As you read this, consider what is Biomechanics?
Have you heard of it?
According to the dictionary, biomechanics is “The study of the mechanical laws relating to the movement or structure of living organisms”.
If you are drawing a complete blank at this stage, do not be concerned – most people have never heard of this concept, and in all honesty, that explanation does little to clarify the concept in question.
Think of it this way instead, the human body, while anything but a machine, actually behaves in many similar fashions to the machines we create and distance ourselves from when looking at our own behaviour and performance.
As a matter of fact, many of the basic principles of mechanics can also be applied to the human body and our movements. Biomechanics is actually a large field which covers many things like the mechanical function of muscles, connective tissue, cartilage, skin, nerves, bones and joints. There is also extensive research being conducted in the field of biomechanics, typically focused on human movement and performance, including both internal and external forces that the body uses to produce movement. By applying the laws of physics and engineering to the human body, we can actually begin to analyze the relationships that exist between our body’s movements and the resulting outcomes we experience.
As we take our understanding of biomechanics further we are able to develop a stronger understanding of why the body behaves and reacts the way it does. Why do certain movements and actions result in specific injuries? How do understand and reverse the effects of these injuries?
As we continue to develop stronger insights, these are the types of questions we can answer. More importantly, you as an individual can better understand and protect your own body by developing your own understanding of biomechanics.
You don’t need to become a leading authority in the field, but as you start to understand the mechanics of your own body and signs that you are receiving you can better protect yourself from injury as you learn to interpret the movements your body is not accepting of.
There are many benefits to developing this understanding and expertise – our bodies are inexorably linked to our minds, and more often than not, pain and injury that is physical can manifest and develop a mental edge in tandem with our physical injury. As you develop a stronger bond between your mental and physical self you can not only better understand and attend to your physical ailments, but allow yourself a further mental release as your body unburdens itself physically.
In some respects, biomechanics is also used as a study for acting. In this respect the discipline focuses more intently on the mental awareness and control of your body, hence the application to the acting craft, however the fundamental principles remain the same.
The important thing to understand is that our body is linked in so many ways, but the movements and muscles we possess are still subject to the laws of physics. With further understanding here we have the potential to not just understand why we move the way we do and how we should move to best protect ourselves from injury, but we can begin to train our mind to influence our movements to achieve this.
Most of our movement is subconscious as we develop habits through life, and these are not always the best habits that protect our bodies. The more aware of our body and movements we are, the better we can protect ourselves and strengthen ourselves through our everyday actions.
This is the potential that biomechanics brings to us all.