Biomechanics of Sports

Sports and biomechanics are intimately intertwined, from the design of equipment to the training of elite athletes for the Olympics.

No matter your sports interest—whether you are an avid soccer player who dreams of playing in the World Cup, a beginning golfer, or a cyclist training for one of the Tour de France—Biomechanics of Movement will increase your understanding of your body and provide insights that can impact how you compete. The book describes foundational biological and physics-based concepts that have been used to analyze how to achieve peak performance and prevent injuries. Application of these concepts to real-life problems serve as engaging examples throughout the book.

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For example:

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries occur commonly in sports such as football, basketball, soccer, and skiing and can be devastating to an athlete’s career. Athletes who land from a jump with the knee in a valgus position (left) are at greater risk of injuring their ACL because of the increased stress on the ligaments. Chapters 7, 8, and 9 describe how forces in muscles and ligaments can be computed from motion capture data to assess injury risk.

For runners, the shoes they wear and the surface they run on are critical elements that influence running times and injury risk. Tuned indoor running tracks, like at Madison Square Garden, and running shoes, like Nike's Vaporfly, have incorporated the biomechanical concept of elastic energy storage into their designs to improve running performance. Chapter 3 discusses these examples and more generally, the role of elastic energy and ground reaction forces in running.

3D motion capture and wearable sensors

Youth and professional athletes alike are utilizing technology, such as 3D motion capture and wearable sensors, to improve their game. Biomechanics helps make sense of the massive amounts of data that is generated. Chapters 7 and 13 highlight measurement techniques for analyzing movement, a first step towards improving performance and mitigating injury risk. 

Biomechanics of Movement

The Science of Sports, Robotics, and Rehabilitation

by Thomas K. Uchida and Scott L. Delp
Illustrations by David Delp

Here you will find resources to deepen your knowledge of biomechanics and connect you with the vibrant communities and technologies that are redefining the field.

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Published by MIT Press