Q: In simple terms, what it biomechanics?
Biomechanics is the scientific study of forces and the effects of those forces on and within the human body.
In sport, it’s about making technique as good as possible and avoiding injury.
Q: That sounds very complicated, can you elaborate?
Because biomechanics can analyse and interpret the cause and effect of forces applied to and by the body, biomechanists are involved in a range of activities, from technical performance analysis, to injury prevention and rehabilitation methods.
Q: How can biomechanics have a positive influence on athletic performance?
A biomechanist would study an athlete’s performance with a view to diagnosing any problems which might be limiting sporting potential. In close consultation with the athlete’s coach, training patterns may be altered to incorporate elements which may help to rectify the problem.
Q: This all sounds very scientific, presumably testing can only happen in a laboratory?
Not necessarily. Biomechanics testing does take place in the lab, but field testing – analysing the performance of an athlete in training – and competition analysis are also commonplace these days.
Q: Are there any particular success stories?
English triple jumper Jonathan Edwards refined his technique by using biomechanical analysis during a stint at Florida State University, USA.
Coach Dennis Nobles used biomechanics and exercise physiology to calculate that a longer takeoff, coupled with raising the torso, holding the hop and step phases and controlling the pumping of the arms, would produce a world record for Edwards.
After taking nearly a year off to recover from illness, Edwards improved his own performance by half a metre to smash the World Record in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1995. His mark of 18.29m still stands.

The Biomechanics Booklet:

Clickview Resources:
Biomechanics - 25 mins (Worksheets and Answer Sheet)
Hitting the Ball -Bio-Mechanics Series Part 1 - 25 minutes (Teacher Sheet)
The Biomechanics of Throwing - Bio-Mechanics Series Part 2 - 28 minutes (Teacher Sheet)

Online Video of Biomechanics in action:
Treadmill Walking 3D - http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7305168681854298162&q=gait+analysis&hl=en
Gait (Stride) Analysis - http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5846684213901369093
Gymnastics Analysis - http://www.dartfish.com/en/media-gallery/videos/index.htm

Biomechanics Links:

Powerpoint Links:
**Biomechanics** of Work