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Research themes

Strength and Conditioning

CESSR researchers focus on understanding all aspects of strength and conditioning from biomechanical, physiological and psychological perspectives. In its broadest sense, our research aims to determine the factors that influence sports and exercise performance and how physical and psychological training practices influence these factors, and thus influence performance. We conduct research in five world-class laboratory environments (strength testing, physiology, neuromuscular, biomechanics and strength/exercise training laboratories) on ECU’s Joondalup Campus, as well as in situ with sports teams, institutes/academies of sport, rehabilitation centres, schools and other environments. We have particularly strong research histories in the areas of strength training for athletic performance, eccentric training for sport and health, physical training for injury prevention and rehabilitation, and the effects of warm-up on performance (including the influence of muscle stretching and the role of post-activation potentiation).

Physiology of Exercise and Sports

Our research in exercise and sport physiology centres on understanding several aspects of human physiology with a focus on exercise and sport performance. Particular areas of strength include our research into eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage and adaptation, thermoregulation, blood flow, training modalities, and neuromuscular fatigue and recovery. Our world-class facilities, collaborations with external agencies and links with elite sport organisations allow researchers within this research theme to examine a wide range of aspects important to physiological function ranging from molecular cell-signalling through to applied sports performance. Although we work in a broad range of exercise and sporting environments, we have a particular history of research in surfing, Australian Rules football, football (soccer) and cycling.

Psychology of Sport and Exercise

Researchers in this area collaborate extensively both nationally and internationally, and are interested primarily in the following three areas:

  1. relative age effects in sport (i.e. understanding the psychological effects of grouping children or older adults by chronological age in sports when ‘physical’ and/or ‘psychological’ maturation can vary significantly);
  2. motivation and commitment in sport (with a focus on understanding how to promote life-long activity and sport participation); and
  3. psychological skills development (i.e., mental imagery, goal setting, concentration, regulation of emotions, etc.) across the broad population (e.g. children, adults, coaches, teams, etc.).

Sports Biomechanics

Researchers in this area aim to understand the effects of movement technique on physical performance and injury risk in exercise and sports as well as in general activity (including movements through the urban environment). Using the latest motion capture, force recording and electromyography techniques in our world-class, purpose-built biomechanics laboratory we are able to study the responses of physical and psychological training, detraining, injury and illness on movement function, and help to optimise movement techniques in a variety of populations.

To find out more about our research in these areas, please contact the Centre Director, Dr Anthony Blazevich.

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