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February 2022

Myovolt x Osaka
University Gymnastics.

A science-led partnership for biomechanical excellence.

Gymnastics is a dynamic sport, especially at the higher levels where athletes are expected to use their own bodies to launch themselves in the air, hold themselves between two rings, putting their body under situations that would make even the most dedicated calisthenics enthusiast shudder.

The mixture of explosive and static strength means that a lot of the time an athlete is putting their body under extensive strain. Without proper warm up and recovery techniques, an athlete's body can easily be injured under the physical pressure of these impressive movements.

At the Osaka University of Health and Science in Japan, the gymnastics team is constantly training. Sessions can last up to five hours and are held six to seven days a week. At the level that the University squad performs, getting the maximum out of their warmups and recovery is paramount. The better individuals recover and prepare, the higher the quality of training which in turn leads to better performance in competitions.

It’s been four years since Toshiyuki Fujihara first discovered Myovolt. He is both Associate Professor and head coach of the Osaka University of Health and Sports Science’s gymnastics squad. In 2018 he flew into Auckland to attend the International Society of Biomechanics annual conference where Myovolt was presenting. He was Impressed with the science behind the technology and it's potential to help his squad so he took products back to Japan for athlete testing.

“Gymnasts who can prepare well for daily training have high quality training, and therefore achieve higher goals.”

Myovolt has since supplied sets of products to help the OUHS gymnastic squad improve the biomechanic output of their athletes. Since then the partnership has gone from strength to strength with Myovolt being implemented into the athlete's day-to-day training regimes.

Myovolt is used by both male and female gymnasts, although the events they train for differ. The men compete in six events, the vault, pommel horse, still rings, parallel bars, horizontal bars and the floor exercise. Females gymnasts compete in four, the vault, uneven bars, balance beam and the floor exercise. All these events require significant athletic ability and demand a mixture of flexibility, strength and technique to achieve the major dynamic movements. For example, using your momentum to launch yourself in the air, spinning and flipping to a dead stop. Or competing on two suspended rings using your shoulders and calisthenic strength to combine athletic manoeuvres with holding yourself static in the air. It should come as no surprise that injuries are common.

In gymnastics, injuries are categorised into two types, gradual onset and sudden. Sudden injuries affect the knees, ankles and lower back and can occur in routines when landing or in certain positions. The lower back especially is of particular concern for both male and female gymnasts, as spinal flexion is a major part of the sport.

In terms of the upper body, the wrists and shoulders are problematic areas in gymnastics. Gradual onset injuries are harder to pin down than sudden onset injuries. Such intensive training inevitably leads to musculoskeletal wear and tear placing athletes at risk of longer lasting debilitating conditions. Warm up and recovery is a key part of minimising the risk of injury in gymnastics.

Myovolt x Osaka
University Gymnastics.

A science-led partnership for biomechanical excellence.

Gymnastics is a dynamic sport, especially at the higher levels where athletes are expected to use their own bodies to launch themselves in the air, hold themselves between two rings, putting their body under situations that would make even the most dedicated calisthenics enthusiast shudder.

The mixture of explosive and static strength means that a lot of the time an athlete is putting their body under extensive strain. Without proper warm up and recovery techniques, an athlete's body can easily be injured under the physical pressure of these impressive movements.

At the Osaka University of Health and Science in Japan, the gymnastics team is constantly training. Sessions can last up to five hours and are held six to seven days a week. At the level that the University squad performs, getting the maximum out of their warmups and recovery is paramount. The better individuals recover and prepare, the higher the quality of training which in turn leads to better performance in competitions.

It’s been four years since Toshiyuki Fujihara first discovered Myovolt. He is both Associate Professor and head coach of the Osaka University of Health and Sports Science’s gymnastics squad. In 2018 he flew into Auckland to attend the International Society of Biomechanics annual conference where Myovolt was presenting. He was Impressed with the science behind the technology and it's potential to help his squad so he took products back to Japan for athlete testing.

Gymnasts who can prepare well for daily training have high quality training, and therefore achieve higher goals.”

Myovolt has since supplied a sets of products to help the OUHS gymnastic squad improve the biomechanic output of their athletes. Since then the partnership has gone from strength to strength with Myovolt being implemented into the athlete's day-to-day training regimes.

Myovolt is used by both male and female gymnasts, although the events they train for differ. The men compete in six events, the vault, pommel horse, still rings, parallel bars, horizontal bars and the floor exercise. Females gymnasts compete in four, the vault, uneven bars, balance beam and the floor exercise. All these events require significant athletic ability and demand a mixture of flexibility, strength and technique to achieve the major dynamic movements. For example, using your momentum to launch yourself in the air, spinning and flipping to a dead stop. Or competing on two suspended rings using your shoulders and calisthenic strength to combine athletic manoeuvres with holding yourself static in the air. It should come as no surprise that injuries are common.

