Measurable assessments can prepare an athlete to avoid injury and reach full potentials. There are specific tests that we use to work with athletes for improvement and success! Learn how we can assess you with FMS, Dartfish, InBody, and VO2 Testing.
How has utilizing the latest technology impacted the results you see in your athletes’ performance?
Dr. Jan Kasprowicz: It actually plays a huge impact with athletes. If an athlete can see measurable improvement in their activities and their movements patterns, it’s not only going to give them a phenomenal physical boost because they will be more efficient with their movements but they are also going to gain a psychological edge knowing they are truly at their best. A lot of these movement assessments that we do, we find all these efficiencies that they have. For example, some of the athletes I work with they are at the highest level that they can be and if they can just improve their performance by 1% or 2%, that’s the difference between being in first place and being in tenth place. That small little percentage improvement by improving their bio-mechanics or increasing their VO2 capacity plays a great part. In regards to analyzing movement patterns, if an athlete has poor or inefficient movement patterns, it’s only a matter of time before an injury occurs. They don’t need to have a traumatic issue like a helmet to the knee or something to create injury. If they are not moving right, that joint is eventually going to start breaking down.
Let’s talk about some of the technology that is available in your industry. FMS – Functional Movement Systems is a screening tool, can you tell us what this measures and how it works?
Dr. Jan Kasprowicz: FMS is pretty much the standard of movement assessments. It is the standard but it’s the only measuring tool that is out there to actually gauge proper movement patterns. It was actually created by Grey Cook who is a phenomenal movement specialist. He’s like the man when it comes down to movement and FMS is a ranking and grading system. It documents movement patterns that are likely to normal function. By screening these patterns, the FMS readily identifies functional limits and asymmetries in all the joints. These are issues that can reduce the effects of functional training and physical conditioning and restore its body awareness. When you go to a physical therapist or some kind of therapist who is going to measure your range or motion, they’re just going to move your arm and leg but it’s not dynamic. The wonderful thing about the FMS- it’s a very dynamic for movement where you’re utilizing multiple joints and this way you are really able to assess dynamic movement patterns. I’ve never seen an athlete unless you’re playing chess or something which is only using one movement pattern. The FMS generates a functional movement screen score which is used to target problems and track progress. The scoring system is directly linked to most beneficial corrective exercises that we give to the patients and clients after we do the actual FMS screening. We give them the corrective exercises but then they’re going to perform these corrective exercises over the next two or three weeks. They come back into the office we go ahead and re-do the FMS, see what score we have now and we can actually see how much improvement they actually have.
How does the Dartfish software work and how do you use it?
Dr. Jan Kasprowicz: The Dartfish is basically just a video – so we’ll have an athlete come in and we use the Dartfish and videotape the actual FMS screen as well. It’s a two-dimensional video analysis software that enables us to bio-mechanically observe and compare and quantify the measurements of distance, time angle and position. For example, somebody who is training for the NFL Combine and they want to see how explosive they are. We could have them line up and then we could have the Dartfish videotape on them and then we could see how much force they’re actually generating when they are actually taking off when they are doing the 40-yard dash.
We take an initial Dartfish video when they first come in and then that’s going to basically show the different types of limitations they may have when they are doing certain movements. Then we give them some corrective exercises and then the next time they come in, we videotape them going through those movements again. Then we take the second video which is after doing the corrective exercises we overlap that onto the initial video and we can actually see how much improvement and progress they’ve actually had.
What does the InBody technology measure and how do you use the data to customize fitness programs?
Dr. Jan Kasprowicz: The question is what doesn’t the InBody measure? The InBody is a scale that basically tells us your body composition. Our full body conditioning patients are athletes that are looking to get leaner or they’re trying to put on muscle mass or they want to see if they are having any atrophy in any certain body parts. They come in and we do in an initial InBody which is basically a body composition scale. It measures body compositions in regards to how much muscle, fat, bone and water that you’re composed of. The InBody is actually significant so it’s going to tell you how much muscle and fat is in your right arm, your left arm, in your right leg and your left leg. It also tells us how much body fat and muscle is in your torso which is defined from your neck down to your pelvis. The InBody also measures water composition so it’s going to tell us exactly how much water is inside your cells compared to outside of your cells. You need more intra-cellular water which is water within the cell than outside of the cell. Also, the InBody determines a very important number for health. It tells us your visceral fat number so if your visceral fat is above ten, that’s telling us that there is too much fat around your organs. Your organs are pretty much in your abdomen abdominal area and sometimes the body comes across different toxins that we either inhale, we inject, we absorb through the skin or we drink and our liver it’s a little bit too caustic for our liver to actually detoxify so the body literally sticks that dangerous toxins in that visceral fat. Now that visceral fat is around your organs. They provide cushioning and support for your organs. You want to make sure that number is low. I’ve had some people come in – they looked like they had some decent shape, not that they exercise but they looked fit. They jump on the InBody. We do the assessment and then we see how their visceral fat is pretty high. They may look fit but it doesn’t necessary mean they are healthy. Now the way we use this InBody is with our total body conditioning patients. They are trying to burn body fat so we do the InBody on them every two weeks while they are going through our training regimens to make sure that they are burning fat for fuel.
The way you do that is by making sure your heart rate while you’re training is between 60 to 80% of your maximum heart rate. The same thing with our athletes sometimes they are trying to get leaner or sometimes they are trying to get heavier. It matters what kind of sport they are participating in. We want to make sure they are gaining proper body weight either through muscle, gaining muscle or losing body fat.
Lastly, what can you tell us about the advantages of VO2 Testing?
Dr. Jan Kasprowicz: VO2 is the fancy test that measures the body’s ability to use oxygen so especially for endurance activities such as running, cycling and swimming. The amount of oxygen the muscle can use is an important factor that determines the performance potential. A great example is we had a cross country athlete come to our office and he was a sophomore and he is a decent runner. He a good runner’s build. He had a decent season the year previous when he was a freshman and we did the VO2 test on him and it was astronomical. He had a very high VO2 level so this gave him the confidence and understanding that he has the genetic engine to be a very good distance runner. Not only that but we also generated a report to give to his coach and his coach was very impressed and with a high VO2 score will show that you have the genetic potential to be a great endurance athlete and with the proper coaching it can really take you to that next level. In fact, he took that VO2 report with him to the colleges that he visited to show the actual coaches at the schools and they were very impressed with him. Not saying that’s the reason why he got a scholarship but I’m very sure it did help.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Jan Kasprowitz visit www.chirporaticandsportsrecovery.com or call 917-748-2902 to schedule an appointment.