In cross-country sit-skiing (CCSS) athletes with reduced trunk control mainly sit with their knees higher than the hips (KH) to increase trunk stability. To improve the spine curvature by reducing kyphosis a new sitting position was created where the knees are lower than the hips by help of a forward trunk support (KL). The aim of this study was to evaluate the new KL position and compare it to KH in terms of physiological and biomechanical measurements as well as musculoskeletal simulations.
Five abled-bodied female cross-country skiers (62.6±8.1kg, 1.67±0.05m) performed two sets of tests; one in each sitting position on a skiing ergometer (ThoraxTrainer A/S, Denmark). Each test comprised a 30s all-out test (AO), an incremental submaximal test (4 to 6 x 3 min, SUB1-SUB6) and a maximal time-trial test of 3 min (MAX). During SUB and MAX external power and kinematics were measured. Metabolic rates (MR) were calculated from oxygen consumption and lactate concentrations.
The AnyBody Modelling system (AMS 6.0, Anybody Technology A/S, Denmark) were used to simulate full-body musculoskeletal models over 4 poling cycles of SUB2, SUB4 and MAX. From the simulations muscular metabolic rate (mMR) and musculo-skeletal efficiency (ME) were computed (Holmberg et al., 2013).
RESULTS & DISCUSSION
The performance (W/kg) was higher in KH (p < 0.01) in both AO (24%) and MAX (32%). KL had more flexed knee, more extended hip and less kyphosis in trunk, while KH had larger range of motion (ROM) in hip and larger flexion and ROM in spine at SUB4 and MAX. Gross efficiency (GE) was higher in KH than KL. The total MR and ratio of anaerobic MR to total MR were higher in KL at SUB3 and SUB4.
Simulations showed that 4 subjects had higher ME in KH for both SUB4 and MAX, though no statistical significance were observed. mMR were higher for KL at SUB2 and SUB4 but it was higher for KH at MAX. The ratio of mMR in body parts to total mMR showed higher ratio for KL in arm-shoulders (6.7-9.1%) and higher ratio for KH in trunk (3.7-4.6%) and hip-legs (3.0-4.6%).
The physiological results were comparable to others (Lajunen, 2014 & Verellen et al, 2012) and the simulation results were novel by showing how the motion of the trunk contributes to the total metabolic rate. KH position showed higher performance and GE while the KL position indicated higher mMR for arm-shoulders, and had also higher anaerobic MR. Therefore the KH position is favorable for abled-bodied athletes because KL limits trunk motion.
Holmberg, L. J. et al. (2013). Comput Methods Biomech Biomed Engin, 16(9), 987-992. Lajunen, K. (2014). Effect of sitting posture on sit-skiing economy. Bachelor’s thesis, University of Jyväskylä.Verellen, J. et al. (2012). Eur J Appl Physiol, 112(3), 983-989.
Musculo-skeletal simulations, muscular efficiency, metabolic rate, gross efficiency
ICSS 2016 - International Congress on Science and Skiing, Arlberg, Austria, 10-15th December.