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Guide to Biomechanics

The application of mechanical principles to living organisms is biomechanics. Mechanics is a division of physics for analyzing force. Biology is the study of humans, animals, plants and the cellular level. Biomechanics is a term coined in the 1970ís for applying the physics of mechanics to biological systems and anatomy. The purpose of biomechanics is to find solutions to medical issues by applying mechanical engineering to living organisms. Biomechanics is a diverse interdisciplinary field, having branches in Botany, Physical Anthropology, Orthopedics, Bioengineering, Zoology, and Human Performance.

Bioengineering is the research aspect of engineering principles as applied to biology from the molecular level to the tissue, organ, joints and anatomy systems levels. Scientists, biologists, bioengineers, physical therapists, and so on use applied mechanics. Thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and solid mechanics are all important in biomechanics. Physicís theories and laws are used in biomechanics to heal injuries, improve performance, prevent injury, create ergo dynamic environments and equipment, and to make replacement body parts such as joints. Applying physics to bones show that are bones are stronger along one axis than they are along a pivotal axis, yet are the same strength regardless of rotation.

Biomaterials are an integral part of biomechanics. Human organs, skin, bone, and so forth have passive mechanical responses credited to the attributes of proteins including elastin and collagen. The properties of living tissue are affected by the physics of applied loads and deformations. For instance, arterial walls are affected by blood pressure as a direct result of applied loads and joints can show wear based on body weight or physical activity. The study of biomechanics covers the workings of a cell to the motion and development of our muscle and bones.

Biomechanics is applied to human joint movement and reaction forces. By analyzing skeletal motion and behavior and applying electromyography to research muscle activation, better designs and materials for orthopedic joint implants, replacement limbs, and dental parts have been developed.

Research is increasing on the biomechanics of soft tissues. Skin, organs, tendons, ligaments and cartilage are amalgamations of matrix proteins and fluid. The main force bearing component is collagen in these tissues. The amount and type of collagen in each one fluctuates depending on the purpose of the performance of each tissue. Elastin is also a chief load-bearing essential in skin, vasculature, and connective tissues. Tendons connect muscle and bone. Tendons must be strong enough to carry loads and make possible the movement of the body and stay flexible to prevent injury to the muscle tissues. Ligaments attach bone to bone and are more rigid than tendons yet fairly equal in tensile strength. Cartilage is compressed and cushions joints to distribute loads.

Sports Biomechanics
In sports biomechanics the laws of mechanics and physics are applied to human performance. This gives us the knowledge needed to increase performance. Mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, physics, computers, and neurophysiology are used to collect and analyze data. Sports biomechanics studies the following movements associated with sports:

Momentum
Momentum is a quantity of motion. Described in mathematical terms as p (momentum) = mass (m) times velocity (v) or p=mv.

Conservation of Momentum
Contraction and rebound action causes the release of heat energy, and momentum is lost, or transferred elsewhere.

Maximizing Momentum
Momentum can be increased by using a heavier bat, racquet and increasing running speed or swing speed at the time of impact.

Projectile Motion
As many sports require the throwing or hitting of a ball or object all projectiles have a vertical and horizontal velocity component. The object is affected by air resistance, friction, spin, and air flow. While the projectile travels, change occurs only in the vertical direction due to the influence of gravity and horizontal factor of velocity will remain fairly consistent except as influenced by air resistance.

Acceleration and Gravity
While in flight, acceleration is always -9.8 meters/second squared. This accounts for the behavior of gravity on the object. Gravity is a constant vertical force so there is little or no horizontal deceleration. Acceleration is the same no matter what the weight of the object. Vertical velocity of a projectile diminishes by 9.8 m/s every second.

Conservation of Energy
Energy cannot be gained or lost only changed from one kind to another. Energy types include:
Kinetic energy: Kinetic energy is the energy of motion. Formula: kinetic energy = 1/2 mass x velocity^2
Potential energy: For example, an object that is moved to a height is said to have potential energy, as if it is release it will gain speed (kinetic energy) while losing potential energy.

Force
Newton's 2nd law is where Force (F) equals mass (m) times acceleration (a), as described by the equation: F = m x a
This law of physics is related to many sporting circumstances. The above formula is used to calculate the force applied to an object. When the force and the mass of the object is known the following formula calculates the acceleration: a = F / m

Impulse
In a collision, the impulse experienced by an object equals the change in momentum of the object.

Aerodynamics
The air hitting a moving object and how the air is dissipated is the airflow. Aerodynamics is the effect of air on the speed and direction of the object. Air flow differs greatly depending on the shape and surface of the object.

Friction
Friction is the resistance to motion of two moving objects or surfaces in contact with each other.

