Exercise Science Goes High-Tech

There’s a new teacher at William Woods University: iWorx.

The Exercise Science department has brought in this new technology system that will allow students to experiment with electromyography (EMG) scans, which measure and record muscle activity, heart rate, lung function, etc.—any electrical activity created by your skeletal muscles. How does the body get better or worse through different types of exercise?

“This is a great step forward for our program,” says Dr. Marshall Robb, an Exercise Science professor at William Woods. “This equipment will change how we teach Exercise Science.”

Improving the Learning Experience

William Woods is one of the few Exercise Science departments to incorporate this equipment into their curriculum. While the system can be used in a wide variety of ways, it will play an important role in the Introduction to Exercise Physiology class, which all Sports Studies students are required to take. The machine has the capability of doing around 150 different lab activities, making it a very versatile addition to the classroom.

“Students learn best by doing,” shares Professor Robb. “In the past, we’ve explained the different theories to students, but now they can actually see them in practice. Seeing how the activities are measured will give our students more experiential learning opportunities.”

Aiding Research

The benefit of this technology extends beyond the textbook. It will also be an invaluable tool for research.

For example, faculty and students can work together to investigate if there are certain training techniques that improve forearm strength. They would take baseline data, have subjects do different types of training, then retest for improvement.

“Our classes used to develop research proposals and stop there,” says Professor Robb. “Now we can actually do the research, giving our students even more experience.”

“It’s great that we have this opportunity to get such a close look at what our muscles and body are actually doing,” says Kyle Curtis, a junior and Exercise Science major from Laddonia, Mo. “It introduces an even more scientific side that we can use for research.”

Career Opportunities

All of these opportunities will also translate into experiences that students need to obtain internships and jobs.

“I’m studying to become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, so working first-hand with this type of up-to-date technology will be very useful,” says Alexandra Bankovich ’18, an Athletic Training major from Sedalia, Mo.