Year of Publication


Date of Thesis


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Exercise and Sport Sciences


Purpose: The purpose was to determine if abdominal power and endurance were related to anaerobic and aerobic cycling performance and if abdominal fatigue influences cycling parameters. Methods: Twenty-three college aged subjects, whose X̅ ± SD for age, height, and weight, were 19.17 ± 1.0 years, 170.4 ± 7.5 cm, and 74.5 ± 14.1 kg, completed the front abdominal power throw and ACSM Crunch test so we could evaluate their abdominal power and endurance, respectively. The tests were completed twice across 48 hours to attenuate any learning effects. Twelve of the subjects completed the Wingate anaerobic power test on a Monark 834 E ergometer set at 7.5% of body mass. The remaining 11 subjects completed a 3.2 km cycling time trial (TT) on an Expresso S3U virtual reality bike; mean TT power and time were recorded as indicators of aerobic cycling performance. Subjects completed familiarization, baseline, and performance trials for the cycling measures; immediately before the performance trials, subjects completed abdominal crunches to fatigue. All tests were preceded and followed by a warm-up and cool-down. Dependent t-tests were used to assess differences between baseline and performance cycling trials, while correlational analyses were used to evaluate the relationships between abdominal and cycling measures; p was set at 0.05. Results: Abdominal muscle fatigue significantly decreased mean anaerobic power by 16% ( p = 0.000) and increased the rate of fatigue by 19.8% ( p = 0.004). Peak power decreased by 5.6%; the change approached significance ( p = 0.088). Abdominal muscle fatigue didn’t affect TT performance; however, after fatigue, abdominal power was significantly correlated with TT mean power and time ( r = -0.708 and 0.704, respectively). No other significant correlations were found between abdominal and cycling measures before or after fatigue. Conclusion: The data showed that abdominal fatigue negatively affects anaerobic cycling performance in non-cyclist trained subjects. Consequently, individuals may wish to avoid fatiguing abdominal exercise prior to anaerobic power tests or competitions that include anaerobic power elements.



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