Handcycling classification considers trunk function, but there is limited scientific evidence of trunk involvement in recumbent performance. This study investigated the association between trunk function and recumbent handcycling performance of athletes without upper-limb impairments (H3-H4 sport classes). The study was divided into two parts. First, 528 time-trial results from 81 handcyclists with spinal cord injury (SCI) were obtained between 2014 and 2020. Average time-trial velocity was used as performance measure and SCI level as trunk function determinant. Multilevel regression analysis was performed to analyse differences in performance among SCI groups while correcting for lesion completeness, sex, and age. Second, in 26 handcyclists, standardised trunk flexion strength was measured with a handheld dynamometer. Peak and mean power-output from a sprint test and time-trial average velocity were used as performance measures. Spearman correlations were conducted to investigate the association between trunk strength and performance. Results showed that the different SCI groups did not exhibit significant differences in performance. Furthermore, trunk flexion strength and performance exhibited non-significant weak to moderate correlations (for time-trial speed: rs = 0.36; p = 0.07). Results of both analyses suggest that trunk flexion strength does not seem to significantly impact recumbent handcycling performance in athletes without upper-limb impairments.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project has been carried out with the support of UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale). The funding body was not involved in decisions concerning the design of this study, data analysis, interpretation of data or in reporting and publishing this project.
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- average velocity
- paralympic classification
- sprint test
- time trial
- trunk strength