Research and Innovation

Research and Innovation

INS Québec carries out research and innovation activities with a view to improving the performance of high-performance athletes. Working with partners in the academic, medical and private sectors, the Institute’s scientific and medical personnel study, develop and create cutting-edge solutions. These scientific endeavours touch a variety of fields: motor learning, biomechanics, chronobiology, engineering, neuroscience, nutrition, physiology, psychology, etc.

To conduct its research and innovation activities, INS Québec relies primarily on the financial support of the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (MÉES). This support has also enabled INS Québec to create its Research, Innovation and Dissemination of Information Program (PRIDI). The Institute also counts on the financial support of other organizations, such as Own the Podium (OTP), the Institut de valorisation des données (IVADO) and Mitacs.

Research

Signal analysis
INS Québec is developing and testing advanced methods for processing a variety of signals recorded by electronic instruments in training, assessment and competition settings. For example, recording and processing signals generated by athletes jumping on force plates allows for improved monitoring of neuromuscular performance.

Principal investigators:
Mathieu Charbonneau, biomechanics specialist, INS Québec
Julien Clément, performance analyst, INS Québec
Samuel Marion, master’s student, Université de Montréal
Aaron Manning, master’s student, McGill University
Period: 2018-2020
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI), OTP

Innovative strength and conditioning apparatus
INS Québec’s scientific team intends to work with Exonetik to develop an innovative strength and conditioning apparatus with intelligent resistance, incorporating the magnetorheological actuator invented by this Québec-based company. The project will go ahead when a financial partner joins INS Québec and Exonetik.

Principal investigator:
Guy Thibault, Director, Sport Science, INS Québec; associate professor, Université de Montréal
Period: 2019-2021
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI)

Long-haul travel app
INS Québec is developing a smartphone app that can inform and advise athletes, coaches and other training personnel regarding strategies to reduce the negative effects of trans-meridian travel.

Principal investigators:
François Bieuzen, exercise physiologist, INS Québec; associate professor, Université Laval
Jeremy Olson, Ph.D. student, McGill University
Sarah Noël, industrial designer
Gabriel Legault, undergraduate student, Université Laval
Period: 2017–2019
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI)

Video analysis of divers’ performance, without markers
Working with researchers from the École de Technologie Supérieure, INS Québec is developing a tool that uses machine learning to assess the performance of elite divers using video. The video analysis does not require body markers or accelerometers.

Principal investigators:
Carlos Vazquez, professor, École de Technologie Supérieure
Rachid Aissaoui, professor, École de Technologie Supérieure
Ramon Figueiredo Pessoa, Ph.D. student, École de Technologie Supérieure
Mathieu Charbonneau, biomechanics specialist, INS Québec
Period: 2018-2021
Funding: OTP, Mitacs

Protective helmet for short-track speed skaters
In collaboration with a research team from McGill University, INS Québec is studying the issue of concussions in short-track speed skating, in particular by conducting impact tests on helmets and measuring the effects of falls on the brain using computer models. The study should lead to the development of a new helmet prototype that meets the specific needs of short-track speed skaters.

Principal investigators:
Dr. Suzanne Leclerc, Medical Director, INS Québec
David Pearsall, professor, McGill University
Daniel Aponte, Ph.D. student, McGill University
Period: 2018-2020
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI), Mitacs

Concussion and the autonomic nervous system
Dr. Suzanne Leclerc has gathered specialists from UQAM to study medical monitoring methods for when athletes return to their sports after a concussion. These methods are based on the objective measurement of the activity of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system.

Principal investigators:
Dr. Suzanne Leclerc, Medical Director, INS Québec
David Martin, kinesiologist, INS Québec
Alain Steve Comtois, professor, Université du Québec à Montréal
Christian Soto, Ph.D. student, Université du Québec à Montréal
Period: 2017-2022
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI)

Low energy availability
Erik Sesbreno is testing the prevalence of low energy availability among male volleyball players and its effects on jumper’s knee, cognitive function and countermovement jump performance.

