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Sports Biomechanics
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Use of deterministic models in sports and exercise biomechanics research
John W. Chow & Duane V. Knudson
a a b

Center for Neuroscience and Neurological Recovery, Methodist Rehabilitation Center , Jackson, Mississippi, USA
b

Department of Health and Human Performance , Texas State University , San Marcos, Texas, USA Published online: 09 Aug 2011.

To cite this article: John W. Chow & Duane V. Knudson (2011) Use of deterministic models in sports and exercise biomechanics research, Sports Biomechanics, 10:3, 219-233, DOI: 10.1080/14763141.2011.592212 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14763141.2011.592212

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10(3): 219–233 Use of deterministic models in sports and exercise biomechanics research JOHN W. Jackson. the increase in the number of laboratories and research reports in sports biomechanics over the last two decades has not resulted in substantial improvements in the theoretical bases or frameworks used in sports biomechanics research. deterministic models have been applied successfully in research on selected motor skills. Several disadvantages of deterministic models. 1350 East Woodrow Wilson Drive.2011. a historical summary of this research. USA. Several reviews of these methods in sports biomechanics and their potential have been reported (Bartlett. Texas. Keywords: Exercise science.135.D. E-mail: jchow@mmrcrehab. especially in swimming.1080/14763141.210. Methodist Rehabilitation Center. 1963) of modern scientific inquiry. Center for Neuroscience and Neurological Recovery. 2002.592212 . Hudson (1997) has Correspondence: John W. and gymnastics. performance analysis. research methodology Introduction Advances in computers. This review provides an overview of the use of deterministic models in biomechanics research. were discussed. USA. and 2Department of Health and Human Performance. It is recommended that exercise and sports biomechanics scholars should consider using deterministic models to help identify meaningful dependent variables in their studies. The advantage of the deterministic model approach is that it helps to avoid selecting performance or injury variables arbitrarily and to provide the necessary theoretical basis for examining the relative importance of various factors that influence the outcome of a movement task. However. accepted 20 May 2011) Abstract A deterministic model is a modeling paradigm that determines the relationships between a movement outcome measure and the biomechanical factors that produce such a measure. Jackson. mechanical analysis. MS 39216. The deterministic model approach has been utilized in technique analysis over the last three decades. quantitative analysis. 1994). Exercise and sports biomechanics research is a growing field and the expanding body of research reports fit the ‘chaos in the brickyard’ perspective (Forscher. San Marcos. where the danger of an increasing number of less than meaningful observations are being reported in the literature is a real possibility. Lees. USA 1 Downloaded by [113. Methodist Rehabilitation Center. Yeadon & Challis. KNUDSON2 Center for Neuroscience and Neurological Recovery. Chow. Texas State University.52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 (Received 14 October 2010. and an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of using deterministic models. transducers.. such as the use of subjective measures for the performance outcome.Sports Biomechanics September 2011. In addition to their applications in sports and exercise biomechanics. Mississippi. and imaging technology have made it easier and quicker to collect biomechanics data.org ISSN 1476-3141 print/ISSN 1752-6116 online q 2011 Taylor & Francis DOI: 10. 1997. Ph. CHOW1 & DUANE V. athletics field events.

