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Mobile motion capturing in sport session based on Inertial Measurement Units
1 , 1 , * 1 , 2
1  Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome
2  Department of Economics and Management, Industrial Engineering (DEIM), University of Tuscia


Experimental methods in Biomechanics have been adopted for studying the underlying mechanisms of sport performance, although a systematic use has been not widely diffused. An important factor for this limitation lies in the difficulty of extending results obtained inside a motion analysis laboratory, to a real sport performance or training session. Recent technological developments in Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems raise the possibility to overcome such a limitation. The present work represents a feasibility study to evaluate both kinematics and muscle activation during a typical elite soccer team coaching session. One professional soccer player under the S.S. Lazio was enrolled in the study. The subject was equipped with wireless Inertial Measurement Units and wireless electromyography micro-modules, placed on the lower limb. Measurement data were acquired in real-time during running, sprinting, and jumping trials, performed in the regular team coaching field, with the aim of exploring biomechanical variables such as knee flexion/extension angles and activation time of four muscles of each side: rectus femoris, biceps femoris, tibialis anterior, and gastrocnemius. Results showed the symmetric kinematic behavior of both the sides of the lower limb, during the three activities. Conversely, electromyography highlighted an asymmetric activation of the correspondent muscles of the two sides, especially during jumping and running. The outcomes of the present study open the way for a novel method for sport training, leveraging findings made available via microtechnology to permit a more focused and specific training. This preliminary study calls for a more extended experimental session, including a higher number of subjects, both healthy and injured, to collect baseline data and to further explore the possibility of novel form of athlete-specific muscular rehabilitation.

Keywords: IMU, kinematics, sEMG, athletes' coaching