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# Metabolic Cost of Stride Rate, Resistance, and Combined Use of Arms and Legs on the Elliptical Trainer

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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.
... Elliptical-style exercise machines have demonstrated higher energy expenditure than other options [6]. There have been discrepancies found between energy expenditure estimated by the equipment and indirect calorimetry [7]. However, the role of body composition in this discrepancy has not been evaluated. ...
... values, this could cause long-term frustration as the lack of accurate information leads to errors in balancing caloric intake and expenditure. As a prior investigation, indicated a difference between measured and estimated caloric expenditure [7], the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of increased body fat percentage on the difference in caloric expenditure values. It was hypothesized (1) there would be a significant correlation between body fat percentage and the difference in caloric expenditure between the two methods; (2) there would be a significant difference between the average discrepancy between the machine reading and indirect calorimetry measurements for overweight versus normal-weight participants; and (3) the ratings of perceived exertion would not be correlated to either the difference in caloric expenditure between the two methods or body fat percentage. ...
... There was not a significant correlation between body weight and the difference in caloric expenditure calculations, nor was there a significant difference between the two methods for overweight versus normal weight adults. There is little research in this area, but these findings are consistent with those of Mier et al. [7] that machines tend to overestimate energy expenditure. Participants were able to complete the exercise session at the given intensity without having higher ratings of perceived exertion. ...
... The greater metabolic demands of LE may be attributed to the novelty of the movement, the increased frontal plane motion (ie, greater frontal plane stabilizer involvement), and increased knee extensor activation. 23 Greater reported VO 2 with increased use of arm movement during elliptical exercise 38 supports the theory of greater metabolic cost due to additional movement (eg, frontal plane hip motion) in LE. The greater RER found with LE compared with SE and TR further verifies the increase in caloric cost due to increased oxygen needs observed in LE. 39 Similar metabolic and caloric cost in LE and TR supports the likely effectiveness of LE as an aerobic cross-training modality for injured runners or avid exercise enthusiasts. ...
... Because it is a relatively new exercise modality, there is limited research using the EE. Research has mainly focused on ground reaction forces and general responses of lower extremity biomechanics (Burnfield et al., 2007; D'Lima et al., 2008; Lu et al., 2007) as well as various physiological responses during EE exercise (Dalleck et al., 2004; Mercer et al., 2001; Mier & Feito, 2006). In addition, several investigations have developed GXT protocols (Dalleck et al., 2004), equations to predict VO 2max from submaximal exercise (Dalleck et al., 2006) and metabolic equations to estimate VO 2 (Dalleck & Kravitz, 2007) for the EE. ...
Article
PURPOSE: The purpose of this project was to examine concurrent and construct validity of two newly developed Adult OMNI Elliptical Ergometry ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) Scales. METHODS: Fifty-nine sedentary to recreationally active, college-aged volunteers (males, n = 30; age = 21.3 + 3.3 yrs and females, n = 29; 22.3 + 3.5 yrs) participated in this study. A single observation, cross-sectional perceptual estimation trial was employed with subjects exercising to volitional fatigue on an elliptical ergometer. Oxygen consumption (VO2), heart rate (HR) and RPE-Overall Body (O), Legs (L) and Chest/Breathing (C) were recorded each stage from the Borg 15 Category Scale and two different OMNI RPE scale formats. One scale maintained the original format of the OMNI Picture System of Perceived Exertion. The second scale modified verbal, numerical and pictorial descriptors at the low end of the response range. Concurrent validity was established by correlating RPE-O, L and C from each scale with VO2 and HR obtained from each test stage during the estimation trial. Construct validity was established by correlating RPE-O, L and C from the Adult OMNI Elliptical Ergometry Scales with RPE-O, L and C from the Borg Scale. RESULTS: Correlation analyses indicated the relation between RPE-O, L and C from each OMNI RPE Scale distributed as a positive linear function of both VO2 (males, r = .941 - .951 and females, r = .930 - .946) and HR (males, r = .950 - .960 and females, r = .963 - .966). A strong, positive relation was also exhibited between differentiated and undifferentiated RPE from the Adult OMNI Elliptical Ergometry Scales and the Borg 15 Category Scale (males, r = .961 - .972 and females, r = .973 - .977). CONCLUSION: Concurrent and construct validity were established for both formats of the Adult OMNI Elliptical Ergometry Scale during partial weight bearing exercise. Either scale can be used to estimate RPE during elliptical ergometer exercise in health-fitness settings. However, because of the potential use of RPE in caloric expenditure indices and prediction models, the modified scale depicting the "rest" pictorial may be more practical.
