Joint-specific power-pedaling rate relationships during maximal cycling

John McDaniel, N. Scott Behjani, Steven J. Elmer, Nicholas A T Brown, James C. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous authors have reported power-pedaling rate relationships for maximal cycling. However, the joint-specific power-pedaling rate relationships that contribute to pedal power have not been reported. We determined absolute and relative contributions of joint-specific powers to pedal power across a range of pedaling rates during maximal cycling. Ten cyclists performed maximal 3 s cycling trials at 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 rpm. Joint-specific powers were averaged over complete pedal cycles, and extension and flexion actions. Effects of pedaling rate on relative joint-specific power, velocity, and excursion were assessed with regression analyses and repeated-measures ANOVA. Relative ankle plantar flexion power (25 to 8%; P = .01; R2= .90) decreased with increasing pedaling rate, whereas relative hip extension power (41 to 59%; P < .01; R2= .92) and knee flexion power (34 to 49%; P < .01; R2= .94) increased with increasing pedaling rate. Knee extension powers did not differ across pedaling rates. Ankle joint angular excursion decreased with increasing pedaling rate (48 to 20 deg) whereas hip joint excursion increased (42 to 48 deg). These results demonstrate that the often-reported quadratic power-pedaling rate relationship arises from combined effects of dissimilar joint-specific power-pedaling rate relationships. These dissimilar relationships are likely influenced by musculoskeletal constraints (ie, muscle architecture, morphology) and/or motor control strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-430
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Biomechanics
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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