Principal investigator:
Erik Sesbreno, sport nutrition lead, INS Québec
Period: 2019–2020
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI)

Eccentric cycling training and endurance performance
On behalf of INS Québec, Jonathan Tremblay and his team are carrying out tests to determine the effects of eccentric cycling training on performance in high-level cyclists and runners.

 

Principal investigator:
Jonathan Tremblay, professor, Université de Montréal
Period: 2019-2021
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI)

Interval training

Guy Thibault is developing an empirical model of intermittent exertion leading to exhaustion. This is to help coaches create interval training sessions that are adapted to the profile and goals of high-performance athletes.

Principal investigators:
Guy Thibault, Director, Sport Science, INS Québec; associate professor, Université de Montréal
Sylvain Gaudet, exercise physiologist, INS Québec
Period: 2018-2020
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI)

Perceptual-cognitive training in virtual reality
Using state-of-the-art technologies such as virtual reality, Thomas Romeas is testing safe perceptual-cognitive strategies for improving boxers’ anticipation and decision-making skills.

 

Principal investigators:
Thomas Romeas, neuroscientist, INS Québec
François Bieuzen, exercise physiologist, INS Québec; associate professor, Université Laval
Mathieu Charbonneau, biomechanics specialist, INS Québec
Period: 2019–2020
Funding: OTP

AbAd strength
Université de Montréal professor Mickaël Begon and his team are working with INS Québec to establish standards regarding ratios and asymmetries for the maximum isometric strength of high-performance athletes’ hip abduction and adduction muscles. They are using artificial intelligence and machine learning to study the link between these metrics and the results of testing based on performance determinants.

Principal investigators:
Mickaël Begon, professor, Université de Montréal
Patrick Marion, research professional, Université de Montréal
Kevin Aizen, master’s student, EKSAP, Université de Montréal
Élodie Monga-Dubreuil, master’s student, EKSAP, Université de Montréal
Period: 2017–2019
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI)

Thrust forces
This prototyping work in short track speed skating will improve understanding of skating biomechanics and benefit strength and conditioning and on-ice training.

 

Principal investigators:
Laurent Daignault, head technician, national short track speed skating team
Éric Wagnac, professor, École de Technologie Supérieure
François Bieuzen, exercise physiologist, INS Québec
Julien Clément, performance analyst, INS Québec
Benoit Lussier, performance analyst, INS Québec
Period: 2019-2021
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI)

Hexfit – INS Québec version
In collaboration with the Québec-based company Hexfit, INS Québec is developing solutions that will make it easier not only to share sports, medical and scientific data but also to analyze this data using the most up-to-date methods. Organizations such as sports clubs, federations and institutes that may be interested in using this cutting-edge tool for sharing and processing data related to high-performance sports can contact INS Québec’s Scientific and Medical Expert Advisor, Thomas Romeas (tromeas@insquebec.org).

Principal investigator:
François Bieuzen, exercise physiologist, INS Québec; associate professor, Université Laval
Period: 2017-2020
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI)

Skating performance indicators
Whether on the track or on the ice, sprint speed is an important determinant of performance in hockey. This study aims to examine the relationship between the height of vertical jumps on force plates and sprint performance in high-performance female hockey players. This study will make it possible to improve hockey players’ training programs by using vertical jumps to track performance.

  
Principal investigators:
Cory Kennedy, strength and conditioning coach, INS Québec
Michelle Caron, master’s student, McGill University
Period: 2018-2019 (completed)
Funding: OTP

Training load indices
With the support of a private company, François Bieuzen conducted an analysis of internal and external training load indices among high-performance short-track speed skaters. The ultimate goal is to make personalized adjustments to training programs. François is also providing guidance to interns involved in developing statistical analyses of training databases for high-performance training groups in order to identify situations that pose a high risk of injury.

 

Principal investigators:
François Bieuzen, exercise physiologist, INS Québec; associate professor, Université Laval
Alix Renaud-Roy, strength and conditioning coach, INS Québec; master’s candidate, Université de Montréal
Bastien Bontemps, intern, INS Québec
Marcus Leite Fraga, intern, INS Québec
Jérémy Briand, bachelor’ student, McGill University
Pierre-Olivier Breault, master’ student, Université de Montréal
Period: 2017-2019 (completed)
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI), OTP

Interfacing for accelerometric analysis
This innovative task involves programming an interface using the language Python to generate reports showing accelerometry data recorded using inertial measurement units on short track speed skaters. This research will make it easier for athletes, coaches and members of the IST to make use of on-ice acceleration and performance data.

