I had a great day today working up at NSWIS, which is near Homebush in Sydney. I have been working with them for a few years now, employed as the Physio and strength and conditioner for the NSWIS Triathlon squad, whom I travelled with to Europe this year.
A couple of times a year we all head up to take them through a number of tests including an in depth Musculoskeletal screening as well as video analysis of their run technique. A musculoskeletal screening is a long series of tests to determine where and how the athlete moves, where they are stiff/flexible and weak/strong. This is vital not only to find where potential injuries may occur, finding problems before they progress to injuries, but also to help performance. The series of tests are developed for triathletes and are very specific to the sport, therefore the athlete can easily see the relationship between the tests and better performance.
A screening is something that is NOT exclusive to full time professionals, but in my mind (and I know everyone else involved in the process) should be done regularly by ALL triathletes. Those of us that do the sport as a hobby can benefit greatly by a screening, especially when trying to be more efficient or trying to figure out “why do I keep getting injured?” It’s not ‘just bad luck’ there is always a reason. This is a great idea for someone to do prior to undertaking a program, especially when they are trying to improve or to achieve a new goal! An example of this is a lot of people soon building up to qualify for the Olympic World Champs or to do an Ironman, but without some careful planning in place, may get injured or suffer set backs. These can often be prevented with some prior planning and realising if you look after your body, it will look after you!
Footage was also taken of the athletes while doing their Vo2 max tests, which shows the athlete running under some fatigue, at a high speed. This footage is then put in software, which helps to analyse joint angles. We also look at the footage under super slow motion to see where the athlete’s deficiencies are. This, as I mentioned earlier, is vital for improving the athletes performance and decreasing their injury risk, especially during high load training phases.
I will now use this information from the video footage and the musculoskeletal screenings to develop a strength and conditioning program which is individual to each athlete, addressing their weaknesses or asymmetries. This is my favourite part of my job. I love working with triathletes and feel really lucky to be involved with such a driven and motivated group.
I do these screenings and running and swimming (under water camera!) at my work place in Wollongong, Phytness Healthcare, 4285 1725 in case you are interested, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.