Fundamentals of Biomechanics: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Fundamentals of Biomechanics

1st Edition

By Ronald L. Huston

CRC Press

470 pages | 336 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781466510371
pub: 2013-04-18
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In the last three or four decades, studies of biomechanics have expanded from simple topical applications of elementary mechanics to entire areas of study. Studies and research in biomechanics now exceed those in basic mechanics itself, underlining the continuing and increasing importance of this area of study. With an emphasis on biodynamic modeling, Fundamentals of Biomechanics provides an accessible, basic understanding of the principles of biomechanics analyses.

Following a brief introductory chapter, the book reviews gross human anatomy and basic terminology currently in use. It describes methods of analysis from elementary mathematics to elementary mechanics and goes on to fundamental concepts of the mechanics of materials. It then covers the modeling of biosystems and provides a brief overview of tissue biomechanics. The author then introduces the concepts of biodynamics and human body modeling, looking at the fundamentals of the kinematics, the kinetics, and the inertial properties of human body models. He supplies a more detailed analysis of kinematics, kinetics, and dynamics of these models and discusses the numerical procedures for solving the governing dynamical equations. The book concludes with a review of a few example applications of biodynamic models such as simple lifting, maneuvering in space, walking, swimming, and crash victim simulation.

The inclusion of extensive lists of problems of varying difficulty, references, and an extensive bibliography add breadth and depth to the coverage. Focusing on biodynamic modeling to a degree not found in other texts, this book equips readers with the expertise in biomechanics they need for advanced studies, research, and employment in biomedical engineering.


"This book provides a thorough and easy-to-understand presentation of the fundamentals required to study the mechanics of human motion. I am happy to see an emphasis on the fundamentals of biodynamic modeling and the development of human body models. This should allow readers to more quickly understand and develop models associated with human motion. Huston is a skilled author with the ability to render difficult topics manageable."

—James W. Kamman, Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Western Michigan University

"This biomechanics book does indeed lay the ground for learning the fundamentals in biomechanics, which have been lacking for so many years. The books gets away from the statics concepts that are quite abundant and dominant topics in previous published biomechanics books and instead focuses on motion, dynamics and current and practical problems that are relevant to gait analysis, and human joint dynamics. The examples are vivid, intuitive, interesting and are the product of the author’s rich and exemplary many years of research and teaching."

"Finally a biomechanics book that deals with dynamics of BIOSYSTEMS in depth. The author has 15 chapters, which can be used in away to conform to a number of biomechanics course levels or simply be taught in 2 semesters. The book can be an outstanding tool for those interested in simulation of gait, human joint kinematics, and muscles force identification and modeling in general."

Farid Amirouche, University of Illinois at Chicago

"A unified method of approach to the analysis of biodynamic system is clearly addressed. This book can be used for senior undergraduate and beginning graduate students to study biomechanics. It can be also used as a reference for automotive engineers and researchers … .

Derivations of equations and formulae in this book were clear and that should be helpful for readers. The various chapters contain problems for readers studying the subject for first time, and for those seeking additional expertise and/or review. Overall I commend the author for writing the text and I trust that it will be a good addition to the university and engineering libraries."

—C. Q. Liu, Chrysler LLC, Troy, Michigan

Table of Contents


Principal Areas of Biomechanics

Approach in This Book



Review of Human Anatomy and Some Basic Terminology

Gross (Whole-Body) Modeling

Position and Direction Terminology

Terminology for Common Movements

Skeletal Anatomy

Major Joints

Major Muscle Groups

Anthropometric Data



Methods of Analysis I: Review of Vectors, Dyadics, Matrices,and Determinants


Vector Algebra: Addition and Multiplication by Scalars

Vector Algebra: Multiplication of Vectors




Relationship of 3 × 3 Determinants, Permutation Symbols,and Kronecker Delta Functions

