Linear and Angular Kinematics

  • Duane Knudson


Kinematics is the accurate description of motion and is essential to understanding the biomechanics of human motion. Kinematics can range from anatomical descriptions of joint rotations to precise mathematical measurements of musculoskeletal motions. Recall from chapter 2 that kinematics is subdivided according to the kinds of measurements used, either linear or angular. Whatever the form of measurement, biomechanical studies of the kinematics of skilled performers provide valuable information on desirable movement technique. Biomechanics has a long history of kinematic measurements of human motion (Cappozzo, Marchetti, & Tosi, 1990). Accurate kinematic measurements are sometimes used for the calculation of more complex, kinetic variables. This chapter will introduce key kinematic variables in documenting both linear and angular human motions. The principles of biomechanics that apply kinematics to improving human movement are Optimal Projection and the Coordination Continuum.


Angular Velocity Vertical Velocity Knee Extension Angular Acceleration Kinematic Variable 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Duane Knudson
    • 1
  1. 1.California State University at ChicoChicoUSA

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