AN ANALYSIS OF THE ERGOMETER AND RECUMBENT CYCLES IN TWO DIFFERENT SEAT POSITIONS

  • G. Bindner
  • A. Hegwood
  • C. L. Tant
Keywords: cycling, ergometer, seat position

Abstract

INTRODUCTION The bicycle ergometer has been used as a fitess and rehabilitative tool by many individuals. The recumbent bicycle, a relatively new ergometer, is also being used in this capacity. Although there has been a surge in research on the stationary bicycle, the majority of it has been oriented toward fitness rather than rehabilitation. Ericson, Nisell. and Gunner (1988) suggest that the bicycle is an useful therapeutic device because it increases range of motion (ROM) at the hip, knee and ankle joints and reduces compressive forces on the lower body. Mechanical loads placed on different joint structures can be controlled by changes in the workload, pedaling rate, or seat position of the ergometer. Timmer (1991) found that increased seat height produced greater ROM with increased stress on the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee but, decreased seat height reduced patellofemoral pressure and compressive forces at the tibiofemoral joint. There is no doubt that the exercise cycle is becoming more widely used, but the protocols for its use in rehabilitation have not been tested. Thus, the purpose of this study was to compare the kinematic and kinetic variables of the lower body, during the cycling motion, on two different cycles at two different seat positions. Additionally, to determine if specific cycles may produce unwanted stresses on the lower body during the rehabilitation process.