Applied Biomechanics


Course Objective

In this course the student will upgrade their mostly 2D biomechanical
knowledge to the 3D world and they will learn to apply this new
knowledge to perform biomechanical analyses in the context of Sport and
Health. Examples of concepts included are joint angles, joint moments,
energy (work, power), angular (and linear) momentum.

Students will learn to analyze laboratory measurements using a 3D
inverse dynamics model. Furthermore, they will learn how to work with
more simple measurement techniques, such as accelerometers found in
phones. They will also learn how these complex and simple measurement
tools can be applied in biomechanical research in both the laboratory
and the field settings. Lastly, they will learn to think about what
measurements are sufficient for a given problem; in other words; what
are the most efficient ways to solve your problem, and at what cost
(i.e. decrease in precision) does this come?

Course Content

Every week consists of lectures and Matlab practicals. During the
lectures the theory will be explained. During the Matlab practicals, the
biomechanical theory will be applied to analyze different applied
research questions. In the last weeks of the course, students will start
working on a research proposal to combine the things they’ve learned
over the course. During the penultimate week, there will be a
personalized feedback moment for these project proposals.

All content will be targeted on hands-on applied biomechanical questions
as examples for the theory to be studied; examples of questions studied
are; What is the ankle load during a basketball jump landing? Is squat
lifting really better for your back? How come field hockey players can
give so much speed to a ball during a drag flick? How can gymnasts
improve their jumps? How can we use mobile phones to gather meaningful
data about human movement?

Every week, the motion to be analyzed will become more complex (few
segments → full-body).

Measurement using the following systems will be covered in this course:
• Laboratory grade 3D motion registration (Optotrak, Force plate)
• A wearable multi-inertial sensor suit for 3D full body motion capture
• Simple wearable accelerometers
• Mobile phones
• Kinect (demo)

Teaching Methods

21 hours of Lectures
48 hours of practicals
90 hours of self-study (preparing lectures, Writing assignments etc)

Method of Assessment

Weekly practical report + research proposal

Entry Requirements

It is recommended, although not required, to have completed the
following courses:
• Biomechanics
• Mechanische analyse van het menselijk bewegen (2D inverse
If you did not take these courses, you should have at least some
affinity with biomechanics. Furthermore, it is advisable to be familiar
with Matlab since all biomechanical modeling will be done with this


Will appear on Canvas

Custom Course Registration

For more info on workgroups, laboratories, (computer) practicals etc. please see Canvas. Students sign in only for the course and classes on VUnet, for workgroups etc they go to Canvas.

General Information

Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Fac. of Behavioural and Movement Science
Course Coordinator dr. S.M. Bruijn
Examiner dr. S.M. Bruijn
Teaching Staff dr. G.S. Faber

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture, Computer lab*

*You cannot select a group yourself for this teaching method, you will be placed in a group.