Sport Biomechanics

Pole vaulter, Yanguang Han

Pole vaulter, Runxian Shi

The SPRC applies research towards Sports Technology, Analysis of Human Movement, Human Joint and Muscle, Sports Equipment Development, Analysis and Diagnosis of Movement Information. It is also a substantial scientific research base for the doctoral and master’s program, a postdoctoral mobile station. The SPRC pursues sport biomechanics research to improve Olympic Game skills, such as track and field, swimming, ball sports, and winter games.

Data Collection

Recently, one SPRC team carried out pole vault research, a project of the General Administration of Sport of China, named Boost the S&T Olympics. The research’s experimental method is to capture both Kinematic and Kinetic data of pole vaulters’ movement, including run-up, take-off, swing up, turn, extension, fly-away. The technical analysis results and training suggestions provide to coaches. Meanwhile, it will establish musculoskeletal system modeling and simulation system and energy model of pole vaulters.

Pole vaulter, Jie Yao

Pole vaulting is a highly technical and very complicated sport and the experiment needs to capture 3D movement in a large volume. The SPRC is equipped with 22 Qualisys 700+ cameras, installed on the ground and in the air. The researchers leverage Qualisys 3D Motion Capture System to capture all movements of joint angles, gravity path, pace and stride rate of the run-up’s final three steps. The researchers also use three Kistler force plates and one Kistler pole vault force plate with integrated electronics to get the force applied to the pole and the force of the pole pressing against the planting box.

Sport equipment

SPRC cooperates with several sports equipment companies to conduct a series of sport biomechanics research, focusing on preventing sports injuries and improving sport performance.

Since 2006, SPRC has been one of Nike Global Research Partners. During the program, researchers carried out many research projects such as:

  • Research of badminton step method and development of badminton shoes
  • Development of tennis shoes for the Beijing Olympic Games
  • High and low-top sneakers, ankle injuries
  • Basketball shoes and sport performance
  • Metatarsophalangeal joint features and athletic shoe development


SPRC also undertook “Science and Technology Winter Olympic”, a particular critical project of National Key R&D Program of China: the research and application of neuropriming to improve winter sports athletes’ sport performance.

The traditional kinematic and dynamics analysis is to study human movement, but it is challenging to link the central nervous system. Neuromechanics and neuropriming can be used to help athletes improving their performance. The team is now working on a series of basic research projects in this field, such as technology development, animal models, neuroimaging etc.. The team is developing intervention programs based on the research results to improve athletes’ performance.

“Pole vault is a highly technical and very complicated sport. We successfully leverage the Qualisys 3D Motion Capture System to capture pole vaulters’ 3D movements in a large volume.”

Yu Liu | Professor of Human Movement Science
Shanghai University of Sport

Want to know more?

To learn more about the sports research conducted at the Shanghai University of Sport, visit their website by clicking the link below.