BIOMECHANIC EVALUATION OF RUNNING PERFORMANCES

  • M. D'Amico
  • A. Ferenc
  • G. Ferrigno
  • K. Jaworek
  • G.C. Santambrogio

Abstract

Running is the final result of a very complex coordination involving a lot of different anatomo-physiological supports that are jointly provided by the neuro-muscular, the cardio-vascular, the respiratory and the metabolic systems. Given the obvious difficulties of a detailed evaluation of this specific motor-action, a method for synthetic description and analysis of the running performance has been developed. Such a method, presently tested by taking into account the sagittal plane only), is essentially based on the computation of three suitable indexes (namely P2-D, Kv, q) which integrates the information coming from both kinematic and dynamic data. The index P2-D provides a synthesis of the mean power developed by muscles at the main lower limb joints during the ground contact phase. The index Kv depends on the ratio between the previous index P2-D and the mean kinetic energy developed by the whole body during running. The third index q, pointing out an information which is similar to the well known mechanical efficiency, is depending on the ratio between the running cadence and the previously cited index K, The proposed method has been tested by taking into account various subjects who were running at different mean speed. The kinematic and dynamic data which are necessary to implement the computation of the above three indexes have been captured by using opto-electronic motion analyser (Elite system) and a piezoelectric sensed force plate. The aim of this work is to present in detail the adopted mathematical approach and to discuss, on the basis of some preliminary results, the sensitivity of the proposed method.