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J Biomech. 2017 Feb 28;53:120-126. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2017.01.007. Epub 2017 Jan 7.

Assessing kinematics and kinetics of functional electrical stimulation rowing.

Author information

1
Department of Bioengineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Electronic address: draghici.a@husky.neu.edu.
2
Cardiovascular Research Laboratory, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
3
Cardiovascular Research Laboratory, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
4
Department of Bioengineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

Hybrid functional electrical stimulation (FES) rowing has positive effects on cardiovascular fitness, producing significantly greater aerobic power than either upper body or FES exercise alone. However, there is minimal information on the kinematics, kinetics, and mechanical efficiency of FES-rowing in the spinal cord injured (SCI) population. This study examined the biomechanics of FES-rowing to determine how motions, forces, and aerobic demand change with increasing intensity. Six individuals with SCI and six able-bodied subjects performed a progressive aerobic capacity rowing test. Differences in kinematics (motion profiles), kinetics (forces produced by the feet and arms), external mechanical work, and mechanical efficiency (work produced/volume of oxygen consumed) were compared in able-bodied rowing vs. SCI FES-rowing at three comparable subpeak workloads. With increasing exercise intensity (measured as wattage), able-bodied rowing increased stroke rate by decreasing recovery time, while FES-rowing maintained a constant stroke rate, with no change in drive or recovery times. While able-bodied rowers increased leg and arm forces with increasing intensity, FES-rowers used only their arms to achieve a higher intensity with a constant and relatively low contribution of the legs. Oxygen consumption increased in both groups, but more so in able-bodied rowers, resulting in able-bodied rowers having twice the mechanical efficiency of FES-rowers. Our results suggest that despite its ability to allow for whole body exercise, the total force output achievable with FES-rowing results in only modest loading of the legs that affects overall rowing performance and that may limit forces applied to bone.

KEYWORDS:

Aerobic work; FES-rowing; Kinematics; Kinetics; Mechanical efficiency

PMID:
28104245
PMCID:
PMC5340620
DOI:
10.1016/j.jbiomech.2017.01.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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