THE INFLUENCE OF WORK RATE AND CADENCE ON MOVEMENT COORDINATION IN CYCLING

  • C. Wilson
  • D. Sides
Keywords: cycling, coordination, cadence, work rate, economy

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of cycling cadence and work rate on coupling motion in trained male cyclists. Subjects undertook 9 pedalling bouts at various work rates and cadences (120, 210, 300 W at 60, 90, 120 rpm) and intra-limb joint coupling motions were examined using a continuous relative phase (CRP) analysis. The hip/knee (HK) coupling motion was significantly more in-phase during the 90 and 120 RPM trials compared with the 60 RPM trial (recovery phase). Similarly the knee/ankle (KA) coupling motion was significantly more in-phase in the 120 RPM trials than the 60 or 90 RPM trials (propulsive phase). No differences were found between work rate conditions. The results suggest for higher cadences the resulting movement patterns are more stable and consequently more economical. Cyclists should therefore seek to maintain a higher cadence.