Highlights from the episode:
- Best technology for assessing symmetry
- How important is communication for athlete buy-in of technology
- What their services look like
- How often they see an ACL athlete
- How to reach Chris Perkin
Jack: Director of West Coast Health and High Performance located in Perth, Chris Perkin. His topic is going to be how to best combine technology to assist with injury prevention and ultimately high performance. Welcome, Chris.
Chris: Yes. Thanks Jack and thanks crew. Second time, lucky here. Appreciate being on. It’s good to hear everyone with the passion that got for what they do. Really enjoying it.
Jack: A 100% mate. Well, let’s dive right in. What technology do you find most effective for assessing symmetry?
Chris: Yeah, I guess coming from the background, we’re all comes from sports teams backgrounds, and taking that into the private world. I guess we’re lucky where we go with the teams that they’ve got the affordability of everything.
And we’re using the technology that can afford our high performance ended lucky to have ACA Uni link with it and actually at the Eagle center, so available to the public. So we’ve got things like DEXA scan, VO2max machine for running, Biodex machine and you know, probably, but our force plates.
So there’s a whole bunch of things I think we can use. And it just depends on what you have access to. And what I love is trying to figure out. You know how accessible this is, we can help other clinics get these information, take it back to their own sort of workouts and then use it and then followed lighter. See how much improvement there is.
But look, I guess force platforms are probably more accessible for the high performing centers and I reckon the force platforms are a great wide measuring a number of things, a whole bunch of things, and whether which type you have, doesn’t really matter, but giving you dynamic stuff with, you know, jumping, hopping, counter jump movement, drop jumps, those type of things.
Looking at the pay power you can get out of that, but also the rider falls development. No hearing the big, important part of speed being a big injury prevention and performance. How can we improve on speed of some of the athletes that have might coming back from injuries that are almost there, but their rate of force development, isn’t quite there on one leg or their push off, not their own leg.
You pick that up very nicely on some of the force platform stuff. And then it makes a rehab process. Just a little bit more structured and achievable. And then like, I will remeasure this rate of force development after these hop drills, all these spring drills, all these fly drills, and then whack two weeks later, you’ve got this 30% improvement that they see on the screen.
And that gives everyone a bit of energy, or if you haven’t changed, then we need a thought out shit. And actually you get a bit of program together. So that’s, a suppose putting us all the accountability so, force plates is certainly one of those things. You know, the DEXA scan we use, there’s a bit of research in AFL that if you’ve got a percentage body fat of less than 12% and this is just coming out through one of the PhD guys at the clinic. You lessen 12%, actually, you’re probably three times more likely. The study gave me, to miss two or more games of injury compared to if you’re less than 12%. So more than 12%, you’re more likely to get injured and missed two or more games.
There you go. That’s the standard to remember. So there’s not, but that’s a high level performance. I mean, everyone’s going to come outside of those that bell curve, but that’s the number that Callum who’s doing his criteria at the moment. Have a chapter about sports science fell off.
Jack: Would athletes was part of the study.
Chris: Well, this is the West Coast Eagles squads. He’s sort of doing it, using that and bone density measures to look at performance over the last couple of years or injury over the last couple of year’s performance. But it wouldn’t be a good one at the moment.
So, you know, you’ve got, your measurement tools out on the force plates. You’ve got the DEXA scan dynamometers which obviously we all use in the clinic and in the physio clinics. Great measures to look at anything you want to look at. So, hamstrings, a big number one AFL injury. So from an injury prevention point of view, hammy is of course, you know, we’ve got the NordBord.
If you’re lucky enough to have one of those, you know, a lot of clubs have them, but otherwise we’ve got your isometric hammy. You can do any range using a dynamometer, and they’re really accessible. Some of them pretty cheap now. Yeah, it’s three or $400 for some of the cheaper ones where you use the yaxit system, which is great.
The Eagles use the develop system. You know, you boys are familiar with all that stuff, but you know, it’s a great way of accountability and measuring, you know, when you think something’s weakened, you’re assessing it, but then all of a sudden you’ve got a 40% deficit on a number. It makes a big difference on their measure, on putting a program together and measuring that and re measuring. And that’s always important in the concept of, you know, getting the performance side of things, going linked with injury.
