Course Title: Sports Biomechanics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Sports Biomechanics

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 1 2016,


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Prof. Peter Dabnichki

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7278

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bundoora East campus, Building 251, Level 3

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed knowledge
Mathematics basic school leaver level, basic statistics
Basic principles of dynamics including Newton’s law of motion, inertia moments, centre of mass.
Basic principles of static equilibrium such as force, moment of force, balance of forces and balance of moments.

Course Description

This course covers the application of engineering principles to human movement and performance. The course introduces you to musculo-skeletal mechanics and biomechanics of selected sports disciplines. The main focus of the course is targeted at problem solution based on mechanical modelling and optimisation, as well as biomechanical testing.
This course equips you with the necessary design and analytical skills for professional work. It introduces you to the structure and design of the human body, to the mechanics and properties of body segments, use of free-body diagrams for design and analysis in sport technology practice.
The course covers force analysis and measurement including kinetic and kinematic analysis, body segment kinematics, moment analysis of various joints, muscle mechanics, joint and mechanics, as well as neuro-muscular mechanics. They are used to provide solutions to problems that a sport technology professional is expected to undertake in line of their work. Students are required to undertake individual work to demonstrate technical skills and personal attributes at levels which are commensurate with professional sports technology practice. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following program learning outcomes:
Needs, Context and Systems
• Describe, investigate and analyse complex engineering systems and associated issues (using systems thinking and modelling techniques)
• Comprehend and apply advanced theory-based understanding of engineering fundamentals and specialist bodies of knowledge in the selected discipline area to predict the effect of engineering activities
• Apply underpinning natural, physical and engineering sciences, mathematics, statistics, computer and information sciences.


Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

On completion of this course you should be able to:
1. Measure, calculate, analyse and interpret forces and moments acting on the human body during sport and exercise activities.
2. Creatively apply the principles of Newtonian mechanics to human motion analysis with focus on sport and exercise.
3. Analyse degrees of freedom and  range of motion in human joint and corresponding muscle forces in sport activities.
4. Apply biomechanics to establish the equipment requirements in high performance sport, rehabilitation and sport technology applications.
5. Use mathematics, statistics, information technology in sport technology related problems.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities aim to help you develop in-depth understanding of the fundamental theoretical principles of biomechanics and their application in practical clinical, industrial and field situations. The course offers a mix of face to face contact, hands on practical exercises and guided self-study. Learning activities include:
• Lectures where you will learn the fundamental concepts underpinning the understanding of biomechanics of human body, application in clinical practices, biomedical applications and research;
• Tutorials where you will be applying in practice the acquired engineering knowledge to biomechanical problems
• Seminars and individual feedback sessions where the assignments will be discussed and formative feedback provided.
• Self-study, including use of online resources and preparation for lectures and assignments.
All activities are aligned to pertinent practical problems faced by professional biomedical engineers and require ingenuity and creative use of available information resources made available through the on-line learning system and library resources.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will typically need to use professional level resources such as
Prescribed textbooks,
Lecture notes are available on myRMIT,
Specialist books and journals that are accessible in the RMIT library and other major libraries (specific recommended references given with lectures and assignments materials)
Internet sources may be helpful, but will not be sufficient by themselves.

Overview of Assessment

X This course has no hurdle requirements.
☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

Assessment tasks

Early Assessment Task: Home Test
Weighting 10%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1

Assessment Task 2: Kinetic Analysis Home work
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1,2,5.

Assessment Task 3: Case study
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs 4,5.

Assessment 4: Exam
Weighting 30% 
This assessment supports CLOs 1,2,3