 

Principal investigators:
Benoit Lussier, performance analyst, INS Québec
François Bieuzen, exercise physiologist, INS Québec; associate professor, Université Laval
Period: 2019–2020
Funding: OTP, MÉES (PRIDI)

Warm-up optimization
Myriam Paquette is testing warm-up strategies that optimize racing performance while taking the needs of para-swimming athletes into account.

Principal investigators:
Myriam Paquette, exercise physiologist, INS Québec; Ph.D. student, Université Laval
Jared Fletcher, exercise physiologist; professor, University of Calgary
Jean-Michel Lavallière, master’s student, University of Canberra
Period: 2018-2019 (completed)
Funding: OTP

Muscle oxygenation
As part of her Ph.D. in exercise physiology, Myriam Paquette is leading an empirical study to identify training methods that can be used to improve and optimize muscles’ ability to extract oxygen. This project is carried out in cooperation with the national sprint Canoe Kayak team and will help to optimize training programs in multiple sports.

Principal investigators:
Myriam Paquette, exercise physiologist, INS Québec; Ph.D. student, Université Laval
François Billaut, exercise physiologist; professor, Université Laval
François Bieuzen, exercise physiologist, INS Québec; associate professor, Université Laval
Period: 2017-2020
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI)

Critical thinking in high-performance sports
INS Québec has joined forces with the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur and Bishop’s University professor Maxime Trempe to develop teaching materials to improve critical thinking among coaches of high-performance athletes.

Principal investigator:
Maxime Trempe, professor, Bishop’s University
Period: 2018-2019
Funding: MÉES

Ischemic preconditioning
The team led by Université Laval professor François Billaut is working for INS Québec to identify the ergogenic effects of ischemic occlusion between two maximum exertions. Ischemic preconditioning is a noninvasive technique in which the blood (and therefore, oxygen) supply to a muscle is repeatedly restricted for a short time, which may lead to a substantial improvement in the muscle’s performance.

 

Principal investigators:
François Billaut, exercise physiologist; professor, Université Laval
Pénélope Paradis-Deschênes, Ph.D. student, Université Laval
Period: 2018-2020
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI)

Propulsion in cyclical sports
INS Québec has developed and empirically tested advanced techniques to analyze the accelerometric measurements of the propulsive phases in cyclical sports such as para-swimming. This work has led to a user-friendly feedback tool for coaches.

Principal investigators:
Mathieu Charbonneau, biomechanics specialist, INS Québec
Julien Clément, performance analyst, INS Québec
Period: 2018-2019 (completed)
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI)

Para swimmers recovery
Para swimming integrated support team is using a protocol including three phases to decrease the impact of injury and excessive fatigue: investigate the recovery activities offered in other national para swimming training centers; study the associations between training load and incidences of injuries or discomfort during training; and assess the accuracy of post-training procedures in order to improve recovery between sessions and increase the training capabilities of athletes.

Principal investigator:
Myriam Paquette, exercise physiologist, INS Québec; PhD student, Université Laval
Period: 2019–2020
Funding: OTP

Risk of injury in aquatic sports
As part of his Ph.D. at McGill University, Félix Croteau is leading a study to identify risk factors for accidental or overuse stress injuries in aquatic sports. This includes developing ways to quantify the training load using accelerometric measurements.

Principal investigators:
Félix Croteau, physiotherapist, INS Québec; Ph.D. student, McGill University
Shawn Robbins, professor, McGill University
David Pearsall, professor, McGill University
Period: 2017-2021
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI)

Acrobatic simulator and twist optimization
Université de Montréal professor Mickaël Begon and his team are developing a dynamic model of complex movements for INS Québec. They are also creating an interactive and immersive virtual reality environment to help athletes learn aerial acrobatics (applications in trampoline, gymnastics, diving, etc.).

