Hans-Christer Holmberg

Hans-Christer Holmberg
Luleå University of Technology | LTU · Department of Health Sciences

Professor

About

378
Publications
217,585
Reads
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7,919
Citations
Introduction
H-C Holmberg is a Professor at Luleå University of Technology. He is also affiliated with the Karolinska Institute and University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He founded the Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre in 2006 and acted thereafter as its Director until 2015. Holmberg’s research focuses primarily on elite sport (with a special interest in skiing), using integrated physiological and biomechanical characterization to elucidate mechanisms and improve performance.
Additional affiliations
January 2021 - present
Luleå University of Technology
Position
  • Professor
September 2019 - July 2021
Beijing Sport University
Position
  • Researcher
March 2016 - June 2019
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (378)
Article
Full-text available
With great interest, we1 have been following the growing popularity of non-invasive wearable sensor technology as a way to increase physical performance, assist recovery or monitor health. These sensors, integrated into clothing worn on the body, are often referred to as ‘wearables’ or ‘wearable technology’. The popularity of the wearables is main...
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Successful cross-country skiing, one of the most demanding of endurance sports, involves considerable physiological challenges posed by the combined upper- and lower-body effort of varying intensity and duration, on hilly terrain, often at moderate altitude and in a cold environment. Over the years, this unique sport has helped physiologists gain n...
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Background Performance of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) by children and adolescents improves physical and health-related fitness, as well as cardiometabolic risk factors. Objectives To assess the impact of HIIT performed at school, i.e. both in connection with physical education (intra-PE) and extracurricular sports activities (extra-PE)...
Article
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Citation: Verdel, N.; Drobnič, M.; Maslik, J.; Björnander Rahimi, K.; Tantillo, G.; Gumiero, A.; Hjort, K.; Holmberg, H.-C.; Supej, M. A
Article
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Of the medals awarded at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, 24% were for events involving cross-country skiing, the biathlon and Nordic combined. Although much research has focused on physiological and biomechanical characteristics that determine success in these sports, considerably less is yet known about the resistive forces. Here, we specific...
Article
Exercise is considered to be a “medicine” due to its modulatory roles in metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity. The intensity and duration of exercise determine the mechanism of energy production by various tissues of the body, especially by muscles, in which the requirement for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) increases by as much as 100-fo...
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During the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games in Beijing, the Para snow-sport events will be held at high altitudes and in possibly cold conditions while also requiring adjustment to several time zones. Furthermore, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may lead to suboptimal preparations. Another concern is the high rate of injuries that have been reported in t...
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Aerodynamic drag is a major cause of energy losses during alpine ski racing. Here we developed two models for monitoring the aerodynamic drag on elite alpine skiers in the technical disciplines. While 10 skiers assumed standard positions (high, middle, tuck) with exposure to different wind speeds (40, 60, and 80 km/h) in a wind tunnel, aerodynamic...
Article
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Purpose The purpose of this study was to compare heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability in young endurance athletes during nocturnal sleep and in the morning; and to assess whether changes in these values are associated with changes in submaximal running (SRT) and counter-movement jump (CMJ) performance. Methods During a three-week period of s...
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Purpose: To evaluate retrospectively the training intensity distribution (TID) among highly trained canoe sprinters during a single season and to relate TID to changes in performance. Methods: The heart rates during on-water training by 11 German sprint kayakers (7 women, 4 men) and one male canoeist were monitored during preparation periods (PP) 1...
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In track cycling sprint events, optimal cadence PRopt is a dynamic aspect of fatigue. It is currently unclear what cadence is optimal for an athlete’s performance in sprint races and how it can be calculated. We examined fatigue-induced changes in optimal cadence during a maximal sprint using a mathematical approach. Nine elite track cyclists compl...
Article
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The study aimed to determine the levels of skeletal muscle Angiotensin‐Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2, the SARS‐CoV‐2 receptor) protein expression in men and women and assess whether ACE2 expression in skeletal muscle is associated with cardiorespiratory fitness and adiposity. The level of ACE2 in vastus lateralis muscle biopsies collected in previous s...
