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Saryn R. Goldberg, Thomas M. Kepple and Steven J. Stanhope

We increased the accuracy of an instrumented treadmill’s measurement of center of pressure and force data by calibrating in situ and optimizing the transformation between the motion capture and treadmill force plate coordinate systems. We calibrated the device in situ by applying known vertical and shear loads at known locations across the tread surface and calculating a 6 × 6 calibration matrix for the 6 output forces and moments. To optimize the transformation, we first estimated the transformation based on a locating jig and then measured center-of-pressure error across the treadmill force plate using the CalTester tool. We input these data into an optimization scheme to find the transformation between the motion capture and treadmill force plate coordinate systems that minimized the error in the center-of-pressure measurements derived from force plate and motion capture sources. When the calibration and transformation optimizations were made, the average measured error in the center of pressure was reduced to approximately 1 mm when the treadmill was stationary and to less than 3 mm when moving. Using bilateral gait data, we show the importance of calibrating these devices in situ and performing transformation optimizations.

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Isabel S. Moore and Sharon J. Dixon

Interest in barefoot running and research on barefoot running are growing. However a methodological issue surrounding investigations is how familiar the participants are with running barefoot. The aim of the study was to assess the amount of time required for habitually shod runners to become familiar with barefoot treadmill running. Twelve female recreational runners, who were experienced treadmill users, ran barefoot on a treadmill for three bouts, each bout consisting of 10 minutes at a self-selected speed with 5 minute rest periods. Sagittal plane kinematics of the hip, knee, ankle, and foot during stance were recorded during the first and last minute of each 10-minute bout. Strong reliability (ICC > .8) was shown in most variables after 20 minutes of running. In addition, there was a general trend for the smallest standard error of mean to occur during the same period. Furthermore, there were no significant differences in any of the biomechanical variables after 20 minutes of running. Together, this suggests that familiarization was achieved between 11 and 20 minutes of running barefoot on a treadmill. Familiarization was characterized by less plantar flexion and greater knee flexion at touchdown. These results indicate that adequate familiarization should be given in future studies before gait assessment of barefoot treadmill running.

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Alon Eliakim, Mark Y. Moromisato, David Y. Moromisato and Dan M. Cooper

In this study, the hypothesis that improvements in functional and structural measures could be detected in the young, female rat with only 5 days of moderate treadmill training was tested. Eight-week-old female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided randomly into control (n = 10) and training groups (n = 11). Over the 5-day period, running duration and treadmill speed increased progressively. Maximal running time and gas exchange were measured on Day 6. In trained compared with control rats, maximal running time was 54% greater (p < .005), right hindlimb muscle was 16% heavier (p < .01), and end-exercise respiratory exchange ratio (RER) was 17% lower (p < .05). Substantial metabolic and structural adaptations occurred in young female rats after only 5 days of treadmill training. This protocol may be useful in discovering the initiating mechanisms of the training response in the young organism.

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Jennifer White, Joanna Scurr and Wendy Hedger

Comparisons of breast support requirements during overground and treadmill running have yet to be explored. The purpose of this study was to investigate 3D breast displacement and breast comfort during overground and treadmill running. Six female D cup participants had retro-reflective markers placed on the nipples, anterior superior iliac spines and clavicles. Five ProReflex infrared cameras (100 Hz) measured 3D marker displacement in four breast support conditions. For overground running, participants completed 5 running trials (3.1 m/s ± 0.1 m/s) over a 10 m indoor runway; for treadmill running, speed was steadily increased to 3.1 m/s and 5 gait cycles were analyzed. Subjective feedback on breast discomfort was collected using a visual analog scale. Running modality had no significant effect on breast displacement (p > .05). Moderate correlations (r = .45 to .68, p < .05) were found between breast discomfort and displacement. Stride length (m) and frequency (Hz) did not differ (p < .05) between breast support conditions or running modalities. Findings suggest that breast motion studies that examine treadmill running are applicable to overground running.

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Glen E. Duncan, Anthony D. Mahon, Julie A. Gay and Jennifer J. Sherwood

Physiological and perceptual responses at ventilatory threshold (VT) and V̇O2 peak were examined in 10 male children (10.2 ± 1.3 yrs) during graded treadmill and cycle exercise. Treadmill V̇O2peak (57.9 ± 6.7 ml · kg−1 · min−1) was higher (p < .05) than the cycle (51.7 ± 7.7 ml · kg−1 · min−1). Ventilation and heart rate (HR) were higher (p < .05) on the treadmill, while respiratory exchange ratio (RER), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), capillary blood lactate, and test duration were similar between tests. The V̇O2 at VT was higher (p < .05) on the treadmill (36.7 ± 4.6 ml · kg−1 · min−1) than the cycle (32.5 ± 4.4 ml · kg−1 · min−1). When VT was expressed as a percentage of V̇O2 peak, there was no difference (p > .05) between tests. The RPE at VT, HR at VT, and VT expressed as a percentage of HRpeak were also similar (p > .05) between tests. Similar to V̇O2 peak, the V̇O2 at VT is dependent on the mode of exercise. However, when VT is expressed as a percentage of V̇O2 peak, it is independent of testing modality. The RPE at VT appears to be linked to a percentage of V̇O2 peak rather than an absolute V̇O2.

