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Over the past couple of weeks I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about getting “back to basics” when it comes to both performance enhancement and injury prevention as it relates to Biomechanics. During the initial stages of any biomechanical changes, it is important for the athlete to visualize and conceptualize what changes they want to make as well as why these changes are important for both their short term and long term goals. For example, a runner might want to modify their foot strike position in order to decrease their risk of injury, help prevent a recurring injury from coming back or improve their time in a specific event. With that being said, what does it mean to get “back to basics” in the field of Biomechanics. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be posting information on a variety of “Basic Biomechanical Principles”, seven to be exact, as well as some examples of how this principle might be interpreted in a variety of different sports and activities.

Biomechanical Principles:


Principle #1:

The lower the center of gravity, the larger the base of support, the closer the line of gravity to the center of the base of support, and the greater the mass, the more STABILITY increases.

Maximum Effort

Principle #2:

The production of maximum force requires the use of all the joints that can be used.

Principle #3:

The production of maximum velocity requires the use of joints in order – from the largest to the smallest.

Linear Motion

Principle #4:

The greater the applied impulse, the greater the increase in velocity.

Principle #5:

Movement usually occurs in the direction opposite that of the applied force.

Angular Motion

Principle #6:

Angular motion is produced by the application of force acting at some distance from an axis (or a torque).

Principle #7:

Angular momentum is constant when an athlete or object is free in the air.

Check back later for more information on each of these Biomechanical Principles.

Brian Shackel, MSc