Closed Kinetic Chain Exercise for Joint Rehabilitation was the title of a Rehabilitation Workshop that I was invited to yesterday. It took place at the University of the Witwatersrand Sports Science Institute and introduced me to Reboundology and a quite extraordinary piece of kit called Kangoo Jumps.
Kangoo Jumps are a Swiss designed boot that almost defies description – the nearest that I can come to is – a Ski boot with an oversized doughnut lying on its side as a sole!
They have the ability to reduce the impact force to the ground by up to 80%. This patented Impact Protection System utilises the principles and practice of closed chain kinetics.
Basically, the difference between open and closed chain kinetics is that in open chain there is still some movement in part of the limb, this allows additional twists or rotations to affect other body parts. In the closed chain, the part is stabilised (eg foot or hand) against a hard surface. It’s actually more complicated, but this is what I understand at present.
Rebound exercise is different due to the following factors: During rebound exercise; We are opposing gravity and acceleration: Acceleration in the vertical plane develops a greater G-force: All these forces come together at the bottom of the bounce: Cells have to work harder to maintain their position in space: This explains why trampolinists have extra unexplained strength.
Kangoo Jumps utilise these principles by allowing you to jump up and down, whilst concentrating your body weight through your centre of gravity.
I was able to test the theory in practice when we were put through an exercise session. I had a great time bouncing around the gym, being guided in various exercises. The first thing I became aware of was that my posture improved immediately, I stood up straighter and my core lower abdominal muscles were getting a workout! My heart rate went up quite quickly too. In addition, yesterday and more importantly, today, I don’t have any muscle soreness or stiffness.
Where you will be asking is the Science? There have been many studies worldwide, but there is ongoing research underway at the University of the Witwatersrand. Have a look on the website www.kangoojumps.co.za
Reboundology has also been the subject of considerable research by N.A.S.A
The application of this technology is for rehabilitation as well as strengthening. (You would be surprised who is using them!) For example they will improve balance, co-ordination and agility; improve foot alignment; increase overall muscular tone. They stimulate cellular bone rebuilding ability. The potential application in managing arthritis is an exciting thought.
Closed chain kinetics using Kangoo Jumpssseems to me to be offering a new clinical modality and challenge to our current way of thinking. You can be any age from 6 to 90! I can’t wait to start rebounding!
Fitting children with shoes can be really difficult and is often unpleasant for all involved. That includes brothers, sisters and fathers hanging around nearby! This means that the responsibility for getting the correct usually lies with Mum. The trauma increases due to the fact that in South Africa, there are virtually no shops who know how to measure children’s feet and fit the correct size of shoe.
Some stores have had measuring boards available in the shoe section for some years, but using it was left to the customer. At the same time there was no guarantee that the size system on the board matched the size system of the shoes. Anyone who has bought sports shoes/trainers recently will know that they have three or four different size numbers on the tongue of the shoe. This is because the shoes are made in Asia for sale all over the world where the basic unit of measurement differs – including different centimetre units.
In an attempt to bring some order and science into the art of shoe fitting, the South African Podiatry Association (SAPA) has been working with various manufacturers and retailers to establish standards for footwear in this country. There is a committee of experts headed by a podiatrist who has done ground-breaking original research into the feet of South African women. This committee assesses lasts(the plastic shape around which a shoe is built) and footwear design, against a checklist based on this scientific research.
One retailer is Woolworths and if you buy your child’s shoes there – although you will have to fit them yourself – you will see certain styles have the SAPA approval logo on the green tag. Look out for other large retailers getting involved in 2008.