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Category: Sports

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Future Directions in Sport Biomechanics: 

Future Directions in Sport Biomechanics D. Gordon E. Robertson, Ph.D. Biomechanics Laboratory, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, CANADA


Themes Outlets for sport biomechanics research (societies, conferences, journals) Funding Research tools Research questions/ideas (where may we be going next)


Journals Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport (1931) Journal of Biomechanics (1968) Human Movement Science (1984) Journal of Applied Biomechanics (1985, as Int. Journal of Sport Biomechanics) Journal of Electromyography & Kinesiology (1991) Sport Biomechanics (2001) and many others including

Journals Cont’d: 

Journals Cont’d Almost every combination of sport, science and medicine: Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports Journal of Sport Science and Medicine Journal of Sport Science Science and Sport (French) British Journal of Sports Medicine Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports and Exercise Still to come: Journal of Sports Medicine and Science Journal of Sports Science and Medicine Journal of Medicine in Sport Science


Societies Canadian Society for Biomechanics American/Australian-New Zealand/European/… Society of Biomechanics Clinical Gait and Movement Analysis Society International Society of Biomechanics International Society of Biomechanics in Sports Société Biomccanique many others … (ASME, ACSM, DGfB, ESMAC, ISPGR)

Funding for Research: 

Funding for Research through national agencies (NSERC, CHR, CFI) industry (equipment manufacturers) sport governing bodies Olympic/games funds provincial sports agencies student/faculty interests other countries

Current Technologies: 

Current Technologies semi-/automated 2D or 3D digitizing systems VHS/IRED/Digital/CCD camera systems telemetered force and/or EMG signals GPS monitoring of motion (soccer players by Hennig) accelerometric/gyroscopic monitoring of motion microprocessor monitoring/recording of EMG, ECG, forces etc. instrumented athletic implements (bicycle cranks, paddles, oars, racquets …) force platforms for measuring ground reaction forces (diving platforms, starting blocks, lifting platforms …)

Technique Changes and Sport Biomechanics: 

Technique Changes and Sport Biomechanics revolutionary technique changes back-layout high jump spin shot put V-style ski jump skate skiing grab-start (swimming) pole vaulting (fibreglass poles) …

Sports Engineering: 

Sports Engineering mechanical innovations: rowing (sliding seats, riggings) bicycles (disc wheels, suspensions) wheelchairs (4 to 3 wheels) footware clothing helmets klapskate


Implements Racquet sports stringing materials racquet shape Batting sports materials (aluminum vs. wood) composites (corking) inertial properties Paddling sports material properties shape/structure fluid dynamics


Ergometers/Simulators Treadmills ski instrumented with force platforms Ergometers bicycle rowing swim Instrumented exercise machines Cybex, KinCom, Biodex bicycle cranks

Virtual Reality: 

Virtual Reality Goalie training Batting Golfing Skiing Computer controlled equipment for accurate reproduction of competition conditions. Do training methods accurately represent competition dynamics? (Specificity principle)

Computer Modelling and Simulation: 

Computer Modelling and Simulation Diving Figure skating Trampolining Gymnastics

Simulation of Grand Jeté: 

Simulation of Grand Jeté

New Implements will need Rule Changes: 

New Implements will need Rule Changes “corked-bats” (baseball, softball) fluid filled discus (less rotational inertia, more stability in flight?) atlatl used with javelin (will need bigger stadia or protective vests for spectators)

Vibration-controlled Racquets: 

Vibration-controlled Racquets Racquets can “control” vibration through a careful integration of hard and soft materials–graphite, a ceramic alloy and an innovative new elastic developed by Yonex–whose combined performance accurately controls vibration to 150 to 170 Hz for the best possible combination of powerful solid feel for playability and minimum shock and vibration for playing comfort. Stringing and construction can increase “sweet spot” areas.


Clothing Aerodynamics The seaming in the suit was pushed to the front of the uniform to create the most aerodynamic garment possible. The Nike innovation team estimates that the hood helps eliminate drag by 3 per cent. This is the equivalent to eight feet in a 2000 metre race. Moisture-wicking technology helps sustain body temperature by drawing sweat away from the skin and moving it to the outside of the fabric where it evaporates. Cooling vests may be worn immediately before competition starts to combat high temperatures.


Surfaces Modern track surfaces use a mix of plastic rubbers combined with other plastic binders or with solid polyurethane, which is then glued to the ground like carpeting. tunable surfaces (stiff for sprinting, softer for distances) variable banking of tracks (athletics and cycling) flat for 10 000 metres 15% grade for 200 m “pitcher’s mounds” at high, long and triple jumps allow “ballista” in long and high jumps


Footwear Injury prevention Traction (temporarily glue shoe or sole of shoe or “spikes” to foot) Energy storage/release shoes (springs) Reducing energy absorption Skates (what’s beyond the klapskate?) Ski boots/bindings (microprocessor controlled) Computer monitoring of race by shoe


Summary Many venues are available for Sport Biomechanics research Without funding, research will be driven by industrial and business concerns Engineering mechanics will be an important facet of sports biomechanics Research tools are readily available for advanced analysis of sports techniques Many questions are yet to be explored

Your Ideas: 

Your Ideas Questions Answers Other directions “It’s Not About the Bike.” Lance Armstrong.

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