Article
The aims of the current study were to examine the relationships between heart rate variability (HRV), salivary cortisol, sleep duration and training in young athletes. Eight athletes (16 ± 1 years) were monitored for 7 weeks during training and competition seasons. Subjects were training for endurance-based winter sports (cross-country skiing and b...
Article
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Ski mountaineering is a rapidly growing winter sport that involves alternately climbing and descending slopes and various racing formats that differ in length and total vertical gain, as well as their distribution of downhill and uphill sections. In recent years, both participation in and media coverage of this sport have increased dramatically, co...
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Monitoring core body temperature (Tc) during training and competitions, especially in a hot environment, can help enhance an athlete's performance, as well as lower the risk for heat stroke. Accordingly, a noninvasive sensor that allows reliable monitoring of Tc would be highly beneficial in this context. One such novel non-invasive sensor was rece...
Preprint
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Skeletal muscle fiber composition and capillary density influence physical performance and whole-body metabolic properties. ~45% of the variance in fiber type is heritable, which motivated us to perform a genome-wide association study of skeletal muscle histology from 656 Swedish men. Four independent variants were associated ( p < 5x10 − 8 ) with...
Article
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Cross-country (XC) ski races involve a variety of formats, two different techniques and tracks with highly variable topography and environmental conditions. In addition, XC skiing is a major component of both Nordic combined and biathlon competitions. Research in this area, both in the laboratory and field, encounters certain difficulties that may...
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Background High-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity causes immune cells to infiltrate adipose tissue, leading to chronic inflammation and metabolic syndrome. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) can dissipate the energy produced by lipid oxidation as heat, thereby counteracting obesity. Aerobic exercise activates BAT, but the specific underlying mechanism is stil...
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Introduction Little is known about potential differences in contractile properties of muscle fibers of the same type in arms and legs. Accordingly, the present study was designed to compare the force-generating capacity and Ca ²⁺ sensitivity of fibers from arm and leg muscles of highly trained cross-country skiers. Method Single muscle fibers of m...
Article
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Although reliable feedback is crucial to improving the performance of competitive alpine skiers, the coach's eye may not be sensitive enough to detect small, but highly significant “mistakes”. Monitoring of the performance of alpine ski racers by inertial motion units (IMU) has proven to be of value in this context and here we summarize practical a...
Article
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At the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, the XC skiing, biathlon and nordic combined events will be held at altitudes of ~ 1700 m above sea level, possibly in cold environmental conditions and while requiring adjustment to several time zones. However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may lead to sub-optimal preparations. The current commentary provides...
Article
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Background Monitoring heart rate variability (HRV) as an indicator of daily variations in the functioning of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) may assist in individualizing endurance training to produce more pronounced physiological adaptations in performance. Aims To systematically perform a meta-analysis of the scientific literature to determin...
Article
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The ground reaction forces (GRF) associated with competitive alpine skiing, which are relatively large, might be asymmetric during left and right turns due to asymmetries in the strength of the legs and torso and the present investigation was designed to evaluate this possibility. While skiing a symmetrical, 20-gate slalom course, the asymmetries o...
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This study examined acute molecular responses to concurrent exercise involving different muscles. Eight men participated in a randomized crossover-trial with two sessions, one where they performed interval cycling followed by upper body resistance exercise (ER-Arm), and one with upper body resistance exercise only (R-Arm). Biopsies were taken from...
Article
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Virtual online training has emerged as one of the top 20 worldwide fitness trends for 2021 and continues to develop rapidly. Although this allows the cycling community to engage in virtual training and competition, critical evaluation of virtual training platforms is limited. Here, we discuss the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats ass...
Article
New findings: What is the central question of this study? Glycogen supercompensation following glycogen-depleting exercise can be achieved by consuming a carbohydrate-enriched diet, but the associated effects on the size, number and localization of intramuscular glycogen particles is unknown. What is the main finding and its importance? Using tran...
