Neuromuscular, metabolic, and kinetic adaptations for skilled pedaling performance in cyclists.
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to clarify the reason for the difference in the preferred cadence between cyclists and noncyclists.
Male cyclists and noncyclists were evaluated in terms of pedal force, neuromuscular activity for lower extremities, and oxygen consumption among the cadence manipulation (45, 60, 75, 90, and 105 rpm) during pedaling at 150 and 200 W. Noncyclists having the same levels of aerobic and anaerobic capacity as cyclists were chosen from athletes of different sports to avoid any confounding effect from similar kinetic properties of cyclists for lower extremities (i.e., high speed contraction and high repetitions in prolonged exercise) on both pedaling performance and preferred cadence.
The peak pedal force significantly decreased with increasing of cadence in both groups, and the value for noncyclists was significantly higher than that for cyclists at each cadence despite the same power output. The normalized iEMG for vastus lateralis and vastus medialis muscles increased in noncyclists with rising cadence; however, cyclists did not show such a significant increase of the normalized iEMG for the muscles. On the other hand, the normalized iEMG for biceps femoris muscle showed a significant increase in cyclists while there was no increase for noncyclists. Oxygen consumption for cyclists was significantly lower than that for noncyclists at 105 rpm for 150 W work and at 75, 90, and 105 rpm for 200 W work.
We conclude that cyclists have a certain pedaling skill regarding the positive utilization for knee flexors up to the higher cadences, which would contribute to a decrease in peak pedal force and which would alleviate muscle activity for the knee extensors. We speculated that pedaling skills that decrease muscle stress influence the preferred cadence selection, contributing to recruitment of ST muscle fibers with fatigue resistance and high mechanical efficiency despite increased oxygen consumption caused by increased repetitions of leg movements.
- SourceAvailable from: Rodrigo R BiniJournal of Science and Cycling. 06/2013; 2(1):11-24.
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to compare the physiological responses of cyclists using round (C-ring) or oval (Q-ring) chainrings during an incremental test until exhaustion. Following a randomized design, twelve male elite cyclists [age (mean ± SD): 21.1 ± 2.1 yr; VO2max: 78.1 ± 5.3 mLÂ·kg(-1)min(-1)] performed two incremental maximal tests separated by 48 h (one with C-rings, the other with Q-rings). Starting at 100 W, the workload was increased by 25 W every 3 min until volitional exhaustion. Maximal heart rate, power output and oxygen consumption were compared. Blood lactate was monitored throughout the test. After the incremental test, 4 intermittent 20-s maximal sprints with a 60-s recovery period in between were performed. Maximal isometric voluntary contractions were performed at rest and immediately after each 20-s maximal sprint, and the force and EMG RMS amplitude were recorded from the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis muscles. For the incremental exercise test, no significant differences were found in the maximal power output (P=0.12), oxygen consumption (P=0.39), and heart rate (P=0.32) between Q-rings and C-rings. Throughout the incremental test, lactate levels were comparable when using both the C-rings and Q-rings (P=0.47). During the short sprints, power output was 2.5-6.5% greater for Q-rings than for C-rings (P=0.22). The decline in EMG RMS amplitude observed during the incremental tests was comparable for Q-rings and C-rings (0.42). These findings indicate that the oval chainring design, presented here as "Q-rings", did not significantly influence the physiological response to an incremental exercise test as compared to a conventional chainring. Key pointsDuring the incremental exercise test, no significant differences were found in power output, oxygen consumption or heart rate between oval "Q-rings" and conventional chainrings.Over the course of the incremental test, blood lactate levels were comparable for the oval "Q-rings" and conventional chainrings.During the short sprints performed after the incremental test, there were no statistical differences in power production between oval "Q-rings" and conventional chainrings.Journal of sports science & medicine 05/2014; 13(2):410-416. · 0.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The mechanical energy required to propel the crank may depend on eccentric and concentric muscle actions. However, it is uncertain whether pedaling cadence would elicit changes in concentric and eccentric contributions. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of alterations in pedaling cadence on the eccentric and concentric muscle actions. Joint power production and absorption were calculated to assess potential effects from variations in pedaling cadence on joint kinetics. Twenty-one cyclists participated in this study (VO2pico: 64.1 ± 5.0 ml/kg/min; training volume: 368.2 ± 69.5 km/week). In their first session, maximal power output (POMAX) and power output related to the second ventilation threshold (POVT2) were determined during an incremental maximal cycling test to exhaustion. In their second session, cyclists performed two 2-min trials with workload from their POVT2 at two different cadences (70 and 90 rpm). Muscle activation of six muscles, pedal forces and lower limb joint kinematics were evaluated. Longer eccentric contraction at 70 rpm for vastus medialis (8%; p < 0.01) and biceps femoris (20%; p = 0.04) were observed compared to 90 rpm. Longer concentric contraction for vastus medialis muscle (10%; p = 0.04) at 90 rpm was observed compared to 70 rpm. There were no differences in joint power production and absorption among pedaling cadences. No alterations in joint power could indicate maintenance of movement when pedaling cadence is changed. Eccentric contractions from knee muscles could be related to joint control, force transmission and reduced energy cost.Brazilian Journal of Physical Education and Sport. 10/2014; 6167.