THP300 Sports Biomechanics and Perfomance Analysis (10 ECTS) 

Course facts

Course code
Course title
Sports Biomechanics and Perfomance Analysis
Course language
Academic responsible
Matthias Gilgien
THP203 Basal biomekanikk 10sp


Sport and Exercise Biomechanics is the area of sport science concerned with the analysis of the mechanics of human movement. It is traditionally divided into the areas of kinetics (the forces acting and resulting loads on body segments) and kinematics (the movements of the body), but also neuromuscular aspects are considered. Sports biomechanists also study the interaction between the performer and sports equipment and environment. Furthermore, they identify the optimal technique to improve sports performance, analyze loading whilst performing a particular sport or exercise task to reduce injury risk and prevent injury, assess muscular recruitment and coordination, study the impact of equipment (e.g. shoes, playing surfaces, racquets, helmets) on movement quality, examine loading characteristics of exercises to improve training and the rehabilitation programs.To perform these tasks, sports biomechanics utilize various methods which will be demonstrated our biomechanics laboratory (biomekanisk laboratorium) and in field, equipped with state-of-the-art measurement devices.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course the students will be able to:

  • Use kinematic analysis methods to describe technical parameters of human (sports) movements
  • Measure, analyze and interpret myoelectric activity of superficial muscles during selected (sports) movements
  • Analyze external forces and loads acting on the human body using force plates to quantitatively evaluate the execution of movement skills
  • Measure and analyze motion, performance and load of activity in field with wearable measurement systems such as GPS and IMU.
  • Combine kinematic and kinetic methods to describe (sports) movements
  • Understand principles of data acquisition, signal processing and analysis
  • Evaluate physical demands of training and competition in (team) sports
  • Evaluate force and power curves using robotics and formulate advise for training and/or rehabilitation
  • Students get an introduction to programming / coding using MATLAB at the beginning of the course and MATLAB is used to solve the analysis during the course.

Learning styles and activities

The course offers a mix of face-to-face contact, hands-on practical work in the biomechanics laboratory and in field and guided self-study, including lectures, tutorials and other electronically available recourses. This course is above all laboratory course where the students themselves will learn and experience biomechanical data acquisition methods.
The course starts with an introduction in programming / coding to enable students to run the analysis during the course by programming. After that introduction students go through modules of approximately one week. In those modules students get 1) a theoretical introduction and demonstration of a sport and measurement method, 2) students collect data in the biomechanics laboratory, in field or swimming hall and 3) students analyze the collected data and write a short report.
This modular course will offer the following laboratorial activities:

  • Kinematics: movement analysis using motion capture systems such as: video, infrared light camera and reflective marker based systems, global navigation satellite systems (GPS), local positioning systems (LPS), inertial measurement units (IMU)
  • Kinetics: estimation of external forces using force plates and IMU
  • Assessment of neuromuscular function and coordination using surface electromyography (EMG)
  • Evaluation of physical demands in (team) sports using integrated technology
  • Data processing and error estimation

Data collection is carried out in small groups, but the reporting of the results is individual.
In order to get satisfactory learning outcomes, the students are required to prepare and review the theoretical content lectured.


The assessment of the course is made on the basis of the individual written reports and reflects the ability of the student to use biomechanical methods discussed.

Each report is graded on a scale from A to F. All reports must be passed. The final grade is the mean of all reports, A-F.

Core material

Payton, C., & Burden, A. (Eds.). (2018). Biomechanical evaluation of movement in sport and exercise: The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences guide (2nd ed.). Routledge.
* You will find the book in the Library here:
** The book is also available online: Click here to download.
*** NB! To open the electronic book off campus, you must use the following VPN connection: Click here to download.

Robertson, D. G., Kamen, G., Hamill, J. & Whittlesey, S. N. (2014). Research methods in biomechanics (2nd ed.). Human Kinetics.
* You will find the book in the Library here: ORIA

MathWorks. (2022). MATLAB student (R2022a) [Software].
* You can purchase from this site: Click here.