On the photo above is a great looking washboard stomach. A skier’s stomach ( of course – otherwise, why would it be here, on the xcskiing site?). A perfect combination of beauty – and function.
…It was in the 1990s when Professor Bengt Saltin made a discovery: with each generation, muscles of cross country skiers are growing.
Although aerobic capacities have improved only marginally over the years, the strength and muscular endurance of the upper body of cross country skiers have become dramatically better .
Famed scientiest, FIS expert etc. etc., Saltin had an extensive experience working with Swedish elite cross-country skiers. His conclusions: elite XC skiers of the 1990s demonstrated 15–25% larger fiber areas, especially in their arm and core muscles, than their counterparts of the 1970s!
Fast forward 20 years – and what the Swede postulated holds even more true nowadays
Each new generation of the skiers looks more athletic than the one before.
And more and more in line with ancient Greeks’ notions of ideal body encased in their immortal sculptures.
Some of the finest bodies on this planet are those of female skiers.
there is a perfect reason as to why skiers need them so much: well developed abdominal core muscles are needed to maintain dynamic balance. Stronger the core – better the balance.
The stronger the abdominal muscles ( as well as spinal erectors) – the better is stability – the more arms and legs are be able to propel one forward without losing that balance.
It so happens that washboard stomachs are also in the height of fashion these days – and we sincerely hope it stays that way…for another millennia or so. So the skiers continue to score that double whammy of being strong – and looking good for all of us to admire.