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The effect of cycling intensity on cycling economy during seated and standing cycling

Arkesteijn, Marco, Jobson, Simon A., Hopker, James G., Passfield, Louis (2016) The effect of cycling intensity on cycling economy during seated and standing cycling. International journal of sports physiology and performance, 11 (7). pp. 907-912. ISSN 1555-0265. (doi:10.1123/ijspp.2015-0441)

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http://www.dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2015-0441

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous research has shown that cycling in a standing position reduces cycling economy compared with seated cycling. It is unknown whether the cycling intensity moderates the reduction in cycling economy while standing.

PURPOSE:

The aim was to determine whether the negative effect of standing on cycling economy would be decreased at a higher intensity.

METHODS:

Ten cyclists cycled in 8 different conditions. Each condition was either at an intensity of 50% or 70% of maximal aerobic power, at a gradient of 4% or 8% and in the seated or standing cycling position. Cycling economy and muscle activation level of 8 leg muscles were recorded.

RESULTS:

There was an interaction between cycling intensity and position for cycling economy (P = 0.03), the overall activation of the leg muscles (P = 0.02) and the activation of the lower leg muscles (P = 0.05). The interaction showed decreased cycling economy when standing compared with seated cycling, but the difference was reduced at higher intensity. The overall activation of the leg muscles and the lower leg muscles respectively increased and decreased, but the differences between standing and seated cycling were reduced at higher intensity.

CONCLUSIONS:

Cycling economy was lower during standing cycling than seated cycling, but the difference in economy diminishes when cycling intensity increases. Activation of the lower leg muscles did not explain the lower cycling economy while standing. The increased overall activation therefore suggests that increased activation of the upper leg muscles explains part of the lower cycling economy while standing.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1123/ijspp.2015-0441
Uncontrolled keywords: metabolic cost, efficiency, uphill cycling, muscle activation
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > Sports sciences
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1235 Physiology of sports
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: James Hopker
Date Deposited: 25 May 2016 19:38 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2019 10:40 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/55696 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Passfield, Louis: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6223-162X
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