View Full Version : Ground reaction forces on gymnastic mats

Peter Sinclair
09-09-2009, 03:56 PM
Dear subscribers,

I have a student interested in measuring impact forces while running on
gymnastic mats with different thicknesses.

What do you all think of the idea of placing a mat over a force
platform, then measuring force as the gymnast runs over the top?

Obviously horizontal forces would be dodgy because of strain taken by
the mat hanging over each end of the platform, but how closely do you
think platform forces would match foot forces? Thinking of a free body
diagram of the mat, foot forces would differ from platform forces by a
factor of mat mass x acceleration. Do you think the differences would be
great enough to dismiss this as a reasonable measure to get force
magnitudes and loading rates? Certainly, others have previously taken
this approach (eg Mills et al, 2006; McNitt-Grey et al, 1993)

Measuring tibial acceleration would avoid this issue, but I would like
to have a measure of force as well. Any suggestions?

Thanks very much,

Peter Sinclair

Faculty of Health Sciences
The University of Sydney

Telephone: +61 2 9351 9724
Facsimile: +61 2 9351 9204

Email: p.sinclair@usyd.edu.au