Angular Kinematics and Critical Power of Younger and Older Cyclists during the 3-Min All-Out Test
Keywords:work; VO2; range of motion, steady state cycling
This study aimed to determine differences in angular kinematics and critical power between younger and older cyclists during the 3-min all-out test. Younger (n = 15, 21.8 ± 2.4y) and older (n = 15, 53.3 ± 6.6 y) Category 1 or 2 riders completed maximal aerobic testing and a 3-min all-out test on separate days using their own bicycle on a cycle ergometer. Eight retroreflective markers determined right side sagittal plane angular kinematics during the 3-min all-out test. Younger cyclists displayed higher VO2max, VO2 @ VEbp, HRmax, Power @ VO2max and Critical Power (p < 0.05) than older cyclists. Cadence decreased over time for the combined group (time 1 (T1) = 87.3 ± 4.5 rpm, time 2 (T2) = 83.7 ± 4.6 rpm, and time 3 (T3) = 83.6 ± 5.0 rpm) where T1 was significantly higher than T2 and T3 (p < 0.001), but there were no differences between age groups. Ankle (T1 > T2 > T3, p < 0.026) and foot ranges of motion (T1, T2 > T3, p < 0.01) decreased over time for both age groups. Additionally, younger cyclists had larger ankle and foot ranges of motion (ROM) compared to older cyclists (p = 0.036 and p = 0.032, respectively). Age related differences in physiological measures occurred as expected, although the skill level of the cyclists may explain their similar cadence. Smaller ankle and foot ROM may be strategies to assist force and power generation, particularly in older cyclists as they attempt to overcome aging related physiological declines. With smaller ROM, older cyclists may aim to strengthen ankle musculature and deemphasize high cadence to maintain force generation and critical power.
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