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The purpose of this study was to compare the metabolic effects during a similar bout of exercise on a novel, whole body exercise device (Fish and Kangaroo Machine; FKM) and a cycle ergometer. Recreationally active men and women (n =13) completed two exercise sessions. The exercise protocol included intervals alternating between exercise (3-min) and rest (3-min) for a total duration of 39-min. The exercise intensity between the two modes was matched based on heart rate response. Heart rate, cardiac output, and stroke volume were measured using a wireless telemetry technique (Physioflow Enduro). Oxygen consumption (VO2) was measured via breath-by-breath automated analysis of expired respiratory gas (MGC Diagnostics Ultima). Capillary blood lactate was measured using a handheld meter (LactatePlus). While maintaining the heartrate response, stroke volume presented at a higher-level during rest periods, although not significant. There was also higher cardiac output at the end of the exercise bout with the FKM. VO2 was lower at the same heart rate and peak lactate was higher during FKM exercise. Cardiovascular recovery was improved following FKM exercise compared to cycling. The observed responses demonstrated that for a similar heart rate response, the FKM has an enhanced anaerobic metabolic component compared to cycling. These findings demonstrate the FKM may represent a novel exercise device comparable to cycling with unique anaerobic training potential.
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BACKGROUND: The aim of this study is to evaluate heart rate and muscle activity and exercise intensity in trained and untrained individuals during exercise in four different positions on Cardio-wave tM , a device that works simultaneously on three axes with a “sliding” movement of the lower limbs. METHODS: Twelve subjects were enrolled: 6 trained and 6 untrained, all performed a 12 minute fixed intensity protocol on the Cardio-wave tM . Heart rate and surface electromyography activity of the rectus femoris, vastus medialis and the biceps femorishad been recorded in four different positions. RESULTS: Hearth rate ranged between 79 to 100% HR max , with no difference between groups. A main effect (P<0.05) was found between positions. For surface electromyography activity data, a significant difference (P<0.05) emerged among Groups, Muscles and the interaction Groups x Muscles. Post hoc analysis showed that untrained subjects had significantly higher values and standard deviations only for rectus femoris(221±365%) and vastus medialis (196 ±309%) activation when compared to trained (rectusfemoris: 0±166%; vastus medialis: 64 ±159%). CONCLUSIONS: These finding suggest that some positions on Cardio-wave tM are more stressed as muscle soreness perceived during the work than other and HR monitoring of exercises on the CW device might not be sufficient to evaluate training status and work load.