But even not with injury, you know, as injury prevention, if you’ve got a 40% difference, then on a dynamometer then on hammy or a quarter and have doctor, then we know that can link with injury. Certainly are prevented, but can’t link with it.
So on top of that, Jack, I guess the Biodex is something that, again, we’ll use for some research in, you know, we picked up a 40% deficit and a hamstring the other day who, a guy at, join, aspire to be an AFL player. You know, you out of your 12 trying to get into a pick next year. So you did a full screen on him with things and the Biodex picked up a 40% difference.
It’s not going to prevent injury, but it’s going to reduce his risk for injury. We know that prevention of things a little bit difficult, but we try and reduce as much risk as we can. And I guess that’s why everyone hear about strength conditioning performance. That’s what we’re doing. We’re reducing injury risk every time.
And we’re getting the people to the max strength or max speed and sprint work. We were trying to prevent injury, but it’s more reducing risk, I guess. And preparing like a prize that we are doing that will reduce the risk.
Jack: Yeah. You mentioned like a non-professional athlete that you’re working with from, a buying perspective, when you do have the luxury of tech. I can imagine that young athlete, when I saw that gap, or however you explained to the athlete, there’s a bit of a deficit here would be pretty motivated to make a change when they’re seeing that objective measure. How important do you think that is? If you do have the ability to use tech, but also how important is it your communication with the athlete when there is a fair gap?
Chris: Yeah, a 100%. I guess the communication is a key and the reassurance that wake him up to change. I mean, that’s why we’re all in the business we’re in, because we know that we can have an impact. And if you had the energy that you’ve got from what are you there. As shine, very clearly you’re going to inspire people to actually work.
So you have to actually put them in that environment where it’s a bit more, you know, not just coming into the normal gym, you’re here to work your ass off, to get a result. Otherwise, why are you here? You know, so if there’s a deficit, they’re driven enough to do a screen or is he going to work at it.
But at the same time, the other funny thing is in the sport we play, you’ve got to be out of a good 40 plow. Goodbye can be applied I tell you so we can get them all up to these levels and give them their best opportunity. But then that’s where the performance side of things we need to get, you know, the skill set and linking coaches and mentors in that aspect that can help them become better.
Yeah, skills in an athlete of the sport they’re doing, particular AFL because, you know, I’m in love that. Well, the recruiters will look like I have, as opposed to looking at their time trial and their strength to a squat, I’d be looking at how I have apply.
But the performance level, give yourself your best opportunity to go to that next level. This is why you’re doing what we’re doing. And I work hard on it and yeah, producing some KPIs for them to work on. You know, the other one was speed sort of things. I’m interested to see how the guys get the speed or that the running speed into these athletes in the clinic, because you know, we’ve got a Woodway treadmill we’re going and lucky enough to have this which gives us force plate or has a force plate built.
It’s got a horizontal and vertical forces, stride length, you’re getting stride right. And these aspects are, give a great number, total isometry number on like, what’s the difference there. And the big picture is the problem-solving from my point of view is niggles or performances. How does it relate and mixed together.
Because you can get all the different technologies you like, but as I’m putting it together, and probably like one of the lads said before sitting down at with the athlete, how are you going to actually put that together? Now we found that with your school program or your uni program, or your club sport, where can we diarize this into your program. And they might have cut something out, but you know, we need to put X, Y, Z in your program. And this is where this is a challenge I think that’s one of the big challenges on that.
Jack: And for the athletes that you’re working, the non-professional athletes, how does that look? Is that a weekly membership? Do they pay for a consultation with yourself to get this screening talk us through?
Chris: Yeah. Well, we’ve looked at a lot of the websites you guys run, and we haven’t got as many coaches, but it’s more of a physio based clinic turning into the performance aspects. That’s where we’re going now. We’ve got a sports science, give us sports science guys working hard.
And yeah, developing that energy and the coaches, I think energy is early and care that you want to actually do the right thing. So we’re at that stage now, no membership is just, we’re doing a lot of performance assessments for other groups. So, whether it be Western Force and other club, ultimately sillies after the Eagles to do for that to travel too far, to have all their testing done, but it’s for the public.
So, you know, the other sporting teams in Perth will come along and test an ICO client 12 months down the track, you know, from the Western Force, whose coming back ticking a box on Biodex, sticking a box on your muscle size. You can see on a DEXA, if there’s a deficiency still, most of the groups got force plates to chip.
