How to Use Exercise Physiology to Unlock Performance Gains

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As an Exercise Physiologist at Precision Athletica, one of our roles involves correcting movement patterns to increase movement efficiency.

Doing so requires sitting down with the athlete to discuss what the issues are within their sport, analysing movement predominantly through video analysis, testing their movement based on our analysis and then drawing up a clear pathway to address the issues.

Through refining and improving the athletes movements, we are able to use Exercise Physiology to unlock performance gains for them in their sport.

How to Use Exercise Physiology to Unlock Performance Gains

The Challenges

Correcting a movement in physically matured elite athlete can be difficult because of the way they move, which in most cases has brought them success in sport and often become ingrained into their neural pathways.

Furthermore, it is impossible to say with 100% confidence that performing one movement in the gym is going to be key to fixing their movement deficiency. Therefore, the goal of an Exercise Physiologist should be to expose the athlete to the ideal movement pattern in as many ways as possible with as much variety and variability as possible to create the most adaptable athlete.

Increasing adaptability will increase the chances of the athlete transferring what they have learnt into their sport.

Case Study: Brian Funes, Ice Hockey

  • Age: 30
  • Time at Precision Athletica: Just over 1 year
  • Recent Focus Area: Struggling with back side punch turns at top speed

Observation from our Exercise Physiology movement assessment: We observed that Brian has poor single leg stability. In Video 1 (pre-intervention), you can see that his inside leg during the back side punch turn is over-extended in comparison to the front side punch turn, something that we determined we wanted to work on.

Brian Funes Ice Hockey

Video 1

Brian Funes Ice Hockey

Video 2

We concluded that the most likely reason was instability on the his inside leg during deep hip flexion when moving laterally. 

Working With Our Exercise Physiology Team

Over the next 4 weeks, we exposed Brian to deep hip flexion in as many ways as possible to increase his adaptability to external stimulus in the position.

Exercises did not have to be specific to ice skating, but the exercise had to challenge his proprioception in deep hip flexion. 

Here are some example exercises from the four week training block.

Exercise Physiology at Precision Athletica
Performance Gains at Precision Athletica
Exercise Physiology at Precision Athletica
Performance Gains at Precision Athletica

The Results

Back on the ice, you can see the big improvements that Brian has been able to make in his back side punch turns at top speed.

Brian Funes Ice Hockey

Before

Brian Funes Ice Hockey

After

The key is not to chase transferability, but adaptability and allow the athlete to figure out the best way to manipulate their body to transfer skill into their sport.

This post on How to Use Exercise Physiology to Unlock Performance Gains, was written by Precision Athletica Exercise Physiologist Justin Trang, if you would like to know more or seek specific guidance from Justin, you can contact him by email here.

How Do I Book An Appointment with Precision Athletica for Help?

We’re taking the health of our clients, members and staff very seriously and our preference would be for you to call to book an appointment so that we can make sure to explain our approach to keeping you safe. You can call our bookings team to schedule a session:

  • Customer Support Centre: 02 9764 5787
  • OR email us at: olympicpark@precisionathletica.com.au

Online Consultations

Evolving with the current environment, we are also now offering online appointments, meaning that we can support anyone who is unable to leave their home. Sessions are done via our state of the art Telehealth system and as long as you have a laptop or tablet with an inbuilt camera, or a phone with camera, we can help!

To learn more about online consultations, please call us on any of the numbers listed above.

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