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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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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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Kenneth H. Pitetti, A. Lynn Millar and Bo Fernhall

The purpose of this study was to compare test-retest reliability when measuring peak physiological capacities of children and adolescents (age = 13.6 ± 2.9 yr) with mental retardation (MR) and their peers (12.0 ± 2.9 yr) without mental retardation (NMR) using a discontinuous treadmill (TM) protocol. Forty-six participants (23 MR = 12 male and 11 female; 23 NMR = 12 male and 11 female) completed two peak performance treadmill tests with 3 to 7 days of rest between tests. Physiological values measured included V̇O2peak (1 $$ min-1 and ml $$ kg-1 $$ min-1), V̇Epeak (1 $$ mhr-1), HRpeak (bpm), and RER (V̇O2 $$ V̇O2 -1). Test-retest reliability coefficients ranged from .85 to .99 for participants with MR and from .55 to .99 for participants without MR. Test reliability and accuracy in the present study does not appear to differ between the NMR and MR participants.

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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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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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Panagiotis Pappas, Giorgos Dallas and Giorgos Paradisis

In research, the accurate and reliable measurement of leg and vertical stiffness could contribute to valid interpretations. The current study aimed at determining the intraparticipant variability (ie, intraday and interday reliabilities) of leg and vertical stiffness, as well as related parameters, during high speed treadmill running, using the “sine-wave” method. Thirty-one males ran on a treadmill at 6.67 m∙s−1, and the contact and flight times were measured. To determine the intraday reliability, three 10-s running bouts with 10-min recovery were performed. In addition, to examine the interday reliability, three 10-s running bouts on 3 separate days with 48-h interbout intervals were performed. The reliability statistics included repeated-measure analysis of variance, average intertrial correlations, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs), Cronbach’s α reliability coefficient, and the coefficient of variation (CV%). Both intraday and interday reliabilities were high for leg and vertical stiffness (ICC > 0.939 and CV < 4.3%), as well as related variables (ICC > 0.934 and CV < 3.9%). It was thus inferred that the measurements of leg and vertical stiffness, as well as the related parameters obtained using the “sine-wave” method during treadmill running at 6.67 m∙s−1, were highly reliable, both within and across days.

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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.

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Noah J. Rosenblatt, Christopher P. Hurt and Mark D. Grabiner

Recent experimental findings support theoretical predictions that across walking conditions the motor system chooses foot placement to achieve a constant minimum “margin of stability” (MOSmin)—distance between the extrapolated center of mass and base of support. For example, while step width varies, similar average MOSmin exists between overground and treadmill walking and between overground and compliant/irregular surface walking. However, predictions regarding the invariance of MOSmin to step-by-step changes in foot placement cannot be verified by average values. The purpose of this study was to determine average changes in, and the sensitivity of MOSmin to varying step widths during two walking tasks. Eight young subjects walked on a dual-belt treadmill before and after receiving information that stepping on the physical gap between the belts causes no adverse effects. Information decreased step width by 17% (p = .01), whereas MOSmin was unaffected (p = .12). Regardless of information, subject-specific regressions between step-by-step values of step width and MOSmin explained, on average, only 5% of the shared variance (β = 0.11 ± 0.05). Thus, MOSmin appears to be insensitive to changing step width. Accordingly, during treadmill walking, step width is chosen to maintain MOSmin. If MOSmin remains insensitive to step width across other dynamic tasks, then assessing an individual’s stability while performing theses tasks could help describe the health of the motor system.

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Layci J. Harrison, Kala L. Young, Sandra L. Stevens and Jennifer L. Caputo

A 19-year-old collegiate softball player collided with a fence while trying to catch a fly ball, resulting in a greenstick fibular fracture. Underwater treadmill training (UTT) was used as a modality to supplement traditional physical therapy (TPT). Active range of motion (AROM) in all directions for the knee, hip, and ankle, girth of the thigh and lower leg, static balance, and 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT) distance were assessed pre- and postintervention. The addition of UTT to TPT led to postintervention increases in AROM, static balance, and limb girth, with no additional discomfort to the participant.