Illinois State University
Illinois State University
Jump over the site's masthead's navigation bar.
Jump over the site's left-side navigation bar.
columnTextImage goes here, make sure levelTwoImage.css is attached in header

Biomechanics Lab - 185C McCormick

The study of the forces acting on a living body and the patterns of movement caused by the forces, provides insight to improving skill performance, understanding the process of skill development, and identifying the etiology of overuse injuries.

The Biomechanics Lab is equipped with instrumentation for the collection and analysis of force, muscle activity and video data.

Force Data

Internal muscle force interacts with external forces from gravity, friction, and contact with other bodies to cause all observed human movements and injuries. Force data analysis is fundamental to understanding movement patterns and injury.

Instrumentation - AMTI  Force Platform System

This extremely sensitive electronic scale uses a strain-gauge based system to measure and record ground reaction forces in 3-dimensions (vertical, forward/backward, side to side). It provides information on the magnitude and timing of force application.

The force platform has been installed in the lab, flush with the floor. It is synchronized with the high speed video analysis system.


High-speed optical data collection (200 fields per second) data allows for extensive qualitative or quantitative analyses of movement. In conjunction with force platform data, our optical capture system helps quantify dynamic joint function (moments of force and mechanical power).

Instrumentation: The Peak Motus Optical Capture System

  • Recording: Six infrared cameras allow for instantaneous motion capture at 200 Hz. The system is portable, for use in the lab or off-campus.
  • Data reduction: Optical tracking of the reflective markers eliminates the need for time-consuming digitizing of video images. Computer software of the Peak Motus system allows for 2D or 3D  analysis, providing temporal and spatial variables describing motion. The kinematic variables may be read into custom software for additional analysis.

Electromyography (EMG)

Muscle activation is an electrochemical conversion of energy substrates to mechanical tension. Surface EMG records the electrical activity present in a muscle, providing information on the sequence and duration of muscle activity and the relative amount of force produced.


  • Electrode: secured with adhesives on the skin over the muscle to be monitored, the electrode detects electrical activity in the muscle.
  • Amplifiers: boost the muscle electrical signal to a recordable level. Each amplifier monitors a separate muscle. Two systems are available in the lab, allowing the researcher to use the most convenient method for a particular study.
  • Data Analysis: both a packaged system and custom software are available for data analysis.


The collection, processing, and presentation of biomechanics data is computer intensive. All custom lab software was developed by the lab director using QuickBasic to run on Pentium based computers. A 64-channel Analog/Digital multiplexor board installed in the data collection computer allows for simultaneous sampling of force and/or EMG synchronized with the optical capture system.

Stay Connected

Facebook Twitter

Kinesiology and Recreation
Campus Box 5120
250 McCormick Hall
Normal, Il 61790-5120
Phone: (309) 438-8661
Fax: (309) 438-5559

© 2015 Illinois State UniversityPrivacy StatementIdentity StandardsAppropriate Use Policy