Article
Purpose: (1) To compare various physiological indicators of performance during a 5 × 1500-m incremental kayak test performed on an ergometer and on-water and (2) to analyze the relationships between these indicators and the actual competition performance of elite sprint kayakers, aiming to provide information to coaches for evaluating and planning...
Article
Full-text available
This study was designed to examine macro-kinematic parameters of six female cross-country skiers during the qualifying, semi-final and final rounds of a 1.1 km sprint competition in classical technique. During each round these skiers were monitored continuously with a single micro-sensor, and their cycle parameters and relative use of these two sub...
Article
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Monitoring variations in the functioning of the autonomic nervous system may help personalize training of runners and provide more pronounced physiological adaptations and performance improvements. We systematically reviewed the scientific literature comparing physiological adaptations and/or improvements in performance following training based on...
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Purpose: Pronounced differences in individual physiological adaptation may occur following various training mesocycles in runners. Here we aimed to assess the individual changes in performance and physiological adaptation of recreational runners performing mesocycles with different intensity, duration and frequency. Methods: Employing a randomiz...
Article
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This study was designed to assess systemic cardio-respiratory, metabolic and perceived responses to incremental arm cycling with concurrent electrical myostimulation (EMS). Eleven participants (24 ± 3 yrs; 182 ± 10 cm; 86 ± 16.8 kg) performed two incremental tests involving arm cycling until volitional exhaustion was reached with and without EMS of...
Article
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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...
Article
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Aim: To characterize the impact of the German strategy for containment of Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (social distancing and lockdown) on the training, other habitual physical activity, and sleep in highly trained kayakers and canoeists. Method: During the 4 weeks immediately prior to and following the beginning of the German government's strategy for c...
Article
Lactate has been implicated as a potential signaling molecule. In myotubes, lactate incubation increases mTORC1- and ERK-signaling and induces hypertrophy, indicating that lactate could be a mediator of muscle adaptations to resistance exercise. However, the potential signaling properties of lactate, at rest or with exercise, have not been explored...
Article
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Little is presently known about the effects of acute high-intensity exercise or training on release and uptake of Ca 2+ by the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). The aims here were to characterize this regulation in highly trained athletes following (1) repeated bouts of high-intensity exercise and (2) a period of endurance training including high-intens...
Article
Full-text available
Little is presently known about the effects of acute high-intensity exercise or training on release and uptake of Ca 2+ by the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). The aims here were to characterize this regulation in highly trained athletes following (1) repeated bouts of high-intensity exercise and (2) a period of endurance training including high-intens...
Article
Key points: When muscle biopsies first began to be used routinely in research on exercise physiology five decades ago, it soon become clear that the muscle content of glycogen is an important determinant of exercise performance. Glycogen particles are stored in distinct pools within the muscles, but the role of each pool during exercise and how th...
Article
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Cross-country skiing is a complex endurance sport requiring technical skills, in addition to considerable physiological and tactical abilities. This review aims to identify biomechanical factors that influence the performance of cross-country skiers. Four electronic databases were searched systematically for original articles in peer-reviewed journ...
Article
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During early parenthood, walking and/or running while pushing a stroller is a common form of endurance exercise among both recreationally active individuals and athletes. Here, we investigate how pushing a stroller influences the energetic cost, gross efficiency (GE), and kinematic behavior of well-trained men and women while walking or running on...
Article
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Purpose To compare biomechanical aspects of a novel “running” diagonal stride (DSRUN) with conventional diagonal stride (DSCONV) skiing techniques performed at high speed. Methods Ten elite Italian male junior cross-country skiers skied on a treadmill at 10 km/h and 10° incline utilizing both variants of the diagonal stride technique. The 3-dimens...
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TO THE EDITOR: First, we would like to commend the authors of the Viewpoint (2) for this comprehensive summary of factors of importance for running fast marathons. Then, we would like to comment on their discussion of fast marathon physiology (2). We follow closely the debate concerning 1) footwear de- signed to improve marathon performance; and 2)...
