Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2005) 04, 18 - 28

Research article
The Impact of Ergometer Design on Hip and Trunk Muscle Activity Patterns in Elite Rowers: An Electromyographic Assessment
Alex V. Nowicky1, , Sara Horne2, Richard Burdett2
Author Information
1 School of Health Sciences and Social Care, Brunel University, Isleworth, UK
2 School of Sport and Education, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK

Alex V. Nowicky
✉ School of Health Sciences and Social Care, Brunel University, Osterly Campus, Borough Rd, Isleworth TW7 5DU, England
Publish Date
Received: 22-04-2004
Accepted: 07-12-2004
Published (online): 01-03-2005
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This study used surface electromyography (sEMG) to examine whether there were differences in hip and trunk muscle activation during the rowing cycle on two of the most widely used air braked ergometers: the Concept 2C and the Rowperfect. sEMG methods were used to record the muscle activity patterns from the right: m. Erector spinae (ES), m. Rectus Abdominus (RA), m. Rectus Femoris (RF) and m. Biceps Femoris (BF) for their contributions as agonist-antagonist pairs underlying hip and trunk extension/flexion. The sEMG activity patterns of these muscles were examined in six young male elite rowers completing a 2 minute set at a moderate training intensity (23 stroke·min-1 and 1:47.500 m-1 split time, 300W). The rowers closely maintained the required target pace through visual inspection of the standard LCD display of each ergometer. The measurements of duration of each rowing cycle and onset of each stroke during the test were recorded simultaneously with the sEMG activity through the additional instrumentation of a foot-pressure switch and handle accelerometry. There were no significant differences between the two ergometer designs in group means for: work rate (i.e., rowing speed and stroke rate), metabolic load as measured by mean heart rate, rowing cycle duration, or timing of the stroke in the cycle. 2-D motion analysis of hip and knee motion for the rowing cycle from the video footage taken during the test also revealed no significant differences in the joint range of motion between the ergometers. Ensemble average sEMG activity profiles based on 30+ strokes were obtained for each participant and normalised per 10% intervals of the cycle duration as well as for peak mean sEMG amplitude for each muscle. A repeated measures ANOVA on the sEMG activity per 10% interval for the four muscles contributing to hip and trunk motion during the rowing cycle revealed no significant differences between the Concept 2C and Rowperfect (F = 0.070, df = 1,5, p = 0.802). The outcome of this study suggests that the two different ergometer designs are equally useful for dry land training.

Key words: Flexion, extension, land-based training

           Key Points
  • The effects of endurance training on HR recovery after exercise and cardiac ANS modulation were investigated in female marathon runners by comparing with untrained controls.
  • Time and frequency domain analysis of HRV was used to investigate cardiac ANS modulation.
  • As compared with untrained controls, the female marathon runners showed faster HR recovery after exercise, which should result from their higher levels of HRV, higher aerobic capacity and exaggerated blood pressure response to exercise.
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