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Klaus Schneider and Ronald F. Zernicke

With a validated mathematical model of the head-neck consisting of nine rigid bodies (skull, seven cervical vertebrae, and torso), we simulated head impacts to estimate the injury risk associated with soccer heading. Experimental data from head-linear accelerations during soccer heading were used to validate the nine-body head-neck model for short duration impact loading of the head. In the computer simulations, the mass ratios between head mass and impacting body mass, the velocity of the impacting body, and the impact elasticity were varied. Head-linear and angular accelerations were compared to standard head-injury tolerance levels, and the injury risk specifically related to soccer heading was estimated. Based on our choice of tolerance levels in general, our simulations showed that injury risk from angular head accelerations was greater than from linear head accelerations, and compared to frontal impacts, lateral impacts had greater angular and less linear head accelerations. During soccer heading, our simulations indicated an unacceptable injury risk caused by angular head accelerations for frontal and lateral impacts at relatively low impact velocities for children, and at medium range impact velocities for adults. For linear head accelerations, injury risk existed for frontal and lateral impacts at medium range to relatively larger impact velocities for children, while no injury risk was shown for adults throughout the entire velocity range. For injury prevention, we suggest that head-injury risk can be reduced most substantially by increasing the mass ratio between head and impacting body. In soccer with children, the mass of the impacting body has to be adjusted to the reduced head mass of a child, that is, it must be clearly communicated to parents, coaches, and youngsters to only use smaller soccer balls.

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Behzat B. Kentel, Mark A. King and Sean R. Mitchell

A torque-driven, subject-specific 3-D computer simulation model of the impact phase of one-handed tennis backhand strokes was evaluated by comparing performance and simulation results. Backhand strokes of an elite subject were recorded on an artificial tennis court. Over the 50-ms period after impact, good agreement was found with an overall RMS difference of 3.3° between matching simulation and performance in terms of joint and racket angles. Consistent with previous experimental research, the evaluation process showed that grip tightness and ball impact location are important factors that affect postimpact racket and arm kinematics. Associated with these factors, the model can be used for a better understanding of the eccentric contraction of the wrist extensors during one-handed backhand ground strokes, a hypothesized mechanism of tennis elbow.

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Karin G.M. Gerritsen, Anton J. van den Bogert, Manuel Hulliger and Ronald F. Zernicke

The purpose of this study was to investigate, theoretically, to what extent muscle properties could contribute to recovery from perturbations during locomotion. Four models with different actuator properties were created: the FLVT model, which encompassed force-length (FL) and force-velocity (FV) characteristics of human muscles as well as muscle stimulation inputs as functions of time (T); the FLT model, which had muscles without force-velocity characteristics; the FVT model, which had muscles without specific force-length characteristics; and the MT model, which had no muscles but was driven by joint moments (M) as a function of time. Each model was exposed to static and dynamic perturbations and its response was examined. FLVT showed good resistance to both static and dynamic perturbations. FLT was resistant to static perturbation but could not counteract dynamic perturbation, whereas the opposite was found for FVT. MT could not counteract either of the perturbations. Based on the results of the simulations, skeletal muscle force-length-velocity properties, although interactively complex, contribute substantially to the dynamic stability of the musculoskeletal system.

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Akinori Nagano, Taku Komura and Senshi Fukashiro

The two goals of this study were (a) to evaluate the effects of the series elasticity of the muscle tendon complex on an explosive performance that allows a counter movement, and (b) to determine whether or not a counter movement is automatically generated in the optimal explosive activity, using computer simulation. A computer simulation model of the Hill-type muscle tendon complex, which is composed of a contractile element (CE) and a series elastic element (SEE), was constructed. The proximal end of the CE was affixed to a point in the gravitational field, and a massless supporting object was affixed to the distal end of the SEE. An inertia was held on the supporting object. The goal of the explosive activity was to maximize the height reached by the inertia. A variation of the SEE elasticity was examined within the natural range. The optimal pattern of neural activation input was sought through numerical optimization for each value of the SEE elasticity. Two major findings were obtained: (a) As the SEE elasticity increased, the maximal height reached by the inertia increased. This was primarily due to the enhanced force development of the CE. (b) A counter movement was automatically generated for all values of the SEE elasticity through the numerical optimization. It is suggested that it is beneficial to make a counter movement in order to reach a greater jump height, and the effect of making a counter movement increases as the elasticity of the muscle tendon complex increases.

