European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 112, Issue 12, pp 4143–4150 | Cite as

The influence of rowing-related postures upon respiratory muscle pressure and flow generating capacity

Original Article

Abstract

During the rowing stroke, the respiratory muscles are responsible for postural control, trunk stabilisation, generation/transmission of propulsive forces and ventilation (Bierstacker et al. in Int J Sports Med 7:73–79, 1986; Mahler et al. in Med Sci Sports Exerc 23:186–193, 1991). The challenge of these potentially competing requirements is exacerbated in certain parts of the rowing stroke due to flexed (stroke ‘catch’) and extended postures (stroke ‘finish’). The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of the postural role of the trunk muscles upon pressure and flow generating capacity, by measuring maximal respiratory pressures, flows, and volumes in various seated postures relevant to rowing. Eleven male and five female participants took part in the study. Participants performed two separate testing sessions using two different testing protocols. Participants performed either maximal inspiratory or expiratory mouth pressure manoeuvres (Protocol 1), or maximal flow volume loops (MFVLs) (Protocol 2), whilst maintaining a variety of specified supported or unsupported static rowing-related postures. Starting lung volume was controlled by initiating the test breath in the upright position. Respiratory mouth pressures tended to be lower with recumbency, with a significant decrease in PEmax in unsupported recumbent postures (3–9 % compared to upright seated; P = 0.036). There was a significant decrease in function during dynamic manoeuvres, including PIF (5–9 %), FVC (4–7 %) and FEV1 (4–6 %), in unsupported recumbent postures (p < 0.0125; Bonferroni corrected). Thus, respiratory pressure and flow generating capacity tended to decrease with recumbency; since lung volumes were standardised, this may have been, at least in part, influenced by the postural co-contraction of the trunk muscles.

Keywords

Ventilatory muscle strength Postural adaptations Recumbent Respiratory function 

References

  1. American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society (ATS/ERS) (2005) Standardization on lung function testing: standardization of spirometry. Eur Resp J 26:319–338Google Scholar
  2. Badr C, Elkins MR, Ellis ER (2002) The effect of body position on maximal expiratory pressure and flow. Aust J Physiother 48:95–102PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bierstacker M, Bierstacker WA, Schreurs A (1986) Reduction of lung elasticity due to training and expiratory flow limitation during exercise in competitive female rowers. Int J Sports Med 7:73–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bland JM, Altman DG (1986) Statistical methods for assessing agreement between two methods of clinical measurement. Lancet 8:307–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Castile R, Mead J, Jackson A, Wohl ME, Stokes D (1982) Effects of posture on flow-volume curve configuration in normal humans. J Appl Physiol Respir Environ Exerc Physiol 53:1175–1183Google Scholar
  6. D’Angelo E, Agostini A (1995) Statics of the chest wall. In: Roussos C (ed) The thorax, 2nd edn., part A. Dekker, New York, pp 457–494Google Scholar
  7. Hodges PW, Gandevia SC (2000) Changes in intra-abdominal pressure during postural and respiratory activation of the human diaphragm. J Appl Physiol 89:967–976PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Kera T, Maruyama H (2005) The effect of posture on respiratory activity of the abdominal muscles. J Physiol Anthropol Appl Hum Sci 24:259–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lomax ME, McConnell AK (2009) Influence of prior activity (warm-up) and inspiratory muscle training upon between- and within-day reliability of maximal inspiratory pressure measurement. Respiration 78:197–202PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mahler DA, Nelson WN, Hagerman FC (1984) Mechanical and physiological evaluation of exercise performance in elite national rowers. J Am Med Assoc 252:496–499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Mahler DA, Shuhart CR, Brew E, Stukel TA (1991) Ventilatory responses and entrainment of breathing during rowing. Med Sci Sports Exerc 23:186–193PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. McCool D (2006) Global physiology and pathophysiology of cough: ACCP evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Chest 129:48S–53SPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Meysman M, Vincken W (1998) Effect of body posture on spirometric values and upper airway obstruction indices derived from the flow-volume loop in young non-obese subjects. Chest 114:1042–1047PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ogiwara S, Miyachi T (2002) Effect of posture on ventilatory muscle strength. J Phys Therapy Sci 14:1–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Romer L, Polkey MI (2008) Exercise-induced respiratory muscle fatigue: implications for performance. J Appl Physiol 104:879–888PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Siegmund GP, Edwards MR, Moore KS, Tiessen DA, Sanderson DJ, McKenzie DC (1999) Ventilation and locomotion coupling in varsity male rowers. J Appl Physiol 87:233–242PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Talwar A, Sood S, Sethi J (2002) Effect of body posture on dynamic lung function in young non-obese Indian subjects. Indian J Med Sci 56:607–612PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Tsubaki A, Deguchi S, Yoneda Y (2009) Influence of posture on respiratory function and respiratory muscle strength in normal healthy subjects. J Phys Ther Sci 21:71–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Vilke GM, Chan TC, Neuman T, Clausen JL (2000) Spirometry in normal subjects in sitting, prone and supine positions. Respir Care 45:407–410PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Volianitis S, McConnell AK, Jones DA (2001) Assessment of maximum inspiratory pressure: prior submaximal respiratory muscle activity (‘warm-up’) enhances maximum inspiratory activity and attenuates the learning effect of repeated measurement. Respiration 68:22–27PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Zar JH (1998) Biostatistical analysis. Prentice Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Sport and Exercise ScienceUniversity of WorcesterWorcesterUK
  2. 2.Centre for Sports Medicine and Human PerformanceBrunel UniversityUxbridgeUK

Personalised recommendations