Sedentary adult males with spinal lesions, all habitual wheelchair users, were allocated to exercise (n = 11) and control (n = 4) groups. A Cybex II dynamometer was used to assess peak power, average power, total work and muscular endurance for elbow flexion/extension, shoulder flexion/extension and shoulder abduction/adduction at five angular velocities, on recruitment and after eight and 16 weeks of forearm ergometer training (three days/week). Small sub-groups of the exercised subjects were assigned to high or low intensity endurance effort (70 or 40 per cent of maximal oxygen intake) and long or short training sessions (40 or 20 minutes per session). Despite the aerobic nature of the activity, gains of average power were registered by the two muscle groups most involved in the ergometer task (shoulder extension and elbow flexion). In keeping with current theories of training, gains were largest with prolonged, high intensity activity at angular velocities approximating those adopted during training.
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