Physiological characteristics of elite snowboarders

Gianluca Vernillo, Cesare Pisoni, Gabriele Thiébat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to profile the physiological qualities of elite snowboarders and quantified the relationships with snowboarding performance. METHODS: Ten alpine (ALP, mean±SD age: 25.6±4.4 yrs; body mass 78.1±12.1; height 178.4±9.8 cm; sum of 7 skinfolds 74.8±19.4 mm; body fat 13.8±3.7%) and ten snowboard cross (SBX, mean±SD age: 23.5±4.3 yrs; body mass 77.2±9.2; height 181.0±4.9 cm; sum of 7 skinfolds 70.1±21.1 mm; body fat 11.9±3.5%) elite male athletes undertook aerobic power (cycle ergometer maximum oxygen uptake), muscular isometric strength (maximal isometric voluntary contraction, MVC), and muscle-power (vertical jumps), as well as ALP (parallel giant slalom [PGS] and parallel slalom [PSL]) and SBX simulated competitions. Associations between measurements were assessed by correlation analysis. RESULTS: Absolute (ALP 383.1±38.0 W, P<0.01; SBX 339.7±41.3 W, P<0.05) and relative (ALP, 4.6±0.5 W kg-1, P<0.01; SBX 4.5±0.3 W kg-1, P<0.05) power output, power at the first (ALP 196.0±53.7 W, P<0.01; SBX 192.8±24.3, P<0.01) and second (ALP 285.4±60.6 W, P<0.01; SBX 280.4±20.3 W, P<0.01) ventilatory threshold, MVC (ALP 731.9±181.9 N-m-1, P<0.00l; SBX 680.1±76.8 N-m-1, P<0.001) and leg stiffness (ALP 31.4±4.8 N.m-1kg-1, P<0.0l; SBX 25.4±3.0 N.m-1 kg-1, P<0.0l) were highly correlated with PGS (t=-0.88 to -0.97), PSL (t=-0.84 to -0.94), and SBX (r=-0.89 to -0.93) performance times. CONCLUSIONS: To meet the demands of snowboarding competition, elite snowboarders require highly developed muscular strength and power. This study provides criteria for the selection of appropriate physiological variables for the longitudinal monitoring of relevant parameters in snowboarding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-533
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Athletic performance
  • Exercise test
  • Skiing
  • Snow sports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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