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West Ham players undergo special tests at UEL health centre

PUBLISHED: 09:39 03 October 2012 | UPDATED: 09:50 03 October 2012

West Ham's Matt Taylor in the Bod

West Ham's Matt Taylor in the Bod

Archant

Almost the entire West Ham United first team took part in a series of special tests at the University of East London.

The tests were intended to give them the upper hand this season, having recently re-entered the upper echelons of league football.

The team are hoping that specialist data gleaned from a series of tests the players will undergo at UEL’s School of Health, Sports and Bioscience could help keep them in the Barclays Premier League for the long-term.

Star players, including defender Winston Reid, midfielder Matt Taylor, goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and striker Ricardo Vaz Te took part in tests to measure hip flexibility, ‘landing mechanics’ and ‘single leg function’. They also all submitted to a stint in the University’s Bod Pod, a futuristic looking isolation chamber, which measures body fat and lean muscle mass.

Monty Columbo, West Ham’s strength and conditioning coach, said: “We have tests we can do at our training ground but what we’re going to get from coming here today is really good biomechanical video-analysed data which we can use to individualise training and fitness programmes. We hope to see a significant improvement over the season from the players using this kind of exercise.

“It’s brilliant to have facilities like this we can use. It can only be a good thing for West Ham and the University of East London to be working together.”

Matt Taylor, said: “The big thing we’re trying to do this year is to deal with injuries before they happen. We’re doing a lot here today to find out what parts of our bodies need strengthening. Once the findings are put forward to the medical team we will each have a specific injury prevention plan, adapting our individual training programmes accordingly.”

Dr Nick Bourne, project lead for UEL, said: “A number of our final year students are doing research projects with West Ham, all designed to give feedback to the coaches and players to enhance their performance. West Ham is the number one football club in East London so it’s a logical partnership.”

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