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Abstract Objectives Many people are interested in tracking caloric intake and expenditure for weight management purposes. It is difficult to accurately track exercise expenditure, and people may rely on the information reported by exercise equipment as it is easily available. This study examined the caloric estimation differences between the algorithm used by an elliptical machine and an indirect calorimetry device. Methods Participants were 34 adults with 20 females (25 ± 8.47 years; 1.64 ± 0.08 m, 62.37 ± 10.81 kg) and 14 males (25.07 ± 5.46 years; 1.75 ± 0.06 m, 84.02 ± 12.33 kg). The caloric expenditure information from each device was compared to examine difference overall, in 5 minute intervals, and between males and females. Results There was a significant difference in overall caloric expenditure (t33 = 22.27, p < .001). The difference in caloric expenditure estimation methods was not significantly different for males and females (t32 = 2.01, p = .05). Conclusions Elliptical machines appear to overestimate caloric expenditure by a large number of calories. As is often stated, caution should be used when relying on exercise equipment for caloric expenditure information. Based on this data, individuals should expect caloric expenditure to be overestimated by approximately 100 calories each 30 min of exercise performed on elliptical equipment at moderate intensity. Keywords: Calories; Energy expenditure; Measurement; Technology; Weight management
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PurposeThis study compared cardiorespiratory and perceptual responses to exercise using self-regulated and imposed power outputs distributed between the arms and legs. Methods Ten males (age 21.7 ± 3.4 years) initially undertook incremental arm-crank ergometry (ACE) and cycle ergometry (CYC) tests to volitional exhaustion to determine peak power output (Wpeak). Two subsequent tests involved 20-min combined arm–leg ergometry (ALE) trials, using imposed and self-regulated protocols, both of which aimed to elicit an exercising heart rate of 160 beats min−1. During the imposed trial, arm and leg intensity were set at 40% of each ergometer-specific Wpeak. During the self-regulated trial, participants were asked to self-regulate cadence and resistance to achieve the target heart rate. Heart rate (HR), oxygen uptake ($$\dot {V}{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}}}$$), pulmonary ventilation ($${\dot {V}_{\text{E}}}$$), and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded continuously. ResultsAs expected, there were no differences between imposed and self-regulated trials for HR, $$\dot {V}{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}}}$$, and $${\dot {V}_{\text{E}}}$$ (all P ≥ 0.05). However, central RPE and local RPE for the arms were lower during self-regulated compared imposed trials (P ≤ 0.05). Lower RPE during the self-regulated trial was related to preferential adjustments in how the arms (33 ± 5% Wpeak) and legs (46 ± 5% Wpeak) contributed to the exercise intensity. Conclusions This study demonstrates that despite similar metabolic and cardiovascular strain elicited by imposed and self-regulated ALE, the latter was perceived to be less strenuous, which is related to participants doing more work with the legs and less work with the arms to achieve the target intensity.
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While the popularity of non-impact cardiovascular cross trainers has led to an increase in the number of metabolic studies that use the equipment, there is a lack of scientific information regarding the effect of incorporating arm use and postural shifts on metabolic cost. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of using the arms and shifting the posture on metabolic cost during exercise on a non-elliptical cross trainer. Fifteen healthy subjects exercised at ~70% of their age-predicted heart rate maximum while heart rate (HR), oxygen consumption (VO2), and energy expenditure were measured. At a constant machine workload, the subjects exercised: (a) upright while unsupported; (b) upright while using the machine's handles; and (c) while leaning forward with the upper body anchored. Relative to working upright and unsupported, introducing arm use or a forward postural shift resulted in a significant increase in HR [73.4 ± 4.81% vs. 76.4 ± 4.51% (P=0.01) and 76.9 ± 5.92% (P<0.01)], VO2 [23.37 ± 3.53 mL·min-1·kg-1 vs. 24.69 ± 3.67 (P=0.001) and 25.11 ± 3.74 (P<0.001)], and derived energy expenditure [9.126 ± 2.09 kcal·min-1 vs. 9.674 ± 2.16 (P<0.001) and 9.826 ± 2.07 (P<0.001)]. These results suggest that changes in user-machine interaction at a constant workload can have a significant, albeit small to moderate effect (d=0.258 - 0.649) on metabolic cost on this particular cross trainer.
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The purpose of this study is to compare muscle activation during elliptical trainer (ET), treadmill (TM) and bike (B) exercise. Twenty three voluntary and healthy male athletes (age, 20.65±1.65 years; weight, 74.21±7.21 kg; height, 180.69±5.31 cm; Body Mass Index, 22.4±1.5) participated in our study. Study protocol was decided for three days. Measures were taken by using elliptical trainer on the first day, treadmill on the second day and bicycle device on the third. Exercise devices were run with 65% metabolic pulse for six minutes and at the end of the sixth minute, surface electrodes were placed on Biceps Brachii, Triceps Brachii, Pectoralis Major and Trapezius of upper extremity muscle and on Gastrocnemius, Vastus Lateralis, Rectus Femoris and Gluteus Maximus of lower extremity muscles and Electromyography (EMG) activities were measured. According to the finding of the study, it has been found out that all of the measured upper extremity muscle were more activated by elliptical trainer compared to treadmill and bike exercise (p<0.05). Also, it has been found out that Gastrocnemius and Gluteus Maximus of lower extremity muscle were more activated by treadmill compared to other exercise devices (p<0.05). Rectus Femoris muscle was more activated by elliptical trainer compared to bike exercise (p<0.05). EMG results of Vastus Lateralis did not show any statically differences (p>0.05). In conclusion, due to the advantage of more upper extremity muscle activation, it has been thought that elliptical trainer is a device to be able to be used in rehabilitation and exercise science.
