Overview of courses taught in English 2019-2020
MA412 Specialization course in biomechanics  (10 ECTS) 
Course facts
Course codeMA412
Course titleSpecialization course in biomechanics
Course languageEnglish
Academic responsibleOlivier Seynnes
Teaching semesterSpring

The course will be taught entirely in English including all communications and exams.

The course will deal with advanced biomechanical analysis of human movement and associated methodologies:

  • kinematic and kinetic analysis, inverse dynamics
  • muscle activation and force exertion/measurement in static and dynamic contractions
  • mechanical properties of force transmitting tissues
Learning outcome

Students shall:

  • demonstrate understanding of the kinematic and kinetic analysis of human motion 
  • understand analysis of muscle activation during in-vivo human movement
  • understand the role of mechanical properties of force bearing tissues for performance, and adaptation to use and disuse
Course organization

The course will be based on scientific literature. Primary course interaction will be lecture/discussion point-counterpoint format. Relevant readings from the biomechanics literature will require short summary writing. In addition, a workshop will be included where students conduct a mini research project with data sampling, data analysis and interpretation.

Students shall participate actively and sufficiently (80%) in the classes, and must present at least one paper review or other assignment during the course. The presentations/participation will be evaluated "approved" or "not approved".


At the end of the seminar, students will have 14 days to write a 6500-word essay (including bibliography). Essay topics will be drawn amongst those addressed during the seminar. Essays will be graded A to F.

Please note that essays uploaded to WISEflow will be submitted to the plagiarism prevention service Urkund.


Core material

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


NB! To open electronic articles off campus, you must use the following VPN connection: Click here to download.

Electromyography: Current applications in clinical and athletic settings
Tine Alkjær

Alkjær, T., Raffalt, P., Petersen, N. C., & Simonsen, E. B. (2012). Movement behavior of high-heeled walking: How does the nervous system control the ankle joint during an unstable walking condition? PloS One, 7(5), e37390. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0037390
* The article is available online: Click here to download.

Alkjær, T., Simonsen, E. B., Magnusson, S. P., Dyhre-Poulsen, P., & Aagaard, P. (2012). Antagonist muscle moment is increased in ACL deficient subjects during maximal dynamic knee extension. The Knee, 19(5), 633–639. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.knee.2011.12.006
* The article is available online: Click here to download.

Bandak, E., Amris, K., Bliddal, H., Danneskiold-Samsøe, B., & Henriksen, M. (2013). Muscle fatigue in fibromyalgia is in the brain, not in the muscles: A case-control study of perceived versus objective muscle fatigue. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 72(6), 963–966. https://doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-202340
* The article is available online: Click here to download.

Kinetics and kinematics: Current applications in clinical and athletic settings

Peter Rafalt

Belli, A., Kyröläinen, H., & Komi, P. V. (2002). Moment and power of lower limb joints in running. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 23(2), 136-141. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2002-20136
* The article is available online: Click here to download.

Funken, J., Willwacher, S., Heinrich, K., Müller, R., Hobara, H., Grabowski, A. M., & Potthast, W. (2019). Long jumpers with and without a transtibial amputation have different three-dimensional centre of mass and joint take-off step kinematics. Royal Society Open Science, 6(4), 190107. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.190107
* The article is available online: Click here to download.

Hamill, J., & Gruber, A. H. (2017). Is changing footstrike pattern beneficial to runners? Journal of Sport and Health Science, 6(2), 146–153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2017.02.004
* The article is available online: Click here to download.

Leskinen, A., Häkkinen, K., Virmavirta, M., Isolehto, J., & Kyröläinen, H. (2009). Comparison of running kinematics between elite and national-standard 1500-m runners. Sports Biomechanics, 8(1), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1080/14763140802632382
* The article is available online: Click here to download.

Wurdeman, S. R., Raffalt, P. C., & Stergiou, N. (2017). Reduced vertical displacement of the center of mass is not accompanied by reduced oxygen uptake during walking. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 17182. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-17532-6
* The article is available online: Click here to download.

Movement variability

Peter Rafalt

Hamill, J., van Emmerik, R. E. A., Heiderscheit, B. C., & Li, L. (1999). A dynamical systems approach to lower extremity running injuries. Clinical biomechanics, 14(5), 297-308. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0268-0033(98)90092-4
* The article is available online: Click here to download.

Harbourne, R. T., & Stergiou, N. (2003). Nonlinear analysis of the development of sitting postural control. Developmental Psychobiology, 42, 368-377. https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.10110
* This article is available through Canvas.
(OK based on §15 of the Copyright Law)

Raffalt, P., Guul, M., Nielsen, A. N., Puthusserypady, S., & Alkjær, T. (2017). Economy, movement dynamics, and muscle activity of human walking at different speeds. Scientific Reports, 7, 43986. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep43986
* The article is available online: Click here to download.

Running and muscle mechanics

Olivier Seynnes

Baxter, J. R., Novack, T. a, Van Werkhoven, H., Pennell, D. R., & Piazza, S. J. (2012). Ankle joint mechanics and foot proportions differ between human sprinters and non-sprinters. Proceedings. Biological Sciences, 279(1735), 2018-2024. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2011.2358
* The article is available online: Click here to download.

Dorn, T. W., Schache, A. G., & Pandy, M. G. (2012). Muscular strategy shift in human running: Dependence of running speed on hip and ankle muscle performance. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 215(Pt 11), 1944–1956. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.064527
* The article is available online: Click here to download.

Miller, R. H., Umberger, B. R., & Caldwell, G. E. (2012). Limitations to maximum sprinting speed imposed by muscle mechanical properties. Journal of Biomechanics, 45(6), 1092-1097. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2011.04.040
* The article is available online: Click here to download.

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