Cardiocirculatory and metabolic strain during rowing ergometry in coronary patients

A. Urhausen*, J. Spieldenner, H. Gabriel, L. Schwarz, M. Schwarz, W. Kindermann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate the suitability of rowing for cardiac rehabilitation, the Cardiocirculatory and metabolic reactions during rowing (RE) and cycle (CE) ergometry were compared. Ten male normotensive subjects of an outpatient heart group (age 56 ± 7 years, maximum performance on CE 2.0 ± 0.4 W‐kg ‐1) carried out a stepwise increasing test on an isokinetic rowing ergometer and a CE (increasing by 25 W every 3 min).In a 1‐min break after each step, heart rate and blood pressure, blood concentrations of lactate, and the free catecholamines adrenaline and noradrenaline were measured. Four patients showed signs of myocardial ischemia occurring almost one step earlier on RE than on CE. In RE, the endurance and maximum performance were about 20 W lower than on CE. At similar workloads, heart rate, blood pressure, and concentrations of lactate and catecholamines measured significantly higher on RE than on CE. At workloads above the individual anaerobic threshold, the increase in adrenaline and noradrenaline was significantly higher on RE than on CE. The results can be explained by the lower work efficiency, the higher isometric demands with increased cardiac pressure load, and the higher mental stress in RE. Rowing is only suitable in cardiac rehabilitation when well‐defined prerequisites have been considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-656
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Cardiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • blood pressure
  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • catecholamines
  • ergometry
  • outpatient heart group
  • rowing


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