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BIOMECHANICS
Biomechanics  the application of mechanical laws to living structures,
specifically to the locomotor system of the human body.
I.
Uses of Biomechanical Analyses
• Improvement of sports skill techniques
• Design of sports equipment
• Prevention of injuries
• Clinical analysis of movement pathologies
• Design of prostheses
• Design of rehabilitation devices
Qualitative analysis  a nonnumerical description of a movement based on
direct observation.
Conducted primarily by teachers and coaches.
Quantitative analysis  a movement is analyzed numerically based on
measurements from data collected during the performance of the movement.
Conducted by researchers.
II. Levers of the Human Body
Refer to Unit 13 in Lab Manual.
Mass – the quantity of matter contained in an object.
Units = kilograms (kg)
Force – mass X acceleration.
Units = Newtons (N)
1 N
=
(1 kg) (1 m/s
2
)
Weight – the amount of gravitational force exerted on a body
Weight
=
mass
X
acceleration of gravity =
ma
g
Acceleration of gravity
=
9.81 m/s
2
Units of weight – Newtons
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If a person has a mass of 80 kg, his weight = (80 kg)
(9.81 m/s
2
)
=
785 N
Torque – the product of force and the perpendicular distance from the
force’s line of action to the axis of rotation. It may be thought of as rotary
force.
Units = Newtonmeters (N·m)
Moment arm – the perpendicular distance between the force’s line of action
and the axis of rotation.
Mechanical advantage of a lever – the ratio of force arm length to resistance
arm length
Volume – the amount of space that a body occupies
Pressure – force distributed over a given area.
Units = N/cm
2
P
=
F/A
Compression – pressing or squeezing force directly axially through a body
Tension – pulling or stretching force directly axially through a body
Shear – force directed parallel to a surface
Mechanical stress
=
F/A
Similar to pressure.
Lifting A Heavy Object From the Floor
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 Spring '09
 asmundson

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