exact evaluations of the cardiometabolic and neuromuscular tasks that skiing requires.

Seven athletes were tested. They were connected to a CO2-O2 analyzer through a facial mask in order to record respiratory and metabolic parameters (ventilation (VE), oxygen consumption (VO2), CO2, production (VCO2), respiratory quotient (R), METS) every 30 s; they were also subjected to continuous electrocardiographic (ECG) monitoring using telemetry.

In a second series of tests, we used a two channel portable electromyographic (EMG) analyzer to make electromyographic recordings of the skiers during skiing practice. The schedule consisted of an exercise lasting 30 and 60 s, reproducing a fast parallel skiing descent involving continuous turns.

The results obtained from the first series of tests showed a high cardiovascular effort. Further confirmation came from a specific ventilation (Ve/VO2) ratio amounting to 34 ± 1.5 L × L O2-1 with an R that was always greater than one. Furthermore, they showed that lactate metabolism takes an active part in the effort. The tests performed during EMG monitoring highlighted certain differences between skiing on snow and exercising on the ergometer. We noticed that the activation of back muscles always preceded the activation of thigh ones. Also the activation amplitude of back muscles decreased as technical skiing ability improved, which showed a higher ratio in comparison to vastus lateralis.

Author Information

Grappa, E
Center for Sports Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
Bonvecchio, A
Center for Sports Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
Zucco, P
Orthopedic Clinic of the University of Pavia, S. Matteo General Hospital, Pavia, Italy
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Developed by Committee: F27
Pages: 177–185
DOI: 10.1520/STP25569S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5237-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1494-4