LBSU Sports Program Offers Evaluation to Help Athletes Prevent Injury
Photo by Ariana Gastelum
LBS Rowing’s athletes have been given the opportunity to be assessed by the school’s Sports Training and Research (STAR) program. These tests will help give an insight into how to prevent injuries. Jacob Bledsoe is waiting to take his core test, one of the four components of the assessment.
By Ariana Gastelum
It’s time to say, “Weigh enough!” to injuries and to start training smarter.
10 athletes from LBS Rowing were invited to take strength assessments with Long Beach State University’s Sports Training and Research (STAR) program on Jan. 29.
STAR is made up of interns studying in all different departments of kinesiology including sports medicine, nutrition, sports psychology and biomechanics. The program has been active for two years.
Sports medicine professor Dr. Mimi Nakajima and biomechanics professor Dr. James Becker supervise the entire assessment process.
Nakajima explained that assessment can be broken down into two categories: performance and clinical. For this particular project, the focus was on clinical for the purpose of preventing injuries.
“We customize the assessment to match your sport because your demand versus basketball is very different,” Nakajima said. “What we do is we go to the literature and search for all the major injuries that occur with rowing, and there is a tendency, obviously.”
The evaluation is based on flexibility, strength and core components. A lack of any one of these factors while rowing could lead to injuries.
“Lastly, the overhead squat – it’s a functional screen where you do a task, and you need to do it well,” Nakajima said. “And it also tells us how balanced you are when you’re moving. Certain muscles are tight. These things happen when you do a squat.”
LBS Rowing is the only club team that has been assessed. STAR has also worked with LBSU’s basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, track, cross country and men’s water polo teams. Each week, 10 more rowers will be evaluated.
If LBS Rowing can be free of back injuries, the team can focus on more positive goals, like medaling at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Challenge.