With this approach. Hay’s initial problems with these block diagrams revolved around causality. In many fields of study. which is the sum of the flight and support times during a single stride. 1999. the relationships in Hay’s block diagrams were all-inclusive and non-redundant. Secondly. Stride frequency is determined as the reciprocal of stride time. in some cases. theory and statistical analysis. Also.135. Hay is inarguably the pioneer of deterministic model use in biomechanical analyses. J. inclusion and redundancy. The average speed is further determined by the athlete’s average stride length and stride frequency (Savg ¼ SLavg £ SFavg).52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 . 2001). A block diagram is often used to provide an overview of the relationship. 1988). the horizontal velocity of takeoff. Chow & D.210. and we conclude with the potential application of these models in research and with athletes.V . Deterministic models serve such purposes in biomechanics. flight. While working on his dissertation on high jumping (Hay. the goal of a 100-m dash is for a sprinter to complete the distance of 100 m (Figure 1) in the shortest amount of time. Dr. the average flight and support times can be included as factors that produce the average stride frequency. 1967). This time is determined by the average speed and the distance covered (a constant in this case) (t ¼ D/Savg). 1988). Hay. Downloaded by [113. a deterministic model should have two distinguishing features. all the factors included at one level of the model must completely determine the factors included at the next highest level. the model is made up of mechanical quantities or appropriate combinations of mechanical quantities. May 5. he was leaving an important factor out of a block diagram while in other cases. This paper presents a comprehensive narrative review synthesizing the use of deterministic models in sports biomechanics. Some authors (e. and started to draw block diagrams to clarify things. 2010.g. The common use of many statistical tests on many dependent variables in most exercise and sports biomechanics research reports inflates the experiment-wise type I error rate (Knudson. he was including factors that were redundant – for example. First. Lees.220 J.W . For example. It is this second feature that leads us to refer to these types of models as deterministic models. The advantages and disadvantages of this approach are reviewed. According to Hay (1984). he was having trouble keeping the roles of the variables (performance parameters of high jumping) clear in his mind. the average stride length can be divided into three shorter distances – the takeoff. and landing distances (Hay. Knudson noted how our students and colleagues often consider sports biomechanics an atheoretical and irrelevant discipline. He became aware that. and all the relationships involved were causal in nature (Dr. Knudson (2005) reported that fewer than 20% of the papers published in two applied biomechanics serials could be rated highly on rationale. Concise overviews of deterministic models have been given in several review articles (Glazier. When necessary. the vertical velocity of takeoff and the angle of takeoff. personal communication. 1993). First we define deterministic models and summarize their use in biomechanics. The deterministic model A deterministic model is a modeling paradigm that determines the relationships between a movement outcome measure and the biomechanical factors that produce such a measure (Hay & Reid. 2002) and textbooks (Bartlett. James G. 2009) and prevents us from understanding which effects are truly statistically significant and which are likely to be type I errors. 1999. This eventually led him to identify a basic mechanical equation that linked the variable in one box to the variables in the boxes linked to it from below. Hay & Reid. and their use could help to promote the use of theoretical models in sports and exercise biomechanics research. a model (a graphical or mathematical description of a system or process) can be used as a basis for theoretical or empirical understanding of that system or process.

These studies were some of the first to use partial correlation and multiple regression to account for intercorrelations between variables and identify biomechanical variables with unique associations with performance. Lees. The deterministic model combined with the large sample of subjects allowed the identification of key joint torques contributing to jump height. He and his students illustrated this with papers on the limiting factors of vertical jumping (Hay et al. . Hip extensor torques early in propulsion and shoulder extensor torques near take-off were identified as significant determinants. Model for the 100-m dash and illustration of selected kinematic characteristics of a running stride.. or discrete patterns (Kleinstreuer.52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 Figure 1.135. 2002) refer to these models as hierarchical models. 1978. It is worth noting that the deterministic approach defined here is not the same as the deterministic models in mathematical modeling.Use of deterministic models 221 Downloaded by [113. Hay extended the application of the deterministic model by using correlation analysis to document the strength of association between the movement goal and the subsequent factors in the model. 1999. 1976. continuous. 1997). Bartlett. 1981).210. A deterministic model in mathematical modeling is a direct mathematical representation of phenomena that occur in deterministic.

