Biomechanics studies the mechanical parameters of human motion. In sport this can help to improve performance and reduce injury by means of optimising movement patterns.
To understand performance and injury biomechanists assess the movements and forces produced by the athlete. Biomechanists use a wide range of tools for to quantify movements, including high speed 2D cameras, 3D motion capture systems, force platforms, inertial measurement systems, speed guns, electromyography and pressure distribution systems. Traditionally assessment have been laboratory based, however the development of technology now enables detailed field based and competition capture.
Quantifying and understanding movement can help to diagnose problems which might limit sporting potential or risk long term injury.
With close athlete and coach consultation, movement technique and sporting equipment may be altered to modify movement patterns. The impact this can have on an athletes’ performance is significant.
Why is there a Biomechanics team at the EIS?
EIS Biomechanists have two key objectives, to improve performance and to reduce injury.
To do this the practitioner must assess the athlete and develop an understanding of the individual movement signatures of that individual athlete. This may range from basic assessment of movement to more complex analysis of forces and torques produced at specific joints.
At the EIS our practitioners look beyond the basic picture and will consider all the elements that make up performance. This might include the environment, aerodynamics, and the athlete’s interaction with the ground or the ergonomics of their equipment to optimise performance positions. Putting all this together and understanding the individual athlete’s response can provide a really clear picture of what is required to succeed at the top level.
How does Biomechanics have a performance impact?
The EIS use bespoke customised technology to develop theories and practices based on sound scientific principles and these identify the strength and weaknesses of athletes.
This can help to inform coaching practice as well as equipment design and development, enabling athletes to safely push the boundaries of their capabilities.