But I guess that’s, that’s what we’re trying to use as much of the technology that exists to compliment all those other aspects of training and plyometrics and return to speed and volume, and then not running that done. So getting as ticking, all the boxes on this return to play sort of aspect when they are injured or just if it’s performance point of view.
If you want to reduce the, the interviews cause much of Baltimore and get that top level. So you ask sprinting and you are working at your max, whether you’d be doing the running the gym, whatever it might be there. And if you’ve got your elite strength that matches that. So getting kids and people that something goes spider, I think makes them work harder. Yeah.
Jack: Oh, a hundred percent. And you might be at when the time’s right. You won’t be hard to find our strength and conditioning coaches that want to work in your facility. I’m sure with the ACL athletes there, how often would you see him how often would he come in for assessment?
Chris: Yeah. Well, a lot of surgeons probably like to do a we have a couple of surgeons working with us.
They like to do a three, six and nine months. And obviously you’re not doing too much max stuff in three, three months. I actually like to use the force plates really early in the stages when they actually started the weight big properly. So they’re normalizing their gait, normalizing their feeling of squat and weightbearing and, you know, using the floss bands or the actual you know, air bands with the blood flow restriction stuff early.
And again, you know, the strength and conditioning world have been using that for quite a while, and we’re just getting more and more evidence to support it. Yeah. Yeah, forced plates early in the piece or reckon to get activation with our ACL patients, the highest risk is not bothering the ACL, it it’s popping their hammy when you’re doing it, strength testing, which or had a younger physio in the other day, who we did a lot of dynamometry test on is hammy it 45 degrees, knee flection, and we fell a little pop.
So, you know, we both worked together and said, well, there it goes. There’s your little bit of restraint or the graph that hamstring. ACL is good but you know, so you’ve got to be careful where you put the strength measures in. So and that’s why it’s a graduated process or measuring that over time. But you know, three, six and eight, 12 months, 12 months, the big one where they the clubs and the surgeons athletes, if not six months, because some of our athletes, we want to push back earlier.
You know, the evidence is mixed where you, you bring them back. But if we can tick as many boxes as we can at 8, 9, 10, months, show the athlete as much information as most of the candidate that tick the box within 10% or the other side, or they’re better than the other side. It gives them confidence and confidence and reassurance in an athlete is probably more, is probably worth more than some of the other matter of fact, as we say, they have to be confident, go into training comps and push himself with speed.
And, you know, we’ve got technology to measure GPS. We’ve got all those factors and by the confidence is really important, I guess technology ticks those boxes for them as well. I’m hoping that makes sense.
Jack: Yeah. A hundred percent. I mean, yeah, like you said, if you’re, if you’ve got all these objective measures no doubt. If they’re in favor of the athlete coming from a long-term injury, it’s only going to boost your confidence, isn’t it?
Chris: Yeah. And I guess, you know, there are tax way clinical side of things for masters physios. That you’ve got a good musculoskeletal screen. You’re looking at where the imbalances are.
You might be able to leg press 200, but you can’t do a site clam or work, you keep external rotators. And sometimes when you say that as you know, not a massive factor, but combined with good strength, you do need those sort of details of you know, keep rotator weakness that we can measure on dynamometers as well.
So I reckon all those little things add up to be a pro, I guess you’re trying to tick all those boxes. And have those seems to go. So hopefully that makes sense.
Jack: Thank you for jumping on Chris. And for those that are listening in practitioners, physios, sports scientists, like you mentioned, and certainly addition coaches in the future, as well as of course, athletes that want to be assessed in your facility and trade about yourself, where’s the best place to get in contact?
Chris: Yeah. Well, clearly not as good on socials or on the technology on the computer, but yeah, West Coast website, West Coast Health and High Performance, and Instagram’s pretty good on @westcoasthealth_hp.
But you know, you look up names anywhere in your foreign people. So yeah. Love to love to get anyone in there and, and help them you know, get to the point I want to get to them. And love the passionate ones showing what they’re doing. So thanks for having us on mate.
Jack: Awesome. Thanks for coming on the Chris. Absolute pleasure, mate.
Chris: Yeah, it’s been great. I will listen to the chat soon.