The outcome of a performance can be an objective measure (e.. the terminal factors (boxes at the ends of the various paths) of the model are the distance loss. the factors included in the model should normally be mechanical quantities wherever possible and each factor should be completely determined by those factors that are linked to it from below. Model for the discus throw used by Hay and Yu (adapted from Hay & Yu.52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 Figure 2.g. distance. In the third level. The discus throw models with the speed of release of the discus as the performance result developed by Hay and Yu (1995) and Chow and Mindock (1999) can be used to illustrate this point. As a result. Domire & Challis. Development of deterministic models The steps in the development of a deterministic model are described in detail by Hay and Reid (1988). 2010. In the next level. 1995). the flight distance is determined by factors governing the trajectory of a projectile. Briefly. etc. height. The next step is to identify those factors that produce the result. Feltner et al. . Downloaded by [113.. time.210. a thrower loses distance if the discus is released inside the throwing circle and vice versa.135. As stated earlier.222 J. In the second level of the model used by Hay and Yu (Figure 2). Replication of correlational studies or experimental/modeling verification is important because causation cannot be inferred from correlations and cross-validation of these associations is necessary. It should be emphasized that it is possible to develop more than one model for movement tasks of similar results. Chow & D.g. Knudson The mechanisms of these benefits have recently been confirmed by experimental and simulation studies (Cheng et al. the first step is to identify the primary goal. points awarded in gymnastic and diving competition). Hay and Yu considered the speed of the discus at the instant of release to be the sum of changes in the speed of the discus during different phases of a throw. result/outcome of the performance to be investigated.V .W .) or a subjective measure (e. 1999). 2008.

The first three levels of the model are similar to those of Hay and Yu (1995). The terminal factors of the model can be categorized into three groups: (1) the characteristics of the discus at the instant of release.135. and the changes in discus speed during different phases of a discus throw. . Model for the wheelchair discus throw used by Chow and Mindock (1999).210. (2) the characteristics of different upper body segments at the instant of release.Use of deterministic models 223 angle and height of release.52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 Figure 3. The model developed by Chow and Mindock (1999) focused on the kinematic characteristics of upper body segments during throws performed by wheelchair athletes (Figure 3). aerodynamic distance. and (3) the characteristics of different segments during the forward Downloaded by [113. while the rest of the model is formed by repeated applications of several equations relating kinematics of distal endpoint to proximal endpoint of a segment of the throwing arm.

Use of deterministic models has clarified key performance parameters in swimming starts and strokes. Chow and Hay (2005) developed a model of the last support phase of the long jump and used it to examine the interacting roles played by the approach velocity. Apart from the common finding that the speed of release is the most influential determinant of the distance of the throw. (2000) adapted the model by Guimaraes and Hay (1985) to compare the kinematics of three types of relay start – one or two-step approach. a variable that could be substantially affected by training. With the aid of a deterministic model Grimston and Hay (1986) identify 21 anthropometric variables relevant to success in swimming and tried to relate these variables to the freestyle swim performance of college swimmers. rather than SF (Saito. there are differences in influential variables between able-bodied and disabled discus throwers. A concise summary of this research is presented in Table I. while Chow and Mindock (1999) found the shoulder girdle movement during the forward swing to be the important determinant of both medical classification and throw distance of wheelchair athletes.135.V . and gymnastics.W . the segmental approach used in wheelchair discus can by applied in future research to the delivery phase of the ablebodied discus throw. especially in swimming. Based on data collected at the 1982 British Commonwealth Games. Although the movement tasks of able-bodied and wheelchair discus throws are not exactly the same. and the change in angular momentum about a transverse axis through the jumper’s centre of mass during the last support phase of the long jump. Deterministic models have been successfully used in the study of jumps and throws in track and field athletics. Using the deterministic model approach Hay and colleagues (1985a. Hay and Yu (1995) demonstrated the importance of achieving a large gain in the speed of the discus during the second double support phase in elite able-bodied discus throwers. Knudson swing. 1982). using a computer simulation technique. and the jump distance was over-estimated if the change in angular momentum was not considered in Downloaded by [113. Guimaraes and Hay (1985) tested 24 male high school swimmers and identified several mechanical characteristics that contribute to a faster start. 1985b. the explosive strength (represented by vertical ground reaction force). McLean et al. The results indicated that approach velocity and vertical ground reaction force are not independent factors in determining jump distance. flight. Using the total starting time (sum of block.52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 . athletics field events. Chow & D.210.224 J. Use of deterministic models in biomechanics Over the years the utility of a deterministic model approach in biomechanical research has been illustrated in several sports. 1986) successfully identified mechanical characteristics that are significantly related to the official distances of long and triple jumps of elite jumpers. was found to have the largest influence on both SL and SF. and water times) as the performance goal of the hands-between-the feet grab starting technique. Craig and Pendergast (1979) asked college swimmers to swim at different speeds and found that increased S toward the maximum was achieved by a combination of increasing SF and decreasing SL in all of the four competitive strokes. In competitive swimming the average speed (S) is the product of the average stroke frequency (SF ) and average stroke length (SL) and the relationships between these parameters have been investigated using swimmers of different performance levels. The axilla cross-sectional area. Their findings suggested that step starts offered some performance improvements over the no-step start. and a no-step start. improvement in breaststroke S after six weeks (three times/week) of training depended upon an increase of SL. Pai et al. In a group of 168 untrained high school students. (1984) concluded that elite swimmers achieved very similar S with very different combinations of SL and SF.

