Learn more about the benefits of utilizing force plates for objective and granular movement assessment.
At the simplest level, the basis of all movement starts with our interaction with the ground. Because we all live on Earth, we are all bound by the forces of gravity. Our ability to move is best described using physics and the fundamental laws derived by Sir Isaac Newton.
Because of this, the direct measurement of FORCE seems like an obvious place to start, and Force Plates (also called Force Platforms) are an appropriate tool to use. These devices have long been considered the gold standard and utilized heavily in research and gait laboratories, but have now become more commonplace in clinical and performance environments. Our muscles' ability to produce force, even more specifically the complex organization of all of our body systems (neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, sensory, etc.) to produce force can ultimately explain all of human movement.
By standardizing and capturing high-fidelity force data with a large enough population, it becomes possible to leverage big data techniques to analyze and provide insight into not only how well people produce force (e.g., how high can I jump, how much weight can I lift, how well can I balance, how well can I sprint), but to the different movement strategies or Movement Signatures that individuals utilize when they move.