CAN FORWARD DYNAMIC SIMULATION MODELS BE USED TO IMPROVE THE PERFORMANCE OF TOP ATHLETES?

  • Maarten F. Bobbert
  • L.J. Richard Casius
Keywords: musculoskeletal model, optimization, motor control

Abstract

The question addressed in this study was whether the forward simulation approach can be used to improve the performance of top athletes. Using a musculoskeletal model we carried out a simulation experiment on vertical squat jumping, which involved (1) generation of target kinematics, (2) production of matching simulations with two different models, (3) finding optimal solutions for the two models and (4) implementation of optimal solutions. It was shown that the approach was only successful if the model used to match the target kinematics accurately represented the system that had generated these target kinematics. Since it is not possible to make accurate models of the musculoskeletal system of individual athletes, the goal of improving the performance of top athletes with a forward dynamic simulation approach seems too ambitious.