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The purpose of this study was to compare knee and hip joint kinematics previously associated with anterior knee pain and metabolic cost among treadmill running (TM), standard elliptical (SE), and lateral elliptical (LE) in healthy runners. Joint kinematics and metabolic parameters of sixteen runners were collected during all three modalities using motion capture and a metabolic system, respectively. Sagittal knee range of motion (ROM) was greater in LE (p < 0.001) and SE (p < 0.001) compared to TM. Frontal and transverse plane hip ROM were greater in LE compared to SE (p < 0.001) and TM (p < 0.001). Contralateral pelvic drop ROM was smaller in SE compared to TM (p = 0.002) and LE (p = 0.005). Similar oxygen consumption was found during LE and TM (p = 0.39) but LE (p < 0.001) and TM (p < 0.001) required greater oxygen consumption than SE. Although LE yields similar metabolic cost to TM and produces hip kinematics that may help strengthen hip abductors, greater knee flexion and abduction during LE may increase symptoms in runners with anterior knee pain. The findings suggest that research on the implications of elliptical exercise for injured runners is needed.
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In a comparison of traditional and theoretical exercise efficiency calculations male subjects were studied during steady-rate cycle ergometer exercises of "0," 200, 400, 600, and 800 kgm/min while pedaling at 40, 60, 80, and 100 rpm. Gross (no base-line correction), net (resting metabolism as base-line correction), work (unloading cycling as base-line correction), and delta (measurable work rate as base-line correction) efficiencies were computed. The result that gross (range 7.5-20.4%) and net (9.8-24.1%) efficiencies increased with increments in work rate was considered to be an artifact of calculation. A LINEAR OR SLIGHTLY EXPONENTIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CALORIC OUTPUT AND WORK RATE DICTATES EITHER CONSTANT OR DECREASING EFFICIENCY WITH INCREMENTS IN WORK. The delta efficiency (24.4-34.0%) definition produced this result. Due to the difficulty in obtaining 0 work equivalents, the work efficiency definition proved difficult to apply. All definitions yielded the result of decreasing efficiency with increments in speed. Since the theoretical-thermodynamic computation (assuming mitochondrial P/O = 3.0 and delta G = -11.0 kcal/mol for ATP) holds only for CHO, the traditional mode of computation (based upon VO2 and R) was judged to be superior since R less than 1.0. Assuming a constant phosphorylative-coupling efficiency of 60%, the mechanical contraction-coupling efficiency appears to vary between 41 and 57%.
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The purposes of this study were to evaluate (a) the effects of step rate and upper body support on the VO2 and HR responses to fixed work rates on the StairMaster 4000 (SM), (b) the accuracy of the SM settings, and (c) how HR compared with that measured during grade-walking on a treadmill. Six subjects worked at a slow step rate for 6 min and then a faster step rate for the last 6 min of a 12-min test at SM settings of 4, 7, and 10 METs. Gas exchange and HR measurements were made at minutes 4-6 and 10-12. Variations in step rate had no effect on HR (P = 0.45) or VO2 (P = 0.84). The effect of using the arms and hands for support was studied using 6 subjects who worked for 12 min at 4, 7, and 10 METs; the first 6 min without support, and the second 6 min with support. Support resulted in lower HR (P = 0.017) and VO2 (P = 0.002) values at 10 METs. The measured MET values were about 20% lower than those specified by machine settings: True MET values = 0.556 + 0.745 (SM setting). Finally, at the same VO2, systematically higher (7-11 b.min-1) HR values were observed for the SM relative to the treadmill.
