My study blog

Mechanical analysis

Posted by lednum on November 21, 2006

In throwing events in athletics, e.g discus, where the effectiveness of a technique can be affected by small details, a mechanical analysis may be most useful. The analysis in this example would focus on force, use of body levers and planes of movement.

Your specific technique in other activities may mean that a mechanical analysis would be the most useful. In swimming a mechanical analysis of stroke effectiveness is often used by analysing force and resistance.

In this example, the first swimmer is having difficulty in swimming effectively due to the resistance created by poor streamlining. This is evident through the swimmers lower centre of gravity. With the second swimmer the leg action is more effective, less water is displaced, the swimmers centre of gravity is higher. Overall, the forces applied are overcoming the resistance created by the water in a more effective way.

Action/reaction is another method of completing a mechanical analysis of perofrmance. This form of analysis links to Newtons thrid law of motion. Put simply, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. For example, as a sprinter pushes backwards and downwards onto the blocks, there is an equal and oppostie upwards and forwards reaction. Consider the swimer  in the diagram below. As they drive back against the block, there is an equal and opposite upwards and forwards reaction. As they love through the air, their weight will affect their position  and entry into the water.


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