Arm Wrestling test

An overview of biomechanics in sport

Biomechanics and its function in sports. Biomechanics is used for three different kinds of tasks: performance, injury, and rehabilitation. We’re going to focus on performance in this article and going through the foundation of biomechanics. In biomechanics, there are two units that are commonly used, Watt and Newton. You can, for example, use Watt when you measure power output and Newton is used to measuring force output.

To calculate Power output you need to divide the “work (W)” done with the “time (T)” it took (W / T = Power output). and to calculate “Force output” you need to multiply “mass (M)” with “acceleration (A)” (A x M = Force output).

Power output is often used to measure endurance where the focus is to keep performing at the same resistance during a long time, for example, bicycle, rowing, and so on. Meanwhile, force output is often used in explosive sports were the focus is at maximal performance during a short amount of time, for example, powerlifting, martial arts, and so on. The equipment used for measuring performance in sports differs within each sport and purpose:

  • A Soccer club in Spain used GPS-sensor attach to each soccer-player to measure distance and speed/acceleration during the training session. This information was aiding the coach to discover over-training and each players strengths and weaknesses.
  • Accelerometers track both movement and vibrations and can, therefore, be used in most sports. Accelerometers can be used in boxing to measure power output and previewed the boxer or the coach with information on the boxer’s physical condition.
  • The piezoceramic (in short “piezo”) sensor is a sensor that measures pressure and commonly used in force plate in the laboratory to measure forces produce by jumps, countermovement jumps are a typical test and loved by the scientist. The piezo sensor is very small and doesn’t weigh much and can easily be attached to other objects.
  • The dynamometer was first used in the aircraft industry to security checking the wires and works direct opposite the piezoceramic sensor. Instead of measuring a pushing force, it measures a pulling force. I have used a dynamometer attach to wire in my own research to measure maximal force output from arm-wrestlers.

Written by Robin Kadergran a professional in biomechanics.


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2 thoughts on “An overview of biomechanics in sport”

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