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Joni S. Yates, Stephanie Studenski, Steven Gollub, Robert Whitman, Subashan Perera, Sue Min Lai, and Pamela W. Duncan

This study evaluated the feasibility, safety, and findings from a protocol for exercise-bicycle ergometry in subacute-stroke survivors. Of 117 eligible candidates, 14 could not perform the test and 3 discontinued because of cardiac safety criteria. In the 100 completed tests, peak heart rate was 116 ± 19.1 beats/min; peak VO2 was 11.4 ± 3.7 ml · kg · min−1, peak METs were 3.3 ± 0.91, exercise duration was 5.1 ± 2.84 min., and Borg score was 14 ± 2.6. Among 71 tests, anaerobic threshold was achieved in 3.0 ± 1.7 min with a VO2 of 8.6 ± 1.7 ml · kg · min−1. After screening, this protocol is feasible and safe in subacute-stroke survivors with mild to moderate deficits. These stroke survivors have severely limited functional exercise capacity. Research and clinical practice in stroke rehabilitation should incorporate more comprehensive evaluation and treatment of endurance limitations.

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Kosuke Fujita, Masatoshi Nakamura, Hiroki Umegaki, Takuya Kobayashi, Satoru Nishishita, Hiroki Tanaka, Satoko Ibuki, and Noriaki Ichihashi

Context: A recent review or article reported that thermal agents (TA) or physical activity (PA) can increase range of motion (ROM) and that the combination of TA with stretching is superior to performing stretching only. However, since ROM is affected by the psychological factors, it is questionable whether these studies measured the effect of these interventions on muscle flexibility. By measuring muscle stiffness, the authors attempted to evaluate the effect these interventions on muscle flexibility. Objective: To compare the individual effects of TA and PA on muscle flexibility, as well as their effectiveness when combined with static stretching (SS). Design: Crossover trial. Setting: University research laboratory. Participants: 15 healthy men without a history of orthopedic disease in their lower limbs. Interventions: 15 minutes of 3 different conditions: hot pack as TA, pedaling exercise as PA, and the control group with no TA or PA intervention, followed by 3 min of SS for the hamstrings. Main Outcome Measures: Joint angle and passive torque of the knee during passive elongation were obtained prior to interventions, after 3 kinds of intervention, and after SS. From these data, muscle-tendon-unit (MTU) stiffness of the hamstrings was calculated. Results: Although knee-joint ROM increased with both TA and PA (P < .05), there were no significant differences in MTU stiffness between pre- and postintervention measurements for either of the interventions (TA, P = .477; PA, P = .377; control, P = .388). However, there were similar significant decreases in MTU stiffness between postintervention and post-SS for all conditions (P < .01). Conclusions: TA and PA did not decrease MTU stiffness, and combining these interventions with SS did not provide additional decreases in MTU stiffness compared with performing SS alone.

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Rodrigo R. Bini, Aline C. Tamborindeguy, and Carlos B. Mota

Context:

It is not clear how noncyclists control joint power and kinematics in different mechanical setups (saddle height, workload, and pedaling cadence). Joint mechanical work contribution and kinematics analysis could improve our comprehension of the coordinative pattern of noncyclists and provide evidence for bicycle setup to prevent injury.

Objective:

To compare joint mechanical work distribution and kinematics at different saddle heights, workloads, and pedaling cadences.

Design:

Quantitative experimental research based on repeated measures.

Setting:

Research laboratory.

patients:

9 healthy male participants 22 to 36 years old without competitive cycling experience.

Intervention:

Cycling on an ergometer in the following setups: 3 saddle heights (reference, 100% of trochanteric height; high, + 3 cm; and low, − 3 cm), 2 pedaling cadences (40 and 70 rpm), and 3 workloads (0, 5, and 10 N of braking force).

Main Outcome Measures:

Joint kinematics, joint mechanical work, and mechanical work contribution of the joints.

Results:

There was an increased contribution of the ankle joint (P = .04) to the total mechanical work with increasing saddle height (from low to high) and pedaling cadence (from 40 to 70 rpm, P < .01). Knee work contribution increased when saddle height was changed from high to low (P < .01). Ankle-, knee-, and hip-joint kinematics were affected by saddle height changes (P < .01).

