Human Performance Center

The UCSF Human Performance Center at the Orthopaedic Institute helps athletes of all levels better understand how they perform, how to prevent injuries and how to optimize efficiency in sports. Our goal is to safely maximize function and performance so athletes can achieve their personal goals.

The center's team of health professionals offers a wide range of expertise in sports medicine. We apply technologies used in professional sports, such as biomechanical and physiological tools, to evaluate athletes, including those with injuries or chronic conditions such as arthritis. Depending on individual need, the center can provide a comprehensive evaluation or a specific recommendation for training and activity.

To contact the center, please send an email to [email protected].

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Our Services

The center offers sophisticated performance testing – typically reserved for professionals – to help athletes of all levels, from recreational to elite. Specialized tests are available for specific sports such as soccer. The center has a 10-camera motion-capturing system that can analyze various sporting movements, such as a dancer's jump, a tennis player's swing or a runner's gait. Individuals wear small, retroreflective markers that allow movement to be tracked and analyzed in 3-D.

A special floor, with embedded force platforms, can calculate the force generated when an athlete jumps or cuts. A full-length Pilates mirror and AlterG anti-gravity treadmill are available to help athletes improve their technique.

Performance Consultations

This is a great place to start for anyone with training questions. Our experts will provide insight and direction on topics such as nutrition, exercise routine, sleep, strength training, endurance training and biomechanics.

Performance Evaluations

Our performance evaluations use advanced exercise physiology tools to evaluate athletes' cardiovascular fitness and provide personal assessments of their physiological fitness and performance characteristics. Clients receive a detailed report, with tailored recommendations designed to optimize performance.

Body Composition Analysis

This seven-site skinfold assessment is a quick, easy and accurate way to determine your body-fat percentage. Having your body composition analyzed is the best way to track your weight-management success.

Each appointment includes a skinfold assessment, personalized report and expert consultation to help you understand your results.

Lactate Threshold Testing

This assessment is for endurance athletes looking to focus their training and track their progress. By measuring the blood lactate levels in your body during exercise, we can tailor training zones and make recommendations for your specific physiology.

You will complete stages at increasingly harder intensities, while our exercise physiologists record heart rate, perceived exertion and lactate samples from blood droplets. Lactate threshold testing can be repeated to track progress and fine-tune your training plan over time.

VO2 Max Testing

Using a treadmill, stationary bike or your own bike, this test will measure your maximal oxygen uptake, sometimes called your "aerobic engine," and give insight into the metabolic fuel – fat versus carbohydrate – that your body uses at varying intensities.

This test can be especially useful for athletes looking to find their peak performance or anyone trying to get more out of cardio workouts. It also enables us to determine your true maximum heart rate.

Resting Metabolic Rate Testing

Resting metabolic rate is the measurement of how much food is converted into energy each day. Simply put, this test will determine how many calories you burn per day while at rest.

Understanding how your body uses calories is vital to success for weight-loss or weight-management programs. Our resting metabolic rate test provides an accurate snapshot of your daily caloric needs.

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    Awards & recognition

    • usnews-neurology

      Best hospital in Northern California

    • usnews-orthopedics

      Best in Northern California for orthopedics

    • n7-2x

      Ranked No. 4 in the nation for orthopedics

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    Our research initiatives

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      UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Research

      The UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery has several research programs dedicated to investigating different areas of musculoskeletal health care, such as hip, knee and spine surgery.

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