Background: Although many of the movements of skiers are asymmetric, little is presently known about how such asymmetry influences performance. Here, our aim was to examine whether asymmetries in technique and the ground reaction forces associated with left and right turns influence the asymmetries in the performance of elite slalom skiers. Methods: As nine elite skiers completed a 20-gate slalom course, their three-dimensional full-body kinematics and ground reaction forces (GRF) were monitored with a global navigation satellite and inertial motion capture systems, in combination with pressure insoles. For multivariable regression models, 26 predictor skiing techniques and GRF variables and 8 predicted skiing performance variables were assessed, all of them determining asymmetries in terms of symmetry and Jaccard indices. Results: Asymmetries in instantaneous and sectional performance were found to have the largest predictor coefficients associated with asymmetries in shank angle and hip flexion of the outside leg. Asymmetry for turn radius had the largest predictor coefficients associated with asymmetries in shank angle and GRF on the entire outside foot. Conclusions: Although slalom skiers were found to move their bodies in a quite symmetrical fashion, asymmetry in their skiing technique and GRF influenced variables related to asymmetries in performance.
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