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Changes in inertial parameters of the lower limb during the impact phase of dynamic tasks

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journal contribution
posted on 21.11.2019, 09:09 by Laura-Anne Furlong, Dimitrios VoukelatosDimitrios Voukelatos, Pui Wah Kong, Matthew PainMatthew Pain
Mechanical analysis at the whole human body level typically assumes limbs are rigid bodies with fixed inertial parameters, however, as the human body consists mainly of deformable soft tissue, this is not the case. The aim of this study was to investigate
changes in the inertial parameters of the lower limb during landing and stamping tasks using high frequency three-dimensional motion analysis. Seven males performed active and passive drop landings from 30 and 45 cm and a stamp onto a force plate. A sixteen-camera 750 Hz Vicon system recorded markers for standard
rigid body analysis using inverse kinematics in Visual 3D and 7×8 and 7×9 marker arrays on the shank and thigh. Frame by frame segment volumes from marker arrays were calculated as a collection of tetrahedra using the Delaunay triangulation method in 3D and further inertial parameters were calculated using the method of Tonon (2004). Distance between the centres of mass (COM) of the rigid and soft tissues changed during impact in a structured manner indicative of a damped oscillation. Group mean amplitudes for COM motion of the soft tissues relative to the
rigid body of up to 1.4 cm, and changes of up to 17% in moment of inertia of the soft tissue about the rigid body COM were found. This study has shown that meaningful changes in inertial parameters can be observed and quantified during even moderate impacts. Further examination of the effects these could have on
movement dynamics and energetics seems pertinent.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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Journal of Biomechanics




Elsevier BV


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Biomechanics and the definitive published version is available at

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Dr Laura-Anne Furlong . Deposit date: 20 November 2019

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