Professional Fitness Testing for Young Athletes
All high school athletes in this country must undergo a physical exam prior to participating in their sport. That exam, however, is just a medical exam (eyes, ears, nose and throat) and a visual check for scoliosis.
- In virtually every high school in the country, young athletes are allowed to participate in strength and conditioning programs merely by being on the team, not by passing any required evaluation to determine if they are structurally ready.
- Every major professional team from the New York Giants to the Chicago Bulls make every new player pass a series of biomechanical tests before they begin their conditioning program and before they can enter the weight room.
Student Athletes are put through demanding amount of physical stress with conditioning, training, and participating in his or her respective sport. Children as young as middle-school age are entering the weight room these days to begin their long journey of conditioning.
Spine & Sport Rehab Institute is dedicated to making sure young athletes have a sound biomechanical foundation for developing their bodies for the rigors of competitive sports. We can analyze aerobic conditioning, anaerobic capacity, core strength, joint mobility, strength endurance, and body composition. These six categories represent the very foundation of conditioning, and should be mandatory for all athletes to begin their conditioning at this level.
Biomechanics and Structural Performance Exam
Biomechanics is the sport science field that applies the laws of mechanics and physics to human performance, in order to gain a greater understanding of performance in athletic events through modeling, simulation and measurement. It is also necessary to have a good understanding of the application of physics to sport, as physical principles such as motion, resistance, momentum and friction play a part in most sporting events.
Having a professional biomechanical exam in high school can determine whether they have symptoms or not, so both parents and athletes understand the mechanical structure of their own bodies. Being structurally sound will help an athlete minimize injuries during their middle and high school years and helps prevent future wear and tear on their bodies. Having a team of professionals behind a young athlete as in professional sports enables you to have the confidence that we can manage the biomechanical imbalances before symptoms appear to keep them on the field or on the court and "Back Into the Game"!
As parents you want the best for your children whether your child is trying to "make the team" or has aspirations of playing at the collegiate level. We want to be on your team to ensure that they have the best chance of success by limiting injuries and maintain a sound biomechanical and structural foundation to have them perform at their optimum capability.
Physical Stress on Young Athletes Bodies Can Lead to Adult Health Risks
Maintaining the biomechanical balance and structure of young athletes is fundamental to their health and well being in the future as adults. We live in a world where the cost of arthritic conditions runs this country $86 billion per year, and is expected to grow over 40 percent over the next twenty-five years. The pounding and wear and tear associated with high level athletes is compounded if the structure of the athlete is compromised.
The long-term concern is that degeneration of the human frame is caused by imbalances in the structure, which, over time, become fixated joints. Eventually, this young person becomes an adult with an accelerated degenerative process that is taking place in his or her body. Over time, aging athletes that have not taken care of their bodies will require a higher level of care for their aching, worn-out joints. These treatments range from medications (such as anti-inflammatories, corticosteroids, and hyaluronic injections) to surgeries (such as arthroscopic, bone fusion, and joint replacements).
Getting Athletes "Back Into the Game"
If a student athlete has an injury as a parent you may first visit your child's primary health care provider. At this point, the child is caught in the loop of seeing doctors and therapists who may not have a deep understanding or your child's sports history and any specific structural issues.
The medical team at Spine & Sport include chiropractic physicians, physical therapists, certified personal trainers, sports massage therapists and affiliations with the leading orthopedic surgeons in South Florida. Members of our medical team are experts in sports biomechanics and can immediately determine the cause of the injury, the degree of the injury, or the course of action that should take place right away.
Gaining a Competitive Edge
For those athletes that are interested in collegiate athletics and the opportunity to compete at the next level after high school they need every competitive edge that Spine & Sport can provide.
The cost of an education continues to skyrocket each year from 5% to 10% annually. According to the College Board, the cost of a year's tuition, plus room and board, averaged $29,026 for private colleges and $12,127 for public colleges. Many financial experts estimate that the cost of college will increase at approximately 6 percent each year over the next ten years. This means that the average cost of attending a private college will go from $29,026 per year to $49,026.
If your child is dedicated and has a passion for a particular sport then we will be there as a part of your "Team" to ensure that they are in a position to excel and build a strong body and foundation. We will do an assessment to show parent if there is evidence of "biomechanical issues" that will impact that child's ability to perform at the highest level and protect their future.
We are Trained to Administer The Structural Body Fingerprint® Exam.
