Physiological demands of standing and wheelchair fencing in able-bodied fencers

Xavier Iglesias, Ferran A. Rodríguez, Rafael Tarragó, Lindsay Bottoms, Lisímaco Vallejo, Lara Rodríguez-Zamora, Michael Price

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    BACKGROUND The purpose of this study was to determine the cardiorespiratory demands of standing and wheelchair (seated) fencing in a group of able-bodied fencers during simulated competitive bouts. METHODS Participants were ten male able-bodied fencers of regional level with previous training experience in wheelchair fencing. After a standardized warm-up, participants performed two series of simulated competitive épée bouts (5 and 15 touches) in a random order, either while standing or while sitting in a wheelchair. Expired gas was analyzed for oxygen consumption (V O 2 ) and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) and heart rate were continually monitored. Energy expenditure (EE) was subsequently calculated. RESULTS V O 2 , HR and EE peak responses were greater during standing than seated fencing (P<0.05). Mean V O 2 during all ST bouts (5- and 15-touch) was 43% greater than in wheelchair fencing (44.2±7.8 vs. 25.1±5.4 mL/kg/min). Mean HR during the standing 5- and 15-touch bouts was 91±20% and 84±7%, respectively, of that recorded during the seated bouts. HR, V O 2 and EE data also indicated that the 15-touch bouts were more physiologically demanding than the 5-touch bouts (P<0.01). The HR-V O 2 relationship was similar between both fencing modes. The duration of the 5- and 15-touch bouts were shorter for the seated than the standing bouts (P<0.01). CONCLUSIONS The physiological demands of wheelchair fencing are lower than those for standing fencing. Furthermore, the physiology of 5 versus 15-touch bouts, similar to those undertaken in fencing competition, also differs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)569-574
    Number of pages6
    JournalThe Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
    Issue number4
    Early online date2 May 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


    • Athletes
    • Disabled persons
    • Energy metabolism
    • Heart rate
    • Oxygen consumption
    • Wheelchairs

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
    • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


    Dive into the research topics of 'Physiological demands of standing and wheelchair fencing in able-bodied fencers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this