Motion Analysis

Written by Jared Vincenti
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Motion analysis is part of the field of kinesiology. This is the branch of science that applies medicine, biology, and physics to understand how movement works. The basic discoveries of motion analysis are somewhat surprising for their simplicity, as they do follow the rules of biology and physics.

Most basically, a muscle stores energy until it is moved. This movement generates force, which can be used to propel the body to swing a bat, or to do any other task. The energy is transmitted through the body, and directed outward into the ground or another object. Problems arise, though, when all the energy is not transmitted.

The energy that is not put into the motion is wasted. Not only that, your bones and joints are forced to absorb the impact from this force generated. You are well equipped to handle these kinds of stresses, but if the same action is repeated over time, you can start to develop injuries from the accumulated wear and tear on your body.

Motion Analysis and Coaching

Motion analysis is the process by which you examine a body in motion, looking for any wasted motions. When you spot these irregularities in form, you can train your athlete to avoid these motions. Not only will this work as preventative medicine, but it will also improve your athlete's performance.

Simply put, proper form makes a sport easier. Not only does it result in the maximum energy being used from every motion (and thus eliminating wasted energy), it also reduces the wear on the body. An athlete with proper form will see fewer injuries, as his joints are absorbing less destructive energy than a graceless athlete.

Motion Analysis and Rehabilitation

If you have already developed an injury from repetitive stresses on your body, motion analysis can help mend it. Once the injury itself is beyond the phase of swelling and hurting, you can start to exercise it to strengthen your body. In addition, you can incorporate exercises to compensate for any weaknesses that may have contributed to poor form.

Many sports trainers can identify errors in form based on the injuries they cause. Thus, a good sports trainer will immediately start the athlete on a rehabilitation routine that takes into account the whole picture. In addition, motion analysis can be used to pinpoint areas of weakness, which can be fixed either through practice or physical support.

How Motion Analysis Works

The basic idea behind motion analysis is that by watching a motion carefully, your eyes can actually catch small irregularities in movement. Thus, watching footage of an athlete in slow motion can tell you volumes about his body and habits. Based on the information gleaned from the video, a specialist can make recommendations about how injuries can be prevented and how form can be strengthened.

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