Ten shoulder. (1976) 213 M Hay et al.52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 Table I. trunk. flight. and ankle torques were significant contributors to jump height and contributions varied across phases Improvement in S after six weeks of training (3x/week) was due to an increase in SF. Elite swimmers used different combinations of SL and SF to achieve a fairly constant S. & water times CORR & REG Use of deterministic models Hay & Miller (1985a). hip. 46 F CORR & REG Guimaraes & Hay (1985) 24 M high school swimmers Swim grab start time CG kinematics and kinetic variables determine the block. Torques at the shoulder. and arms contributed significantly to the variations in CG elevation from takeoff to peak of flight. knee. & (c) maximize force by hands in forward and upward direction. Hay et al. hip. 225 . Other factors closely related to the jump distance were identified. S was not significantly correlated with either SL or SF. Performance result Vertical jump height Joint angles and kinematics of center of gravity (CG) and limb segments Partial CORR & REG Partial CORR Terminal factors Statistical approach Key findings Reference Subjects Hay et al. the horizontal and resultant velocities at takeoff. Confirming the dominant roles of the horizontal velocity of the approach.Downloaded by [113. For a faster start swimmers should (a) move CG fast forward on block. Summary of research articles using the deterministic model approach. 47 F t-test Hay et al.210. (b) maximize backward force by feet. and knee were significant contributors to jump height and contributions varied across phases. rather than in SL. (1981) 194 M Average swimming speed (S) Vertical jump height Average stroke length (SL) and stroke frequency (SF) Mean joint torques Saito (1982) 168 M high school students S of four competitive strokes SL and SF S of breaststroke SL and SF t-test Pai et al. (1984) 64 M. (1986) 12 M & 12 F elite long jumpers Long jump distance Velocities at takeoff and touchdown of the last four strides of the approach and the velocity and angle at takeoff CORR The actions of head. (1978) 213 M Vertical jump height Joint angular impulses Craig & Pendergast (1979) REG 63 M.135. and the flight distance. Within subject S increased as a result of increasing SF and decreasing SL.

210. postflight. 2003) Gervais (1994) Time on horse. Mechanical factors associated with judges’ scores were identified for different types of vaults. and pre.V . the combination of SL and SF used to attain a given S is very much a function of swimmer’s physique. 1992. 1998).Downloaded by [113. (1987) 24 M & 10 F Skating sprint speed CORR Takei (1988. Takei et al. body segment angles and range of motion during single support Linear and angular motion of the gymnast in preflight. . Although S is little influenced by the physique. and the execution during the vault CORR CORR & REG Gymnastic vault: point awarded by judges Gymnastic vault: judges’ score The more the jumper’s resources are expended prior to the jump phase and the more vertical the effort at takeoff into the jump. Takei & Kim (1990). Chow & D. the better the final result. Hay & Yu (1995) 14 M & 15 F Discus throw distance Changes in the speed of the discus (Ds) during different phases. A deterministic model with swim time as the result was used to identify anthropometric variables relevant to success in swimming Partial CORR & REG CORR Terminal factors Statistical approach Key findings Reference Subjects Hay & Miller (1985b) 12 M elite triple jumpers 226 J. CG location and velocities postflight. 1989.W . angle. and digitized marker location CORR Dixon & Kerwin (1998) 3F Maximum Achilles tendon force ANOVA The results demonstrated that the optimization approach developed could produce a viable prediction of an individual’s optimal performance of a handspring 11 2 front salto longhorse vault. and 17% (S) of the variances in the measured characteristics of their strokes. speed. The anthropometric variables accounted for 89% (SL). Knudson Grimston & Hay (1986) 12 M college swimmers Average swimming speed (S) Wilson et al. 2000.and post-flight angular momentum values Ranged from 24 to 122 M/F world class gymnasts 1 gymnast Stride length. Ds during the second double support phase and the speed of release are influential determinant of the throw distance The finding that increased heel lifts may increase maximum Achilles tendon force suggested that caution is advised in the routine use of this intervention. and height of release Components of ground reaction force (GRF) and center of pressure. 1990.52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 Table I – continued Performance result Triple jump distance Velocities at takeoff and touchdown and times of flight and support for the three phases of the triple jump SL and SF. 41% (SF).135. (1992. Sprint skating speed is associated with a long stride length and a large singlesupport distance. stride frequency. time of postflight.

REG: regression analysis. and throwing procedure phase times Kinematics of ball toss. and change in angular momentum during takeoff Hip-shoulder and shoulder-arm separation. (2000. 53F Discus throw distance CORR & REG In addition to the speed of the implement at release. important determinants of medical classification and measured distance were identified for each field event. vertical GRF (VGRF). Sensitivity analysis revealed that approach velocity and VGRF are not independent factors in determining the jump distance. trunk forward-backward tilt. From 1st to 2nd serve players tossed the ball closer to the body and imparted spin on the ball by changing the racquet vertical and lateral velocities. steeper entry angle and orientation were found in step starts. throwing-arm elevation angles. 4 F. The rider’s effect on jumping horses was primarily due to behavioral changes in horse’s motion. Compared with no-step starts. & javelin measured distance Swim start time Speed. shot put.52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 Table I – continued Performance result Discus. Chow et al. Use of deterministic models Abbreviations: M: male. 2003b) 14–17 M wheelchair athletes McLean et al. (2008) 51M. rather than inertial effects.and postimpact ball and racquet velocities Wilcoxon Chow & Hay (2005) NA (computer simulation) NA Leigh et al.135. professional players Ball location at landing for a tennis serve Long jump distance Approach velocity. (2003a) 4 M. F: female. increased takeoff height. 227 . angle. ANOVA: analysis of variance. (2000) 10 M college swimmers Powers & Harrison (2002) 8 show.Downloaded by [113. and airborne body moment of inertia and angular momentum ANOVA Kinematics of the implement and different upper body segments at the instant of release. and kinematics of different segments during the delivery CORR Terminal factors Statistical approach Key findings Reference Subjects Chow & Mindock (1999). takeoff and entry heights.210. decreased vertical takeoff velocity. Female throwers use a more sophisticated technique than male throwers. CORR: correlation analysis. and body position at takeoff. NA: not applicable.jumping horses CG path during flight CG velocities at takeoff and landing and CG elevation during flight ANOVA Chow et al. Male throwers may place more reliance on physical strength to achieve long distances. increased horizontal takeoff velocity. pre.

