Do you know the output power you produce while jumping? Sprinting? Bench-pressing? Do you know if your steps pattern is accurate while running? More importantly, do you know how to follow your progression?
iOS devices compiled with sports scientist’s research allows coaches and athletes to access great parameters about their athletic capabilities, which are the same mechanisms that professional athletes are using to follow their training!
iOS devices (for the latest versions, i.e. iPhone/iPad) allow the user to make video recordings at a level of 240 fps. This great tool allows anyone to record a particular action with an accuracy of 0.004 seconds (1 second divided by 240), meaning the movement can be analysed very precisely.
Scientists from Spain have heavily benefited from this tool: by recording some quick actions, the performance can be monitored. To be more specific, they build applications that count the number of frames for a given jump, a given bench-press, a given sprint and even running on a treadmill.
What is it useful for?
Counting the number of frames for a single jump or a single bench-press gives the time effort and by adding the weight displaced (the body-weight or the barbell) the jump’s height can be determined as well as the force and velocity respecting Newton’s law.
Making the test for different weights (by adding some weights to the barbell), to which a linear relation is obtained: the slope of this one informs the coaches if the subject produces his power with more speed or more strength! Depending on the event and the goal, the training can be individualised.
This test is made in only a few minutes, few weights and only an iPhone, the names of the apps are MyJump2 and MyPowerLift… (available on the AppStore for only a few euros/pounds).
With the same iOS principles, two others apps have been built: Runmatic and MySprint!
The first one is designed to record a runner on a treadmill, while the user has a little task to do: watching the video in slow motion, and touching the screen when their foot touches the ground while they are running.
By doing so the contact time and flight time are computed and the foot ratio right/left is made. It provides a feedback of the way we run, and will potentially prevent various types of injuries.
MySprint gives the power produced by a sprint, as well as the force and velocity.
To conclude, the technology inside the Apple devices are so powerful that it “substitutes” large, big and expensive techs in medicine labs, but not completely since they have multiple features! However it’s still quite unique to utilise these kinds of parameters with only a device that fits within your pocket!
If interested in the science and the equations behind all of these apps, there is some literature that is available in the link below.
Last but not least, all of these apps have been scientifically validated by comparing their output to the output of some special labs feature. The results have been published in many international journals.
Yann, Consultant, Leyton France