Basic Biomechanical [Mechanical engineering]

# Basic Biomechanical

Basic Biomechanics: Terms and Definitions

Biomechanics is a fascinating field. Possessing sufficient knowledge in this area is paramount for properly understanding resistance training. I try my best to educate my readers so that over time they can build upon their knowledge and reach superior levels of understanding with regards to human movement.

I have listed some definitions below that I would like for my readers to try to familiarize themselves with as it will allow them to better comprehend future blogposts, articles, videos, and interviews. I created a special tab on the right hand column of the blog named “Biomechanics Terminology” so you can find this particular article whenever you need it.

Force: force equals mass times acceleration and is a vector quantity, meaning that it’s displayed in a particular direction. Force is usually measured in Newtons.

GRFs: GRF stands for ground reaction force. When you jump, sprint, or perform an Olympic lift, you exert force into the ground. Force-plates measure these forces. During vertical jumping, most of the force produced is vertical. However, in sprinting, you have vertical forces as well as horizontal forces. When the foot strikes the ground during maximum speed sprinting, at first the force is projected forward which is called braking forces, and once the COM passes over the foot, the force is projected rearward which is called propulsive forces. In general, force, including GRF, is measured in Newtons.

Muscle Force: when muscles contract or are stretched, they create muscle force. This muscle force pulls on bones which creates joint torque. In general, force, including muscle force, is measured in Newtons.

Velocity: velocity is the rate of change of position of the athlete. It’s just like the term speed, but with a direction associated with it. It is usually measured in meters per
second, but can also be expressed in miles per hour or kilometers per hour.

Vector: vectors contain both magnitudes and directions. Force, velocity, and acceleration are all vector quantities.

Force-Velocity Curve: you can plot the force-velocity curve on a graph by plotng force on the y-axis and velocity on the x-axis. In strength & conditioning, the goal is to shift the curve upward and to the right so that the athlete can exhibit more force and power at every possible load. Heavy strength training tends to shift the curve more on the force end of the spectrum, whereas explosive training tends to shift the curve more on the velocity end of the spectrum.

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