The Biomechanics of Performance
First questions to ask yourself
  1. What forces are acting?
  2. What direction are those forces being applied?
  3. How big are those forces?

Biomechanics is an essential area of rehab and performance that every coach and clinician should understand, but there is one BIG problem. Ever pick up a biomechanics book? If you’ve so much as peaked at one, you probably saw a ton of technical jargon, physics, mathematics, and endless equations. While the fancy equations might be useful for researchers, coaches need a working knowledge of a few biomechanics principles to really make that knowledge useful in the gym. So, cut out the equations, and grasp the concepts. In this video series, we’ve done just that.

This 4 part video series will go through the core principles every coach should understand to make their training more effective, prevent injuries, and make better decisions when writing programs or adjusting things on the fly.

  1. Biomechanics and Coaching
  2. Essential Concepts for Coaching I
  3. Essential Concepts for Coaching II
  4. Biomechanics for Peak Performance

Anytime I’m working through biomechanics of a movement, the first things I ask myself are:

  1. What forces are acting?
  2. What direction are those forces being applied?
  3. How big are those forces?

Part 1 – Biomechanics and Coaching

Here is what you’ll find in part 1 of the series:

  • Why mechanics matter in performance and rehab
  • A few prerequisite concepts you should know before getting too deep
  • The 3 laws of motion
  • Forces, forces, forces, and more forces
  • Basic mechanics of posture and squatting

Part 2 – Essential Concepts for Coaching

In video one, we went over the foundations of biomechanics including Newton’s laws and forces.

In this video, we get deeper into forces, start applying Newton’s laws, and get into the first two BIG biomechanics concepts that will change the way you think about movement. Once we’ve hammered home those concepts we will apply them to movement at various joints. Here’s what you will find in video two:

  • Internal vs. External forces. This includes those “ground reaction forces” that Ty is always talking about. And friction, which is so incredibly undervalued it’s sickening. I’ll give you “book definitions”, then a bunch of examples so you can relate this to what you intuitively know. This lets you look at things in new ways, connecting more dots in that big brain of your’s. Don’t worry, I drew a ton of arrows over pictures to make it simple. What are you trying to do with most training? Look at it through the lens of internal and external forces to really dissect your clients’ movement.
  • Length-Tension Relationship. A theory that strongly explains why position of the bones and muscles is so important. What reduces a muscle’s ability to contract? To produce force? Those two are not the same, by the way.
  • Torque & Newton’s laws (yes, again). This is the big topic I want to hammer home (no pun intended). What is a torque wrench? How does it work? How is it similar to muscles and joints? I try to avoid equations, but I wanted to show you the torque equation so you can understand the relationship between force and moment arms. Don’t worry, we don’t waste time on math and mathematical units. Understand the relationships. How does torque change through an exercise’s range of motion? How does torque change if you don’t have a patella? How can you change exercises on the fly? How do proper running mechanics optimize your torque?
  • Velocity and Acceleration. Linear vs. angular velocity. Centripetal forces and the hammer throw. We’ll work through a whole series of diagrams so you can understand how velocity and acceleration change during a squat. If you know this, you’re in a great spot. Feel free to play this back or work through it on your own. How would bands or change alter these pieces of physics?

Part 3 – Essential Concepts for Coaching Deux

After beating Newton’s laws, forces, and torque to death in the first two parts; we can get to the last two biomechanics concepts every coach needs to understand. In this video we clarify the impulse-momentum relationship and the work-energy relationship. After going though the “book definitions” of these concepts we walk through applying them to jumping, landing, throwing, and gait. This is the shortest video in this 4 part series, but by far the most dense.

Here is what your getting into:

  • A recap of velocity and acceleration
  • The impulse momentum relationship
  • The work energy relationship
  • How these relationships relate to one another
  • Practical examples for each concepts to clarify things

Part 4 – Biomechanics for Peak Performance

The fourth and final installment of the biomechanics of performance video series! We’ve finally made it through the trenches of the major biomechanics concepts, and can now start to apply those concepts to different exercises and drills.

In this video — and with the help of IFASTU Coach Ty Terrell — we coach you through four different exercises, using our new love of biomechanical concepts to evaluate every aspect of these movements. If you haven’t watched the first three videos, and don’t have a strong biomechanics background, we strongly suggest watching the first three videos so you get the most out of this fourth and final video. We also add in some motor control and physiology to enhance our mechanical understanding of a few of the exercises.

By the end of the video you’ll be able to make better coaching decisions based on the mechanics and determine which exercises are most useful in your programs.


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Published by Brandon Brown

1 Comment

  1. impressive lectures explains everything in a very simple manner

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