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Daily metabolic rates of 16 post-obese women and 16 matched, lean controls were measured at three different levels of activity in a room respirometer. Both groups had similar height, weight, age, and other anthropometric indices. Results show that the post-obese have metabolic rates approximately 15% lower than their controls at any level of activity. They also eat less. Slimmed-down, obese women have a normal body composition. For both groups, aerobic exercise did not have a prolonged stimulatory effect on metabolic rate after the exercise had finished. Mild exercise was more effective than aerobic exercise in increasing daily metabolic rate because it could be comfortably sustained for a longer time. Implications of these findings are discussed in relation to the etiology and treatment of obesity.
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Arm (A), leg (L) and combined arm and leg (A + L) ergometry modes were compared at power outputs of 49, 73.5 and 98 W. Selected cardiorespiratory variables and a rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured for 19 males of mean age 25.7 (+/- 5.5) years. Oxygen uptake (VO2), heart rate (HR), minute ventilation and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were all higher (p less than 0.01) in A compared with L and A + L. Gross mechanical efficiency was significantly lower in A (p less than 0.01) than in L or A + L. No differences were observed in any measurements between L and A + L. the correlations between RPE and cardiorespiratory variables were higher for A (RPE:VO2, r = 0.87, p less than 0.01; RPE:HR, r = 0.78 p less than 0.01) than for L and A + L.
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Objective To compare peak oxygen consumption (VO 2 ) and heart rate (HR) during treadmill (TM) running and exercise on an elliptical trainer (ET). Design A graded exercise test (GXT) during TM running and ET exercise. Participants Physically active college students (N = 14; 25 ± 4.6 years). Each completed a TM GXT and ET GXT on separate days. Results There were no differences in either VO 2peak or peak HR between TM (53.0 ± 7.7 ml · kg –1 · min –1 , 193.4 ± 9.4 bpm) and ET (51.6 ± 10.7 ml · kg –1 · min –1 , 191.2 ± 11.5 bpm; P > .05). Correlations between HR and VO 2 data for all stages of exercise for all subjects were similar between machines (ET: r = .88; TM: r = .95; P > .05). Conclusion No adjustments to the target HR used during TM running are necessary when using the ET.
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Oxygen uptake (VO2) was determined in 10 males during the following types of maximal exercise (work time: about 5 min): uphill running, bicycling, arm work (cranking), and combined arm work and bicycling (A + L). The A + L exercise was performed in four different ways, the arms doing 10%, 20%, 30%, or 40% of the same total rate of work; and also with the maximal bicycle work load plus either maximal or submaximal arm work. VO2 was the same in running as in all types of A + L exercise, except when the arm work load was 10% and 40% of the total rate of work, where VO2 was 2.5% (P less than 0.05) and 9.4% (P less than 0.001) lower, respectively. Bicycle VO2 was lower than VO2 in running but equal to A + L VO2 when arm work intensity was 40% of the total rate of work. It is concluded that VO2 during maximal exercise a) to a certain extent depends on the exercising muscle mass, b) is lower than the oxygen-consuming potential of the muscles involved in A + L exercise, and c) in A + L exercise is influenced by the ratio of arm work to total rate of work and the subject's fitness for arm work and bicycling.
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Aerobic exercises in which both arm and legs are used are becoming more popular for conditioning and rehabilitation. In order to clarify our understanding of physiologic and subjective responses to work of this type, two experiments were conducted using legs and/or arms. In the first, incremental cycle ergometry was done with the arms (A), legs (L), and combined, in which either 10% (A-10) or 25% (A-25) of the power output (PO) was done by the arms. Peak rate of oxygen consumption (VO2) and heart rate (HR) were significantly lower for A, but the other three conditions did not differ significantly. Ventilatory breakpoint (VB) was significantly higher for A-10 than for L. The second study used 60 minutes of constant-load work at a PO of approximately 115% of the PO at which the VB occurred in the L incremental test, to stimulate an aerobic training session. During the 60 minutes, VO2 and cardiac output were significantly higher, and systolic blood pressure (SBP) significantly lower for A-25 than for L, with A-10 values generally failing between the two. The HR-SBP products and ratings of perceived exertion were quite similar for the three modes. Thus, assigning some of the PO to the arms allowed a greater metabolic load to be maintained with no greater cardiovascular or subjective strain, suggesting that this type of exercise might be valuable for aerobic conditioning, cardiorespiratory rehabilitation, and weight control.