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Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Online ISSN 1827-1812
Mcmurtrey A. P. 1, Haight D. J. 2, Devoe D. E. 1, Reiser II R. F. 1, 2
1 Department of Health and Exercise Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA;
2 School of Biomedical Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
AIM: The aim of this investigation was to examine lower extremity muscle activation levels of the recumbent cycling position (RCP) relative to the upright cycling position (UCP) at low levels of power output to determine the suitability of the RCP as an alternative rehabilitation and training modality.
METHODS: Fifteen healthy men and 15 women with RCP and UCP experience pedaled at 60 rpm and 60, 90 and 120 W in both positions while surface electromyography of the tibialis anterior (TA), gastrocnemius (GAS), soleus (SOL), vastus medialis obliquus, vastus lateralis, rectus femoris (RF), hamstrings, and gluteus maximus (GMX) were sampled simultaneously with lower extremity kinematics. Statistical significance was assessed at P<0.05 with Bonferroni adjustment for multiple comparisons.
RESULTS: No differences existed in kinematics between sexes or with cycling position and power level. Subtle, qualitative differences were observed in all muscle activations between cycling positions within the pedal revolution. Average muscle activity across a whole pedal revolution was significantly increased in the SOL at 60 and 90 W and the GAS at all power levels and decreased in the GMX at 120 W in the RCP compared to the UCP. Non-linear increases existed in TA and GAS activity compared to more uniform increases of the other muscles as power increased regardless of position. Between sexes, the only significant difference was increased RF activity in the RCP of the men.
CONCLUSION: The observed differences should be considered when choosing between the two cycling positions for rehabilitation and/or training.