Hypothesis for a Better Understanding of Human Movement

Summary: This blog introduces a hypothesis for understanding human movement both in practice and in computer modeling. Instead of using a kinematic chain as the model, a better mathematical model would reflect the tapering mass of our limbs in the manner that reflects the tapering mass of whips - kinematic whip modeling. Whips increase speed and power performance by using laws of physics. Our limbs work best when using the same laws of physics. Understanding how to manage our limbs best requires an understanding of using them similar to whips.

Hypothesis for a Better Understanding of Human Movement

If we use a better model for human geometry and movement, we can better define and predict human movement for general rehabilitation and improved athletic performance. At present, we use kinematic chains for modeling. Kinematic chains attempt to describe the human body geometry as it moves. Kinematics is the study of geometry in motion. This branch of classical mechanics characterizes the motion of points, bodies and systems of bodies with no examination of the causes of this motion. A kinematic chain refers to an assembly of rigid bodies connected by joints which creates the geometry that generates the mathematical model to understand a mechanical system. Conceptual modeling should reflect the physical nature of our bodies as they decrease in mass from our torsos to the ends of our limbs. A whip decreases in mass from its handle to its tip which facilitates its increase in speed and power, and thus demonstrates the laws of conservation of momentum and conservation of energy. As the whip tapers down in mass, the energy moving through the whip remains constant, and thus the energy increases the speed and power in the relatively reduced mass. This is proven empirically as a whip tip breaks the sound barrier with a crack, and it has been proven mathematically in 2003. Do our limbs increase in speed and power if they work similarly to the model of a whip? Do our limbs speed up powerfully from our torso movement and momentum? If our bodies and limbs do work similarly to whips, we should identify the parts of our bodies that relate to the respective parts of whips. In particular, we should identify each limb's "whip handle". Kinematic Whip Modeling may predict and define human whipping mechanical systems used by our torso and limbs.

The need for a hypothesis to help make a paradigm shift in kinematic chains grew from empirical scientific method test results of Whip Fins. As the test engineer relaxed his ankles and toes during kicking, he improved 18 percent in speed, and 33 percent in efficiency over his previous best test results. In relaxing his lower legs, toes and ankles, he experienced more relaxed kicking as he whipped his legs with more power and speed. The equipment, the diver, the course tested, and the temperature of the water remained the same which meant that the only change seemed to come from the lower legs whipping more. Relaxed lower limbs mirror the more relaxed tips of whips. Searches of the internet revealed few scientific studies on whips and the phenomena of whipping. With high speed video, it was revealed that larger impulse waves originated from reversing the rotational direction of our limbs and/or torso because that movement was seen to cause the whip to crack louder and more consistently. This discovery suggested additional study in kinesiology and biomechanics. However, within these studies, rotational movement of the torso and limbs remains sparse. Generally, the reason for the lack of rotational studies stems from the wide variation in human movement in the existing rotational studies. I deduced that the wide variation probably stems from our teaching ourselves to walk, run, and throw before we are able to verbalize on higher levels of thought. This variation in rotation may help to account for the wide variation in human performance when using our limbs.

A persistent wide variation in performance in the use of Whip Fins suggested a need for an explanation of the variation. If divers or swimmers used these fins with stiff legs as paddles instead of whips, they encountered more resistance and produced less power. Explaining that rotating the mass of the torso caused the smaller mass of the legs to beneficially whip assisted these divers and swimmers in using the fins with power and ease. If Kinematic Whip Modeling is correct, then attempting to move your foot to move your body would be similar to trying to use a whip by handling its tip. This would become an inverted pendulum which is inherently unstable, and difficult to move or master. Whips work best when the handle moves to create an impulse wave which travels down the whip to cause it to speed up with reasonable and easy control. If the Kinematic Whip hypothesis is correct for modeling, then we need knowledge of how to move the limb's "whip handle" to create an impulse wave in the limb being whipped. This would not necessitate an examination of the source of that power, but the timing and geometric location would be essential for best modeling and for practical use. Understanding the connective tissue that facilitates the "whipping" becomes critical in this modeling. Studies of the body's connective tissue exist, and the 2003 mathematical proof of whips may help to formulate an understanding of any impulse waves traveling down the reduced mass bodies in our torso and limbs. Even an early hypothetical and empirical understanding of this modeling has helped me to improve my personal performance significantly. The use of a refined understanding of Kinematic Whip modeling may help all of us to excel at using the mechanical systems that we call our bodies.

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