Biomechanical Analysis - SS577

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Spring 5 15 (7.5) checkmark-circle


This module is concerned with angular mechanics and the biomechanics of complex movements. Laboratory experimentation will provide the opportunity for students to develop practical skills in the use of a range of analysis equipment such as a force plate and computer-based motion analysis. A range of sport and exercise situations will be used to illustrate the mechanical principles considered. These could include kinematic analysis of walking; the kinetics of weight lifting; the computation of resultant joint moments and gait analysis.

Indicative content includes:
• Definition and computation of angular kinematic quantities.
• Newton's Laws in their angular formulation.
• Methodology: motion analysis, force plates, anthropometry.
• Interpretation of resultant joint moment profiles in gait analysis.
• Basic material properties such as stress and strain and the relationship between these measures and injury.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

Total hours for the module will be 150. This will include a 1 weekly lecture and seminar or practical session. These contact hours will total 22 in which the intended learning outcomes will be covered. The remainder will be devoted to Private Study for the reinforcement of knowledge

Method of assessment

Coursework (Extended laboratory report to include independent written data interpretation and methodological criticism from exemplar data) 100%

Indicative reading

Hamill, J. and Knutzen, K.M. (2009) Biomechanical basis of human movement. 3rd Ed. London: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Hay, J.G. (1993) The biomechanics of sports techniques. 4th Ed. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall.
McGinnis, P. (2005) Biomechanics of sport and exercise. 2nd Ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Nordin, M. and Frankel, V. H. (2001) Basic biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system. 3rd Ed. London : Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Nigg, B. and Herzog, W. (2007). Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System. 3rd Ed. Chichester: Wiley & Son.
Winter, D. A. (2009) Biomechanics and Motor Control of Human Movement. 4th Ed. Chichester: Wiley & Son

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

1. Apply Newton's Laws to whole body and segmental angular motion.
2. Identify the steps involved in computing resultant joint moments using a two dimensional inverse dynamics procedure and critically discuss methodological issues involved in collecting the necessary data.
3. Explain the advantages of muscle indeterminacy and the limitations of an inverse dynamics analysis.
4. Interpret a joint moment-time profile to identify common gait issues.
5. Recognise a typical stress-strain relationship for biological tissues and the changes in mechanical properties that occur with training, ageing and disuse.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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