Motion analysis and the ability to correct a movement

Motion Analysis Lab – Part 2
Motion Correction


Motion analysis and the ability to correct a movement to become either more efficient, reduce injury or both, requires several key abilities.

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Errors in Motion

An important ability is to understand the difference between a desired motion and the actual motion. This ability can only be attained if: a) sufficient knowledge of the proper (correct) motion is known,b) understanding the concepts in biomechanics, and c)being able to pick out what errors are important. Picking out important errors includes knowing whether an inconsistency is a by-product of some other inconsistency, or it is causing problems with the efficiency or effectiveness of a motion, or is simply and inconsistency that needs not be fix as it has no bearing on the performance.

Correcting a Motion

The final ability is to determine the cause of the inconsistency between the actual and desired motion and then set up a plan using knowledge of the phases, and progression to make appropriate corrections. Progressions are skills/drills that will lead the person to adhere to the new motion, by starting off with simple tasks (skills/drills) and eventually leading them to more complex ones that enables them to perform the new movement automatically. This development of a correction plan is arguably the most difficult, due to the complexity of a movement. There are many facets that can cause inconsistencies, including the brain (motor learning, motivation, etc.), muscle strength, muscle flexibility, interaction between body parts (e.g. swinging an arm ballistically can cause trunk rotation), visual errors, injuries, limitations in more simple skills, and many other factors.

Overall, the ability to effectively correct a movement takes many years of practice, constant learning and using all available resources. Be careful, many people claim to be ‘motion analysis’ experts. Think of the student working at a sporting goods store who says they can determine the errors in your gait/run and recommend a specific shoe to correct it.

Goal of the Lab

  1. Determine the possible cause of the inconsistencies between the movements
  2. Develop a strategy using appropriate progressions to correct the inconsistency

Reasoning for Goals

  1. Determining possible causes is a key ingredient to effectively alter a motion to improve efficiency or reduce injury. Often trial and error is involved, and in many cases what works to correct one person’s movement will not necessarily work on another individual with the same ‘inconsistencies’. Often people think it is the same issue that causes an issue in a movement. For example, if 3 individuals were slicing their golf ball, the common ‘correction’ is to keep the head down. HOWEVER, each individual might have different issues that are causing the ball to slice. For example = MOTOR LEARNING – someone who has not golfed much, just might not have the proper technique. STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING – another might not have the strength to rotate the hips around fast enough. EXERCISE PYSIOLOGY – someone might not have the flexibility in the shoulder joints to perform the proper swing. As you can see, there are many different reasons for the same error, and it is difficult to determine the true source of error. With trial and error, the true issue can be resolved.
  2. A strategy for improving a motion involves a) knowing the starting point, b) knowing the endpoint (or goal), and c) developing the necessary steps (trial and error) to reach that goal. By utilizing these concepts, one can develop a focused agenda that will be more effective in correcting a movement.


  1. ERRORS IN THE MOTION: Determine 3-4 key differences and 3-4 keysimilarities between the motion that was performed and the proficient (proper) motion. Be specific at each phase of the motion and include the measurement that they obtained (based on your previous lab).

  2. STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING: Determine the best strategy for correcting twoBY:
    1. List the inconsistency
    2. Explain WHY you think this is something that needs to be corrected, by relating it to the goal of the phase in which the inconsistency occurs (if it is a new goal not in your previous lab, that is fine, but make sure to explain).
    3. List 2 or 3 possible causes for the inconsistency (think all areas of Kinesiology, not just biomechanics here). Hint: strength & conditioning / physiology / sport psychology / motor learning / etc. Please try to list the area within Kinesiology.
    4. Develop severalsteps that will be utilized to ensure a permanent change.
      1. For example, step 1 might simply be to ask the person if they know what the correct motion should be…
      2. Provide skills/drills/tasks that the individual will perform and explain how specifically that skill/drill will help improve the inconsistency.
  • Then explain how the skills/drills will increase in complexity (progression) so that a permanent change is possible.
  1. Also explain how you will measure improvement – be specific as to the measurement.
  1. Note: this section needs to be thorough! You need to include a lot of detail in this section of Strategies for Improving.

For the grading

  1. Layout & Grammar
    1. Spelling / Typos / Short forms in words (can’t / won’t)
    2. Headings and subheadings where appropriate
    3. Easy to read and follow – no too wordy
    4. Overall impression looks good
  2. Errors in Motion: Similarities and Differences
    1. Some thought was put into the Similarities& Differences
    2. The phases were listed and how they related to the goal of that phase/sub-phase
    3. The grading level and the score of the individual is provided.
    4. The information was provided technically at a level of a 3rd year undergraduate


  1. Strategy for improving
    1. Explanation as to why the inconsistency needs correcting – technical (biomechanical) terminology was used
    2. A thorough strategy shows progression with specific drills/exercises
    3. There is an understanding of the different disciplines of Kinesiology involved in movement analysis + potential causes of the differences include different areas of kinesiology.
    4. Progression (via skills/drills/tasks) is in-line with the correction needed and are in increasing order of complexity
    5. so there should be a good amount of detail in this section!


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