Unleash Your Inner Athlete: The HK HUB Reviews Joint Dynamics
It’s a pretty fair bet to say that you are less active now than when you were younger. It’s probably also fair to guess that a little too long is spent sat down doing nothing each day. We all know the basics; eat healthier, drink less and exercise more. Easier said than done, isn’t it?
Intermittently one of our friends or colleagues sets out to change that, often by signing up for a 10km, trail run or something similar. Very quickly they get the bug and start training, a lot. Fast forward a month or two and it turns out that the result of ego and unrealistic aspirations normally results in a spell on the physio’s table and eventually going back to square one.
Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. There is help at hand with the team at Joint Dynamics. The company hosts a plethora of sporting specialists including Osteopaths, Physiotherapists, Stretch Therapists and a Training Manager to cover all aspects of taking you from zero to hero. Or even making you a hero 2.0…
The company focuses on injury prevention, run programming, testing services, strength and conditioning, recovery and nutrition using the latest technology and methods to help you no matter which camp you sit in, be that motivation, injury prevention or improvement.
To understand what all this means, two of the HK HUB team have recently put Joint Dynamics through its paces (or perhaps that should be the other way around) to understand what they provide for both the beginner/returning athlete and also for the more experienced protagonist. And it’s very interesting…
Beginners or Returning Athlete
I am not a natural athlete, in fact, I would go so far as to say that I don’t really like exercising, but I go through the motions because I know I should. I’ve always envied those that enjoy running, and although I regularly get on the treadmill for 20 minutes at the start of a gym session, I’m usually left feeling as though I’m not really making any improvements in time or distance. After trying and failing numerous times to find my running mojo, it was time to involve the professionals to see if there was any hope for me ever becoming a runner.
When embarking with any fitness challenge, it’s worth establishing your baseline fitness, condition and likelihood for potential injuries to ensure you can make the most of your training plan. This is what the Performance Testing package at Joint Dynamics is all about – involving the experts to analyse, assess and advise to help you meet your goal.
The experience began with a relaxed chat with Exercise Physiologist, Jess, who is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the assessments and training plans for everyone from elite athletes to absolute beginners.
The first fun part of the process is to experience the Bod Pod – a state of the art machine that analyses body composition (fat, muscle and lung volume) and your metabolic rate. It may not be the most flattering thing to strip down to your undies, don a shower cap and sit in a giant egg, but the data it provides gives the Joint Dynamics team an accurate picture of your body type and composition. The numbers have given me a very helpful insight into why, despite exercising, I’m still a little above my ideal weight – eat less and move more – it’s not rocket science but seeing it in black and white is motivating!
After the Bod Pod assessment, it was time to meet with Osteopath Rick, for the two part Gait Analysis test. The first part of this involved testing my flexibility in all directions to see where there was stiffness, imbalances and issues that could explain why running is a challenge. This showed some interesting results, which I won’t go into here, but have helped me understand a bit more about various twinges and aches that I suffer from time to time.
For the final part of the analysis, I jumped on the treadmill and ran for around 5-10 minutes with Rick and Jesse analysing my gait with the assistance of a camera. Combining the data obtained from the flexibility test with the results of the treadmill run highlighted that I have some definite areas to work on to improve flexibility, stride, and strength as well as hopefully reduce the risk of injury. The simple and straightforward explanations that the team provided were enlightening and have given me plenty to work on to improve not only my running style, speed and endurance, but also general all around posture, flexibility and strength which are all important for reducing aches and pains.
A follow up session with Osteopath, Rick has provided me with some tailored exercises and stretches to focus on my problem areas. Now it’s up to me to implement those exercises and be rigorous about incorporating his recommendations into day to day life. I’m pleased to say that after only a few days, I’ve seen results in that I have been able to run faster and for longer on the treadmill. Maybe there’s a runner in there after all? I will be following up with the Joint Dynamics team in a few months and taking the tests and measurements again to assess improvements – looking forward to seeing the results!
Go on, admit it to yourself. You exercise a reasonable amount, or as much as modern life allows, but you’ve watched sport on TV and seen all the science that gets applied to the professionals and you’ve wondered. You’ve wondered what those sports scientists would find with you and how much better you could be if a little of that knowledge could be applied to you. Well now you can….
As a runner I have tended to do just that. Run. Sometimes quickly, sometimes for longer. Heart rate monitors are interesting, but not something I have used with any real training goal in mind. When thinking about going out for a run, or training for an event, or even racing, it has been about putting one foot in front of the other.
It turns out that there is a lot more to it than that. The gait analysis offered by Joint Dynamics is actually a fascinating process which begins with putting you on a treadmill and videoing how you run whilst specialists look at your body form whilst running at different speeds. The analysis can highlight imbalances, quirks in running style, or even point towards likely trouble spots. When combined with a flexibility analysis, it quickly highlights the parts of the body not working and the other areas needing to compensate. In my case it actually explained that certain trouble areas of mine are actually the result of stiff ankles, which was news to me!
That said, up until this point it’s just data, which does provide for interesting chat at the water cooler, but doesn’t really change anything. This is where the team really come into their own. By compiling all of this analysis, they tailor exercises, stretches, warm-ups and training ideas to correct all of these niggles over time. Never have I left a specialist after a few hours with such detailed and personalised input that I stand a realistic chance of implementing.
You can even combine this with a VO2 Max test to give you some real bragging rights amongst your friends. Sorry, I mean actually know what heart rate you (and not just someone of your age) should be training at to get the most out of every session.
The aim is simple, maximise what you have and minimise the potential for injury and get the most out of your training along the way. From a wide range of specialists and different exercise methods that I’ve seen over the years, nothing comes anywhere close for the everyday athlete as Joint Dynamics.
- BodPod: Initial Consultation (involves calibration of equipment to the individual): $700. Ongoing Consultations (no calibration required): $550
- VO2 Max Testing: VO2 Max Testing on bike or treadmill: $1000.00
- Gait Analysis: Testing completed by Exercise Physiologist with Gait Analysis done by osteopath or physiotherapist: $1400
- Functional Movement Assessment: Testing completed by Exercise Physiologist with Gait Analysis done by osteopath or physiotherapist: $1400
Joint Dynamics are offering HK HUB readers a 10% discount when combining two testing services. Perform all four tests for a 20% discount overall. Just mention the HK Hub when making your appointment.
1. Beginners or Returning
If you are coming back from injury or if you have just always wanted to try running for its benefits physically and mentally, Joint Dynamics aims to help you on your journey. Focusing on injury prevention and motivation taking you from 0-5 km.
If you are one of the growing Hong Kongers who classifies themselves as a “runner”, whether it be trail, triathlon or road and you want to improve your performance (distance, time) the Joint Dynamics professionals are available to help with the jump. Covers injury prevention, run programming, testing services, nutrition, strength and conditioning, recovery.
At the sharp edge of the performance curve if you are looking to gain an advantage over your competition Joint Dynamics provide the best available technology to assist you get the edge you are looking for.