Fundamentals of Biomechanics by Duane Knudson: GUS Recommended for Basic Biomechanics

Posted on 24 Sep 2013 15:09

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Whether you're a personal trainer, strength coach, or just a strength training enthusiast, you really should have one good textbook on the basics of biomechanics. Although Basic Biomechanics by Susan J. Hall is often recommended for a primer, I think there are better choices today for the beginner to biomechanics concepts. The basic textbook that I recommend is Fundamentals of Biomechanics by Duane V. Knudson. Written in an accessible style and laid out so that key and related concepts are presented together, the book just makes sense, even to someone with only a basic science background. Of course, the better your background, the more in-depth your understanding will be. As with any college level textbook, not every page of the book will be useful to every person, depending on your particular needs and practice, but Fundamentals Of Biomechanics covers the basic and more advanced concepts very well. Knudson weaves simple real-world examples throughout the book to help explain the application of the different concepts discussed. The format and integration of the various concepts, I find to be superior to the Hall book.

The book does a thorough job of describing the major concepts of biomechanics, which are summarized in nine principles of biomechancis. Chapter one introduces the study of biomechanics by asking the following questions: What is Biomechanics? Why study biomechanics? And, where can I find out more? Chapter two introduces some key mechanical concepts such as rigid-body mechanics, statics, kinetics, and kinematics (these are all related). Chapter 3 covers antatomical description such as directional terms, joint motions, muscle actions, etc. The rest of the chapters are as follows:

  • Chapter 4: Mechanics of the Musculoskeletal System
  • Chapter 5: Linear and Angular Kinematics
  • Chapter 6: Linear Kinetics
  • Chapter 7: Angular Kinetics
  • Chapter 8: Fluid Mechanics
  • Chapter 9: Applying Biomechanics in Physical Education
  • Chapter 10: Applying Biomechanics in Coaching
  • Chapter 11: Applying Biomechanics in Strength and Conditioning
  • Chapter 12: Applying Biomechanics in Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation


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Of particular interest to the student of strength training will be Chapter 4, Mechanics of the Musculoskeletal System, where Knudson discusses the three important mechanics characteristics of skeletal muscle which you absolutely must understand if you want to call yourself a personal trainer or a strength coach (or, if you just want to gain some key knowledge to help you in your own training).

From the Publisher

Blending up-to-date biomechanical knowledge with professional application knowledge, this second edition presents a clear, conceptual approach to understanding biomechanics within the context of the qualitative analysis of human movement. It develops nine principles of biomechanics, which provide an applied structure for biomechanical concepts, and the application of each principle is fully explored in several chapters. The book also offers real-world examples of the application of biomechanics, which emphasize how biomechanics is integrated with the other sub-disciplines of kinesiology to contribute to qualitative analysis of human movement. See editorial reviews and back cover content.

The book is available in both hardback and paperback versions. You can also save money by buying a used copy. Although an Amazon Kindle version is available, like many textbooks, this does not lower the price much at all, and a physical copy is still the best choice.

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