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Wearable inertial measurement systems (IMS) allow for three-dimensional analysis of human movements in a sport-specific setting. This study examined the concurrent validity of a IMS (Xsens MVN system) for measuring lower extremity and pelvis kinematics in comparison to a Vicon motion analysis system (MAS) during kicking. Thirty footballers from Australian football (n = 10), soccer (n = 10), rugby league and rugby union (n = 10) clubs completed 20 kicks across four conditions. Concurrent validity was assessed using a linear mixed-modelling approach, which allowed the partition of between and within-subject variance from the device measurement error. Results were expressed in raw and standardised units for assessments of differences in means and measurement error, and interpreted via non-clinical magnitude-based inferences. Trivial to small differences were found in linear velocities (foot and pelvis), angular velocities (knee, shank and thigh), sagittal joint (knee and hip) and segment angle (shank and pelvis) means (mean difference: 0.2–5.8%) between the IMS and MAS in Australian football, soccer and the rugby codes. Trivial to small measurement errors (from 0.1 to 5.8%) were found between the IMS and MAS in all kinematic parameters. The IMS demonstrated acceptable levels of concurrent validity compared to a MAS when measuring kicking biomechanics across the four football codes. Wearable IMS offers various benefits over MAS, such as, out-of-laboratory testing, larger measurement range and quick data output, to help improve the ecological validity of biomechanical testing and the timing of feedback. The results advocate the use of IMS to quantify biomechanics of high-velocity movements insport-specific settings.


School of Exercise Science

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Journal Article

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