Sport, Exercise and Nutritional Sciences

Isocom (Muscle Imbalance)

What is it?:

An Isokinetic muscle action is defined by its performance at a constant speed or velocity. The isokinetic dynamometer is a device that allows muscle contractions to occur at a set velocity regardless of how strong the resistance applied by the individual. By recording the resistance required to counteract the force applied by the individual, the isocom can assess muscle strength through these dynamic motions. It is the preferred technique for the measurement of muscle strength.

Why is it important?:

A number of comparisons are possible on the isocom; these include bilateral comparison (strength between two limbs) and ipsilateral comparison (strength between agonist/antagonist muscles in the same limb). Thus it’s possible to determine if one limb is stronger than the other, or whether there is an imbalance between opposing muscles; either of which can be risk factor for injury. Furthermore, as we grow older, muscle strength gradually diminishes, especially in the lower body. Thus, leg strength training and periodic monitoring are important for those who wish to maintain high functioning levels in later life.

Benefits:

The isocom provides a clear and concise report based on your strength measures, which is expressed through a percentage deficit. Thus, with continuous monitoring, any improvements that occur through training will be clear and apparent. Additionally, the isocom features a number of safety measures including magnetic and mechanical stops and will tailor to your current range of motion; in comparison to other methods, it is a very safe and effective way to assess your muscle strength.

Test protocol:

For isokinetic strength testing, you will be required to wear normal sporting attire (t-shirt, shorts and trainers). After recording your height and weight, we will administer a dynamic warm up specific to the muscle groups you require to be assessed. Following this, we will start the testing process. Once you are on the isocom, there are a number of set up procedures to go through before the test begins to ensure safety. We will assess your range of motion on the machine and place mechanical stops based on these measurements, to ensure the movement of your limb will never reach an uncomfortable range. Additionally, we will make sure the limb measured in alignment, to prevent any slight twisting during the testing procedure.

Once complete, we will place a seatbelt and on you allowing us to isolate the intended muscle groups for assessment, with minimal influence from other muscles in the torso. Then, we will talk you through the test and direct you through the test protocol; this will be followed by some practice trials to allow you to get familiar with the movement. From there, the test will begin, which will consist of a number of maximal trials at a set speed. The amount of repetitions and speed(s) will be dependent upon which muscle group you are having tested. Typically, we will assess both limbs. We will provide some basic feedback immediately upon completion, however, an additional feedback document will be sent to you in the days following to allow us to process and analyse the data collected.

Duration:

1 hour

Price:

Β£150Β (inclusive of VAT)

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