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Back pain is common among elite cyclists. Experiences of athletes and observations of coaches show that it may influence training quality and sometimes even limit performance during competition. Therefore the following study questions were investigated: 1) How many athletes of the Swiss cycling national teams suffer back pain during training or competition? 2) How good is athletes’ core strength? 3) What correlation exists between back pain and core strength? 4) Does an intensified core strength training reduce back pain? A total of 111 elite cyclists, 45 athletes (38 m, 7f; 19.6 ± 3.5y) of technical disciplines (BMX, Trial, Downhill, 4X) and 66 athletes (39 m, 27f; 19.5 ± 5.8y) of endurance disciplines (road, MTB, Cyclo-cross) all members of Swiss cycling national teams, took part in in the study.
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Exercise testing in athletes and patients is an important and valuable diagnostic tool in the hand of the physician and sport scientist. A close collaboration between sport scientist and sport physician creates a win-win-win-situation for athletes and patients and professionals equally. According to the demands of the sport an incremental lactate threshold test (determination of the anaerobic threshold), testing of ­VO2max and performance at VO2max, and a testing of aerobic capacity (performance at competitional level) are the tests of choice. All tests need to be valid, reliable and sport specific. Sport specificity in testing is for practical purposes the most important.
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