Video Motion Analysis

Written by Jared Vincenti
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The science of kinesiology is essentially based on the practice of motion analysis. At the meeting point of biology and physics, kinesiology explores how muscles generate and receive force for motion. Motion analysis is the practical use of this, for by examining the specific mechanics of motion, we can find the most efficient mechanics for the given motion.

Thus, everything from running to throwing a ball is based on the conduction of force through your body. The application of motion analysis comes when you use the knowledge of mechanics to maximize the amount of force you generate while minimizing wasted force. Since wasted force usually is absorbed by your joints or bones and contributes to long-term injury, motion analysis can be incredibly helpful for athletes of all levels.

Video Technology and Motion Analysis

While some motion analysis can be done with the naked eye, such as general analysis of a runner's stride, the invention of the video camera has really given the field it's feet. By taping an athlete performing a task, a specialist can then review the video tape with the athlete in slow motion. This allows the specialist to examine motions that are almost too fast for the naked eye--like swinging a baseball bat.

Once a specialist has determined the causes of any motion errors, he can go about fixing them. In many cases, simply pointing out mistakes in form is enough to correct them. Other times, errors are a result of muscle or joint weakness, perhaps from previous injury. In these cases, a specialist can help find a brace or splint to correct the problem. Whatever the problem or solution, video motion analysis allows us to perfect our sports by seeing our movements frame by frame.

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