Objectives: To examine cardiorespiratory fitness, resting cardiac parameters, and muscle oxygenation changes in soccer players having undergone anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and to assess the benefits of a one-leg cycling (OLC) aerobic training program performed during the rehabilitation period.
Design: Randomized clinical trial.
Setting: Outpatient clinic, primary care.
Patients: Twenty-four, male, regional-level soccer players who had undergone surgical reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee.
Intervention: Patients were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups: either an individualized OLC aerobic training program with the untreated leg plus a rehabilitation program (training group, TG) or a group that received the same rehabilitation program but without aerobic training (control group, CG).
Main Outcome Measures: Outcome measurements assessed before (T1) and after 6 weeks (T2) were stroke volume (SV) and end-diastolic volume (EDV) during resting cardiac echography measurement and peak work rate (Wpeak), peak O2 uptake (V̇V̇o2peak), peak minute ventilation (V̇V̇epeak), first and second ventilatory threshold (VT1 and VT2), leg muscle oxygenation (LMO2), and blood volume (LMBV) during maximal graded tests performed with the untreated leg.
Results: At T1, there was no significant difference between TG and CG. For TG, Wpeak, V̇V̇epeak, VT1, VT2, LMO2, and LMBV at each work rate were significantly higher at T2 than at T1. For CG, Wpeak, V̇V̇o2peak, V̇V̇epeak, VT2, SV, and EDV decreased significantly at T2 in comparison with T1.
Conclusions: One-leg cycling training could involve specific adaptations in comparison to a standard rehabilitation program. Moreover, OLC training during rehabilitation seems to stop the effects of hypoactivity.