Motion Analysis

Athletics requires motion and all too frequently incorrect movement can result in less than optimum performance and even injury to young athletes. Using advanced motion analysis technology the Sports Medicine Center for Young Athletes can analyze a young athlete's biomechanics, movement, displacement, impact forces, velocity, acceleration and reduce complex athletic motion data to simple visualizations to recommend improvements, better techniques, and injury prevention awareness.

Photographic methods for the analysis of human motion began in 1878, when sequential pictures of galloping horses were taken as an experiment to check whether all four feet of a horse were off the ground at the same time while trotting. The use of motion picture cameras in human motion increased with the development of cinematography during the last century. Nowadays, miniaturization of computers and availability of technology have resulted in the widespread use of video cameras in any activity, including sport motion analysis (Wilson, 2008).

There are two types of video analysis: qualitative and quantitative. First, qualitative analysis of sport activities is the first and simplest way of evaluation since it is based on the criteria of the observer (subjective evaluation). As no absolute measurements can be retrieved from it, qualitative video analysis can be used to review executed motions which are too quick for the human eye or too complex to observe them at a glance. For example, an athlete can learn about proper technique in a relatively short time with qualitative video analysis techniques, such as slow motion or stop-action viewing (Garhammer & Newton, 2013).

Second, the aim of quantitative motion analysis of sport and exercise activities by means of video recordings is to undertake a detailed analysis of subject’s movement patterns (Payton, 2008) and reduce injury risk (Bartlett, 2007). Although video cameras provide sequential two-dimensional images of movement at specific time intervals depending on the speed of the camera (McGinnis, 2013), quantitative analysis can be two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D).