University of Twente Student Theses


Increasing performance by enhancing hip stiffness

Philippi, Antoon (2011) Increasing performance by enhancing hip stiffness.

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Abstract:The ankle, knee and hip all undergo stretch‐shortening cycles during human locomotion. Thus, there is potential for energy storage and return at each of these joints. It is known that joints such as the ankle and even the knee can be replaced entirely by passive mechanical substitutes and still result in highly successful performances in running and sprinting. Initial studies with apparel containing elastic elements crossing posteriorly on the hip joint to store energy during the swing phase and return energy during the stance phase indicated that vertical jumping, sprinting and running performance can be significantly improved. Tests were performed on ten elite athletes using two apparel conditions: a loose fitting t‐shirt and shorts (control) and a garment with elastic bands. Average performance benefits were up to 2% and individual benefits were over 4% for certain athletes. Many questions arise from this research:  What stiffness is required for optimal performance?  Where should the elastic elements be placed to optimize performance? For example should they be more medial or more lateral?  Where should the elastic elements be anchored for optimal performance? Building individual prototypes to answer all of these questions is very time consuming and expensive. Thus, it is desirable to design an adjustable harness or exoskeleton system that allows experimentation into the effect of these different variables (stiffness, placement, anchoring, etc. of the elastic elements). This apparatus will allow the search criteria to be narrowed to economically and functionally viable solutions that can then be implemented into apparel prototypes. In this report the process of designing the apparatus is described. The final outcome is a design using elastic belts and a design using an exoskeleton. Also side projects including EMG‐measurements, highspeed recordings of several shoes are described.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:52 mechanical engineering
Programme:Biomedical Engineering MSc (66226)
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