The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Winter Biathlon


Ski fast and shoot rifles! A biathlon is usually a race of two sports in the same event. In the winter Olympic biathlon, athletes ski cross-country then shoot at targets (not competitors in front of them).

The Winter Olympics currently offers four different biathlon races. In each, skiers carry .22 caliber rifles, weighting just under 8 pounds (3.5 kg). Skiers race to each shooting stop along the course. Half the shooting stops are prone (lying face down).


Half the shooting stops are standing. The commemorative medal at right shows a hyperlordotic stance (overly arched at the lower back) during standing aim that will be covered in future articles on back pain and target shooting. Check the article, Prevent Back Surgery, and see if you can guess the cause, and how to change stance for shooting without back pain.

Winter biathlon is said to originate with Norwegian soldiers training for military maneuvers. Other northern countries offer their own history of training these disciplines for military and defense.

A summer biathlon usually combines cross-country running and shooting.

Related Fitness Fixer on biathlons and duathlons:

Fitness Fixer on Prone Lying:

Related Olympic and Racing Fitness Fixer:

Random Fun Fitness Fixer:

Vancouver Biathlon medal Image by Dave Jones - one of many via Flickr
Image 2 of biathlon
Image via Wikipedia
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Tags: Sports and Competitions

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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.