Article
Aims: The body responds to exercise training by profound adaptations throughout the cardiorespiratory and muscular systems, which may result in improvements in maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 peak) and mitochondrial capacity. By convenience, mitochondrial respiration is often measured at supra-physiological oxygen levels, an approach that ignores...
Article
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Sarcolipin (SLN) is a SERCAs uncoupling protein associated with exercise performance and lower adiposity in mice. To determine SLN protein expression in human skeletal muscle and its relationship with adiposity, resting energy expenditure (REE), and performance, SLN was assessed by Western blot in 199 biopsies from two previous studies. In one stud...
Article
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Reliable assessment of the performance of alpine skiers is essential. Previous studies have highlighted the potential of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) for evaluating this performance. Accordingly, the present perspective summarizes published research concerning methodological and practical aspects of the assessment of alpine skiing per...
Preprint
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Background: Skeletal muscle atrophy induced by hypoxia could affect the physical fitness and training effect of the athletes in the rapid altitude, and also affect the production and life of the general public. Resistance training in a hypoxic environment could effectively alleviate the occurrence of muscular atrophy. Whether autophagy lysosomal pa...
Article
Purpose: (1) To compare various physiological indicators of performance during a 5 × 1500-m incremental kayak test performed on an ergometer and on-water and (2) to analyze the relationships between these indicators and the actual competition performance of elite sprint kayakers, aiming to provide information to coaches for evaluating and planning...
Article
Full-text available
The loss of skeletal muscle mass with energy deficit is thought to be due to protein breakdown by the autophagy-lysosome and the ubiquitin-proteasome systems. We studied the main signaling pathways through which exercise can attenuate the loss of muscle mass during severe energy deficit (5500 kcal/day). Overweight men followed four days of caloric...
Article
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PurposeOur aims were to examine (i) the internal load during simulated soccer match-play by elite youth players; and (ii) the time-course of subsequent recovery from perceived and performance fatigability.Methods Eleven male youth players (16 ± 1 years, 178 ± 7 cm, 67 ± 7 kg) participated in a 2 × 40-min simulated soccer match, completing 30 rounds...
Preprint
Full-text available
UNSTRUCTURED Introduction: Our goal was to assess the validity of monitoring heart rate (HR) and energy expenditure (EE) while sitting or light-to-vigorous physical activity with four popular wrist worn wearables (Apple Watch Series 4, Polar Vantage V, Garmin Fenix 5, Fitbit Versa). Methods: 25 individuals performed 5-min of sitting, walking and ru...
Article
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Background: Physical activity reduces the incidences of noncommunicable diseases, obesity, and mortality, but an inactive lifestyle is becoming increasingly common. Innovative approaches to monitor and promote physical activity are warranted. While individual monitoring of physical activity aids in the design of effective interventions to enhance...
Article
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Previously trained mouse muscles acquire strength and volume faster than naïve muscles; it has been suggested that this is related to increased myonuclear density. The present study aimed to determine whether a previously strength-trained leg (mem-leg) would respond better to a period of strength training than a previously untrained leg (con-leg)....
Article
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Background: Exercise and protein ingestion preserve muscle mass during moderate energy deficits. Objective: To determine the molecular mechanisms by which exercise and protein ingestion may spare muscle mass during severe energy deficit (5500 kcal/day). Design: Fifteen overweight, but otherwise healthy men, underwent a pre-test (PRE), caloric...
Article
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BACKGROUND: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is frequently employed to improve the endurance of various types of athletes. To determine whether youth soccer players may benefit from the intermittent load and time efficiency of HIIT, we performed a meta-analysis of the relevant scientific literature. OBJECTIVES: Our primary objective was to...
Article
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Alpine skiing has been an Olympic event since the first Winter Games in 1936. Nowadays, skiers compete in four main events: slalom, giant slalom, super-G and downhill. Here, we present an update on the biomechanics of alpine ski racers and their equipment. The technical and tactical ability of today’s world-class skiers have adapted substantially t...