The aim of the study was to evaluate the external applied forces, the effectiveness of force application and the net shoulder moments of handcycling in comparison with handrim wheelchair propulsion at different inclines. Ten able-bodied men performed standardized exercises on a treadmill at inclines of 1%, 2.5% and 4% with an instrumented handbike and wheelchair that measured three-dimensional propulsion forces. The results showed that during handcycling significantly lower mean forces were applied at inclines of 2.5% (P < .001) and 4% (P < .001) and significantly lower peak forces were applied at all inclines (1%: P = .014, 2.5% and 4%: P < .001). At the 2.5% incline, where power output was the same for both devices, total forces (mean over trial) of 22.8 N and 27.5 N and peak forces of 40.1 N and 106.9 N were measured for handbike and wheelchair propulsion. The force effectiveness did not differ between the devices (P = .757); however, the effectiveness did increase with higher inclines during handcycling whereas it stayed constant over all inclines for wheelchair propulsion. The resulting peak net shoulder moments were lower for handcycling compared with wheelchair propulsion at all inclines (P < .001). These results confirm the assumption that handcycling is physically less straining.
Ursina Arnet, Stefan van Drongelen, DirkJan Veeger, and Lucas H. V. van der Woude
Rafael E.A. Muchaxo, Sonja de Groot, Lucas H.V. van der Woude, Thomas W.J. Janssen, and Carla Nooijen
The classification system for handcycling groups athletes into five hierarchical classes, based on how much their impairment affects performance. Athletes in class H5, with the least impairments, compete in a kneeling position, while athletes in classes H1 to H4 compete in a recumbent position. This study investigated the average time-trial velocity of athletes in different classes. A total of 1,807 results from 353 athletes who competed at 20 international competitions (2014–2018) were analyzed. Multilevel regression was performed to analyze differences in average velocities between adjacent pairs of classes, while correcting for gender, age, and event distance. The average velocity of adjacent classes was significantly different (p < .01), with higher classes being faster, except for H4 and H5. However, the effect size of the differences between H3 and H4 was smaller (d = 0.12). Hence, results indicated a need for research in evaluating and developing evidence-based classification in handcycling, yielding a class structure with meaningful performance differences between adjacent classes.
Annemarie M.H. de Witte, Monique A.M. Berger, Marco J.M. Hoozemans, Dirkjan H.E.J. Veeger, and Lucas H.V. van der Woude
The aim of this study was to determine to what extent mobility performance is influenced by offensive or defensive situations and ball possession and to what extent these actions are different for the field positions. From video analysis, the relative duration of the various wheelchair movements during team offense/defense and individual ball possession was compared in 56 elite wheelchair basketball players. A two-way analysis of variance indicated that during offense, the guards and forwards performed longer driving forward than during defense. Overall, centers stood still longer during offense than during defense. Without ball, centers performed driving forward longer than with ball possession. It is concluded that offense, defense, and ball possession influenced mobility performance for the different field positions. These differences can be used to design specific training protocols. Furthermore, field positions require potentially different specific wheelchair configurations to improve performance.