Developing A Theoretical Model Of Human Movement

  • L. J. Stoner
  • D. J. Wu
Keywords: model, bone, muscle, and ligaments


The literature in kinematic and kinetic analysis of human motion has grown in volume and level of sophistication during the past 25 ysars. New technology has facilitated faster quantification of movement parameters and greatly increased the data base from which conclusions are drawn. Sample sizes of 5-6 have been replaced by 20 or more and acceptable trials for analysis is more often 10 than 2 or 3. This data is not easily shared with the athlete or the ooach because numerical or graphic presentation of information such as velocity, force, or acceleration is not readily translated into strategies for training, practice or competition. The laws of mechanics have often been applied to human movement in order to draw generalities about performance; however, these are sometimes flawed because of lack of information about the individual perfonner or the ooach's ability to make a clear application. Although some biomechanists have suggested the need for developing biomechanical principles, few efforts have been made toward this goal. This paper proposes a movement theory which accepts the common constraints of bone, muscle, and ligaments and proposes a universal process which can be utilized in performing sport and daily life activities. Labeled by the authors the "figure eight", this theory has been tested using the mathematics of topology an found to be a consistent description of continuous movement with considerable ability to adapt to differing movement situations. The authors introduced this concept at an earlier ISBS meeting (1988) and presented it's scientific underpinnings at the International Pre-Olympic Scientific Congress in Korea (I990). To explain the theory and it's underpinnings, the authors feel that it is necessary to first present the theory of "figure eight" and in a second presentation provide the practical application of the theory in selected sport and daily life applications. This presentation will discuss the rationale for developing the "figure eight" and the basic concepts of the theory. Most study of human motion focuses on the result or product of a movement. This theory addresses the process by which movement occurs without requiring quantification of kinematic or kinetic variables. Learning the process has proved to be successful in teaching a variety of sport skills and generally extends to the skilled athlete a broader repertoire of options or strategies for performing movement.