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Senshi Fukashiro, Dean C. Hay and Akinori Nagano

This paper reviews the research findings regarding the force and length changes of the muscle-tendon complex during dynamic human movements, especially those using ultrasonography and computer simulation. The use of ultrasonography demonstrated that the tendinous structures of the muscle-tendon complex are compliant enough to influence the biomechanical behavior (length change, shortening velocity, and so on) of fascicles substantially. It was discussed that the fascicles are a force generator rather than a work generator; the tendinous structures function not only as an energy re-distributor but also as a power amplifier, and the interaction between fascicles and tendinous structures is essential for generating higher joint power outputs during the late pushoff phase in human vertical jumping. This phenomenon could be explained based on the force-length/velocity relationships of each element (contractile and series elastic elements) in the muscle-tendon complex during movements. Through computer simulation using a Hill-type muscle-tendon complex model, the benefit of making a countermovement was examined in relation to the compliance of the muscle-tendon complex and the length ratio between the contractile and series elastic elements. Also, the integral roles of the series elastic element were simulated in a cyclic human heel-raise exercise. It was suggested that the storage and reutilization of elastic energy by the tendinous structures play an important role in enhancing work output and movement efficiency in many sorts of human movements.

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Mark A. King, Cassie Wilson and Maurice R. Yeadon

This study used an optimization procedure to evaluate an 8-segment torque-driven subject-specific computer simulation model of the takeoff phase in running jumps for height. Kinetic and kinematic data were obtained on a running jump performed by an elite male high jumper. Torque generator activation timings were varied to minimize the difference between simulation and performance in terms of kinematic and kinetic variables subject to constraints on the joint angles at takeoff to ensure that joints remained within their anatomical ranges of motion. A percentage difference of 6.6% between simulation and recorded performance was obtained. Maximizing the height reached by the mass center during the flight phase by varying torque generator activation timings resulted in a credible height increase of 90 mm compared with the matching simulation. These two results imply that the model is sufficiently complex and has appropriate strength parameters to give realistic simulations of running jumps for height.

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Kenton R. Kaufman and William J. Shaughnessy

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Janet D. Larsen and David W. Rainey

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James G. Hay, Qi Liu and James G. Andrews

The purpose of this study was to determine the effect that body roll has on the path followed by the hand during the pull phase in freestyle swimming. The trunk and right arm were modeled as two rigid segments joined at the shoulder by a simple hinge joint. The arm segment was assigned an elbow flexion angle, and the hand was made to move in a plane through the shoulder parallel to the sagittal plane of the rotating trunk. Shoulder extension and trunk roll occurred simultaneously at selected rates. Medial deviations of the hand to the midline of the trunk can be obtained with body roll alone and require less roll than is usually observed among competitive swimmers. When body roll exceeds the amount necessary to produce the desired medial deviation of the hand, the swimmer must move the arm away from, rather than toward, the trunk's midline.

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Maurice R. Yeadon, Pui W. Kong and Mark A. King

This study used kinematic data on springboard diving performances to estimate viscoelastic parameters of a planar model of a springboard and diver with wobbling masses in the trunk, thigh, and calf segments and spring dampers acting at the heel, ball, and toe of the foot segment. A subject-specific angle-driven eight-segment model was used with an optimization algorithm to determine viscoelastic parameter values by matching simulations to four diving performances. Using the parameters determined from the matching of a single dive in a simulation of another dive resulted in up to 31% difference between simulation and performance, indicating the danger of using too small a set of kinematic data. However, using four dives in a combined matching process to obtain a common set of parameters resulted in a mean difference of 8.6%. Because these four dives included very different rotational requirements, it is anticipated that the combined parameter set can be used with other dives from these two groups.