Wayde Van Niekerk
“I’m able to train each leg individually with live feedback. I can improve my strength while doing rehab, and exactly identify up to which point im able to absorb a load”
In this first instalment, we would like to introduce you to the Grucox, a cutting edge treatment tool for conditioning, rehabilitation and improving performance. It was developed at the Sports Science Institute in Cape Town, in conjunction with renowned knee orthopaedic surgeon Dr Willem Van Der Merwe.
The machine has in recent months been in the media, after being used by Olympic champion Wayde Van Niekerk as part of his recovery following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery to his knee.
So what makes this bike so phenomenal?
- It can function like a normal bike (concentric), or can work eccentrically whereby the leg muscles provide power/tension while lengthening.
- The continuous passive movement (CPM) function turns the bike peddles on its own, at any speed or either direction, which is great to improve stiff ankle, knee or hip joints with lower impact or tension to painfull soft tissue. The patient can simply let the machine do the work, or apply as much pressure as they feel comfortable.
- The Grucox also provides great exercise data on things like muscle output, and individual leg testing. This makes it ideal for either competitive/elite level athletes, or for rehabilitation following simple or major injuries and surgery.
You may be asking, what does this mean? What’s so great about eccentric vs normal concentric exercise anyway?
- Resisting an opposing force allows you to push up to twice as much as you could concentrically, aiding strength gain.
- Loading muscles while lengthening them during training lowers injury risks.
- While training, your heart rate remains lower than when doing concentric exercise.
- There appears to be more fat burning benefits post training
So what exercise benefits are there?
- Joint impact is lower, allowing injured leg joints or muscles to exercise sooner.
- As the heart rate is generally lower with eccentric vs concentric activity, this is great news for those people looking to start with light/basic exercise, as it could allow you to train for longer.
- The CPM option allows us to focus on regaining lower limb joint mobility as quickly as possible following injury or surgery.
- Being a able to isolate and only train one leg at a time means we can individualise training.
- The muscle lab function allows us to monitor muscular output and progress, making it ideal for tracking performance during general exercise or with recovery post injury.
- Training can also be done in a standing position, adding a balance and proprioceptive component to the session.
Within our practice, the Grucox is either used as part of our rehab sessions, or can be booked for individual sessions. Feel free to contact us for any specific information. To keep up with some of the latest info check out @grucox on twitter, grucox on Instagram or visit www.grucox.com.