The Bio Mechanics of a Ski Jump - Research Paper Example

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Name Topic Class Date The Bio Mechanics of a Ski Jump In ski jumping, the ability of controlling posture and movement are the important demands that an athlete is required to meet. Like any other competitive sport, Olympic ski jumping is founded on the platform of moving faster, jumping higher and leaping further…
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The Bio Mechanics of a Ski Jump
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Download file to see previous pages This paper is a qualitative analysis of the biomechanical forces of three important stages of Olympic ski jumping: in run, in flight, and landing. A list of the muscles and joints used in each phase are also included. In Run In order to gain optimal in-run speed, the ski jumper focuses on maximizing acceleration through keeping the friction between him and the skies and snow at the lowest possible minimum as well as the aerodynamic drag. This is in view of the fact that high in-run speed greatly influences the length of the jump that the athlete is going to make. The posture of the athlete and his/her dressings during the in-run phase are the key factors in minimizing the aerodynamic drag. Since during the in-run stage the athlete assumes a curved posture, there is centrifugal force acting on him, which he has to counter (Muller 268). Because of the muscular forces the athlete exerts, the in run phase is followed in a quick succession by a perpendicular acceleration towards the ramp. At the in-run phase, which takes about 0.3 seconds, the ski jumper generates optimal momentum that is perpendicular to the ramp in order to attain a good take-off angle. At the same time, the ski jumper is required to generate forward angular momentum so that he can take off with a good angle upon leaving the ramp. A low forward angular momentum results in a poor flight angle that in turn reduces velocity making the performance of the athlete very poor. Too high forward angular momentum on the other hand, comes with the risk of falling (Muller 268). The joints involved at this phase are joint center at the elbow hip joint while the muscles are the elbow flexor muscles, forearm muscles, hip joint muscles, takeoff leg, quadriceps muscles of the take-off leg joint center at the elbow and forearm muscles knee-extension muscles. Figure 1: An anticipated action of the arm to produce sudden un-weighting during ski jumping take off In Flight During flight, three important forces act on the athlete; gravitational force, the drag force, and the lift force. Through altering his posture however, the ski jumper can manipulate these three aerodynamic forces in a great way. By having an effect on the torque, the drag force, and the lift force, this athlete can significantly change the position of his flight with reference to air stream. It is important to point out that the human body assumes a complex structure in an air stream. In this regard, the implication of lift and drag forces on a ski jumper during the flight stage is not properly documented. An analysis of the aerodynamic data however shows that these two forces are of similar magnitude and that the length of a ski jumper’s flight is significantly influenced by a change in either of the two forces. The aerodynamic forces depends on the ski jumper’s position of flight and the features of the equipments that are in use. These two forces are important factor in competitive performances and it is left upon the athlete to influence them. As such, the ability of an athlete to reproduce his/her style of flight is what differentiates him/her from the rest. During the flight phase of a ski jumper, the density of air is relative to the aerodynamic forces. The best ski jumpers are capable of adjusting their style of flight to the conditions of thin air, subsequently maximizing their jumps and ensuring stability in their flights. During flight, the hip joint and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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