University of Oulu

Michelle Filipovic, Stephanie Munten, Karl-Heinz Herzig, Dominique D. Gagnon. (2021) Maximal Fat Oxidation: Comparison between Treadmill, Elliptical and Rowing Exercises. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (20), 170 - 178.

Maximal fat oxidation : comparison between treadmill, elliptical and rowing exercises

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Author: Filipovic, Michelle1,2; Munten, Stephanie1,3; Herzig, Karl-Heinz4,5;
Organizations: 1Laboratory of Environmental Exercise Physiology, School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
2Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Sudbury, Canada
3Center of Research in Occupational Health and Safety, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
4Institute of Biomedicine, Medical Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, Finland
5Department of Gastroenterology and Metabolism, Poznan University, Poland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-07-06


Fat oxidation during exercise is associated with cardio-metabolic benefits, but the extent of which whole-body exercise modality elicits the greatest fat oxidation remains unclear. We investigated the effects of treadmill, elliptical and rowing exercise on fat oxidation in healthy individuals. Nine healthy males participated in three, peak oxygen consumption tests, on a treadmill, elliptical and rowing ergometer. Indirect calorimetry was used to assess maximal oxygen consumption (V̇O2peak), maximal fat oxidation (MFO) rates, and the exercise intensity MFO occurred (Fatmax). Mixed venous blood was collected to assess lactate and blood gases concentrations. While V̇O2peak was similar between exercise modalities, MFO rates were higher on the treadmill (mean ± SD; 0.61 ± 0.06 g·min-1) compared to both the elliptical (0.41 ± 0.08 g·min⁻¹, p = 0.022) and the rower (0.40 ± 0.08 g·min⁻¹, p = 0.017). Fatmax values were also significantly higher on the treadmill (56.0 ± 6.2 %V̇O2peak) compared to both the elliptical (36.8 ± 5.4 %V̇O2peak, p = 0.049) and rower (31.6 ± 5.0 %V̇O2peak, p = 0.021). Post-exercise blood lactate concentrations were also significantly lower following treadmill exercise (p = 0.021). Exercising on a treadmill maximizes fat oxidation to a greater extent than elliptical and rowing exercises, and remains an important exercise modality to improve fat oxidation, and consequently, cardio-metabolic health.

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Series: Journal of sports science and medicine
ISSN: 1303-2968
ISSN-E: 1303-2968
ISSN-L: 1303-2968
Volume: 20
Issue: 1
Pages: 170 - 178
DOI: 10.52082/jssm.2021.170
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 315 Sport and fitness sciences
Copyright information: © Journal of Sports Science and Medicine.