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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

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:

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1963) of modern scientific inquiry. 1994). Several disadvantages of deterministic models. transducers.592212 . The deterministic model approach has been utilized in technique analysis over the last three decades. Methodist Rehabilitation Center. USA 1 Downloaded by [113. 10(3): 219–233 Use of deterministic models in sports and exercise biomechanics research JOHN W.135. Methodist Rehabilitation Center. Hudson (1997) has Correspondence: John W. San Marcos. Texas. and an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of using deterministic models. MS 39216. E-mail: jchow@mmrcrehab. performance analysis. Yeadon & Challis. 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. However. mechanical analysis.2011. KNUDSON2 Center for Neuroscience and Neurological Recovery. This review provides an overview of the use of deterministic models in biomechanics research.210. Center for Neuroscience and Neurological Recovery. It is recommended that exercise and sports biomechanics scholars should consider using deterministic models to help identify meaningful dependent variables in their ISSN 1476-3141 print/ISSN 1752-6116 online q 2011 Taylor & Francis DOI: 10.52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 (Received 14 October 2010. especially in swimming. research methodology Introduction Advances in computers. 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. Jackson. deterministic models have been applied successfully in research on selected motor skills. 1997. were discussed.1080/14763141. Mississippi. and 2Department of Health and Human Performance. Several reviews of these methods in sports biomechanics and their potential have been reported (Bartlett. Lees. Keywords: Exercise science. 1350 East Woodrow Wilson Drive. and imaging technology have made it easier and quicker to collect biomechanics data. quantitative analysis. USA. Texas State University. CHOW1 & DUANE V. 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.D.. In addition to their applications in sports and exercise biomechanics. such as the use of subjective measures for the performance outcome. USA. athletics field events. Chow. and gymnastics.Sports Biomechanics September 2011. where the danger of an increasing number of less than meaningful observations are being reported in the literature is a real possibility. 2002. Jackson. Ph. a historical summary of this research. Exercise and sports biomechanics research is a growing field and the expanding body of research reports fit the ‘chaos in the brickyard’ perspective (Forscher.

he was leaving an important factor out of a block diagram while in other cases.220 J. For example. 1993). 2010.V . 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. Stride frequency is determined as the reciprocal of stride time. This time is determined by the average speed and the distance covered (a constant in this case) (t ¼ D/Savg). the vertical velocity of takeoff and the angle of takeoff. Hay. 2009) and prevents us from understanding which effects are truly statistically significant and which are likely to be type I errors. 1967). and landing distances (Hay. Some authors (e. He became aware that. which is the sum of the flight and support times during a single stride. 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. 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. The average speed is further determined by the athlete’s average stride length and stride frequency (Savg ¼ SLavg £ SFavg). The advantages and disadvantages of this approach are reviewed. First. and their use could help to promote the use of theoretical models in sports and exercise biomechanics research. Dr. in some cases.210. With this approach. 2002) and textbooks (Bartlett. Hay’s initial problems with these block diagrams revolved around causality. This paper presents a comprehensive narrative review synthesizing the use of deterministic models in sports biomechanics. It is this second feature that leads us to refer to these types of models as deterministic models. Hay & Reid.g. the horizontal velocity of takeoff. Knudson noted how our students and colleagues often consider sports biomechanics an atheoretical and irrelevant discipline. 1988).W . First we define deterministic models and summarize their use in biomechanics. personal communication. the model is made up of mechanical quantities or appropriate combinations of mechanical quantities. flight. a deterministic model should have two distinguishing features. 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. the average stride length can be divided into three shorter distances – the takeoff. Deterministic models serve such purposes in biomechanics. 1999. 1999.52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 . inclusion and redundancy. and we conclude with the potential application of these models in research and with athletes. A block diagram is often used to provide an overview of the relationship. Hay is inarguably the pioneer of deterministic model use in biomechanical analyses. Downloaded by [113. the average flight and support times can be included as factors that produce the average stride frequency. Concise overviews of deterministic models have been given in several review articles (Glazier. and started to draw block diagrams to clarify things. J. he was having trouble keeping the roles of the variables (performance parameters of high jumping) clear in his mind. the relationships in Hay’s block diagrams were all-inclusive and non-redundant. 2001). Secondly. According to Hay (1984).135. Chow & D. 1988). Also. While working on his dissertation on high jumping (Hay. James G. and all the relationships involved were causal in nature (Dr. theory and statistical analysis. When necessary. Knudson (2005) reported that fewer than 20% of the papers published in two applied biomechanics serials could be rated highly on rationale. all the factors included at one level of the model must completely determine the factors included at the next highest level. In many fields of study. Lees. 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. May 5.

