Fall 2018 - BPK 201 D100

Biomechanics (3)

Class Number: 4840

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 4 – Dec 3, 2018: Mon, Wed, 4:30–5:50 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 12, 2018
    Wed, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    MATH 150, 151 or 154, MATH 152 or 155 (may be taken concurrently), PHYS 101 (or 120 or 125 or 140), BPK 142.



This course will cover the application of basic mechanics to human movement. It will provide students with a basic understanding of how forces act on body segments and how movements are produced. The subject matter of this course is relevant to quantifying all forms of physical activity, from activities of daily living, physically challenged movement patterns, to elite athletic performance. It also has applications in medical settings, including rehabilitation and sports medicine. Quantitative.


BPK 201 has 3 hours of lecture and one 50-minute tutorial  

Lecture Outline

  • Course structure & Introduction Mechanical Systems Free Body Diagrams    
  • Anthropometry for Biomechanical Modelling  
  • Linear Kinematics and Kinematic Data
  • Linear Kinematics and Kinematic Data (continued)
  • Angular Kinematics and Gait Analysis
  • Angular Kinematics and Gait Analysis (continued)
  • Linear Kinetics Linear Kinetics (cont.) 
  • Mechanics from Organisms to Atoms
  • Angular Kinetics
  • Stress and Strain
  • Mechanical properties of tissues
  • Spinal Mechanics
  • Skeletal Muscle Mechanics (cont.)
  • Muscular Work & Power
  • Inverse Dynamics
  • EMG and muscle action
  • Fluid Mechanics


(I) Introduces (E) Emphasizes (R) Reinforces (A) Applies

Learning outcomes: at the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Apply biomechanical principles to solve quantitative and qualitative problems.  (I)(R) (TE) (IC) (A)
  2. Correctly identify isolated mechanical systems, understand the inertial properties of these systems, and correctly draw free body diagrams. (I) (TE) (IC) (A)
  3. Apply biomechanical principles to the whole body and/or individual components to construct biomechanical models of human systems. (I) (TE) (IC) (A)
  4. Explain how biomechanical equipment functions and how they are used, including motion capture and force plates.  (I) (TE) (IC) (A)
  5. Quantify human motion, including linear and angular kinematics. (I)(R) (TE) (IC) (A)
  6. Identify situations where muscle moment arms amplify muscle force or muscle velocity.  (I)(R) (TE) (IC) (A)
  7. Describe the principle of balance and stability, particularly in human standing and walking. (I)(R) (TE) (IC) (A)
  8. Describe the concepts of forces and moments, and apply equations of equilibrium to solve problems in statics, inverse dynamics, forward dynamics and system identification. (I)(R) (TE) (IC) (A)
  9. Identify how principles of mechanics influence physiological processes and function at the molecular, cellular, and systems levels. (I) (TE) (IC) (A)
  10. Explain how bone, cartilage and tendon meet mechanical demands of daily activities and how they respond to trauma. (I) (TE) (IC) (A)
  11. Describe how muscle generates force, performs work, and consumes energy. (I)(R) (TE) (IC) (A)
  12. Explain how biomechanics relates to other academic disciplines and how it is applied in the work place, daily activities and athletic endeavours.  (I) (TE) (IC) (A)
Assessment Method:
(TE)     Theory exams are a mix of multiple choice, short answer questions (two midterms and final)
(IC)      In class iClicker are individual and group multiple choice.
(A)       Assignments are mostly formal problems requiring quantitative solutions, along with descriptions of mechanical properties.


  • iClicker Quizzes 10%
  • Midterm Exam (2 x 15%) 30%
  • Assignments (3 x 5%) 15%
  • Final Examination 45%


Penalties for Missed Deadlines
There will be no extensions, except for extenuating medical circumstances and/or family emergencies. Please plan in advance to ensure you meet the deadlines.  A penalty of 20% per day will be deducted for each day an assignment is late.
A missed exam can only be rewritten if the instructor is notified before the exam would be written and if medical evidence of inability to write is presented.  Excused absence from one midterm may result in the 15% for that midterm being distributed between the other midterm (7.5%) and the final (7.5%).
If you are unable to make a deadline or attend an exam, please complete the SFU Health Care Provider Statement.


Lecture attendance is not mandatory but there is 10% of the course assigned to in-class iClicker questions.

The tutorial topics will mainly be lecture reviews and sample problem solving.  Tutorial attendance is not mandatory. However, if you do attend, you must attend your own tutorial group unless you have specific agreement with the TA that it is OK to switch for that week.  Fire regulations dictate the maximum number of students that can be in tutorial rooms.



There is no required text.  Several biomechanics texts will be placed on library reserve.  If you do want to have your own biomechanics text, there is a recommended text that will be relevant to the majority of the lecture material.


Hamill, J. & K.M. Knutzen.  Biomechanical Basis of Human Movement, (3rd edition).  Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, 2008. 

Department Undergraduate Notes:

It is the responsibility of the student to keep their BPK course outlines if they plan on furthering their education.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html