Submaximal arm crank ergometry: Effects of crank axis positioning on mechanical efficiency, physiological strain and perceived discomfort

S van Drongelen, J C Maas, A Scheel-Sailer, L H V Van Der Woude

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of the spatial orientation of the crank axis on mechanical efficiency, physiological strain and perceived discomfort in submaximal synchronous arm crank ergometry.

METHODS: Twelve able-bodied individuals performed 12 submaximal exercise bouts of 3 minutes (women: 20 W/25 W; men: 25 W/35 W). The crank axis position was defined by elbow and shoulder angle.

RESULTS: The results showed that a crank set-up with an elbow angle of 30 degrees was more efficient than 15 degrees ; oxygen consumption and minute ventilation were significantly lower. No significant effects were seen for shoulder angle. Power output and gender showed obvious effects.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The magnitude of this effect and the absence of any significant shoulder angle effects may be due to the relative low exertion levels that were evaluated. An elbow angle of 30 degrees flexion in arm crank exercise is favourable compared to an elbow angle of 15 degrees in able-bodied untrained subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of medical engineering & technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Arm
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Elbow
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Pain Measurement
  • Shoulder
  • Wheelchairs

Cite this