Biomechanics is the study of movement of a living body, including how muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments work together to produce movement. Biomechanics is part of the larger field of kinesiology, specifically focusing on the mechanics of the movement. It is both a basic and applied science, encompassing research and practical use of its findings.
Biomechanics includes not only the structure of bones and muscles and the movement they can produce, but also the mechanics of blood circulation, renal function, and other body functions.
Biomechanics studies not only the human body but also animals and even extends to plants and the mechanical workings of cells.The biomechanics of the squat includes consideration of the position and/or movement of the feet, hips, knees, back, and shoulders, and arms like various body parts.
Elements of Biomechanics
These are the key elements that biomechanics focuses on:
Dynamics: Studying systems that are in motion with acceleration and deceleration
Kinematics: Describing the effect of forces on a system, motion patterns including linear and angular changes in velocity over time as well as position, displacement, velocity, and acceleration are studied.
Kinetics: Studying what causes motion, the forces, and moments at work
Statics: Studying systems that are in equilibrium, either at rest or moving at a constant velocity
Careers in Biomechanics
Specialties within biomechanics include:
Biological science: Studies of human, animal, cell, and plant biomechanics
Engineering and applied science: Applying the research of biomechanics to various situations.
Exercise and sports science: Applying biomechanics to human performance in athletics
Health sciences: Researching causes, treatment, and prevention of injury and using biomechanics to design rehabilitation programs and equipment.
A master of science or doctorate in kinesiology can lead to a career in a biomechanics field, such as research and design by sports companies, athletic research and testing, workplace testing, and design of interfaces between humans and equipment.
A student of biomechanics will do coursework in physics, biology, anatomy, physiology, mathematics, and statistics. Laboratory equipment used includes force plates, electromyography, high-speed video motion analysis systems, digitizing equipment, accelerometers, pressure sensors, potentiometers, computer analysis programs, and modeling programs.