In gymnastics, injuries are categorised into two types, gradual onset and sudden. Sudden injuries affect the knees, ankles and lower back and can occur in routines when landing or in certain positions. The lower back especially is of particular concern for both male and female gymnasts, as spinal flexion is a major part of the sport.

In terms of the upper body, the wrists and shoulders are problematic areas in gymnastics. Gradual onset injuries are harder to pin down than sudden onset injuries. Such intensive training inevitably leads to musculoskeletal wear and tear placing athletes at risk of longer lasting debilitating conditions. Warm up and recovery is a key part of minimising the risk of injury in gymnastics.

At OUHS, a training session starts with an hour of warm-up. From there, gymnasts will move between the specific exercise sessions designed for each of the six events.

If there is no pending competition, more emphasis is placed on basic technique and conditioning work. However, if there is an event coming up athletes are expected to ramp up their training, developing the complex movement patterns and skill sets that focus on specific muscle groups and motor functions.

It all comes down to competition. There are around ten events a year for the OUHS team and it's Prof. Fujihara's job to get the absolute best out of his athletes.

“Gymnasts who can prepare well for daily training have high quality training and therefore achieve higher goals.”

He says that implementing Myovolt into his athlete's routines was easy because they could feel the technology making a difference.

“I know that gymnasts tend to use what they feel is good. In our gym, Myovolt has been available for about two years and the gymnasts have continued using the product. If they didn’t like it, or it didn’t feel good, I’m very sure they would have stopped using it.”

The gymnasts have responded well to the product. Although it wasn’t initially programmed into warm-up regimes, Prof. Fujihara says that the athletes would often gravitate towards using the products.

"The gymnasts tend to use Myovolt for warming-up before training and relaxing specific body parts after training."

“The gymnasts tend to use Myovolt for warming-up before training and relaxing specific body parts after training.”

He says that the squad also used the products when injuries occurred. The intensive nature of gymnastics places a lot of pressure on the joints as the body is forced to rapidly stabilise itself and Myovolt products have been helpful to manage related stiffness and soreness.

“It is very helpful to relax the stiff part around the injured area”

Myovolt as a complementary tool to training and recovery is now a standard protocol at OUHS, enabling athletes to self-direct and apply the treatment as required.

The Osaka gymnastics squad has had some fantastic success over the last few years. Competing in the second division of the all-Japan college contest in 2020, the team achieved a first place in the men's overall competition, with two students getting first and second place for their individual efforts. The female team came second overall in 2020 and went one place better in 2021 winning the competition, with athletes also taking out the top three individual spots.

The podium finishes across two years are indicative of how hard the Osaka squad trains and the strength and conditioning expertise that Prof. Fujihara brings to the team. Myovolt continues to be an important aspect of the OUHS gymnastics program and we are proud to partner the team to support their long-term performance goals.

At OUHS, a training session starts with an hour of warm-up. From there, gymnasts will move between the specific exercise sessions designed for each of the six events.

If there is no pending competition, more emphasis is placed on basic technique and conditioning work. However, if there is an event coming up athletes are expected to ramp up their training, developing the complex movement patterns and skill sets that focus on specific muscle groups and motor functions.

It all comes down to competition. There are around ten events a year for the OUHS team and it's Prof. Fujihara's job to get the absolute best out of his athletes.

“Gymnasts who can prepare well for daily training have high quality training and therefore achieve higher goals.”

He says that implementing Myovolt into his athlete's routines was easy because they could feel the technology making a difference.

“I know that gymnasts tend to use what they feel is good. In our gym, Myovolt has been available for about two years and the gymnasts have continued using the product. If they didn’t like it, or it didn’t feel good, I’m very sure they would have stopped using it.”

The gymnasts have responded well to the product. Although it wasn’t initially programmed into warm-up regimes, Prof. Fujihara says that the athletes would often gravitate towards using the products.

“The gymnasts tend to use Myovolt for warming-up before training and relaxing specific body parts after training.”

“The gymnasts tend to use Myovolt for warming-up before training and relaxing specific body parts after training.”

He says that the squad also used the products when injuries occurred. The intensive nature of gymnastics places a lot of pressure on the joints as the body is forced to rapidly stabilise itself and Myovolt products have been helpful to manage related stiffness and soreness.

“It is very helpful to relax the stiff part around the injured area.”

Myovolt as a complementary tool to training and recovery is now a standard protocol at OUHS, enabling athletes to self-direct and apply the treatment as required.

The Osaka gymnastics squad has had some fantastic success over the last few years. Competing in the second division of the all-Japan college contest in 2020, the team achieved a first place in the men's overall competition, with two students getting first and second place for their individual efforts. The female team came second overall in 2020 and went one place better in 2021 winning the competition, with athletes also taking out the top three individual spots.

The podium finishes across two years are indicative of how hard the Osaka squad trains and the strength and conditioning expertise that Prof. Fujihara brings to the team. Myovolt continues to be an important aspect of the OUHS gymnastics program and we are proud to partner with the team to support their long-term performance goals.