Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Human Performance and Health Education

First Advisor

Dr. Christopher C. Cheatham

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of incline of an elliptical trainer on the physiological responses during submaximal exercise and to also compare these responses between two different elliptical trainers with different movement and incline patterns. Twelve healthy subjects completed a maximal graded exercise test and a submaximal exercise test consisting of 14 minutes of exercise at 60% peak oxygen consumption (V02peak) (seven minutes at 0% incline, seven minutes at 100% incline) followed by 14 minutes of exercise at 80% V02peak (seven minutes at 0% incline, seven minutes at 100% incline). During submaximal exercise, oxygen consumption, respiratory exchange ratio, heart rate, and ratings of perceived exertion were all significantly greater when exercising at a 100% incline versus a 0% incline. During exercise on the Ascent Trainer, sEMG activity of the vastus lateral is was significantly lower at 0% incline compared to 100% incline while there was no difference between 0 and 100% incline when exercising on the Standard elliptical. However, overall sEMG activity was significantly higher during exercise on the Standard elliptical compared to the Ascent Trainer. In conclusion, exercising at 100% incline on an elliptical trainer imposes a greater physiological stress on the individual compared to exercise at 0% incline. In addition, the motion and incline pattern used by the Ascent Trainer is more effective at increasing recruitment of the vastus lateralis compared to the Standard elliptical trainer.

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