The feasibility and the effects of cycloergometer interval-training on aerobic capacity and walking performance after stroke. Preliminary study

Ann Phys Rehabil Med. 2011 Feb;54(1):3-15. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Nov 18.
[Article in English, French]


Background: After stroke, the early and persistent decline in aerobic capacity leads to diminish walking capacities. The aim of the study is to investigate the effects of aerobic cycloergometer interval-training on the walking performances in subacute and chronic stroke survivors.

Method: A prospective design was used. Fourteen patients whose stroke had occurred more than 3 months and less than 2 years performed an aerobic training session with a cycloergometer for 8 weeks. A maximal exercise test, a 6-min walking test, a 20-m test and an isokinetic muscle strength test were realized before and after training session.

Results: There was a significant increase after aerobic training in maximal power (Pmax) (mean 23.2%, P<0.0001), in VO(2peak) (mean 14.8%, P=0.04), and in the knee extension and flexion muscle peak torque on the nonparetic side and extension on the paretic side in isokinetic mode (mean from 13 to 29%, P=from 0.019 to P=0.0007) and in the walking performances on the 6-min walk test (mean 15.8%, P=0.0002).

Conclusion: Patients with subacute and chronic stroke can improve aerobic capacity, muscle strength and walking performances after cycloergometer interval-training. Although these results must be interpreted with caution considering the small size of our sample, they suggest that aerobic training is a safe and potentially effective training after stroke and an alternative to walking treadmill training.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*
  • Walking*
  • Young Adult