Eigenvalues, Eigenvectors, and Principal Directions

Maximum and Minimum Eigenvalues and the Associated Eigenvectors

Use of MATLAB®

Elementary MATLAB® Operations and Functions



Methods of Analysis II: Forces and Force Systems

Forces: Vector Representations

Moments of Forces

Moments of Forces about Lines

Systems of Forces

Special Force Systems

Principle of Action–Reaction


Methods of Analysis III: Mechanics of Materials

Concepts of Stress

Concepts of Strain

Principal Values of Stress and Strain

Two-Dimensional Example: Mohr’s Circle

Elementary Stress–Strain Relations

General Stress–Strain (Constitutive) Relations

Equations of Equilibrium and Compatibility

Use of Curvilinear Coordinates

Review of Elementary Beam Theory

Thick Beams

Curved Beams

Singularity Functions

Elementary Illustrative Examples

Listing of Selected Beam Displacement and Bending Moment Results

Magnitude of Transverse Shear Stress

Torsion of Bars

Torsion of Members with Noncircular and Thin-Walled Cross Sections

Energy Methods



Methods of Analysis IV: Modeling of Biosystems

Multibody (Lumped Mass) Systems

Lower-Body Arrays

Whole-Body, Head/Neck, and Hand Models

Gross-Motion Modeling of Flexible Systems



Tissue Biomechanics

Hard and Soft Tissue


Physical Properties of Bone

Bone Development (Wolff’s Law)

Bone Failure (Fracture and Osteoporosis)

Muscle Tissue



Scalp, Skull, and Brain Tissue

Skin Tissue



Kinematical Preliminaries: Fundamental Equations

Points, Particles, and Bodies

Particle, Position, and Reference Frames

Particle Velocity

Particle Acceleration

Absolute and Relative Velocity and Acceleration

Vector Differentiation, Angular Velocity

Two Useful Kinematic Procedures

Configuration Graphs

Use of Configuration Graphs to Determine Angular Velocity

Application with Biosystems

Angular Acceleration

Transformation Matrix Derivatives

Relative Velocity and Acceleration of Two Points Fixed on a Body

Singularities Occurring with Angular Velocity Componentsand Orientation Angles

Rotation Dyadics

Euler Parameters

Euler Parameters and Angular Velocity

Inverse Relations between Angular Velocity and Euler Parameters

Numerical Integration of Governing Dynamical Equations



Kinematic Preliminaries: Inertia Force Considerations

Applied Forces and Inertia Forces

Mass Center

Equivalent Inertia Force Systems


Human Body Inertia Properties

Second Moment Vectors, Moments, and Products of Inertia

Inertia Dyadics

Sets of Particles

Parallel Axis Theorem

Eigenvalues of Inertia: Principal Directions

Eigenvalues of Inertia: Symmetrical Bodies

Application with Human Body Models



Kinematics of Human Body Models

Notation, Degrees of Freedom, and Coordinates

Angular Velocities

Generalized Coordinates

Partial Angular Velocities

Transformation Matrices: Recursive Formulation

Generalized Speeds

Angular Velocities and Generalized Speeds

Angular Acceleration

Mass Center Positions

Mass Center Velocities

Mass Center Accelerations

Summary: Human Body Model Kinematics



Kinetics of Human Body Models

Applied (Active) and Inertia (Passive) Forces

Generalized Forces

Generalized Applied (Active) Forces on a Human Body Model

Forces Exerted across Articulating Joints

Contribution of Gravity (Weight) Forces to the GeneralizedActive Forces

Generalized Inertia Forces



Dynamics of Human Body Models

Kane’s Equations

Generalized Forces for a Human Body Model

Dynamical Equations

Formulation for Numerical Solutions

Constraint Equations

Constraint Forces

Constrained System Dynamics

Determination of Orthogonal Complement Arrays



Numerical Methods

Governing Equations

Numerical Development of the Governing Equations

Outline of Numerical Procedures

Algorithm Accuracy and Efficiency



Simulations and Applications

Review of Human Modeling for Dynamic Simulation

Human Body in Free Space: A "Spacewalk"

Simple Weight Lift


15.5 Swimming

Crash-Victim Simulation I: Modeling

Crash-Victim Simulation II: Vehicle Environment Modeling

Crash-Victim Simulation III: Numerical Analysis

Burden Bearing: Waiter/Tray Simulations

Other Applications



Appendix: Anthropometric Data Tables




About the Author

Ronald L. Huston is a Distinguished Research Professor in the School of Dynamic Systems, College of Engineering and Applied Science, at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Biotechnology
SCIENCE / Mechanics / General
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety