Sports

Unravelling the etiology of muscle injuries

The first aim of the research project is to characterize the activity of the hamstring muscles biomechanically and neurophsyiologically, during high speed running activities and injury prevention exercises. The second aim is to study muscle characteristics in athletes before and after a prevention program.

Learning to balance

In this project, we will study short- and long-term training in young and older adults, to determine the psychological (fear of falling), neurophysiological (reflex gains, muscle synergies) and biomechanical (motor strategies) correlates of improved balance performance

Balance testing

In this project we aim to develop outcome measures of static single leg balance tests and dynamic single leg landing tasks to evaluate sensorimotor control, more specifically the ability of an individual to stabilize posture, suitable for large-scale assessment of performance and injury risk in athletes, and for evaluation of recovery after injury

Feedback on running style to prevent injuries and enhance performance

Running injuries are highly prevalent. However the identification of risk factors has shown to be elusive and prevention is not very successful. Loading on the lower extremities is dependent on the training volume and intensity but also on running style. In this project we study the effects of running style on efficiency and injury risk in recreational runners with the aim to develop feedback based on wearable technology to improve running style.

Fast and safe throwing in baseball (FASTBALL)

In baseball, the pitcher plays a crucial role by accurately throwing balls at high speed. FASTBALL aims to explore the development of anthropometric and functional characteristics of elite youth baseball pitchers in relation to throwing speeds, kinematics and musculoskeletal injuries. Moreover, traditional and new methods for motor learning are studied in baseball pitching, which also include the development and application of a near real-time (sensory) feedback system.

Biomechanics of ballistic whole-body movement in elite athletes

In this project we aim to understand the motor control strategy during ballistic sports actions and the function of the joints and muscles involved. Specifically, we investigate the full-body 3D kinematics and kinetics of top level hockey players during performance of the drag-push, and the diving save of top level goal keepers in football. Results from these studies will be used to assess which biomechanical factors can be targeted to improve performance.

Running specific prostheses and orthoses

For people with lower limb impairments their running ability can be restored or enhanced using assistive technology that supports this behavior in the leg. For amputees this application is well known as their conventional prosthetic feet are replaced by carbon blades. In a series of projects the properties of running prosthetic and orthotic blades are investigated with specific focus on the question how the interaction between user and blade affects the running performance.

The perfect sports wheelchair

In this project methods are developed to give wheelchair-bound athletes feedback on their performance, with the purpose to improve themselves and to improve their wheelchair. Videos of wheelchair basketball games were extensively analyzed and measurements were performed using sensors that fit to a sports wheelchair. The methodology is used to study the optimal configuration of the sports wheelchair in wheelchair basketball and can be applied in other wheelchair sports and in regular wheelchair use.

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