Bio Mechanics

Revision notes on bio-mechanics for AS Physical Education, Anatomy & Physiology module.

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  • Created on: 10-01-08 12:59
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Mechanics, Motion and Movement
Motion is movement and is divided into three main categories:
Linear Motion
Angular Motion General Motion (bola)
Linear Motion
One example of Linear Motion in a straight line could be a
tobogganist. All parts of the body and the toboggan are moving in a
straight line, the same distance, in the same direction at the same speed.
Linear Motion in a curved line is very rare in human motion but can be
seen in a shot put (if no spin is impacted at release). All parts of the shot
are moving in a curved line, the same distance, in the same direction at the
same speed.
Angular Motion
The definition of Angular Motion is perhaps more difficult to
understand. To produce angular motion, the movement must occur around
a fixed point or axis, for example, like a bicycle wheel turning about its axle
or a door opening on its hinges. When we apply this concept to the human
body we often talk of athletes spinning, circling, turning and somersaulting,
which implies that the athlete or part of the athlete is moving through a
circle or part of a circle about a particular point. However, the most obvious
examples of angular motion are the limbs in our own bodies because they
move around our joints, which are fixed points. Consider flexion and
extension of your elbow joint. You will notice that the lower arm is moving
through part of a circle about a particular point ­ your elbow joint, which in
this example is the axis of rotation.
General Motion
Most movements in sport are combinations of linear and angular
motion and therefore this third type of motion is the easiest to exemplify.
The approach run of a javelin thrower shows general motion. During the
approach the javelin and the torso of the athlete are showing linear motion
by moving in a straight line with all parts moving the same distance, in the
same direction at the same speed. However, the arms and legs of the
athlete are showing angular motion as the nonthrowing arm rotates
around part of a circle about the shoulder joint, the upper legs about the

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A second example of general motion is a wheelchair athlete. The
body of the athlete and their chair are displaying linear motion as they
move along the track, but the swinging action of the athlete's arms and the
turning of the chair's wheels exhibit angular motion.…read more

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Consider a ring doughnut ­
its centre of mass will be at its centre which is in the middle if the hole!
In the human body, the centre of mass is not a fixed point located in
a specific part of the body. Its location will vary depending on body
position and, as we will see, it can also be a point outside the local body.…read more

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