. The predicted optimal performance was found to display greater virtuosity in postflight height.V . 2000. 1989. Dixon and Kerwin (1998) Downloaded by [113. Hay and Yu (1995) developed a model to analyse discus throws performed by elite able-bodied athletes (Figure 2). 1989). 1990. 1998. Deterministic models can be adapted to a goal to minimize the exposure to a mechanical variable that is hypothesized to be the primary cause of injury. 2003a). 1996) and rowing (Soper & Hume. 2000. 2004).. 1992. In addition to horizontal jumps. Takei et al. Knudson the analysis. . Other sports skills studied using the deterministic model approach are roller skating (Wilson et al. Deterministic models were also used in reviews analyzing the slalom in alpine skiing (Bober. Gervais (1994) utilized the evaluation scheme (point deductions) of a vault in conjunction with a deterministic model to set up an optimization process for predicting the optimal performance of a gymnastic vault.. Studies using these models and correlation analysis have documented influential performance variables in gymnastic vaults and key techniques that are significantly associated with successful performance (points awarded by judges). Instead of statistical approaches commonly used by others. 2003). 2007).135. 1988. 2003b. In separate studies Chow and colleagues (Chow et al.. Chow & D. horse jumping (Powers & Harrison.W . Chow & Mindock.52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 Figure 4. Figure 4 shows a typical model used by Takei. Model showing preflight factors causally related to the official score of a handspring vault (adapted from Takei. Takei & Kim. and physical training for increasing vertical jump height (Ham et al. discus throw and javelin throw performance of wheelchair throwers of different medical classifications (Figure 3). 1999) applied a stationary throw model to the analyses of shot put. 2002) and tennis serve (Chow et al. 1992.. Takei and colleagues have used deterministic models to guide their biomechanical analyses of several gymnastic vaults performed by elite gymnasts (Takei. 1990. 1999. distance and angular momentum when compared with the individual’s best trial performance. 1987).210.228 J. The models used in Takei’s studies on gymnastic vaults are good examples of models that use subjective measures for the performance outcome (Figure 4).

The utilization of deterministic models as a guide for qualitative analysis. Extension of deterministic models to qualitative biomechanics Besides their utility in planning and analyzing biomechanical data in research. (2006) and Zablotny et al. Results from Yoshida et al. Hay & Reid. whether the relative contributions of the components of the net joint moment at the elbow and shoulder change after an intervention. interactive and generalized muscle moments. for a planar multi-joint throwing skill and a target reaching task respectively. There has been limited and fragmented research on the interdisciplinary skill of qualitative analysis of human movement (Knudson & Morrison. Some coaches are not educated in exercise and sports science and rely on passed-down craft knowledge of sports techniques. has not been tested by research and deterministic models are only one of several approaches (Knudson & Morrison. (2003)].Use of deterministic models 229 Downloaded by [113. There is a need for research comparing the use of deterministic models of qualitative analysis with other models of qualitative analysis. (2004) tried to determine. while others encourage use of deterministic models and kinetic variables in qualitative analysis (Sanders. Schneider et al. It should also be mentioned that some studies used the deterministic modeling approach but the approach was not explicitly stated [e. Qualitative analysis of technique decisions on meaningful biomechanical factors that directly affect performance is important.135. in a vertical plane up and around a barrier to a target. 1989.52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 reported one of the few studies that have explicitly taken advantage of deterministic models to study influential factors related to injury. three studies on the acquisition of motor skills have used deterministic models (Heise & Cornwell. so there is a lack of evidence as to which approach to qualitative analysis is best or the efficacy of biomechanical data in improving sport performance (Lees. Although no block diagrams were used. 1984. .. It is clear that deterministic models have been useful in conducting biomechanical research on a wide variety of human movements. It is possible that the use of deterministic models in conjunction with multivariate statistical analysis can identify factors and their strength of association with injury rates. 1997. (2004) suggest that rapid aiming movements are controlled through a reciprocal interplay between intersegmental dynamics during the acceleration phase and error corrections. the relative contribution of net joint moment components remained unchanged... 2002). Using the same mathematical procedures Heise and Cornwell (1997) and Yoshida et al.210. Yu et al. 1988). There is strong logical support for this position because these models enable coaches to focus on important biomechanical variables that directly affect the movement goal. subjects in the Heise and Cornwell (1997) study could throw further. Hay also advocated that deterministic models be used as a basis for qualitative analysis of sports skills (Hay. Use of deterministic models has found its way into other exercise and sports science research utilizing biomechanical data. 1999). Their results supported Bernstein’s (1967) hypothesis that practice alters motor coordination among muscular and passive joint moments. Schneider et al. 2004). With practice. 2002). Their model focused on the three components of the net joint moment: gravitation. Yoshida et al. however. (1989) examined the net joint moments at the upper extremity joints during a maximum speed hand movement. However. 2004).g. Hudson (1997) has been critical of any qualitative analysis model that does not focus the attention of the analyst and athlete on kinematic variables that are visually observable and potentially meaningful in modifying technique. so use of deterministic models to guide qualitative analysis could be an improvement on traditional error detection and correction based on unverified technique beliefs.

