Any D1 athlete knows that just as important to the game as talent is science — and the Human Biomechanics and Physiology Lab at High Point University is devoted to the research of sport injury prevention and improvement. The combination of faculty, facilities, equipment, and esprit de corps make the Department of Physical Therapy’s Human Biomechanics & Physiology Laboratory (HBAPL) the finest facility of its type in the world!
Check out some of the equipment housed in the HBAPL that every D1 athlete wishes he/she had:
1. DEXA Scanner: Otherwise known as a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, this machine is an enhanced version of an x-ray that is used not only to measure bone density (like in women who develop osteoporosis), but also to get estimates of body fat and lean muscle mass all in 61/2 minutes! These measures are important for athletes to assess training effectiveness and monitor bone health.
2. Woodway Curve Treadmill: the ultimate training tool to step up a work out, this machine has no motor– it works entirely off of “sweat and determination,” according to Woodway. This treadmill is entirely manual and the extra large version burns about 70% more calories. The Slate Belt system combined with the unique curved running surface allows users to control their pace at will.
3. Anti-gravity Treadmill: Injured? No problem – this machine can reduce gravity’s impact by adjusting from 20% to 100% of your body weight so that you don’t become deconditioned during your recovery. In addition, it allows and athlete to exercise intensively without stress on joints or muscles. Sounds cool? Just got cool-er: Kobe Bryant just bought one for his own house. Check it out here: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/kobe-bryant-running-anti-gravity-treadmill-probably-means-235709183.html
4. Environmental Chamber: From 13,000 feet above sea level and 0-100 degrees Farenheit, this room allows our athletes to train in all different temperatures and elevations. In addition, in the environmental chamber there are machines that can monitor how pollution effects physical activity. This would be the perfect piece for elevation training before the Tours De France without having to actually go up to the mountains.
5. Golf Simulator: You would think it’s a video game based on its appearance, but much is hidden behind the “scene.” It has recently been used to study female golfer’s weight lifting, the first study of this kind, right here at our university. Beneath the tee box is a force plate surrounded by high speed cameras and launch monitors. All of this technology allows the golfer and teacher to receive instant feedback about a any swing or shot made: swing speed, ball speed, spin rate, swing plane, position of the club, etc. If all of this data is too much, just hide this information and play a famous course like St Andrews or Pebble Beach.
6. Jump monitors- these little devices can be worn by an athlete and they not only count the number of jumps in a practice or game but also how high an athlete can jump
7. In-shoe force plates and a 3D motion capture system: An athlete’s dream! combining these 2 technologies allows researchers to track every motion and force the body produces. These things can then be modified to prevent injury or improve performance
8. Wireless EMG- This cool device allows Department of Physical Therapy faculty to monitor an athlete’s muscle activity anywhere in the Human Biomechanics and Physiology Lab while doing any kind of workout
So now that you really want all of these, where can you get them? Lucky for you, High Point University owns all of these machines and more over at our Biomechanics Lab. Current exercise science professors and students have been doing research here in our temporary facilities, which opened its doors in 2011. While most permanent facilities have 15,000 square feet, our temporary facility surpasses these standards with 32,000 square feet – with an additional 30,000 being added in our new Health Science Building, opening in 2016. We also have twenty-four cameras to detect biomechanical movement, compared to most labs having just eight. This facility is a dream for any athlete, health science major, or professor. Current coaches of our D1 sports have been using this facility to develop conditioning and strengthening programs to increase performance, as well as design regimens for those with specific conditions, fractures, weight bearing problems, and more.
Want to see more of the state-of-the-art facilities available to HPU students in health sciences, and in all programs of study? Take a look around.
Kara Benkovich ’16
Admissions Marketing Intern
Paige Price ’16
Admissions Marketing Intern