Sports Medicine: Fact or Fiction
All exercise cycles are the same: Fiction
Statistics indicate that the stationary exercise cycle is the single most popular piece of home exercise equipment in the United States and one of the more widely used aerobic exercise machine in health and fitness facilities. A close examination of the major differences between the various types and brands of exercise cycles does not, however, support the belief that most cycles are essentially the same. First of all, they can be categorized into two broad groupings, those which have a mechanism to calculate and show how much work your body is doing while you are exercising and those which do not have it. More importantly, exercise cycles have design features that impact on the user’s safety. Two factor are important regarding this issue. First, the basic geometry of the machine should be such that the cycle’s pedals should be located as close as possible to the seat post, similar to an outdoor, road bicycle. The further away the pedals are from the seat post, the higher the level if shear on your knee joints. On one of the most well-know exercise cycles, for example, the pedal crank is far forward demo the seat post. The net result is that most people who use this machine simply don’t exercise at high intensities in an attempt to protect their knees. Those who pedal hard quickly fall prey to knee pain. Second, the load forces that you must overcome while cycling should be relatively proportional to your cycling speed, in other words, low resistance at low speeds and heavier resistance at higher speeds.
Exercising on a stair-climbing machine will expose your knees to the same level of stress as climbing on actual stairs: Fiction
Provided you are not exercising on an independent step-action stair-climbing machine, it is not true. Most stair-climbing machines pose no undue risk of orthopedic injury. In fact, despite intuitive beliefs to the contrary, exercising on a stair-climbing machine has found to be as safe than actual walking. The disagreement that exercising on a stair-climbing machine might be bad for you apparently comes from a concern over the forces generated at the knee during actual stair climbing. The estimated load factor on the knee during actual stair climbing, for example, is purported to be two times an individual’s body weight during the descent phase. On the other hand, recent research has shown that the orthopedic loads on the body while exercising on an independent step-action stair-climbing machine are equal to or less the the exerciser’s body weight.
Orthopedic Corner | Leon Mead MD Orthopedic Doctor | 730 Goodlette Road North, Suite 201 Naples Florida 34102 | Phone: (239) 262-1119