Those of you who watched the Olympics in South Korea this past week probably saw speed skating. Short Track Speed Skaters spend hours bent over skating to the left on a tight oval.
The turns are so tight that when skating around the curves, their fingers glide on the ice. Years and hours later, their lopsided bodies are uniquely suited for this sport which leaves them with a uniquely asymmetrical physique.
Their legs and thighs are more developed on the right, while their lower back muscles are more developed on the left. While they try to offset this with other exercises, the sport leaves them with a unique physical signature of the sport.
Read more about it here in the NY Times
Short-Track Speed skaters Are Lopsided
They spend hours torqued to the left as they speed around a tight oval. As a
result, their bodies are asymmetrical, with much of their right sides bulkier.
By JOHN BRANCH FEB. 20, 2018
GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Round and round the short-track speed skaters go, crouched low on the ice as they carve counterclockwise ovals, over and over.
They lean so hard to the left that their fingers glide on the ice at the turns. The straightaways are so short that there is room for only one or two strides before the skaters lean hard into the next 180-degree curve, again and again.
They spend their training hours in that position, their torsos torqued to the left, their weight on their left legs as their right legs sweep powerful strides.
It is no wonder, then, that short-track skaters have lopsided bodies.
Perhaps the bodies of no other athletes in sports, and certainly none at the Winter Olympics, are so asymmetrical.
Their thighs and glutes are typically larger on the right, while their lower-back muscles sometimes bulge more on the left. The hip, knee and ankle joints on the left tend to be stronger, the ones on the right more flexible. The differences are sometimes visible to the naked eye, but more often noted by a tape measure.