Understanding Biomechanics within the scope of Kinesiology.
One of the ways for an individual to improve their fitness and neurological muscular health is to acquire a deeper understanding and knowledge of biomechanics. This is specifically important for individuals who are suffering from soft tissue injuries, resulting in needless pain.
Individuals who develop proper biomechanics are creating functional movement patterns, opposed to dysfunctional movement patterns. This helps minimize the potential for injury; be that as an athlete or a recreational exerciser, and can also help with orthopedic recovery.
Biomechanics is the science of movement of a living body, including how muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments work together to produce movement. Biomechanics is part of the larger field of kinesiology, specifically focusing on the mechanics of movement.
Synergistically, biomechanics and the concepts of kinetics (the analysis of the forces acting on the body) and kinematics (the analysis of the movements of the body) function together for the purpose of evaluation of an individual's movement patterns. This is important to identify which movements are functional and/or dysfunctional. Dysfunctional movement patterns are developed when the body is not in balance.
Five important components in biomechanics are motion, force, momentum, levers and balance:
Motion is the movement of the body or an object through space.
Force is a push or pull that causes a person or object to speed up, slow down, stop or change direction.
Momentum is the product of a weight and its velocity when moved.
Levers Our arms and legs act as levers; there are three parts to a lever – the resistance arm, the fulcrum, and the axis of rotation.
Balance in this context refers to stability. An important principle of balance is the alignment of the body’s center of gravity over the base of support.
Having proper balance, also known as stable alignment, is important for functional movement patterns during active motions of the body.
Understanding the evaluation of movement patterns by the divisions of anatomical planes.
In biomechanics, every motion of the body is described starting from the anatomical position. The anatomical position describes an upright person looking straight ahead, arms at the side with palms facing forward, the feet slightly apart at the heels, and toes pointing forward. There are three anatomical or Cardinal planes in the anatomical position, as described below.
The sagittal or median plane divides the body into two sides (left and right), with a few exceptions: motions of flexion (decreasing the angle of a joint/bending the joint) and extension (increasing the angle of the joint/straightening the joint) occur in the sagittal plane.
The second division of the body is the frontal or coronal plane, which bisects the body into front and back portions. Again, there are a few exceptions: motions of abduction (moving a limb away from the center/medial line of the body) and adduction (moving a limb towards the center/medial line of the body) occur in the frontal plane.
Finally, the transverse or horizontal plane divides the body into upper and lower portions. Movements of rotation occur in the transverse plane. Diagonal patterns of movement occur when components of all three cardinal planes of motion are combined at the same time.