Biomechanics monitoring in sports. The body through objective data
The human musculoskeletal system produces movements through the contraction of muscles. Such muscular movements are controlled by both internal and external environmental factors such as heigh, weight and gravity. The study of factors that influence the movements of the human musculoskeletal system lies within a branch of mechanics known as biomechanics. It is from this field that popular sportswear giants such as Nike and Adidas obtain the information needed to manufacture award-winning kits.
For athletes and sportspersons to improve on their past performances, there is need for a comprehensive data collection system to track and monitor their reflexes under certain conditions. This is done through biomechanics monitoring. It is can also be used in weight loss exercises and improving the fitness of racing car drivers. Some few useful applications of biomechanics monitoring are explored below
The use of biomechanics monitoring tools helps coaches determine objectively the rate of improvement in runners. This can be done by analyzing the pace and cadence the athlete maintains by looking at defficiencies or asymmetries in propulsive and load phases as well as step and stride lengths. Reducing the load means better transfer of energy through the stride and less impact on the runner which should reduce the risk of injury. Asymmetries in the propulsive phase cause compensatory movement patterns which can be easily avoided by making postural and mechanical changes to the athlete to get the desired output.
Biomechanics monitoring can also help a golfer by pointing out the best swing positions and the bodily adjustments needed to take accurate shots. Using 3D modeling, it is now possible to measure the actions of various body segments and how they relate with other body parts when the golfer is in action. This helps a professional golfer determine what drills and exercises are needed to improve the technical aspect of the game. With golfers, a commonly overlooked attribute is the gait. Golfers must walk miles in a day and expect to perform at the highest level with fatigue building every step. Golfers,then, spend most of their day wearing away their energy and strength and spend very little time golfing, or swinging the club. With a game so dependent on precision, every detail should be addressed through training and conditioning. The perfect way to monitor that conditioning, is through gait analysis.
In this case, the positional play, the shot success/failure rate, crosses, catches/interception rates, passes, tackles and other key indicators are measured to improve on a player’s game. Concussions and the cognitive effect on functional movement? Now with the ability to measure power output and accelleration patterns while comparing performance values over an entire athletic career, simple and effective biomechanical analysis can be a serious return-to-play program starting with preseason screening and continuing with regular testing days for detailed monitoring.
In effect, biomechanics monitoring is a holistic or interdisciplinary approach to improving human body performance, especially in sports, without using banned substances. It ranges from simple monitoring such as heart rate or glucose levels to more sophisticated motion analysis through a gamet of technology that offers an effective way to integrate evidence based feedback into your understanding and decision making with regards to the body.