Biomechanics is an essential part of sport science and sports have always been an essential part of the International Society of Biomechanics (ISB), which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, 2023. ISB researchers have been instrumental in developing and advancing sports biomechanics fields ranging from neuromuscular function to clinical models for return to sport to applied sports performance biomechanics and mechanical muscle contraction mechanisms. This connection of biomechanics and the ISB with sports will be highlighted by the presentations in this session. Finally, the numerous activities of ISB and how you can get involved in ISB and its activities will be briefly introduced. A special mention will be made of the ISB 2023 congress which will host the official 50th anniversary celebrations.

Date: Thursday 6 July, 12:15 - 13:15 (during Lunch Break) 
Lecture room: 351


Professor Toni Arndt
The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences (GIH), Stockholm, Sweden
Past President of ISB
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Benedicte Vanwanseele
KU Leuven, Department of Movement Sciences
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Measure and monitor dynamic loading contributions to sport injuries.

A musculoskeletal overuse injury occurs when the cumulative musculoskeletal load exceeds the load capacity of the same musculoskeletal structure (e.g., articular cartilage, tendons, or bones). An overuse injury can be modelled as a mechanical fatigue phenomenon whereby, the onset of musculoskeletal damage is related to the number of cycles times the load magnitude to the 7-9th power depending on the involved tissue.  As such, the load magnitude is much more important than the volume in the etiology of RRIs.  
Measuring and monitoring musculoskeletal load remains an unsolved grand challenge in applied situations outside the laboratory. While lab measurements give detailed insight in the load on the different musculoskeletal structures, they mostly provide a snapshot in a controlled environment which might have contributed to the limited and sparse evidence relating biomechanical variable to overuse injuries. With the availability of wearables, such as inertial measurement units, easy and inexpensive monitoring of physical activities outside the laboratory is possible. Using these wearables, proxy measures for musculoskeletal load can be estimated such as peak vertical ground reaction force. This talk will give an overview of available methods and scientific evidence data extracted from wearable that can contribute to the understanding of the occurrence of overuse injuries.  


Professor Neil Bezodis
Swansea Univesity, UK
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Understanding the determinants of human speed through empirical and theoretical biomechanical analyses

The 100 m world record holders are widely renowned as the fastest man and woman on the planet. Many biomechanics researchers have therefore attempted to understand the kinetic and kinematic features that underpin such exceptional feats of human performance. The general spatiotemporal characteristics associated with, and external force demands required for, high performance across the block phase, acceleration phase and maximum velocity phase have been relatively well established through a range of empirical studies. Understanding the techniques that sprinters use to achieve these forces has traditionally been explored through descriptive and sometimes experimental approaches, whilst more recent advances in computer simulation have enabled new theoretical avenues of investigation. This presentation will explore the evolution towards the current understanding of human sprint biomechanics by discussing the wide ranging and novel biomechanical studies that have enabled it. The presentation will conclude by considering how applied biomechanics researchers can continue to create new sprint-focussed knowledge in the future, and how this knowledge can be applied to inform the development of practical strategies to hopefully further extend the limits of human speed.


Stephanie Ross
Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary
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Understanding the role of skeletal muscle intrinsic properties on sports performance using experimental measures and muscle models

Muscle are the motors that drive human movement, and as such, their function is vital for high performance. The output force, work, and power of muscle is dictated by its intrinsic properties such as the force-velocity and force-length relationships, activation and deactivation dynamics, history-dependent effects, and structural and inertial properties. Depending on the mechanical demands of the particular sport, the specific features of these properties in a given muscle, and the interplay between them, may either enhance or limit performance. In sports such as cycling, muscles undergo cycles of stretching and shortening and are required to maximize mechanical work per contraction cycle. This requires muscles such as the quadriceps groups and triceps surae to activate and deactivate quickly to maximize positive work by generating high force during shortening and minimize negative work by producing little to no force during stretching. In sports that require high power contractions such as sprinting, force-velocity properties of muscle are particular important, as muscles contributing to the movement must generate high force at fast contraction velocities. In this talk, I will discuss examples of how the intrinsic properties of muscle influence the performance of different sports, and how combined experimental and modelling approaches have led to this insight.


Anthony J. Blazevich
School of Medical and Health Sciences, Centre for Human Performance, Edith Cowan University, Australia
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The Neuromechanics of Strength, Speed, And Power: The past, present and future of performance optimisation

The capacity to generate large forces against external substrates (the ground, water) or objects (projectiles) within a limited time is critical to performance in many sports and activities of daily living. Our muscles, our motors, contain microscopic myosin-actin power units that provide the mechanical energy for movement. However, over the last 50 years our understanding of the process of muscle contraction has changed significantly, affecting how we understand muscle “strength” as well as weakness that may come from injury, illness, and ageing. And these muscles function at the macroscopic level as highly complex machines, with the fibres undergoing both strain and rotation to alter whole muscle shape in 3 dimensions. New perspectives gained from recent animal and human experiments have shed new light on ways in which macro-level function helps to overcome some of the sarcomere-based force-velocity and force-length limitations, broadening our perspective on how muscle power might manifest under different loading conditions. And our muscles then work within compliant tendinous complexes to move our bodies in ways that best translate the muscular forces into external forces, allowing us to project objects, or ourselves. Optimising this process is, today, a major driver of experimental-computational biomechanics and neurophysiological research.


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