Elizabeth Schwab1, Amber Patterman1, Naghmeh Gheidi1, John P. Porcari1, Carl Foster1. Evaluation of a Stationary Cycle that Allows the Rider to Lean from Side to Side. 1Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI, USA.
Introduction: Indoor cycling classes has become a popular form of group exercise. Classes are typically conducted on stationary cycles that have a fixed frame. A new stationary cycle on the market (Bowflex® VeloCore) has a frame that can be “unlocked,” allowing the rider to lean from side to side during a workout. Purpose: The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the physiological responses and muscle activation (EMG) patterns to riding a stationary cycle that can tilt from side to side compared to riding in a fixed, upright position. Methods: Fourteen healthy, regularly exercising adults between 25-39 years of age participated in this study. Subjects completed two days of testing. On the first day, subjects completed three 5-minute exercise bouts on the VeloCore (Fixed Mode, Free Mode – No Lean, Free Mode– Lean) and one on a Peloton bike, while HR, VO2 and energy expenditure were recorded. All exercise bouts were conducted at identical power output. On the second day, EMG data were recorded from the upper and lower abs, obliques, radialis, triceps, biceps, anterior deltoid, and upper trapezius under similar conditions. Results: HR was 8-12 bpm higher and energy expenditure was 14% higher during the Free Mode – Lean protocol compared to all other conditions. Muscle activation during the Free Mode – Lean protocol was significantly higher in the obliques, radialis, triceps, biceps, anterior deltoid, and upper trapezius compared to riding in a fixed position on the VeloCore or the Peloton. Conclusion: Based on the results of this study, riding a stationary bike with the ability to lean from side to side increases overall energy expenditure and muscle activation during stationary cycling.