What Are Muscle Biomechanics?

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  • Written By: Erik J.J. Goserud
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
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  • Last Modified Date: 11 January 2020
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In order to best understand what muscle biomechanics is, it's easiest to define each term independently. Biomechanics is the field of study concerned with movement, viewed in a mechanical sense. In biomechanics, the body is a machine, and actions are studies using the physical sciences analogous to an engineer analyzing a robotic device. Muscles are tissues that contract to aid in voluntary and involuntary movements in the body. Muscle biomechanics, therefore, refers to the biomechanical study of the muscles of the body.

Biomechanics is important for many reasons. Some of the reasons why scientists care about biomechanics may be more obvious than others. It's easy to see why an Olympic athlete might want to utilize biomechanics to improve performance, but most people don't think about other possible applications. Biomechanics, for example, is used to help sneaker design as well as other athletic goods.

Studying muscle biomechanics is also important for people recovering from injury or suffering from movement disorders. During an injury, specific muscle groups or associated structures become compromised. This can affect a person's ability to carry out the daily physical functions necessary for life as usual. Insight into biomechanics can tell professionals how design a recovery plan, which products may help this individual, or what could have contributed to the injury severity.


Muscle biomechanics is also useful in preventative medicine. A common adage in the medical world is that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." This means that taking precautions will save time, money, and effort down the road by keeping injuries from occurring.

Oftentimes, a person may be operating in a mechanically disadvantaged manner. The way certain people walk or run sometimes predisposes them for injury. Professionals in the field of muscle biomechanics can assess the movement patterns of such individuals to determine if they are putting themselves at risk and in which specific ways they are doing so. These findings can then be used to implement movement variations that can prevent injury down the road.

Muscle biomechanics is not only important for the elite athlete but for everyone. By looking at the body like a car or other machine, bio-"mechanics" can apply hard science to gain important information about the human body. This information can sometimes help a specific individual, but it can also be used in a broader sense to treat humans in general in the name of improved motion.


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