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EVALUATION OF AN KLLIPTICAL EXERCISER IN COMPARISON TO TREADMILL WALKING AND RUNNING, STATIONARY CYCLING, AND STEPPING

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... Literature has also compared the physiological demand of ET to other stationary exercise such as treadmill running or cycle-ergometer training (9)(10)(11)(12). It was shown that similar maximal VO 2peak and HR peak could be achieved in either ET or treadmill running (10). ...
... However, other studies comparing the two methods have found there to be a relative reduction in RPE. Although some authors did not find any differences in relative RPE between treadmill running and ET (10), other studies presented either a relative reduction of RPE in ET compared to treadmill running (9,11,12), stationary cycling (12) or leg-only ET exercise (4) at a similar oxygen consumption or energy expenditure. In other words, an increase in energy expenditure for similar RPE was assumed to be due to the addition of arms movement to the overall action (4). ...
... However, other studies comparing the two methods have found there to be a relative reduction in RPE. Although some authors did not find any differences in relative RPE between treadmill running and ET (10), other studies presented either a relative reduction of RPE in ET compared to treadmill running (9,11,12), stationary cycling (12) or leg-only ET exercise (4) at a similar oxygen consumption or energy expenditure. In other words, an increase in energy expenditure for similar RPE was assumed to be due to the addition of arms movement to the overall action (4). ...
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Morio C, Haddoum M, Fournet D, Gueguen N. Influence of exercise type on metabolic cost and gross efficiency: elliptical trainer versus cycling trainer. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2016 May;56(5):520-6. Epub 2015 Feb 10. Background: Elliptical trainers are known as a good mean to develop physical fitness. However, the pedaling efficiency on an elliptical trainer has not been reported in the literature. The aim of the present study was to compare metabolic cost and gross efficiency for two different trainers - the elliptical trainer (ET) and the cycling trainer (CT). Methods: Fourteen participants were tested on ET and CT during two exercise sessions. Participants pedaled at 9 different power outputs for 3 minutes each. Oxygen consumption (VO2) and heart rate (HR) were recorded. Gross efficiency (GE) was calculated during the last 30s of each 3min period. Maximal aerobic power (MAP) was estimated for each participant for each condition. Results: MAP was found to be significantly greater in CT (237±88W) compared to ET (151±51 W). Significant positive correlations were found between power output and VO2 in both CT (r=0.93) and ET conditions (r=0.97). Regarding the inter-individual variability in MAP, GE was significantly correlated to the relative power output (%MAP) (r=0.75 in CT and r=0.69 in ET). Conclusions: The aim of the present study was to investigate metabolic demand of different exercise type using %MAP in each condition. The results confirmed that metabolic cost of ET was greater than CT at similar %MAP. Gross efficiency was lowered in ET condition compared to CT. This could be explained through the additional use of arms and the standing position during ET.
... Elliptical exercise machines provide an upright, non-impact, weight bearing form of aerobic exercise, similar to the running motion, as the lower body moves in a smooth, elliptical path on a set track (2). The impact forces on the lower extremity, while elliptical training, were found to be equivalent to walking and less than half that of running (23). The low impact forces of elliptical exercise may make it a feasible training option for many running injuries. ...
... The low impact forces of elliptical exercise may make it a feasible training option for many running injuries. Several studies (2,3,5,6,7,11,12,21,23,24,25,27) have looked at the effects of an individual bout of elliptical exercise compared to treadmill running, but few studies (9) have looked at elliptical exercise as part of an actual training program. Cardiorespiratory endurance, determined by an individual's maximum ability to consume oxygen (VO2max), is a significant health component to fitness because it is inversely related to premature death (17). ...
... Exercise prescription for both the elliptical and run groups was based on the subject's maximal heart rate achieved during a treadmill GXT, but maximal oxygen consumption and heart rate have been shown to be equal for treadmill and elliptical exercise (6,7,27). Looking specifically at rating of perceived exertion (RPE), some studies have shown equal RPE (21,23) values for running and elliptical exercise at a given intensity, while others showed lower RPE (2,12,5) or higher RPE (25, 3) for a given intensity. This ambiguity is somewhat clearer when the distinction is made between whole body RPE and lower body RPE, in which case overall RPE was equivalent, but leg RPE was greater for the elliptical (11). ...
