The Los Angeles Rams have been one of the least-injured NFL teams in the past five years.
One way they stay healthy is by tracking every players' steps analyzing their step count.
The team's head doctor says each players' workout is scaled depending on how many steps they take.
Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the first team to do it last year. For the Rams, there is added pressure as relative newcomers to the city, having returned to Los Angeles in 2016 after a 21-year stint in St. Louis, Missouri.
So far, their time in LA has been fruitful. They've made playoffs four of the six years since the move and reached the Super Bowl twice after qualifying in 2019. A big reason why is because they've been one of the NFL's top-three least-injured teams every year since 2016.
The Los Angeles-based Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who started his career with the Rams in the late 80s and became the team's head physician in 2016, he says tracking every players' number of steps throughout the day has been key for injury prevention.
ElAttrache told Insider that the team's training and coaching staff then uses that data to design a workout that reduces unnecessary trauma stress on their joints.
"All that stuff needs to be anticipated and planned out ahead of time," ElAttrache told Insider. "If you know exactly what these guys are doing every day, and you know what it takes for them to accomplish something in practice ... there's some necessary stuff during the day that they have to be involved in, but it's unnecessary to do some of the things that you might never even think of."
ElAttrache said the step counts even factor into how the team formats their practice drills on their training field, as they try to limit the number of steps a player has to take to get from one drill to another.
Step count plays a bigger part in our physical output than we realize while we're walking
Walking feels like a passive and somewhat mundane activity on the surface, but steps can still be a much bigger part of a person's workout routine if they take enough of them.
Most people burn 30-40 calories per 1,000 steps they walk, meaning they'll burn 300 to 400 calories by walking 10,000 steps per day, Insider previously reported. A person's weight also factors into how much energy they expend with each step, and NFL players who can weigh up to 300 lbs expend much more energy per step than the average person.
Walking is also a low-impact exercise and doesn't produce as much stress on joints and ligaments as lifting weights or running. Still, steps can add up, and combined with the physical workload of NFL players that already includes daily lifting and running can lead to a player being unknowingly physically overworked during the football season, and increase their risk of injury
ElAttrache and Rams head trainer Reggie Scott use GPS technology to track each players' step count, and use technology and advanced training analytics to calculate a safe workout and practice routine that accounts for their joint health.
"All that stuff is considered and we've had some remarkable success with guys where we've been able to stretch out productivity," ElAttrache said.
Read the original article on Insider