April 09, 2012 / Category: Innovation
What is biomechanics and why does it matter for your workout?
Biomechanics is the study of human movement. Biomechanists view the human body as a collection of levers, made of bones which are moved by your muscles. By improving the mechanics of a person’s motion, performance can become more efficient, thus improving speed or accuracy.
These principles have been used to lessen wear and tear on joints in major league pitchers, increase the strength and speed of Olympic athletes, as well as improve the ambulation of cerebral palsy patients.
At Life Fitness, we are interested in improving our customers experience while exercising. With biomechanics, we can describe how each person moves in his or her own way and use this data to create machines that accommodate a wide spectrum of users. We have tools to help assess how effective our products are at activating muscles and moving in ways that are comfortable for our customers.
Our kinematic system used to study motion is the same system used in the motion picture and video game industries for animation. For our strength studies, we have an Electromyography (EMG) system to examine muscle timing and activation level. We also use a system similar to what high level runners, cyclists, and tri-athletes use to assess VO2MAX. VO2 is the volume of oxygen that a person’s body consumes while exercising. Oxygen consumption is unique for everyone and closely related to how many calories you are burning during an exercise.
Our team uses our experience and tools to design equipment that feels natural and is effective. Recommendations from the biomechanics team have been applied throughout the Life Fitness product lines. When you are working out, we have helped to make the controls easily accessible and the screens easily viewable, to create a more enjoyable experience on our cardio products. We carefully select the motion paths and resistance profiles of our strength equipment, creating a natural movement that utilizes the strength of each muscle.
There is a reason not every piece or brand of fitness equipment feels the same. We are proud to provide the research and design principles that make workouts more comfortable for exercisers.