Forces In Biomechanics

Biomechanics Forces

A force is a push or a pull which alters the state of motion of a body and is measured in Newtons (N). Here we cover balanced and unbalanced forces, friction, air resistance, impulse, force-time graphs, and free body diagrams.

Free Body Diagrams

Free body diagrams are used to show which forces are acting on a body at a particular instant in time. Arrows indicate the position, direction, and size of the force acting. The most likely forces acting on an athlete are friction, air resistance, weight and reaction forces.

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Friction and Air Resistance

Frictional forces act against the movement of one surface over another, such as tennis shoes on a grass court. Friction is the force which prevents the player slipping and sliding. When air passes over a surface a frictional force called air resistance is produced, this is particularly important at high speed.

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Impulse

What is Impulse? Impulse is simply a measure of the force applied for a specific time. Impulse = force x time and has units Ns (Newton seconds). It is an important concept in sport because many techniques, particularly throwing activities, require the performer to apply as large a force possible for as long as possible.

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Balanced and unbalanced forces

A force is a push or a pull which alters the state of motion of a body and is measured in Newtons (N). As explained in Newton’s first law of motion a force is required to make a stationary body move, change speed, direction or stop.

Read more on balanced forces.

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