210. Lees. Bartlett. or discrete patterns (Kleinstreuer.52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 Figure 1.135. The deterministic model combined with the large sample of subjects allowed the identification of key joint torques contributing to jump height.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. 1997). 1978. It is worth noting that the deterministic approach defined here is not the same as the deterministic models in mathematical modeling. 2002) refer to these models as hierarchical models.. He and his students illustrated this with papers on the limiting factors of vertical jumping (Hay et al. 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. continuous. Hip extensor torques early in propulsion and shoulder extensor torques near take-off were identified as significant determinants. 1981). 1999. . 1976. A deterministic model in mathematical modeling is a direct mathematical representation of phenomena that occur in deterministic. Model for the 100-m dash and illustration of selected kinematic characteristics of a running stride.

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. Knudson The mechanisms of these benefits have recently been confirmed by experimental and simulation studies (Cheng et al. the terminal factors (boxes at the ends of the various paths) of the model are the distance loss. Briefly. Development of deterministic models The steps in the development of a deterministic model are described in detail by Hay and Reid (1988)..V . Model for the discus throw used by Hay and Yu (adapted from Hay & Yu. Downloaded by [113. In the third level. 1995). Feltner et al. The next step is to identify those factors that produce the result. distance.g. Chow & D. height. etc.W .. 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. The outcome of a performance can be an objective measure (e. the flight distance is determined by factors governing the trajectory of a projectile. In the second level of the model used by Hay and Yu (Figure 2).) or a subjective measure (e. As stated earlier. . 2008. 2010. 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.52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 Figure 2. Domire & Challis.g. the first step is to identify the primary goal.222 J. a thrower loses distance if the discus is released inside the throwing circle and vice versa. time. points awarded in gymnastic and diving competition). In the next level. As a result. 1999). It should be emphasized that it is possible to develop more than one model for movement tasks of similar results. result/outcome of the performance to be investigated. 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.210.135.

210. 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. 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).52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 Figure 3. The first three levels of the model are similar to those of Hay and Yu (1995). .135. aerodynamic distance. The terminal factors of the model can be categorized into three groups: (1) the characteristics of the discus at the instant of release. 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).Use of deterministic models 223 angle and height of release. (2) the characteristics of different upper body segments at the instant of release.

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. 1985b. Based on data collected at the 1982 British Commonwealth Games. A concise summary of this research is presented in Table I. Although the movement tasks of able-bodied and wheelchair discus throws are not exactly the same. Deterministic models have been successfully used in the study of jumps and throws in track and field athletics. and a no-step start. Using the deterministic model approach Hay and colleagues (1985a. McLean et al. and water times) as the performance goal of the hands-between-the feet grab starting technique. 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. 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. the explosive strength (represented by vertical ground reaction force). using a computer simulation technique. and the jump distance was over-estimated if the change in angular momentum was not considered in Downloaded by [113.210. there are differences in influential variables between able-bodied and disabled discus throwers. In a group of 168 untrained high school students. flight. Using the total starting time (sum of block.52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 .V .135. (1984) concluded that elite swimmers achieved very similar S with very different combinations of SL and SF. The results indicated that approach velocity and vertical ground reaction force are not independent factors in determining jump distance. 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. 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. Knudson swing. Chow & D. especially in swimming. improvement in breaststroke S after six weeks (three times/week) of training depended upon an increase of SL.W . was found to have the largest influence on both SL and SF.224 J. Guimaraes and Hay (1985) tested 24 male high school swimmers and identified several mechanical characteristics that contribute to a faster start. the segmental approach used in wheelchair discus can by applied in future research to the delivery phase of the ablebodied discus throw. rather than SF (Saito. Use of deterministic models has clarified key performance parameters in swimming starts and strokes. Apart from the common finding that the speed of release is the most influential determinant of the distance of the throw. athletics field events. The axilla cross-sectional area. 1982). 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. Pai et al. Their findings suggested that step starts offered some performance improvements over the no-step start. (2000) adapted the model by Guimaraes and Hay (1985) to compare the kinematics of three types of relay start – one or two-step approach. and gymnastics. 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. 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. a variable that could be substantially affected by training. 1986) successfully identified mechanical characteristics that are significantly related to the official distances of long and triple jumps of elite jumpers.