Sports biomechanics uses these principles of physics to collect data and analyze the movement and mechanics of a human in motion to improve athletic performance and understand potential injury. Football collisions involve measuring momentum. The more momentum a player has the harder he or she is to stop. Because momentum is the result of mass and velocity, a player can increase momentum by becoming larger or gaining mass and running faster. While running a player has kinetic energy. It has been calculated that the energy in a collision between Two football players colliding head on create enough force to lift 23 tons of concrete one inch off the ground. This puts potential injury possibilities into a new perspective.

Sports Biomechanics
http://www.topendsports.com/biomechanics/sportspecific.htm
General sports biomechanics.

American Football Biomechanics
http://www.asmi.org/asmiweb/research/football.htm
Football biomechanics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_1XejDVATg
Football biomechanics video.

Baseball Biomechanics
http://www4.cord.edu/pe/glarson/academic/baseballpitch/baseball.html
Biomecahnics of a Baseball Throw

http://www.jospt.org/issues/articleID.1512,type.14/article_detail.asp
Biomechanics of the Elbow during Baseball Pitching

Basketball Biomechanics
http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-13795439.html
Biomechanics of the basketball jump shot

http://www.fiba.com/asp_includes/download.asp?file_id=246
Movement analysis in basketball.

http://www.onemotionbasketball.com/biomechanics.html
Biomechanics and the One Motion Technique

Bowling Biomechanics
http://www.topendsports.com/sport/tenpin/biomechanics.htm
Biomechanics of bowling.

http://www.arielnet.com/sportsci/january/biomechanics_of_cricket_bowling.htm
Biomechanics of cricket bowling.

http://www.coachesinfo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=279:bowlinglegally&catid=84:cricket-bowling&Itemid=159
The Biomechanics of Illegal Bowling Actions in Cricket

Cycling Biomechanics
http://www.fitnessvenues.com/uk/biomechanics-of-cycling
Biomechanics of cycling - Improving performance and reducing injury through biomechanics.

http://firstplaceosteopathy.com.au/page16/page16.html
Cycling Biomechanics

http://www.thefitmap.co.uk/articles/exercise-advice/cycling-biomechanics.htm
Cycling Biomechanics

Golf Biomechanics
http://www.drkochno.com/biomechanics.htm
Biomechanics Of Golf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15896091
Biomechanics in maximizing distance and accuracy of golf shots.

http://www.thegolfacademyla.com/LA-3D-Golf-Biomechanics_63adf737.html
3D Golf Biomechanics

Gymnastics Biomechanics
http://www.coachesinfo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=182:gymnastics-isbs-biomechanical&catid=62:gymnastics-isbs&Itemid=108
Biomechanical Research in Gymnastics

http://en.kendincos.net/video-tlrvvlhj-gymnastics-biomechanics-documentary-on-discovery-featuring-parkettes.html
Gymnastics Biomechanics Documentary

http://www.topendsports.com/sport/gymnastics/physics.htm
Physics of Gymnastics

Soccer/Football Biomechanics
http://www.coachesinfo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=372:equipment-article&catid=101:general-articles&Itemid=188
Biomechanics of Soccer Equipment

http://www.ultimatesoccercoaching.com/soccer-kick/soccer-kick-biomechanics.html
Soccer Kick Biomechanics

http://www.calciatori.com/magazine1.nsf/magazine/E821E3F573984E18C1257360002CCE56?OpenDocument
Biomechanics of a soccer kick

http://www.jssm.org/vol6/n2/1/v6n2-1pdf.pdf
Biomechanical characteristics and determinants of instep soccer kick

Swimming Biomechanics
http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1716&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en
Biomechanics and swimming strategy.

http://www.topendsports.com/sport/swimming/science.htm
The Science of Swimming

http://www.sportsci.org/2010/wghBMS.htm
Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming

Tennis Biomechanics
http://www.tennis-mind-training.com/tennisbiomechanics.html
Basics of Tennis Biomechanics

http://www.itftennis.com/coaching/publications/powerpoints/english/biomechanics.asp
Power point presentations of tennis biomechanics.

Track and Field Biomechanics
http://www.topendsports.com/sport/athletics/biomechanics.htm
Track & Field Physics

http://www.medic.usm.my/~ssu/ARTICLES/article_35.htm
Biomechanics of Jumps in Track and Field

http://www.runningmovies.com/title/103.htm
Biomechanics Studies of Track & Field Events

Volleyball Biomechanics
http://www.topendsports.com/sport/volleyball/physics.htm
Volleyball Physics

http://www.csuchico.edu/~jhudson/pdf/ciappo96.pdf
An exploration of volleyball balance.

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