Influence of Position and Power Output on Upper Limb Kinetics in Cycling

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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Several suggestions on the upper limb involvement in cycling exist but, to date, no study has quantified upper limb kinetics in this task. The aim of this study was to determine how crank power and pedaling position (seated or standing) affect upper limb kinetics. Handlebar loadings and upper limb kinematics were collected from 17 participants performing seated or standing pedaling trials in a random order at 6 crank powers ranging from 20% (112 ± 19 W) to 120% (675 ± 113 W) of their spontaneous sit-to-stand transition power. An inverse dynamics approach was used to compute 3D moments, powers, and works at the wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints. Over 29 parameters investigated, increases in crank power were associated with increases in the magnitudes of 23 and 20 of the kinetic variables assessed in seated and standing positions, respectively. The standing position was associated with higher magnitudes of upper limb kinetics. These results suggest that both upper and lower limbs should be considered in future models to better understand whole body coordination in cycling.

Antony Costes and David Villeger are with PRISSMH-LAPMA, University Toulouse III Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France. Nicolas A. Turpin is with PRISSMH-LAPMA, University Toulouse III Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France; and CRIR, Institut de Réadaptation Gingras-Lindsay de Montréal and Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital, Laval, Quebec, Canada. Pierre Moretto is with the University of Toulouse, UPS, CRCA, Toulouse, France; and CRCA, CNRS, Toulouse, France. Bruno Watier is with LAAS, CNRS, Toulouse, France; and the University of Toulouse, UPS, LAAS, F-31400 Toulouse, France.

Address author correspondence to Antony Costes at