2016 Biomechanics in Action

Clinical Biomechanics

This video demonstrates a strength test for the leg muscles. – courtesy of East Carolina University.

Here we have a knee imaged with video radiography. This is a quick video of a moving knee joint. Don’t blink. courtesy of the Spaulding National Running Center, Harvard Medical School.


These jump-landing and squatting videos from ACL reconstructed patient 6 months after surgery. Notice the asymmetry between limbs even though the patient was cleared to return to sport participation. These videos are from Robin Queen, Virginia Tech.


These videos are from a total ankle replacement. The first video shows the pre-operation walking ability of the patient and the second video shows the same person 2 years after surgery. These videos are from Robin Queen, Virginia Tech.


Sport Biomechanics

Biomechanics can help us understand mechanical factors from different sports movements.  Here’s a video of a baseball player having his swing analyzed.

The movement is recorded by a motion capture system. Data are analyzed using a 3D model with specialized software.

Here’s a screen capture of the 3D model of our baseball player.

Check out this biomechanical representation of a running person! – courtesy of the Spaulding National Running Center, Harvard Medical School.

This is a feature from the discovery channel showing how biomechanics can be used to understand what makes certain people’s movement capabilities unique compared to the rest of the population. Here Dr. Ajit Chaudhari investigates the biomechanics of a tightrope walker using a series of biomechanical tests! – courtesy of The Ohio State University.

Animal Biomechanics

Force platforms can be used to measure ground forces in animal locomotion. Here we see one of our furry friends with reflective markers walking over a force platform to assess his gait mechanics.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University invented prosthetics for some wonderful canines. Check out this video.

Biomechanical Models

Biomechanists use musculo-skeletal models to understand human movement. This knee-joint model is used to understand how the knee truly moves and how the knee changes with injury or disease – courtesy of the University of Wisconsin Neuromuscular Biomechanics Laboratory.

 Here’s a model that includes the muscles and other soft tissue structures surrounding the knee.

Here’s a biomechanical model of a person walking – courtesy of Vanderbilt University.

Look! A foot in action – courtesy of The Spaulding National Running Center, Harvard Medical School.

Biomechanical Imaging and Material Testing

Some biomechanists study the individual components of a biological system to understand more about movement capabilities. These scientists examine topics such as the maximum forces that muscles can produce, the stiffness in soft tissues such as ligaments and tendons, and how bones respond to loading. Understanding the properties of the materials that make up the body is critical to understanding how we move.