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Isokinetic Cycling and Elliptical Stepping: A Kinematic and Muscle Activation Analysis | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2329-910X

Clinical Research on Foot & Ankle
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Case Report

Isokinetic Cycling and Elliptical Stepping: A Kinematic and Muscle Activation Analysis

Nur Azah Hamzaid1,2*Richard M Smith1Glen M Davis1
1Clinical Exercise and Rehabilitation Unit, Faculty of Health Science, The University of Sydney, 2141, NSW, Australia
2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Corresponding Author : Nur Azah Hamzaid
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya
50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +60379674487
Fax: +60379674579
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Received May 18, 2013; Accepted August 21, 2013; Published August 29, 2013
Citation: Hamzaid NA, Smith RM, Davis GM (2013) Isokinetic Cycling and Elliptical Stepping: A Kinematic and Muscle Activation Analysis. Clin Res Foot Ankle 1:117. doi:10.4172/2329-910X.1000117
Copyright: © 2013 Hamzaid NA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Background: Semi-recumbent cycling exercise has been used as a strategy to complement gait retraining in individuals with disordered walking ability. However, seated elliptical stepping might be a more potent exercise modality for this purpose. Yet, there has not been a kinematic analysis of elliptical stepping exercise, whereby the movement path is produced by a slider-crank mechanism. This study compared the kinematic and leg muscle activation patterns of two isokinetic exercise modalities–cycling and elliptical stepping.

Methods: Electromyographic and kinematic signals were collected from twelve healthy able-bodied subjects who performed steady-state seated cycling and stepping exercise. Leg joint excursions of both exercise modes were analysed using 3-D motion analysis. Electromyographic analyses of 10 leg muscles were performed to analyse activation duration and volume (EMG amplitude by time).

Results: Kinematic analyses indicated that the elliptical stepping movement created significantly greater hip and knee extension compared to cycling. The ankle joint angles were significantly closer to neutral, with larger ranges of motion during elliptical stepping. EMG descriptors revealed that elliptical stepping elicited greater muscle activation than cycling (9% more volume, 54% longer duration), particularly for the vastii (94% more volume, 150% longer duration) and ankle dorsiflexor muscles (141% longer time) without affecting other muscles’ activation periods.

Conclusion: These findings support the efficacy of seated elliptical stepping exercise over cycling for lower-limb training. More potent gait rehabilitation for the neurologically-compromised population might be achieved via seated isokinetic elliptical stepping, since leg movements closer to walking can be executed in a safe environment.