Soldiers having injuries can affect their readiness if recovery strategies are not implemented correctly. The SPARTA program is designed to assist service members who are transitioning from physical therapy to help strengthen, prevent reinjury and get them back at full performance level with their unit.
Soldiers having injuries can affect their readiness if recovery strategies are not implemented correctly. The SPARTA program is designed to assist service members who are transitioning from physical therapy to help strengthen, prevent re-injury and get them back at full performance level with their unit.
“The SPARTA program helps Soldiers who are injured recover as quickly as possible,” said Brett Clingerman physical therapist for Womack Army Medical Center (WAMC). “We want to decrease the likely hood of them getting injured again.”
Participants of the program are screened for the SPARTA program through WAMC physical therapists. Once they are deemed suitable for the program, they start training at the Frederick Performance Enhancement Center, where all the sessions take place. Day one is the screening, followed by workouts including 12 sessions and then they test out.
Individuals in the program are brought to the center for reconditioning exercises that include, kettle-bell and base bell bar training to improve their resiliency. This training also gets them back to their units and keeps them ready to do their jobs, Clingerman said.
Soldiers will participate in the program twice a week from 7 to 8:30 a.m.
“There is sometimes a gap between their physical abilities when they complete rehab and where they need to be in order to go back to perform with their unit,” said Maj. John Mason, physical therapist, WAMC.
Different reconditioning exercises include squats, lifting, steps, the push-pull and bar lifting. Some of the focus areas are mobility, strength, power, or a combination of all of them.
WAMC designed this program specifically to identify deficiencies in each of the Soldiers, Mason said.
Just in the past month, 30 Soldiers have already tested and will be participating in the program.
“I had hip surgery a couple of years back, so I am still in PT for it,” said 2nd Lt. Arden Percocy, 88th Brigade Support Battalion. “I thought this would be good for strength and mobility. I have definitely seen a big difference since I started this program. I have increased in strength; the pain hasn’t decreased, but I am so much stronger with the same level of pain.”
Clingerman said the SPARTA program is not just for service members that are injured but for those individuals who may not move well. Those who struggle a little bit with their Achieving Mental and Physical Toughness (APMT) can come get tested to see if they are eligible for this program. Instructors of the program can bring them in to try to get them stronger and faster.
“Everyone who has participated has definitely got something big from the program,” Clingerman said. “The biggest thing is to keep Soldiers healthy and ready to deploy.”