Conclusions:

At the high saddle position it could be inferred that the ankle joint compensated for the reduced knee-joint work contribution, which was probably effective for minimizing soft-tissue damage in the knee joint (eg, anterior cruciate ligament and patellofemoral cartilage). The increase in ankle work contribution and changes in joint kinematics associated with changes in pedaling cadence have been suggested to indicate poor pedaling-movement skill.

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Moniek Akkerman, Marco van Brussel, Bart C. Bongers, Erik H.J. Hulzebos, Paul J.M Helders, and Tim Takken

The objective of this study was to investigate the characteristics of the submaximal Oxygen Uptake Efficiency Slope (OUES) in a healthy pediatric population. Bicycle ergometry exercise tests with gas-analyses were performed in 46 healthy children aged 7–17 years. Maximal OUES, submaximal OUES, V̇O2peak, VEpeak, and ventilatory threshold (VT) were determined. The submaximal OUES correlated highly with V̇O2peak, VEpeak, and VT. Strong correlations were found with basic anthropometric variables. The submaximal OUES could provide an objective, independent measure of cardiorespiratory function in children, reflecting efficiency of ventilation. We recommend expressing OUES values relative to Body Surface Area (BSA) or Fat Free Mass (FFM).

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H. Jan Dordel

Individuals with severe physical and psychomotor modifications after a brain injury need measures of motor training beyond the usual physiotherapy. The effects of an intensive mobility training in the phase of late rehabilitation are reported in two case studies. The coordinative and conditional progresses were controlled by the methods of photographic anthropometry, light-track registration, and bicycle ergometry. Improvements were found in posture and dynamic endurance in correlation with the generally improving motor control. Tests of everyday relevant movements revealed qualitative progresses in the sense of increased motor precision and economy.

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Michail Lubomirov Michailov, Audry Morrison, Mano Mitkov Ketenliev, and Boyanka Petkova Pentcheva

Traditional treadmill or bicycle ergometry neglects the upper-body musculature that predominantly limits or terminates rock-climbing performance (ie, the inability to continually pull up one’s body mass or “hang on”).

Purpose:

To develop an incremental maximal upper-body ergometer test (UBT) to evaluate climbers’ aerobic fitness and sport-specific work capacity and to compare these results with a traditional treadmill protocol.

Methods:

Eleven elite sport climbers (best redpoint grade Fr.8b) performed a UBT on a vertically mounted rowing ergometer and, on a separate occasion, performed a maximal incremental treadmill test (TMT). Cardiorespiratory parameters were measured continuously. Lactate (La) samples were collected.

Results:

Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) and heart rate in UBT and TMT were 34.1 ± 4.1 vs 58.3 ± 2.6 mL · min−1 · kg−1 and 185 ± 8 vs 197 ± 8 beats/min, respectively, and both variables were of significantly lower magnitude during UBT (P < .001). End-of-test La levels for UBT (11.9 ± 1.7 mmol/L) and TMT (12.3 ± 2.5 mmol/L) were similar (P = .554). Treadmill VO2peak was not correlated with either upper-body (UB) VO2peak (P = .854) or redpoint and on-sight climbing grade ability (P > .05). UB VO2peak and peak power output per kg body mass were both strongly correlated (P < .05) with climbing grade ability. The highest correlation coefficient was calculated between current on-sight grade and UB VO2peak (r = .85, P = .001).

Conclusion:

UBT aerobic- and work-capacity results were strongly correlated to climbing-performance variables and reflected sport-specific fatigue, and TMT results were not. UBT is preferred to TMT to test and monitor dedicated and elite rock climbers’ training status.

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Carlo Capelli

.1080/00140130802238614 10.1080/00140130802238614 6. Seabury JJ , Adams WC , Ramey MR . Influence of pedaling rate and power output on energy expenditure during bicycle ergometry . Ergonomics . 1977 ; 20 : 491 – 498 . PubMed doi:10.1080/00140137708931658 10.1080/00140137708931658 7. Gastin PB . Energy system

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Ralph Beneke, Tobias G.J. Weber, and Renate M. Leithäuser

.1152/jappl.1975.38.6.1132 3. Seabury JJ , Adams WC , Ramey MR . Influence of pedalling rate and power output on energy expenditure during bicycle ergometry . Ergonomics . 1977 ; 20 : 491 – 498 . PubMed doi:10.1080/00140137708931658 590246 10.1080/00140137708931658 4. Zoladz JA , Rademaker AC