Effects of push-off ability and handcycle type on handcycling performance in able-bodied participants

Ingrid Kouwijzer*, Carla F.J. Nooijen, Kees Van Breukelen, Thomas W.J. Janssen, Sonja De Groot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To assess the effects on handcycling performance and physiological responses, of: (i) making a closed chain by comparing handcycling in a recumbent bike with 2-feet footrest (closed chain) with handcycling with 1 footrest (partial closed chain) and without a footrest (no closed chain); (ii) equipment by comparing handcycling in a recumbent bike with a kneeling bike. Methods: Ten able-bodied participants performed submaximal exercise and sprint tests, once in a kneeling bike and 3 times on a recumbent: 2-feet support, 1-foot support and without foot support. Physical strain (submaximal oxygen uptake and heart rate), peak (POpeak) and mean power output (POmean) were measured. Results: Significantly higher POpeak and POmean were found with 2-feet support (mean 415 W (standard deviation (SD) 163) and mean 281 W (SD 96)) and higher POmean with 1-foot support (mean 279 W (SD 104)) compared with no foot support (mean 332 W (SD 127) and mean 254 W (SD 101)), p < 0.05. No differences were found for physical strain. In the kneeling bike, POpeak and POmean were significantly higher (mean 628 W (SD 231) and 391 W (SD 121)) than in the recumbent (mean 415 W (SD 163) and 281 W (SD 96)), p = 0.001. Conclusion: The ability to make a closed chain has a significant positive effect on handcycling sprint performance; therefore, this ability may be a discriminating factor. Sprint performance was significantly higher in kneeling compared with recumbent handcycling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-568
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


From the 1Amsterdam Rehabilitation Research Center | Reade Amsterdam, 2Research and Development, Heliomare Rehabilitation Center, Wijk aan Zee, 3University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Center for Human Movement Sciences, Groningen, The Netherlands, 4Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, 5The Swedish school of Sport and Health Sciences (GIH), Stockholm, Sweden, 6International Wheelchairsport Classifier for Handcycling, Wheelchairbasketball, Wheelchairrugby and Power Chair Hockey, 7Department of Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of Behavioural and Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and 8Center for Adapted Sports Amsterdam | Reade, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

FundersFunder number
3University of Groningen
4Department of Public Health Sciences
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences
University Medical Center Groningen
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam8Center
Karolinska Institutet


    • (sub)maximal exercise
    • Able-bodied
    • Handbike
    • Physical strain
    • Power output


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