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Port Adelaide Footballer Gets Finals-Fit with Precor®

In arguably the upset of the 2013 AFL season, Port Adelaide has secured a semi-final spot against Geelong having defeated Collingwood at the MCG by a convincing 24 points last Saturday night.

The focus now is on taking each game as it comes, and keeping the players match fit. But with some carrying injuries, low impact training options are essential.

According to Head of Strength and Power at Port Adelaide, Ian McKeown, the club’s new Precor EFX crosstrainer is an essential part of his low impact regime.

“It’s really important for us to have the option to continue high intensity work without impact. Running on the field puts enormous demands on the players’ knees, hips, ankles and backs, so being able to use a crosstrainer to maintain fitness without running is really helpful.”

“It’s ideal for our injured players or those who are carrying longer term conditions because it is weight bearing. This means it provides a stepping stone to getting back into running – it’s not completely impact free like a bike – so it is about getting them closer to what they need to do on the field,” said Ian.

“We also use low impact training a lot in the off-season – it’s important for the players’ bodies to have a break but also crucial that they maintain a certain level of fitness to hit the season hard when it starts.”

Take forward Daniel Stewart. With an on-going hip condition to manage, Daniel needs a low impact option that will challenge him and keep him at elite level fitness.

“I’ve got a problem with my hips, so to keep up my fitness our new crosstrainer is perfect. It is low impact and can mimic a running movement, which is really important given that’s what we do more or less for the whole 80 minutes of a game.”

“By training like this, my hips are not aggravated during training, I can maintain my fitness level without impact, and best of all it means I can still play,” said Daniel.

“I love that the Precor EFX crosstrainer really feels similar to running, whereas other machines I have tried don’t achieve this. I also like being able to adjust the cross ramp which means I can either focus on specific muscle groups or do interval training which is a great way to challenge myself and improve my fitness,” said Daniel.

Low impact training isn’t just important for elite athletes – it can be beneficial for any exerciser who is carrying an injury or an on-going complaint. Having invented the elliptical fitness cross trainer in 1995, Precor has patented the biomechanical design of its crosstrainers, ensuring they mimic the natural human running stride.

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that when subjects exercised at the same rate of perceived exertion on a treadmill or elliptical device, oxygen consumption and energy expenditure were similar in spite of a higher heart rate on the elliptical. This data indicates that during cross training or non-competition specific exercise, an elliptical device is an acceptable alternative to a treadmill[1]. This highlights that not only are crosstrainers valuable for training when injured, they can actually help clients achieve results as well.

Ian’s advice for training exercisers who may be carrying injuries or on-going conditions?

“My message for the fitness industry is that you want people to be as athletic and fit as possible, so the more tools you have the better. The cross trainer is excellent because you can provide clients with a high intensity workout in a low impact environment.

“This is particularly useful for anyone training older clients who cannot run or those at the end of a sports career who’ve got joint problems – you can work them hard but without the impact and the negative effects of running.

“Also remember and remind your clients that injuries can be an opportunity to do something different, perhaps a type of training or a focus on a muscle group that you might not otherwise have considered. The message should be don’t give up just because you can’t run,” said Ian.

[1] Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2010 Jun;24(6):1643-9.”Comparison of energy expenditure on a treadmill vs. an elliptical device at a self-selected exercise intensity” by Brown GA, Cook CM, Krueger RD, Heelan KA.


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