Skip to main content


Biomechanics For Dummies

Steve McCaw

ISBN: 978-1-118-67476-5 February 2014 408 Pages


A thorough explanation of the tenets of biomechanics

At once a basic and applied science, biomechanics focuses on the mechanical cause-effect relationships that determine the motions of living organisms. Biomechanics for Dummies examines the relationship between biological and mechanical worlds. It clarifies a vital topic for students of biomechanics who work in a variety of fields, including biological sciences, exercise and sports science, health sciences, ergonomics and human factors, and engineering and applied science. Following the path of a traditional introductory course, Biomechanics for Dummies covers the terminology and fundamentals of biomechanics, bone, joint, and muscle composition and function, motion analysis and control, kinematics and kinetics, fluid mechanics, stress and strain, applications of biomechanics, and black and white medical illustrations.

  • Offers insights and expertise in biomechanics to provide an easy-to-follow, jargon-free guide to the subject
  • Provides students who major in kinesiology, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physical education, nutritional science, and many other subjects with a basic knowledge of biomechanics

Students and self-motivated learners interested in biological, applied, exercise, sports, and health sciences should not be without this accessible guide to the fundamentals.

Introduction 1

Part I: Getting Started with Biomechanics 5

Chapter 1: Jumping Into Biomechanics 7

Chapter 2: Reviewing the Math You Need for Biomechanics 15

Chapter 3: Speaking the Language of Biomechanics 37

Part II: Looking At Linear Mechanics 57

Chapter 4: Making Motion Change: Force 59

Chapter 5: Describing Linear Motion: Linear Kinematics 83

Chapter 6: Causing Linear Motion: Linear Kinetics 103

Chapter 7: Looking At Force and Motion Another Way: Work, Energy, and Power 119

Part III: Investigating Angular Mechanics 137

Chapter 8: Twisting and Turning: Torques and Moments of Force 139

Chapter 9: Angling into Rotation: Angular Kinematics 157

Chapter 10: Causing Angular Motion: Angular Kinetics 173

Chapter 11: Fluid Mechanics 193

Part IV: Analyzing the “Bio” of Biomechanics 205

Chapter 12: Stressing and Straining: The Mechanics of Materials 207

Chapter 13: Boning Up on Skeletal Biomechanics 227

Chapter 14: Touching a Nerve: Neural Considerations in Biomechanics 247

Chapter 15: Muscling Segments Around: Muscle Biomechanics 263

Part V: Applying Biomechanics 283

Chapter 16: Eyeballing Performance: Qualitative Analysis 285

Chapter 17: Putting a Number on Performance: Quantitative Analysis 305

Chapter 18: Furthering Biomechanics: Research Applications 319

Chapter 19: Investigating Forensic Biomechanics: How Did It Happen? 329

Part VI: The Parts of Tens 339

Chapter 20: Ten Online Resources for Biomechanics 341

Chapter 21: Ten Things You May Not Know about Biomechanics 347

Chapter 22: Ten Ways to Succeed in Your Biomechanics Course 355

Index 363