This exam detects structural imbalances, weaknesses, and distortion patterns in a growing young athletes body. Once a child reaches age 12, standing structural x-rays need to be taken to determine the starting point for that child.
The symmetry of the feet, with normal medial arches, is critically important in producing a biomechanically balanced structure. Joint function can be impaired, or compromised, with imbalances in one or both feet.
Center of gravity of an individual's body structure is another critical standard of measurement when predicting the potential of fixation and degeneration of joints. Center of gravity is influenced primarily by the eyes, the feet and the biomechanics of the structure, including joint and muscle weakness. If joint fixation and an imbalanced structural center of gravity are left unattended, there will be an acceleration of breakdown and loss of function, as well as a cascade-like "breakdown" effect throughout surrounding joints, nerves and muscles over time.
Components of our Structural Body Fingerprint Exam:
- Biomechanics X-Rays
- Center of Gravity and Balance Exam
- Leg Length Measurement
- Muscle Tests
- Joint Range of Motion
- Knee Exam
- Foot Orthotic Exam
- Spine Exam
- Weight, Body Fat and BMI Data
- Metabolic Testing
We will provide a thorough Report of Findings and go over it with both the athlete and parents. Then we will advise you on a proper course of treatment and/or how to prevent any stresses that are predicted by your report of findings. We offer three specific Biomechanical and Structural Management Programs to provide the year round care needed to ensure that we have a complete understanding of your specific growth and body changes to prevent injuries and maximize performance. These programs include office visits, sports massage therapy, biomechanics training, custom orthotics, specific therapies and treatments.
Let us Join Your Team Today!
Make an appointment with us to evaluate your child today and let us join your team throughout your young athletes competitive sports career from middle school through high school.
Please ask us about our Sport Performance Enhancement programs!
VO2Based Fitness Testing
VO2 is the rate of oxygen uptake, or consumption, measured during exercise. The maximum rate of oxygen uptake is called the VO2max or maximum VO2. VO2max is the ultimate measure of fitness and is reported in milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute or ml/Kg/min. To achieve a high VO2max, a person must have a fit heart and lungs and significant lean muscle mass that is well conditioned. The table below shows how fitness is assessed based on VO2max.
Peak VO2 Scores (Values in mlO2/kg/min)
VO2 max tables - Data from Cooper,K. The Aerobics Way. New York, Bantam Books,Inc. 1982.
Since true VO2max measurements require exercising to the maximum level of exertion, they should only be done under medical supervision, or by persons who have been cleared to exercise extreme exertion by their physician. Peak VO2, or the maximum level of oxygen uptake achieved during a sub-maximal test can also be used to predict the VO2 max had the test been allowed to progress to the predicted maximum heart rate.
A VO2 test will also show the anaerobic threshold. The anaerobic threshold is the level of exercise intensity beyond which the body can no longer provide adequate oxygen to the muscles. Exercise below the anaerobic threshold should be comfortable even though the exercise extends for long periods. Exercise above the anaerobic threshold will improve cardiovascular fitness, but will also cause discomfort, fatigue, and muscle soreness.
Knowing the unique anaerobic threshold can be used to design a workout plan that will improve fitness and maximize calories burned. Measurement of VO2max or PeakVO2 will provide a true assessment of fitness level. The CardioCoach test will provide all of this data that is vital to proper fitness training. In addition, a CardioCoach test will also measure how many calories are burned during a workout at every exercise heart rate level. This information, along with a heart rate monitor, or a heart rate equipped bike or treadmill, can be used to calculate the precise amount of calories burned during a workout.
Fitness Assessment (peak VO2)
VO2 max is considered by exercise physiologists to be the ultimate indicator of cardiovascular fitness. V02 max is the maximum amount of oxygen consumed by your body during exercise. The CardioCoach uses VO2 max along with your age to indicate fitness level. A personalized exercise regimen based on true VO2 max is essential to optimum cardio training.
Determines client's anaerobic threshold (AT)
The body can supply adequate oxygen to the muscles up to a certain exercise intensity level or threshold. This threshold is called the anaerobic threshold (AT). Exercising below the anaerobic threshold should be possible for long periods of time without experiencing muscle fatigue or soreness during or following the workout. Working out above the anaerobic threshold will improve cardio-vascular fitness, but it will also lead to fatigue and discomfort during and following the workout.
The CardioCoach report includes a table indicating how many calories a client burns at every exercise heart rate level. With this information, there is no longer a need to rely on generalized estimates of calories burned provided by a bike or treadmill.