Current clinical guidelines recommend intensive, task-specific gait training to improve ambulatory function. However, high cadence cycling may improve gait by training muscle groups to work synergistically to ensure smooth intra- and interlimb reciprocal activation. Results of a clinical trial will be presented in which we investigated changes in spatiotemporal and kinematic characteristics of gait in individuals participating in an 8-week forced-rate aerobic cycling intervention compared to a non-cycling control group. Forced-rate cycling is an aerobic exercise approach in which the voluntary efforts of individuals are supplemented, allowing participants to achieve a greater exercise rate and intensity than what they can voluntarily achieve. Following the 8-week intervention, significant improvements in gait velocity were measured, accompanied by improvements in spatiotemporal and kinematic characteristics of gait. The training associated with cycling appeared to elicit improvements in locomotor control in the absence of task-specific gait training.
Identify 2 characteristics of post-stroke gait that impact disability and community reintegration.
Describe 2 approaches of task-specific gait training and evidence regarding their effectiveness in improving locomotor function post-stroke.
Describe 3 elements of high-rate stationary cycling that may induce a transfer of training to improve locomotion post-stroke.
Identify 3 characteristics of gait that have been shown to improve gait following high-rate stationary cycling.