Effects of Respiratory Resistance Training With a Concurrent Flow Device on Wheelchair Athletes
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Background/Objective: To determine the effect of respiratory resistance training (RRT) with a concurrent flow respiratory (CFR) device on respiratory function and aerobic power in wheelchair athletes.
Methods: Ten male wheelchair athletes (8 with spinal cord injuries, 1 with a neurological disorder, and 1 with postpolio syndrome), were matched by lesion level and/or track rating before random assignment to either a RRT group (n ¼ 5) or a control group (CON, n ¼ 5). The RRT group performed 1 set of breathing exercises using Expand-a-Lung, a CFR device, 2 to 3 times daily for 10 weeks. Pre/posttesting included measurement of maximum voluntary ventilation (MVV), maximum inspiratory pressure (MIP), and peak oxygen consumption ( ̇ V O 2 peak ).
Results: Repeated measures ANOVA revealed a significant group difference in change for MIP from pre- to posttest ( P , 0.05). The RRT group improved by 33.0 cm H 2 O, while the CON group improved by 0.6 cm H 2 O. Although not significant, the MVV increased for the RRT group and decreased for the CON group. There was no significant group difference between ̇ V O 2 peak for pre/posttesting. Due to small sample sizes in both groups and violations of some parametric statistical assumptions, nonparametric tests were also conducted as a crosscheck of the findings. The results of the nonparametric tests concurred with the parametric results.
Conclusions: These data demonstrate that 10 weeks of RRT training with a CFR device can effectively improve MIP in wheelchair athletes. Further research and a larger sample size are warranted to further characterize the impact of Expand-a-Lung on performance and other cardiorespiratory variables in wheelchair athletes.