Principal investigators:
Mickaël Begon, professor, Université de Montréal
François Bailly, postdoctoral intern, Université de Montréal
Eve Charbonneau, master’s student, Université de Montréal
André Venne, master’s student, Université de Montréal
Period: 2018-2020
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI), Mitacs

Sports specialization at a young age
INS Québec and the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur have joined forces to study the context in which athletes specialize in sports such as diving, gymnastics and figure skating at a young age. The researchers are considering the possibility of following up their work with a longitudinal study over a period of at least five years.

Principal investigators:
Josiane Roberge, physiotherapist, INS Québec
Dr. Suzanne Leclerc, Medical Director, INS Québec
Marc-André Duchesneau, educational psychologist, Université de Montréal
Period: 2018-2019
Funding: MÉES

Monitoring goalkeeping training loads
This team of scientists is working to quantify water polo goalkeepers’ movements in training using inertial measurement units, in order to better gauge their external training load.

Principal investigators:
Félix Croteau, physiotherapist, INS Québec; PhD student, McGill University
Julien Clément, performance analyst, INS Québec
Mathieu Charbonneau, biomechanics specialist, INS Québec
Period: 2019–2020
Funding: OTP, MÉES (PRIDI)

Monitoring trampoline training
Mathieu Charbonneau is developing software that brings together a variety of trampoline performance metrics to provide feedback quickly and also to track performance and training load over time.

Principal investigator:
Mathieu Charbonneau, biomechanics specialist, INS Québec
Eve Charbonneau, master’s student, Université de Montréal
Period: 2018-2019
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI)

Monitoring training, performance and health using AI
In collaboration with the team led by Polytechnique Montréal professor Maxime Raison, INS Québec is applying artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to analyze high-performance sports data, particularly with respect to para-cycling, para-swimming and short track speed skating. The researchers are studying how AI can be used to complement traditional performance analysis methods, especially to identify which training parameters are most closely correlated to changes in health and fitness levels.

Principal investigators:
Maxime Raison, professor, Polytechnique Montréal
Sana Raouafi, Ph.D. student, Polytechnique Montréal
Luis Antonio Pereira de Lima, Ph.D. student, Polytechnique Montréal
François Bieuzen, exercise physiologist, INS Québec; associate professor, Université Laval
Myriam Paquette, exercise physiologist, INS Québec; Ph.D. student, Université Laval
Period: 2019
Funding: IVADO

Water loading in sports with weight classes
As part of her Ph.D. at Université de Sherbrooke, Catherine Naulleau is studying the efficacy of a quick weight-cutting method (for sports with weight classes) based on water loading and a low-fibre diet.

 
Principal investigators:
Catherine Naulleau, nutritionist, INS Québec; Ph.D. student, Université de Sherbrooke
Éric Goulet, professor, Université de Sherbrooke
Period: 2018-2020
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI), OTP

Agility test
Nicolas Berryman is establishing the validity and reliability of an agility test in water polo.

 

Principal investigators:
Nicolas Berryman, exercise physiologist; INS Québec; professor, Bishop’s University
François Bieuzen, exercise physiologist, INS Québec; associate professor, Université Laval
Lily Dong, master’s student, McGill University
Period: 2018-2019
Funding: OTP

Judo test
Nicolas Berryman is establishing the validity of a repeated sprint ability test that involves the upper limbs. This test was designed to meet the particular needs of judo athletes.

Principal investigators:
Nicolas Berryman, exercise physiologist; INS Québec; professor, Bishop’s University
François Bieuzen, exercise physiologist, INS Québec; associate professor, Université Laval
Nicolas Klug, master’s student, Université de Montréal
Period: 2017-2019
Funding: OTP, MÉES (PRIDI)

Post-trauma functional visual capacity
On behalf of INS Québec, Dr. Ian Shrier is assessing the effectiveness of visual tests for managing post-trauma vision syndrome in athletes.

 

Principal investigators:
Dr. Ian Shrier, physician, professor, McGill University
Dr. Suzanne Leclerc, medical director, INS Québec
Period: 2019–2020
Funding: MÉES (PRIDI)