Symmetry and metabolic cost of movement

I thought would be nice to share this work form a colleague, Elena Seminati, and one of the most inspirational biomechanics researchers there is, Alberto Minetti. Read the whole article here

In this study they looked at symmetry of movement in running to anatomical symmetry in 19 healthy males. MRI was used to obtain images of the lower limbs and then calculate their respective three-dimensional volumes. Kinematics, motion data, was obtained with a subsequent calculation of the movement of the center of mass. Symmetry of movement of the center of mass was calculated in a global symmetry index.

The researchers found no correlation between anatomical and kinematic variables and the metabolic cost of transport. What they did find was that anatomical symmetry significantly correlated with kinematic symmetry. This was most evident for the most trained subjects. It is interesting that despite the fact anatomical symmetry correlated with kinematic symmetry, the changes where too small to affect economy of movement.

What was not calculated is this study was three-dimensional kinematics of the different joints responsible for the movement of the center of mass. Regardless, it is interesting to note that the symmetry of the movement of the center of mass did not correlate with running economy.

Jessica, Ali and Ola