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Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e3182432f0c
Thematic Issue

Physiologic Responses of Competitive Canadian Cross-Country Skiers With Disabilities

Bhambhani, Yagesh PhD*; Forbes, Scott MSc; Forbes, Janet MPT*; Craven, Bruce MPT; Matsuura, Cristiane PhD§; Rodgers, Carol PhD

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Objective: To examine the acute cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses in competitive cross-country skiers with disabilities.

Design: Cross-sectional comparisons using a select group of Canadian athletes training for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.

Setting: Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park, Canmore, Alberta.

Participants: Nine competitive cross-country skiers (4 with visual impairment, 1 with traumatic brain injury, 3 with spinal cord injury, and 1 with cerebral palsy).

Interventions: Three-minute and 12-minute exercise tests in the standing or sitting skiing position to voluntary fatigue.

Main Outcome Measures: Cardiorespiratory responses using a telemetric system to compare the physiologic responses among the athletes with different disabilities. Heart rate (HR) and capillary lactate were measured at 2, 5, and 10 minutes of recovery.

Results: The t test results indicated that the peak values of the absolute and relative oxygen uptake (V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak), HR, and ventilation rate were significantly higher during the 12-minute compared with the 3-minute protocol during standing skiing. However, the oxygen pulse and ventilatory equivalent for oxygen ratio were not significantly (P > 0.05) different between the 2 protocols. Analysis of variance revealed no significant (P > 0.05) differences among the 3 trials for these peak physiologic responses during sitting skiing. Cross-sectional comparisons of the peak physiologic responses between the standing and sitting skiers indicated significantly (P < 0.05) higher values in the standing compared with the sitting position. Cardiorespiratory respiratory efficiency was significantly (P < 0.05) lower in the sitting compared with the standing position. HR during 10 minutes of recovery was significantly correlated with V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak. Pearson correlations were not significant between V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak and lactate removal during recovery.

Conclusion: These descriptive findings during the standing and sitting skiing protocols provide preliminary data that would be useful in testing, training, and classification of competitive skiers with disabilities.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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