Biomechanics Lab

In the biomechanics lab, students learn about human movement, functional anatomy and kinematics with cutting-edge hardware and software equipment.

The biomechanics lab focuses on the measurement of human movement.  Students use cutting-edge technology to evaluate movement from both a performance and injury perspective. The lab is an integral part of several exercise science courses (EXSC 336, EXSC 436, EXSC 495), during which students get hands-on experience measuring and analyzing tasks such as gait, balance and various sporting activities.  Through this experiential learning opportunity, students gain a greater understanding of how biomechanics can be applied to improve human performance and prevent injury.

Hardware Equipment

  • 3 Force Platforms (AMTI)
    Force platforms (or plates) are used to measure the forces generated between the ground and a body standing or moving across them.  The most common applications include quantifying the forces traveling through the body or evaluating balance.
  • 10 Camera Motion Capture (Vicon)
    Motion capture is used for recording the three-dimensional position of the body as a person performs a movement task such as gait or a sporting activity.  Reflective markers are placed on the person allowing the position and angles of the various body segments and joints to be calculated with a high degree of precision.
  • Wireless Electromyography (Delsys)
    Electromyography (EMG) involves attaching electrodes to the skin and recording the electrical activity of the underlying muscles. It can be used to quantify which muscles are activated during movements, as well as the intensity and timing of the muscle activation.
  • Isokinetic Dynamometer (Cybex)
    Device for assessing muscle strength. The torque produced by the muscles crossing a joint can be measured as the joint moves through its full range of motion. A variety of different joints can be tested and the speed of the movement can be controlled to more closely represent real-life body movements.
  • Handheld Dynamometer (Lafayette Instruments)
    A portable device used for assessing muscle strength. The device can be placed in different locations to evaluate the amount of force produced by various muscle groups.
  • Basler Video Camera
    Camera capable of capturing high speed movements (e.g., running, jumping, throwing) at a quality sufficient for an advanced video analysis. 

Software Equipment

  • MaxTRAQ Lite+
    Program enables a biomechanical analysis of movement videos.
  • Dartfish
    Program enables an analysis of movement videos with an emphasis on qualitative measurements.
  • Visual 3D
    Analysis program to help perform advanced biomechanical analyses on data collected with motion capture, force plate, and EMG data.
  • EMG Works
    Program used in conjunction with the EMG system to analyse muscle activation patterns.