As part of the College of Health Sciences, the Human Performance Center has access to high-tech equipment which rivals any applied sport science set-up in the world. The laboratory is home to a variety of technologies, each able to measure human health and performance in extreme detail. We use these facilities to create advantages for our Tigers athletes, using science to answer the applied questions posed by coaches and trainers.
Some examples include:
Functional Building Blocks:
Our Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) scan, which details body composition (fat and muscle % and distribution) and bone density (important for predicting injuries), and Isokinetic dynamometer, which measures limb power, provides knowledge of functional movement abilities and limitations. These are used to ensure the fundamental building blocks are solid, from which we can build our athletes.
The Cardiorespiratory and Metabolic Laboratory is home to a state-of-the-art metabolic system to measure aerobic capacity, with a central focus on improving cardiovascular performance and lung volume. The ability to accurately detail resting and stress ECG and blood pressure as well as machine and free weight equipment are important for measuring physical ability. This gives our experts the ability to accurately detail both athlete health and physical fitness and capacity.
The College of Health Sciences is home to multiple 3D Motion Analysis systems used within the Musculoskeletal Analysis Laboratory. A portable Wireless EMG to measure muscle activation, 3-dimensional force plates to measure ground reaction forces, and the smart balance system enable a complete measurement of human motion to understand and improve techniques to increase performance and minimize injury occurrence. Technologies such these give sports scientists the ability to know the exact lower extremity kinematics (joint angles, flexion angles), and kinetics (joint torques, joint velocities, joint force moments, and more) when athletes perform both functional and sports-specific movements.
A 1500 square foot Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Laboratory on site allows the Human Performance Center to look at every part of human performance. The equipment within allows exploration of human performance on a cellular and biochemical level, using blood, urine and human cells to provide an intricate and unmatched level of understanding of the individual. The ability to measure the things we can’t see ensures athlete health is at the forefront of the Center.
Importantly, the Human Performance Center also houses the latest in scientific innovation to allow sport science testing to move out of the lab and into the field. Examples include the inertial measurement units, portable 3D motion analysis system and load monitoring insoles, each of which have been applied to answer sport specific challenges highlighted by coaches and trainers. This allows the Center to embed research in sport specific contexts to ensure applied outcomes which improve athlete performance.