The effectiveness of stretch-shortening cycling in upper-limb extensor muscles during elite cross-country skiing with the double-poling technique

Chiara Zoppirolli, Hans Christer Holmberg, Barbara Pellegrini, Diego Quaglia, Lorenzo Bortolan, Federico Schena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This investigation was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of stretch-shortening cycling (SSCEFF) in upper-limb extensor muscles while cross-country skiing using the double-poling technique (DP). To this end, SSCEFF was analyzed in relation to DP velocity and performance. Eleven elite cross-country skiers performed an incremental test to determine maximal DP velocity (Vmax). Thereafter, cycle characteristics, elbow joint kinematics and poling forces were monitored on a treadmill while skiing at two sub-maximal and racing velocity (85% of Vmax). The average EMG activities of the triceps brachii and latissimus dorsi muscles were determined during the flexion and extension sub-phases of the poling cycle (EMGFLEX, EMGEXT), as well as prior to pole plant (EMGPRE). SSCEFF was defined as the ratio of aEMGFLEX to aEMGEXT. EMGPRE and EMGFLEX increased with velocity for both muscles (PEFF (from 0.9±0.3 to 1.3±0.5 for the triceps brachii and from 0.9±0.4 to 1.5±0.5 for the latissimus dorsi) and poling force (from 253±33 to 290±36N; PEFF was positively correlated to Vmax, to EMGPRE and EMGFLEX (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1512-1519
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013



  • Effectiveness
  • Elbow joint
  • EMG
  • Performance
  • Pre-activation
  • Stretch shortening cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Neurology

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