52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 Table I. Within subject S increased as a result of increasing SF and decreasing SL. trunk. Torques at the shoulder. (1976) 213 M Hay et al. Hay et al. For a faster start swimmers should (a) move CG fast forward on block. (1984) 64 M. and knee were significant contributors to jump height and contributions varied across phases. hip. hip. (b) maximize backward force by feet. & water times CORR & REG Use of deterministic models Hay & Miller (1985a). Confirming the dominant roles of the horizontal velocity of the approach. rather than in SL. 225 .210. 46 F CORR & REG Guimaraes & Hay (1985) 24 M high school swimmers Swim grab start time CG kinematics and kinetic variables determine the block. and arms contributed significantly to the variations in CG elevation from takeoff to peak of flight.135. (1978) 213 M Vertical jump height Joint angular impulses Craig & Pendergast (1979) REG 63 M. 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. flight. S was not significantly correlated with either SL or SF. (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. 47 F t-test Hay et al. the horizontal and resultant velocities at takeoff. Summary of research articles using the deterministic model approach. knee. and the flight distance. & (c) maximize force by hands in forward and upward direction. Ten shoulder. (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.Downloaded by [113. Other factors closely related to the jump distance were identified. 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.

and height of release Components of ground reaction force (GRF) and center of pressure. stride frequency. Takei & Kim (1990). 41% (SF).W . Although S is little influenced by the physique. The anthropometric variables accounted for 89% (SL). Hay & Yu (1995) 14 M & 15 F Discus throw distance Changes in the speed of the discus (Ds) during different phases.and post-flight angular momentum values Ranged from 24 to 122 M/F world class gymnasts 1 gymnast Stride length. 1990. 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. the combination of SL and SF used to attain a given S is very much a function of swimmer’s physique.135. 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 pre. and 17% (S) of the variances in the measured characteristics of their strokes. angle. the better the final result. Chow & D. 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.210. body segment angles and range of motion during single support Linear and angular motion of the gymnast in preflight. 1992. time of postflight.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. Knudson Grimston & Hay (1986) 12 M college swimmers Average swimming speed (S) Wilson et al. Sprint skating speed is associated with a long stride length and a large singlesupport distance. .Downloaded by [113. (1987) 24 M & 10 F Skating sprint speed CORR Takei (1988. speed. Mechanical factors associated with judges’ scores were identified for different types of vaults. 1989. (1992.V . postflight. 2003) Gervais (1994) Time on horse. Takei et al. 2000. 1998). CG location and velocities postflight. 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.

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

The predicted optimal performance was found to display greater virtuosity in postflight height. 2003a). Other sports skills studied using the deterministic model approach are roller skating (Wilson et al. Dixon and Kerwin (1998) Downloaded by [113. 1989).V . Takei & Kim. Chow & D. discus throw and javelin throw performance of wheelchair throwers of different medical classifications (Figure 3). 2002) and tennis serve (Chow et al. 2007). 1999) applied a stationary throw model to the analyses of shot put. 1989. .. 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).W . 2000. 1990. 2003b. 1988.135. Chow & Mindock. In addition to horizontal jumps. 1992. 1998. Takei and colleagues have used deterministic models to guide their biomechanical analyses of several gymnastic vaults performed by elite gymnasts (Takei. 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). 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... Knudson the analysis. 1996) and rowing (Soper & Hume.52] at 02:00 18 March 2014 Figure 4. Deterministic models were also used in reviews analyzing the slalom in alpine skiing (Bober. Takei et al. 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. 1990. horse jumping (Powers & Harrison. Instead of statistical approaches commonly used by others. distance and angular momentum when compared with the individual’s best trial performance.. Hay and Yu (1995) developed a model to analyse discus throws performed by elite able-bodied athletes (Figure 2). In separate studies Chow and colleagues (Chow et al.228 J. 2000. Model showing preflight factors causally related to the official score of a handspring vault (adapted from Takei. 1999. 2004).210. 1987). and physical training for increasing vertical jump height (Ham et al. Figure 4 shows a typical model used by Takei.. 1992. 2003).

