Development of a Coaching System for Functional Electrical Stimulation Rowing: A Feasibility Study in Able-Bodied Individuals

Shirin Tajali, Kai Lon Fok, Pirashanth Theventhiran, Gongkai Ye, Hikaru Yokoyama, Kento Nakagawa, Kei Masani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Functional electrical stimulation (FES) during rowing has substantial effects on cardiovascular health in individuals with spinal cord injuries. Currently, manual stimulation control where stimulation is operated by rowers is mostly utilized. However, it takes time to obtain the skill to initiate FES at the optimal timing. The purpose of this study was to develop a coaching system that helps rowers to initiate FES at the optimal timing. Methods: The optimal range for FES application was identified based on the electromyography of the left quadriceps in 10 able-bodied individuals (AB). Then, the effects of the coaching system on the timing of button-pressing, power, and work were investigated in 7 AB. Results: Vastus lateralis (VL) activation began consistently before the seat reached the anterior-most position. Therefore, seat position at the onset of VL was used as the variable to control the switch timing in the coaching system. The results revealed significantly higher power and work outputs in the coaching than the no-coaching condition (median power coaching: 19.10 W, power no-coaching: 16.48 W, p = 0.031; median work coaching: 109.74 J, work no-coaching: 65.25 J, p = 0.047). Conclusions: The coaching system can provide the optimal timing for FES, resulting in improved performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1813
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar 1


  • Coaching
  • Functional electrical stimulation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Rowing
  • System development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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