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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 April;59(4):569-74

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08413-X

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Physiological demands of standing and wheelchair fencing in able-bodied fencers

Xavier IGLESIAS 1 , Ferran A. RODRÍGUEZ 1, Rafael TARRAGÓ 2, Lindsay BOTTOMS 3, Lisímaco VALLEJO 1, Lara RODRÍGUEZ-ZAMORA 1, Michael PRICE 4

1 INEFC-Barcelona Sports Sciences Research Group, National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC), University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; 2 Social and Educational Research Group of Physical Activity and Sports (GISEAFE), National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC), University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; 3 School of Life and Medical Science, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK; 4 Department of Biomolecular and Sports Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry, UK



BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to determine the cardiorespiratory demands of standing and wheelchair (seated) fencing in a group of able-bodied fencers during simulated competitive bouts.
METHODS: Participants were ten male able-bodied fencers of regional level with previous training experience in wheelchair fencing. After a standardized warm-up, participants performed two series of simulated competitive épée bouts (5 and 15 touches) in a random order, either while standing or while sitting in a wheelchair. Expired gas was analyzed for oxygen consumption (V̇O2) and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) and heart rate were continually monitored. Energy expenditure (EE) was subsequently calculated.
RESULTS: V̇O2, HR and EE peak responses were greater during standing than seated fencing (P<0.05). Mean V̇O2 during all ST bouts (5- and 15-touch) was 43% greater than in wheelchair fencing (44.2±7.8 vs. 25.1±5.4 mL/kg/min). Mean HR during the standing 5- and 15-touch bouts was 91±20% and 84±7%, respectively, of that recorded during the seated bouts. HR, V̇O2 and EE data also indicated that the 15-touch bouts were more physiologically demanding than the 5-touch bouts (P<0.01). The HR-V̇O2 relationship was similar between both fencing modes. The duration of the 5- and 15-touch bouts were shorter for the seated than the standing bouts (P<0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: The physiological demands of wheelchair fencing are lower than those for standing fencing. Furthermore, the physiology of 5 versus 15-touch bouts, similar to those undertaken in fencing competition, also differs.


KEY WORDS: Wheelchairs - Athletes - Disabled persons - Heart rate - Oxygen consumption - Energy metabolism

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