Hay also advocated that deterministic models be used as a basis for qualitative analysis of sports skills (Hay. 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. in a vertical plane up and around a barrier to a target.. 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. (2004) suggest that rapid aiming movements are controlled through a reciprocal interplay between intersegmental dynamics during the acceleration phase and error corrections. 1984.Use of deterministic models 229 Downloaded by [113. With practice. the relative contribution of net joint moment components remained unchanged. Qualitative analysis of technique decisions on meaningful biomechanical factors that directly affect performance is important. so use of deterministic models to guide qualitative analysis could be an improvement on traditional error detection and correction based on unverified technique beliefs. Results from Yoshida et al. 2004). 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. However. Using the same mathematical procedures Heise and Cornwell (1997) and Yoshida et al. It should also be mentioned that some studies used the deterministic modeling approach but the approach was not explicitly stated [e. Use of deterministic models has found its way into other exercise and sports science research utilizing biomechanical data. There has been limited and fragmented research on the interdisciplinary skill of qualitative analysis of human movement (Knudson & Morrison. (1989) examined the net joint moments at the upper extremity joints during a maximum speed hand movement. 1988). .135.52] 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. subjects in the Heise and Cornwell (1997) study could throw further. 1997. 2002). 1989.. Schneider et al. whether the relative contributions of the components of the net joint moment at the elbow and shoulder change after an intervention. Schneider et al. 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. for a planar multi-joint throwing skill and a target reaching task respectively. interactive and generalized muscle moments. (2003)]. Although no block diagrams were used. has not been tested by research and deterministic models are only one of several approaches (Knudson & Morrison. (2006) and Zablotny et al.. Hay & Reid. however. three studies on the acquisition of motor skills have used deterministic models (Heise & Cornwell. 2004). 1999). There is a need for research comparing the use of deterministic models of qualitative analysis with other models of qualitative analysis.210. It is clear that deterministic models have been useful in conducting biomechanical research on a wide variety of human movements. Their model focused on the three components of the net joint moment: gravitation. Their results supported Bernstein’s (1967) hypothesis that practice alters motor coordination among muscular and passive joint moments. Some coaches are not educated in exercise and sports science and rely on passed-down craft knowledge of sports techniques. Yoshida et al. Extension of deterministic models to qualitative biomechanics Besides their utility in planning and analyzing biomechanical data in research. The utilization of deterministic models as a guide for qualitative analysis. (2004) tried to determine.g. while others encourage use of deterministic models and kinetic variables in qualitative analysis (Sanders. 2002). Yu et al.

Hay and his students. 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. to allow a reliable multiple linear regression analysis and to overcome problems of colinearity. increasing the number of variables expands the study. but imposes greater demands on sample size and interpretation.230 J. 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). 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. (1981) tested 194 subjects for the purpose of identifying limiting factors of vertical jumping. Despite the success of these models in a wide variety of biomechanics research.W .72) of throwers allowed the investigators to affirm the significance of shoulder girdle movement in wheelchair discus throw (Chow & Mindock. Partial correlation and multiple regression analyses should be used to define the variables that are meaningful in predicting the goal of the movement. A reasonably large sample of subjects and trials is needed in order to come up with an acceptable power value. Use of deterministic models in biomechanical research could reduce the problems caused by numerous dependent variables noted earlier. 1993. These models have been used successfully in research on a wide variety of motor skills in the last four decades. 1984). Another advantage of the deterministic models is that it can be used to provide a theoretical basis (mechanical relationships) for statistical modeling (Bartlett. In any event. thereby eliminating variables that are intercorrelated or not truly influential.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. Care must also be taken to ensure and report that the scatterplots do not violate assumptions of linearity and random error. The deterministic model approach is a more objective approach to identifying factors that affect the outcome of a performance. For example. Studies using deterministic models in biomechanics and motor behaviour illustrate their utility in identifying critical mechanical parameters in human movement. so that the strength of the correlations and regression equations accurately model the data. Downloaded by [113. most of the scholars using deterministic models have links to Dr. 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. 1988). 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. If done correctly. Hay & Reid. 1999). . Subjectivity in selecting the number of levels and variables in a deterministic model can be a disadvantage at times. For example. referring to the model depicted in Figure 3. 1999). biomechanics scholars are encouraged to use deterministic models to improve the focus and impact of their research.135. For example. It is not uncommon to see many factors and levels of factors in a well-developed model. Hay et al. Chow & D. this ensures that no major factor that determines the outcome is overlooked and that nothing is included unnecessarily (Hay.210. While deterministic models logically have the potential to improve qualitative analysis. A major concern when using such a model for statistical modeling is the sample size and assumptions of the statistics used.V .

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