Daniel Greenwood, Director of the University of Memphis Human Performance Center, breaks down how he uses IMU Step lower limb monitoring to answer questions about rehab and performance for his coaches and athletes.
Lower Limb Monitoring for Rehab
The IMUs help us accelerate recovery because they allow us to be specific on every drill, every session, and every week of training. We’re also able to use the IMeasureU data to change the drills we’re doing. We’ve found certain drills are having the response that we were hoping for and other drills weren’t.
The whole point of measuring things is to get accurate information about what’s going on and the IMU data gives us that information in the field, in training, and in competition. Therefore we can specialize every drill every minute every repetition and make sure that what we think is happening is happening and ultimately plan out in detail what we need to do to get to where we need to get to.
The whole challenge of rehab is engagement and if you’re not a hundred percent bought into the process there’s a lot of time where you can just drift. What the sensors allowed us to do was to track this athlete specifically find out what specifically worked for him in different scenarios and make sure that what we were doing was getting the results for the lower limb loading we thought it was.
So I think that the athlete got excited because first of all, he could see that improvement over time he could see these things getting better he could see himself improving. It also gave him reassurance that what we were doing was a hundred percent correct. That reassurance is a huge part of any sort of rehab program where confidence is always going to be a challenge. So the data provides reassurance that yes you physically can do this and yes this drill is getting out of you what you’re capable of.
A better way to train for competitive tennis
For women’s tennis, their question was specifically around what does training look like? What does competition look like and how close are they? What do we need to do our training scenario to match competition exactly? And it was a really cool project around tracking load in training tracking load in competition and one of the real challenges that came out was that matches in tennis aren’t set these matches shift over time and they’re really opponent dependent. Having a really great understanding of what the extremes of preparedness need to be really helped shape the way we then design training following that.
One of the interesting data things that came out when measuring tennis performance was that competition is naturally quite stop-and-start we had a lot of high impacts and a lot of low impacts which is pretty intuitive when you think about it because that’s what tennis looks like but seeing the data there and seeing that glaringly obvious stop-start nature of tennis and the data really sort of made you stop and reflect about what you’re doing in training. The training data we had was a lot more middle-of-the-road loading you know a lot more longer periods of exercise longer periods of intensity longer periods of work. On reflection that didn’t really represent what was being required on a competition basis. Tennis is a high-impact game let’s make training high-impact it’s on or it’s off, go or stop.
I think once you find something that works you know we’re also very much creatures of habit when something works well and so I think we’ve already talked to it with Daniel about you know using the information in the future and using the data and IMeasureU now there’s a relationship with the university there’s no reason to have to go back to where we were before.
A game necessity
In an era where sports performance is getting tighter and tighter and the window for success is smaller and smaller getting a detailed understanding of performance is vital and I wouldn’t call it a game-changer but I call it a game necessity. The days of guessing what’s going to happen, the days of using my intuition by itself are gone. The days of merging intuition with data are here if you’re not doing that, you’re quickly going to be left behind.