You are on page 1of 7

Introduction to Biomechanics

Objectives: • Define basic concepts in biomechanics • Provide an overview of the sports and clinical applications of biomechanics

What is Biomechanics?
• Mechanics
the study of the action of forces on particles and mechanical systems; a branch of physics

• System
an object or group of interacting objects

• Biomechanics
application of the principles of mechanics to the study of living organisms (e.g. the human body and its parts)

1

Sub-branches of Mechanics
• Statics
branch of mechanics dealing with systems in a constant state of motion; includes systems that are: – at rest (i.e. not moving) – moving with a constant velocity

• Dynamics
branch of mechanics dealing with systems in which acceleration is present (i.e. where velocity is not constant)

Subdivisions of Mechanics
• Kinematics
the description of motion, including: – considerations of space and time – patterns and speeds of movement sequencing the forces causing the motion are not considered

• Kinetics
study of the relationship between the forces acting on a system and the motion of the system

2

Additional Terminology
• Kinesiology
the study of human movement

(Hall, 2003)

• Anthropometry
study of the mechanical properties of body segments (e.g. dimension, weight, etc.)

Who Uses Biomechanics?
• • • • • • • Phys.Ed. Teachers Coaches Athletic Trainers Physicians Physical Therapists Engineers Researchers

3

What is Biomechanics Used For? Improving Sports Performance

(MLB)

(Viking)

technique

equipment (e.g. klapskates)

Sports Injury Prevention
applied force > tissue strength → injury

(Oregon State)

(AirCast)

technique

protective equipment

4

Occupational Injury Prevention
(Ergonomics)

(Ohio State)

(Ohio State)

hand & wrist trauma

low back pain

Injury Rehabilitation
FORCES Passive motion Strength training Biking TIME Full wt.bearing Squats Running Jumping Cutting

RE-INJURY

5

Reducing Physical or Functional Declines

osteoporosis

(NASA)

falls in older adults

effects of space flight

Improving Mobility

(Vicon)

surgery planning in cerebral palsy

6

Product Design

(Vicon)

(Össur)

athletic shoes

Flex-foot

artificial hip

Why Study Biomechanics?
• Biomechanics: – has many and wide-ranging applications within health and sport sciences – is used by professionals throughout health and sport sciences • This course will provide a foundation for: – understanding the mechanical principles underlying human movement – applying these principles to the analysis of human movement • Understanding biomechanics will make you a more competent professional !

7