The Study of Biomechanics
Updated: Sep 30, 2019
Anyone performing any form of physical training does so because he or she has a goal. Some may want to lose fat, others may want to gain weight, many simply train to stay healthy, while those that compete in a sport want to reach a higher level of performance. However, everyone wants to achieve the best version of themselves and reach their genetic potential. The job of a fitness trainer or a sports coach is to ultimately guide people to accomplish just that.
The study of biomechanics helps with the understanding of how the body adapts to different training types and the principles underlying behind each human movement. Mechanics is the study of forces acting on the body (referred to as kinetic variables) and the changes in motion these forces cause (referred to as kinematic variables), whilst bio refers to the study of biological organisms (Siff, 2000). Thus, biomechanics is the study of forces on living organisms. Biomechanics also helps coaches and athletes assess movement patterns which can help them gain new insight into how their movement can be improved and how new skills can be learned.
These movements can be learned through repeated specific drills. However, this approach to skill learning ignores how constraints or limitations may affect learning. Using a constraints-led approach, where athletes are allowed to explore their unique different movements during different specific tasks rather than following prescribed specific movement patterns has been found to aid skill learning Renshaw, 2016).
Before adopting new training practices, make sure that it is backed up by research (evidence-based practice). This will help avoid pitfalls such as fads, shortcuts and magic pills that don’t work. One must always keep in mind that the information found on the internet, magazines, and books are not always correct. The best information is found in scientific journals since each research is passed through a rigorous scientific process. These blogs are based on these scientific readings and references are presented at the end for further reading.
Renshaw, I., Araújo, D., Button, C., Chow, J. Y., Davids, K., & Moy, B. (2016). Why the constraints-led approach is not teaching games for understanding: A clarification. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 21(5), 459-480.
Siff, M. (2000). Biomechanical foundations of strength and power training. Biomechanics in sport, 103-139.
Thanks for reading, and as always stay fit!