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Alan J. Ryan, Amy E. Navarre and Carl V. Gisolfi

These studies were done to determine the effect of carbonation and carbohydrate content on either gastric emptying or ad libitum drinking during treadmill exercise in the heat. Four test drinks were used: a 6% carbohydrate, noncarbonated; a 6% carbohydrate, carbonated; a 10% carbohydrate, noncarbonated; and a 10% carbohydrate, carbonated drink. For gastric emptying studies, subjects completed four 1-hr treadmill runs in the heat. They were given 400 mL of test drink at 0 rnin and 200 mL at 15, 30, and 45 min of exercise. For ad libitum drinking studies, subjects completed four 2-hr treadmill runs in the heat. Gastric residual volumes were similar during the four 1-hr runs. During the 2-hr runs, ad libitum drinking of the four beverages was also similar. Mean values for sweat rate, percentage of body weight lost, and percentage of fluid replaced by ad libitum drinking were similar for the four trials. Similar changes in heart rate, rectal temperature, and ratings of perceived exertion were also observed during the four 2-hr treadmill runs. We conclude that the presence of carbonation in a carbohydrate drink did not have a significant effect on either gastric emptying or ad libitum drinking.

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Gail Frost, Oded Bar-Or, James Dowling and Catherine White

This study examined habituation to treadmill walking or running in children. Twenty-four boys and girls, ages 7–11, completed six 6-min trials of treadmill exercise at one of these speeds: (a) comfortable walking pace (CWP), (b) CWP + 15%, (c) running at CWP + 3 km·hr−1, or (d) running as above + 15%. The six trials were repeated in a second visit. The a priori criterion for habituation was a decrease in steady state values of oxygen uptake (V̇O2), heart rate (HR), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), and stride rate (SR) or an increase in stride length (SL) and hip joint vertical amplitude (HA) from one trial to the next. There was no consistent pattern indicating habituation for the group. Many trials and more than one day of testing do not appear to improve the stability of the metabolic or kinematic variables. The lack of consistency in individual responses suggests that monitoring subjects’ habituation individually is important.

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Chris Button, Stuart Moyle and Keith Davids

There has been no direct attempt to evaluate whether gait performed overground and on a treadmill is the same for lower limb amputees. A multiple case study approach was adopted to explore the degenerate movement behavior displayed by three male amputees. Participants walked overground at a self-selected preferred pace and when this speed was enforced on a treadmill (50 stride cycles per condition). The extremities of motion (i.e., maximum flexion) for the hip and knee joints differed between conditions (0.2–3.8°). For two participants, the temporal asymmetry of gait was reduced on the treadmill. Initial data suggest that research on amputees simulating overground walking on a treadmill might need to be interpreted with some caution.

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Abbass Ghanbari-Niaki, Rozita Fathi, Sayed Alireza Hossaini Kakhak, Zhara Farshidi, Sara Barmaki, Fatemeh Rahbarizadeh and Robert R. Kraemer

Agouti-related protein (AGRP) is an orexigenic peptide secreted from the arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the hypothalamus. AGRP increases food intake and plays a role in energy balance, adiposity, weight gain, and growth-hormone release. The objective of the current study was to examine the effects of running exercise on resting hepatic, fundus, and pancreas AGRP mRNA expression, as well as liver glycogen and ATP contents, using a rat model. Twenty adult male Wistar rats (12–14 wk old, 200–220 g) were randomly assigned to control (n = 10) and training (n = 10) groups. The training group was exercised for 8 wk on a motor-driven treadmill (26 m/min, 0% grade, 60 min, 5 d/wk). Twenty-four hours before sacrifice the rats were further divided into fed control (FEC), fed trained (FET), fasted control (FAC), and fasted trained (FAT) groups. The liver, fundus, and pancreas were excised and frozen in liquid nitrogen for later analysis. Results demonstrated that 8 wk of treadmill exercise reduced hepatic but not fundus and pancreatic AGRP expression and enhanced glycogen and ATP concentrations (p < .001) in trained-rat liver, whereas fasting lowered liver glycogen and ATP levels and increased hepatic AGRP mRNA expression in nonexercising controls. Data indicate that both treadmill-exercise-induced decrease and fast-induced increase in rat liver AGRP expression might depend on liver glycogen content as an important source for energy provision.

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Olivier Girard, Franck Brocherie, Jean-Benoit Morin, Francis Degache and Grégoire P. Millet

We compared different approaches to analyze running mechanics alterations during repeated treadmill sprints. Thirteen active male athletes performed five 5-second sprints with 25 seconds of recovery on an instrumented treadmill. This approach allowed continuous measurement of running kinetics/kinematics and calculation of vertical and leg stiffness variables that were subsequently averaged over 3 distinct sections of the 5-second sprint (steps 2–5, 7–10, and 12–15) and for all steps (steps 2–15). Independently from the analyzed section, propulsive power and step frequency decreased with fatigue, while contact time and step length increased (P < .05). Except for step frequency, all mechanical variables varied (P < .05) across sprint sections. The only parameters that highly depend on running velocity (propulsive power and vertical stiffness) showed a significant interaction (P < .05) between the analyzed sections, with smaller magnitude of fatigue-induced change observed for steps 2–5. Considering all steps or only a few steps during early, middle, or late phases of 5-second sprints provides similar mechanical outcomes during repeated treadmill sprinting, although acceleration induces noticeable differences between the sections studied. Furthermore, quantifying mechanical alterations from the early acceleration phase may not be readily detectable, and is not recommended.