DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATION OF A SYSTEM FOR POLING FORCE MEASUREMENT IN CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING AND NORDIC WALKING

  • L. Bortolan
  • B. Pellegrini
  • F. Schena
Keywords: Nordic walking, cross-country skiing, force, poles, validity

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe and validate a force transducer system specifically designed to measure the force exerted through the poles in cross-country skiing and Nordic walking. It is constituted by a custom built load cell and by a mounting system that allow to minimise cross talk effects. The system is applicable to standard carbon racing shafts to ensure the standard stiffness of the pole. The reliability of the system has been tested performing different static and dynamic tests. The comparison with the reference load cell has shown a good measurement linearity in the range of typical values for poling propulsion and a sensitivity only to the force axially applied to the shaft. The test performed on a 2D platform and with a motion capture system for the measurement of pole inclination, demonstrated the possibility to obtain a reliable measure of the vertical, longitudinal and lateral components of the force exerted by the subject. The accuracy, the portability of the system and their applicability to different shafts allow evaluation of poling action in both laboratory and field conditions, providing important information in cross-country skiing and Nordic walking biomechanical research.