Effects of seated double-poling ergometer training on aerobic and mechanical power in individuals with spinal cord injury
Thomas Lindberg, Anton Arndt , Cecilia Norrbrink, Kerstin Wahman, Anna Bjerkefors
Biomechanics and Motor Control Laboratory, The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences (GIH), Box 5626, SE-114 86 Stockholm, Sweden
Objective: To determine whether regular interval training on a seated double-poling ergometer can increase physical capacity and safely improve performance towards maximal level in individuals with spinal cord injury.
Methods: A total of 13 subjects with spinal cord injury (injury levels T5–L1) performed 30 sessions of seated double-poling ergometer training over a period of 10 weeks. Sub-maximal and maximal double-poling ergometer tests were performed before (test-retest) and after this training period. Oxygen uptake was measured using the Douglas Bag system. Three-dimensional kinematics were recorded using an optoelectronic system and piezoelectric force sensors were used to register force in both poles.
Results: The mean intra-class correlation coefficient for test–retest values was 0.83 (standard deviation 0.11). After training significant improvements were observed in people with spinal cord injury in oxygen uptake (22.7%), ventilation (20.7%) and blood lactate level (22.0%) during maximal exertion exercises. Mean power per stroke and peak pole force increased by 15.4% and 23.7%, respectively. At sub-maximal level, significantly lower values were observed in ventilation (–12.8%) and blood lactate level (–25.0%).
Conclusion: Regular interval training on the seated double-poling ergometer was effective for individuals with spinal cord injury below T5 level in terms of improving aerobic capacity and upper-body power output. The training was safe and did not cause any overload symptoms.
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