Sports Analysis: How can technology assist the expert?
Analyzing body motion is sports is crucial to improve performance, avoid injuries, maximize comfort, and finally, to observer how specific parameters evolve over time. On account of the aforementioned, having the right data is vital: the trainer, fitter, or specialist requires abundant, significant information in order to assess the athlete’s performance and provide valuable advice. This is particularly useful after an injury or during a recovery period.
In our experience, two procedures should be avoided in motion analysis. The first one is relying on video analysis applications. A video-based system is a 2D system. Whichever action takes place in front of the camera, it will be projected onto a 2D plane – but anatomical points do not move in a 2D plane, they move freely within a 3D space. Even seemingly ‘flat’ movements like a knee or ankle during a pedaling cycle do have a third-dimension component which is precisely very relevant to avoid injuries and boost performance. Therefore, a high-quality analysis system should always involve 3D tracking. Video recording should always be considered as an auxiliary system for visualization purposes or overall review.
The second one is using any system entailing manual clicking or user-aided tracking. The trainer or specialist doesn’t usually have spare time and should rather focus on more meaningful tasks.
Optical motion capture
Clinical 3DMA and EDDO Biomechanics offer sub-millimetric marker tracking, low occlusion rate within capture volume and a wide range of real-time data, all necessary for a high-precision capture and in-depth analysis of your activity. Optical motion capture systems are ideal for performance labs and in-door facilities.
Inertial motion capture
STT’s IMUs (STT-IWS) and iSen are specially adequate for outdoor sessions (where fixed installations are not possible) or in those cases where occlusions are a problem. STT provides full-featured software packages with 3D real-time rendering and biomechanical analysis, including a wide range of biomechanical models and reporting tools.