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This study examined the effects of elliptical cross training on VO2max in recently-trained runners. 12 female and 8 male participants (mean  SD; age = 23.70  6.33 years, body mass index = 24.85  5.89 kg/m2) completed an initial four-week run training program, exercising four days/week, 30 minutes/day, at 80% maximal heart rate. VO2max was predicted based on the duration of a Bruce graded-maximal treadmill test (GXT) prior to and after the run training. After initial training phase and post-test, subjects volunteered for the detrain group (n = 6) or were assigned to the run (n = 7) or elliptical (n = 7) based on a matched-pair design. Elliptical and run groups exercised three weeks under same prescription as initial program. GXT again performed after mode-specific training phase. VO2max (ml/kg/min) increased (p < 0.001) from the pre-training (39.89  10.74) to post-training (41.66  10.90) after the initial run training program. Although not statistically significant, VO2max declined (0.8% running, 1.5% elliptical, and 4.8% detraining) for all groups following the additional mode-specific program. Despite declines, repeated measures ANOVA showed no significant differences within or between groups before and after the mode-specific training phase. However, dependent sample t-test did reveal a decline (p < 0.05) in GXT time (minutes) for the detrain group from before (11.01  2.80) and after (10.54  2.72) their detrain phase. Future research should determine if elliptical exercise maintains VO2max when away from running for longer periods. KEY WORDS: Elliptical, VO2max, Run, Cross Train
... In recent years, the elliptical ergometer has become a popular exercise mode in healthfitness settings, in part due to it being a weight bearing modality that may not place as great a stress on joints and muscles as other weight bearing modes. Porcari et al. (26) found that the elliptical ergometer had less than half of the vertical ground reaction forces compared to treadmill running. Due to the lower stress placed on the body, the elliptical ergometer may provide a safe alternative to the treadmill in determining aerobic fitness in individuals with orthopedic limitations. ...
Article
This investigation compared estimated and predicted peak oxygen consumption (VO2 peak) and maximal heart rate (HRmax) among the treadmill, cycle ergometer, and elliptical ergometer. Seventeen women (mean +/- SE: 21.9 +/- 0.3 y) exercised to exhaustion on all modalities. American College of Sports Medicine metabolic equations were used to estimate VO2 peak. Digital displays on the elliptical ergometer were used to estimate VO2 peak. Two individual linear regression methods were used to predict VO2 peak: (a) 2 steady state heart rate (HR) responses up to 85% of age-predicted HRmax and (b) multiple steady state/nonsteady state HR responses up to 85% of age-predicted HRmax. Estimated VO2 peak for the treadmill (46.3 +/- 1.3 ml x kg(-1) x min(-1)) and the elliptical ergometer (44.4 +/- 1.0 ml x kg(-1) x min(-1)) did not differ. The cycle ergometer estimated VO2 peak (36.5 +/- 1.0 ml x kg(-1) x min(-1)) was lower (p < 0.001) than the estimated VO2 peak values for the treadmill and elliptical ergometer. Elliptical ergometer VO2 peak predicted from steady-state (51.4 +/- .8 ml x kg(-1) x min(-1)) and steady-state/nonsteady-state (50.3 +/- 2.0 ml x kg(-1) x min(-1)) models were higher than estimated elliptical ergometer VO2 peak, p < 0.01. HRmax, and estimates of VO2 peak were similar between the treadmill and elliptical ergometer; thus, crossmodal exercise prescriptions may be generated. The use of digital display estimates of submaximal oxygen uptake for the elliptical ergometer may not be an accurate method for predicting VO2 peak. Health-fitness professionals should use caution when utilizing submaximal elliptical ergometer digital display estimates to predict VO2 peak.
Article
Despite the growing popularity in recent years of elliptical exercise (EE), little is known regarding the loadings applied to the body during EE. Since overloading to the body may lead to early fatigue of the muscles and increase the incidence of overuse injuries, such information is necessary for safe use of the elliptical trainer (ET) as a fitness tool. The current study aimed to determine the typical patterns and loading rates of the measured pedal reaction forces (PRF), and to quantify their differences from those during level walking, and the effects of pedaling rate. Fifteen male adults performed level walking and EE while 3D marker data, right PRFs and ground reaction forces (GRF) were measured. The parameters of the ET were set for two different pedal rates: 50 rpm and 70 rpm. For each pedal rate, the parameters were set to match the variables measured during level walking, with a mean step length of 55% leg length and no workload. During early stance the vertical PRF was smaller than the GRF, while the medial and posterior PRF were greater. PRFs also occurred during swing. Loading rates around heelstrike during EE were all smaller than those during walking. The medial, anterior and posterior PRF, as well as the medial and vertial loading rates increased with increasing pedal rates. The basic force patterns of EE and the effects of pedal rate were established in order to determine the true potential for such instrumentation in locomotion analysis. The results will be helpful for future related studies. © 2007 National Taiwan University.
