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CODE 98881
SEMESTER 2° Semester
MODULES Questo insegnamento è un modulo di:


Biomechanics is concerned with the mechanical / anatomical bases of human movement. Understanding the biomechanics of human movement is necessary for the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and design of aids for rehabilitation.

This course deals with an introduction of the principles of biomechanichs and how these could be applied for the analysis of movements of the human body.



The student should gain an understanding of the mechanical and anatomical principles that govern human motion and develop the ability to link the structure of the human body with its function from a mechanical perspective.

By the end of the lessons students will be able to 

-Identify the fundamental mechanical principles related to human movement

- describe motion with precise, well-defined mechanical and biomechanical terminology

- apply mechanical laws of applied physics to human movement

- solve biomechanical problems using the laws of applied physics

- understand how musculoskeletal structures affect human movement.

- Apply the laws of physics to modelling mechanical problems in different biological situations.

- Apply the concepts, methods and techniques of biomechanics in the study of the functions of the human body.

- Physically and mathematically describe the different mechanical categories of materials, with a particular focus on biomaterials.

- Use the mathematical framework of the different biomechanical models to solve conceptual and numerical problems.

- Understand the different types of models used in biomechanics and their usefulness.

- Understand the fundamentals and biomedical applications of force and torque balance in the musculoskeletal system.


Frontal lessons

In case of certification of specific learning disability, disability or other special educational needs, please contact both the Department contact person, Prof. Nicola Girtler, and the lecturer at the beginning of the lectures to agree on teaching and exam methods which, in compliance of the teaching objectives, take into account individual learning methods and provide suitable compensatory/dispensatory tools recognized by the University SLD Student Service.



Linear and angular kinematics:

               reference planes and axis of rotation;

               linear, rectilinear and curvilinear motion;

               angular motion;

               basic techniques for kinematic analysis;

               equations of constant acceleration and projectile motion;

               interpretation of kinematic data.

               Rigid body kinematic

               Degrees of freedom, Kinematic couples, Body joints          

Linear and angular kinetics:

               Newton’s laws of motion and gravitation;

               centre of mass of a body;

               type of forces

               free-body diagrams;

               moment arms and levers;

               Reaction forces

               Static, Application of static to the human body

               Moment of inertia, Angular momentum, Rigid body dynamics


               momentum and impulse;

               work, energy and power, stability and balance;

               interpretation of kinetic data.

Human movement in a fluid medium:

               buoyancy, drag, lift and propulsion.

Biomechanical properties of biological tissue

Biomechanics exercises: shoulder, elbow, hip and knee.


Materials and  readings will be distributed via the course website.

Additional readings:

  1. Giovanni Legnani e Giacomo Palmieri. "Fondamenti di Meccanica e Biomeccanica del Movimento",2016. Città Studi Edizioni.
  2. Boccardi, Cinesiologia , società editrice Univers
  3. Cappello, A. Cappozzo, P. di Prampero, “Bioingegneria della postura e del movimento”, Patron Editore
  4. McGinnis, P. (2013). Biomechanics of Sport and Exercise With Web Resource and MaxTRAQ 2D Software Access (3rd ed.). Champaign, P.Grimshaw, A. Lees, N. Fowler, A. Burde, “Sport and Exercise Biomechanics”, Taylor & Francis
  5. Hall, S. (2012). Basic Biomechanics (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
  6. Hamill, J., & Knutzen, K. (2008). Biomechanical Basis of Human Movement (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  7. Knudson, D. (2007). Fundamentals of Biomechanics (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.
  8. Nordin, M., & Frankel, V. (2012). Basic Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  9. Ozkaya, N., Nordin, M., Goldsheyder, D., & Leger, D. Fundamentals of Biomechanics: Equilibrium, motion, and deformation (3rd ed). New York, NY: Springer



Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy



Final exam will consist on a Written Test with 16 questions. Each question will have a score of 2 points. Incorrect and missing answers will have a score of 0. The written test grade will be obtained by summing the scores for each correct question for a maximum total of 32/30.

If a student has an insufficient grade >= 16 and <18 he/she shall benefit of a short oral exam to reach a sufficient grade.


Both the written test and the eventual oral exam will evaluate the capability to apply the logical and mathematical principles and the acquisition of the capacity of a critical analysis of the problems relative to biomechanical and human movement problems covered at the lectures.

The written test will contain multiple-choice questions on the course theoretical concepts and exercises to be numerically solved.

The oral exam will evaluate:

- Insightful understanding of course theoretical concepts;

- Use of proper terminology

- Competency to translate the theoretical concepts to practical settings.