230 J. A major concern when using such a model for statistical modeling is the sample size and assumptions of the statistics used. 1993.135. 1999). 1988). Hay & Reid.52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 Summary The deterministic model approach provides a strong theoretical or mechanical basis for examining the relative importance of various factors that influence the outcome of a movement task. It is not uncommon to see many factors and levels of factors in a well-developed model. For example. Knudson Advantages and disadvantages The primary advantage of using deterministic models is to help to avoid selecting performance variables arbitrarily (the trial and error approach). Care must also be taken to ensure and report that the scatterplots do not violate assumptions of linearity and random error. In any event. This somewhat limited use of deterministic models in research may be because many associate deterministic models with qualitative biomechanical analysis advocated by Hay’s classic texts (Hay.W . The use of correlation and regression analyses to document the size of the association of variables influencing movement is an important step in planning prospective studies to apply biomechanics to improve movement performance or reduce injury risk. biomechanics scholars are encouraged to use deterministic models to improve the focus and impact of their research. (1981) tested 194 subjects for the purpose of identifying limiting factors of vertical jumping. increasing the number of variables expands the study. Another advantage of the deterministic models is that it can be used to provide a theoretical basis (mechanical relationships) for statistical modeling (Bartlett.V . but imposes greater demands on sample size and interpretation. Hay and his students. it is recommended that researchers should strive to minimize the number of variables involved and statistical tests performed to maximize the power of their analysis. this ensures that no major factor that determines the outcome is overlooked and that nothing is included unnecessarily (Hay.72) of throwers allowed the investigators to affirm the significance of shoulder girdle movement in wheelchair discus throw (Chow & Mindock. to allow a reliable multiple linear regression analysis and to overcome problems of colinearity. . The deterministic model approach is a more objective approach to identifying factors that affect the outcome of a performance. 1984). Downloaded by [113. Subjectivity in selecting the number of levels and variables in a deterministic model can be a disadvantage at times. thereby eliminating variables that are intercorrelated or not truly influential. A reasonably large sample of subjects and trials is needed in order to come up with an acceptable power value. Chow & D. Despite the success of these models in a wide variety of biomechanics research.210. These models have been used successfully in research on a wide variety of motor skills in the last four decades. While deterministic models logically have the potential to improve qualitative analysis. referring to the model depicted in Figure 3. Hay et al. Partial correlation and multiple regression analyses should be used to define the variables that are meaningful in predicting the goal of the movement. so that the strength of the correlations and regression equations accurately model the data. most of the scholars using deterministic models have links to Dr. Use of deterministic models in biomechanical research could reduce the problems caused by numerous dependent variables noted earlier. If done correctly. For example. 1999). the significant correlations between the range of motion and average angular velocity of the shoulder girdle during the forward swing and the measured distance (r $ 0. For example. Studies using deterministic models in biomechanics and motor behaviour illustrate their utility in identifying critical mechanical parameters in human movement.

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