Article
Introduction: The elliptical trainer, developed to simulate running while minimizing joint loads, elicits a unique lower extremity biomechanical response. The purpose of this study was to examine the angular kinematics, peak net joint moments, and peak joint powers at the hip, knee and ankle joints while exercising at three different ramp settings on the elliptical trainer exercise machine (Precor EFX). Methods: Twenty-six healthy individuals with no history of lower extremity injury and with previous experience exercis-ing on an elliptical trainer volunteered for this study. Motion was captured with two cameras as subjects performed exer-cise at three ramp conditions. The pedal resistance was kept constant at the lowest setting. The pedals of the elliptical were fitted with three orthogonal load cells. Video and force data were synchronized and used to perform a 2D inverse dynamics analysis. Results: As the ramp inclination increased, subjects demonstrated greater amounts of ankle dorsiflexion, knee flexion, hip flexion and lesser degrees of plantar flexion and hip extension (p <.000). Mean peak moments at the ankle joint were not significantly different across the ramp settings, but peak knee extensor and hip flexor moments increased while knee flexor and hip extensor at the hip decreased (p <.000). As the ramp inclination increased, peak positive power at both the knee and hip significantly decreased and negative power decreased at the knee joint (p <.000), though the effect size for these changes was small. Conclusions: The hip and knee joints were observed as the primary sources of power during exercise on the elliptical trainer at the lowest resistance setting.
Article
Elliptical exercise has recently increased in popularity. However, little is known regarding heart rate and perceptual responses during this exercise mode even though such information is important with respect to prescribing and regulating exercise intensity. In the current study, heart rate and perceived exertion were compared between treadmill and elliptical exercise. During treadmill exercise (TM(EST)) participants estimated RPE-Overall as well as RPE-Legs and RPE-Chest. Two elliptical sessions followed: (1) RPE estimation during elliptical exercise (EL(EST)): HR (b/ min.) from TM(EST) was achieved during elliptical exercise, with participants estimating RPE-Overall, RPE-Legs, and RPE-Chest. (2) RPE production during elliptical exercise (EL(PROD)): RPE-Overall from TM(EST) was produced during elliptical exercise. There were no significant differences between modes for RPE-Overall (TM(EST): 11.2 +/- 2.2 vs EL(EST): 11.9 +/- 3.2) or RPE-Chest (TM(EST): 11.0 +/- 2.4 vs EL(EST): 11.7+/- 3.2). Mean RPE-Legs was significantly different (TM(EST): 11.2 +/- 2.4 vs EL(EST): 12.5 +/- 3.1). Heart rate was not significantly different between TM(EST) (163 +/- 16.6) and EL(PROD) (159 +/- 20.0). Analysis indicated elliptical exercise is perceived as more intense with respect to leg (RPE-Legs) exertion. Further, RPE-Overall appears effective for regulating heart rate during elliptical exercise.
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We measured the effects of stride rate, resistance, and combined arm-leg use on energy expenditure during elliptical trainer exercise and assessed the accuracy of the manufacturer's energy expenditure calculations. Twenty-six men and women (M age = 29 years, SD = 8; M body weight = 73. 0 kg, SD = 15.2) participated. Twenty-two participants performed two tests, one without the arm poles (leg-only) and the other with arm poles (combined arm-leg). The other 4 participants performed one test without the arm poles. Both tests consisted of six 5-min stages (two stride rates, 110 and 134 stridesmin-1, and three resistance settings: 2, 5, and 8). Steady-state oxygen uptake (VO2), minute ventilation (VE), heart rate (HR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured. Repeated measures analysis of variance determined higher (p <. 001) VO2, VE, and RPE, but not HR, during combined arm-leg versus leg-only exercise at any given intensity. Increases in stride rate and resistance increased VO2, VE, RPE, and HR with the greatest effect on VE and HR from Levels 5 to 8. The manufacturer's calculated energy expenditure was overestimated during both tests. Although the oxygen cost for elliptical trainer exercise was calculated to be approximately 0.1 mlxkg(-1) per stride and 0.7 mlxkg(-1) min-1 per resistance level, VO2 varied widely among individuals, possibly due to differences in experience using the elliptical trainer gender, and body composition. The elliptical trainer offers (a) a variety of intensities appropriate for most individuals and (b) both arm and leg exercise. Due to the wide variability in VO2, predicting the metabolic cost during elliptical trainer exercise for an individual is not appropriate.
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