Biodynamics Center provides hands-on research opportunities.

Students at the Biodynamics Center at Armstrong Atlantic State University helped conduct the first study measuring impact forces associated with various pushup exercises, as well as the first study documenting the effect that adjusting the angle of the foot has on muscles during calf raises.

The facility, which is located in Ashmore Hall, conducts groundbreaking multi-disciplinary research in sports medicine, offering hands-on research opportunities for graduate students and undergraduates alike. A recent study examining the loading of weight between limbs during jumps provided vital data to help athletes prevent injuries.

“The Biodynamics Center measures various aspects of human performance and movement,” said Bryan Riemann, Ph.D., ATC, FNATA, director of the Biodynamics Center and associate professor of Sports Medicine at Armstrong. “We are interested in providing data to support rehab techniques and exercise programs.”

The center, which originally opened in January 2008, is actively used by sports medicine and physical therapy students, and typically has as many as eight different student projects going on at any given time. Students capture and analyze data using state-of-the-art equipment, answering a wide variety of questions about the human body's performance in the process.

Armstrong Sports Medicine graduate students and faculty recently presented eleven submissions to the American College of Sports Medicine—an all-time record--based on research at the Biodynamics Center. “To have nine students present their findings as lead author at the international meeting in San Francisco in May is amazing,” he said. “The Biodynamics Center gives students the chance to look at data critically and to get hands-on experience.”

Jayme Eitner, who recently graduated with a master's degree in Sports Medicine, enjoyed opportunities to conduct research at the Biodynamics Center as a graduate student. She evaluated the effectiveness of standing heel raises with various foot placements, and examined the benefits of neoprene knee wraps to support weighted squats.

“You learn so much about yourself when you're challenged with implementing all you have learned from years of classroom work,” she said of her research projects in the Biodynamics Center at Armstrong. “It's a priceless experience.”

Adrianne Phillips, who is currently pursuing a M.S. in Sports Medicine at Armstrong, agrees. “Working in the Biodynamics Center has opened my eyes to many different career options,” she said. “When I first entered the program, I did not realize how important research is in the sports medicine field. Research can expose bad exercise practices to decrease the risk of injury or get an injured player recovered and back on the field.”