drawings of muscles and exercise apparatus

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Groin injury rehab using the MyoThrusta – a case study from rugby

Groin injuries are a common and frustrating problem for rugby players, frequently involving extended periods out of the game followed by further time in getting back to full match fitness. The MyoQuip MyoThrusta offers the prospect of accelerated recovery of functionality and strength while the body is repairing. The MyoThrusta is a unique type of leg press which combines a supine body position with accommodating resistance giving the exerciser effective loading and muscle fibre recruitment through the whole range of movement. Intensive use of this apparatus enabled Sam Jeffries to get back on the playing field in time to be selected in the Australian Under 20 Squad which is about to travel to South Africa for the World Championships

Sam Jeffries moved from Brisbane prior to the 2011 season to join the Sydney University Rugby Club. During that season he missed the majority of matches due to groin pain and then had to have shoulder surgery last October. This combination of injured areas would have made it extremely difficult to do off-season strength training using conventional exercises. Staff from Sydney University’s Physical Preparation Department and Sports Clinic combined to develop an integrated rehab strategy focussed on the MyoThrusta, Physiotherapist Elias Boukarim explained:

"Under the supervision of medical and strength and conditioning staff, Sam worked hard with daily rehabilitation exercises and regular physiotherapy treatments. His training volume was monitored closely and gradually increased until he was able to return to play in May 2012."

Strength and conditioning coaches Tim Leahy and Dr Tristan Sharp drew attention to the difficulties Sam’s case presented:

"With Sam’s multiple injuries the prescription of appropriate resistance training was a challenge. A large focus was placed on the concept of specificity, whereby the aim of Sam’s training was to match the appropriate metabolic and biomechanical characteristics of the sport of rugby union. This would thereby create an adaptation to appropriate metabolic systems in addition to duplicating joint velocity and angular movement associated to his positional requirements on field.

"Traditional lower body lifts such as the squat primarily strengthen the hips, thigh and back musculature. However, as a result of Sam`s groin pain and shoulder injury, physical adaptations from exercises such as the dead lift and squat were not applicable due to the lack of load on or the positional placement of the barbell. This is where the MyoQuip MyoThrusta was instrumental in providing Sam with an effective lower body strength workout.

"The MyoThrusta placed Sam in a neutral spine and pelvis position, in addition to providing his shoulder with a stable base of support. Initially, his workouts were bilateral, focussing on the triple extension of the hip, knee and ankle joints. As Sam’s groin pain subsided, unilateral work was introduced to mimic the single leg angular movement and joint velocity often experienced during power lifts and on-field activities. The unique loading system of the MyoThrusta enabled Sam to experience a variety of joint and muscular loads through a wide range of motion, without compromising his current injuries. Appropriate sets and repetitions were manipulated to develop an array of physical and metabolic adaptations."

Sam acknowledged that the MyoThrusta was the key to him coming back this season in such good condition that Australian Under 20 selectors included him in the squad after watching him play just 20 minutes of his comeback game. “The MyoThrusta enabled me to keep doing lower body resistance work right through my rehab. Initially I was using both legs but taking most of the load on the uninjured side. When I started doing single leg movements at first I was using less weight and only a restricted range of movement on the injured side, but I gradually built up to full strength with both legs.”

When he left Brisbane’s Nudgee College at the end of 2009 Sam weighed just 89kg at a height of 196cm. Now after a year and a half of Sydney Uni Rugby’s very intensive strength-focussed training which utilises both the MyoTruk and MyoThrusta, he weighs a lean 120kg and stands 201cm, impressive measurements for a young lock. Unusually, before being selected in the Australian Under 20 squad, he had played no representative rugby and was only in the Second XV at school.

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