Biomechanics is an area of biological study from the perspective of mechanics. We seek to look at living beings with attention to the structures and functions of their systems. Through this point of view, more specifically thinking about physical exercise, biomechanics seeks to study external efforts better to understand the repercussions of these on internal structures.
For example, when performing the bicep curl exercise with a 2kg dumbbell, what impact does this overload have on the flexor muscles of the elbow? Is the overload the same throughout the entire range of motion? To answer these questions and be more confident when selecting exercises and choosing loads, it is necessary to analyze the exercise from a biomechanical point of view.
Biomechanics Of Running In Improving Exercise
The astride cycle consists of 2 main phases:
- Contact phase;
- Balance phase.
The contact phase is the one in which we keep the foot in contact with the ground, while the swing phase is the one that represents the aerial phase. During this phase, we have the action of the cycle-stretching-shortening and the mechanical contribution to propulsion and energy minimization. The contact phase can be divided into contact, support, and unleash.
The contact is the landing of the heel on the ground, generating a force against the forward displacement. That is when there is an eccentric muscular demand to dampen the knee and hip flexion tendencies. At this point, there is the peak of the ground reaction force, which is responsible for the development of joint injuries and stress fractures.
The stance phase is when the entire foot is in contact with the ground, this is a phase of transition and absorption of mechanical energy.
The unfolding phase is when the propulsive musculature in the lower limbs is most required in its concentric action. It is when there is elastic energy transfer and the cardiorespiratory effort to keep the muscular system active.
We can observe these two phases of the stride to seek to improve the mechanical pattern of our running students.
As a rule, a shorter contact time is accompanied by shorter times for concentric contraction, which is quite expensive, and represents a more economical running.
Furthermore, by increasing the air phase when running, there is a reduction in stride frequency, contributing to better performance, fewer strides, and, consequently, fewer peak impacts, reducing joint overload and the risk of injury.