The impact of the rifle while skiing in biathlon

How does the rifle affect the biathlete and is it possible to develop the sport-specific training in order to perform better?

Anna Magnusson, skidskytte

Biathlon is a winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship. During a competition, the athlete carries the rifle on their back (minimum weight 3.5 kg) and today there are still question marks regarding how the rifle affects the skiing component from physiological and biomechanical perspectives (i.e., skiing technique).

The aim of this project is to increase knowledge about how the rifle affects the athlete, in order to develop the sport-specific training and increase performance. It is important to understand the specific demands for biathlon, in order to develop the sport.

Practical use

By increasing our understanding of how the rifle affects biathletes, the training can be more specific and planned in a more effective way. To prepare the athlete for rifle carriage may increase the performance and in the future hopefully also decrease the risk of injuries and overload.


Jonsson, M. , McGawley, K. & Laaksonen, M. (2019). Physiological Responses to Rifle Carriage During Roller-Skiing in Elite Biathletes. Frontiers in Physiology, vol. 10  
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Project leader

Malin Jonsson

Doktorand|Doctoral Student


Project members

Marko Laaksonen

Universitetslektor|Senior Lecturer


Kerry McGawley

Seniorforskare|Senior Researcher