93933 - Sport Biomechanics

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Silvia Fantozzi

  • Credits 6

  • SSD ING-INF/06

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Campus of Cesena

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Biomedical Engineering (cod. 9266)

    Also valid for Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Biomedical Engineering (cod. 9266)

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student will acquire the basic knowledge necessary for: - the analysis of the sport activities from kinematic, dynamic, and energetic point of view- the informed used of the main tools for the biomechanical characterization of the motor exercise execution for injury prevention and performance improvement.

Course contents

Part 1. Introduction, Theoretical Background and Instrumentation

  • Kinematics. Description of position. Degrees of freedom. Coordinate system. Linear and angular kinematics (planar and three-dimensional). Transformation between coordinate system. Human joint kinematics.
  • Kinetics: Body segment parameters. Force and moment of force. Free-body diagrams. Linear and angular impulse and momentum. Inverse dynamics. Energy, Work, and Power: conservation of mechanical energy, ergometry, and mechanical efficiency. Human joint kinetics: net moment and power.

    Principle of working and correct use of the following equipment/software for biomechanical analysis:

  • Stereophotogrammetry: calibration, protocols, errors (instrumental, anatomical landmark mislocation, soft tissue artifact).
  • Force Platform: installation, calibration, errors (under/over striding), natural frequency.
  • Inertial Sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, MIMU, human movement analysis protocols.
  • Metabolic Systems: sensor calibration, fixed and portable, accuracy and reliability.
  • GPS: trilateration, differential GPS, error (atmospheric, multipath).
  • Electromyography: physiological origin, recording and acquiring, analyzing and interpreting the electromyographic signal.
  • Insole Pressure: requirement of foot plantar sensors, calibration, reliability.
  • OpenSim software.

Experimental activity in the Movement Analysis Lab: squat, lifting, vertical jump and counter movement jump; cycling; treadmill; pull-up.

Part 2. Biomechanic analysis of specific sport

  • Running: Factors affecting preferred rates of movement in cyclic activities. Factors that influence biomechanical measures. Kinematics and kinetics of running. Biomechanics in relation to performance. Running economy. Biomechanical factors and injury. Gait retraining. Biofeedback for injury prevention. Changes in biomechanics with fatigue. Footwear/orthotic.
  • Jumping: Kinematics and kinetics of jumping. HIGH JUMP: Phase of high jump: run-up, takeoff, adjustments in air. LONG JUMP: Phase of long jump: Approach, Takeoff, Flight, Landing. POLE VAULT: run-up, take-off, pole bending and pole straightening.
  • Throwing: : Kinematics and kinetics of throwing. Throwing skills. The flight of sports projectiles. Underarm throws. Overarm throws: JAVELIN THROWING, SHOT PUTTING. Sidearm Throws: HAMMER THROWING.
  • Swimming: Hydrodynamic resistance and its component: passive hydrodynamic resistance (passive drag); pressure resistance (form drag); impact of underwater torque upon pressure (form resistance); active drag. Propulsive forces: drag and lift during different phases of pulling actions; leg movements in swimming; contribution of the core body.

Experimental activity with data acquired in the field: sprint, long jump, baseball and front crawl.

Part3. Student Workgroup

Report on specific field, application of methods and approach. Open discussion with other students.


Zatsiorsky, V. (Ed.). (2008). Biomechanics in sport: performance enhancement and injury prevention (Vol. 9). John Wiley & Sons.

Robertson, D. G. E., Caldwell, G. E., Hamill, J., Kamen, G., & Whittlesey, S. (2013). Research methods in biomechanics. Human kinetics.

Uchida, T. K., & Delp, S. L. (2021). Biomechanics of Movement: The Science of Sports, Robotics, and Rehabilitation. MIT Press.

Teaching methods

Theoretical concepts are illustrated in the classroom. The exercises are carried out individually and practical exercises are held in groups at the Movement Analysis Lab.

Assessment methods

Practical and Oral exam

Biomechanic analysis of data of a sport motor task. (Part1 and Part 2) will be mediated with the evaluation of the presentation/discussion during the workshop (part3).

Teaching tools

Blackboard, videoprojector, laboratory instrumentations and softwares.

Office hours

See the website of Silvia Fantozzi