Kinesiological Analysis: Description & Major Components

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will define and describe the major components of kinesiological analysis to provide safe and effective ways for physical therapists, physical education teachers, and coaches to improve motor skill performance.


Michael Jordan is often called the greatest athlete in the history of basketball. How did he get there? He is quoted as saying, ''I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.'' Rarely is success purely a matter of natural ability. Truly gifted athletes apply scientific principles, as well as a lot of practice, as they develop their skills.

Kinesiology is the study of movement in people, including mechanics, anatomy and physiology. Kinesiological analysis uses this perspective to assess the development of motor skills and to diagnose and treat motor skill performance. Kinesiological analysis may be applied to physical therapy or the development of athletic skills. The analysis includes the bones, joints, muscles, and nervous system as a skill is taught, evaluated, and corrected using a systematic approach. Let's find out more about the components of kinesiological analysis, which includes describing key characteristics and elements of a skill; evaluating its performance; and prescribing corrections for improvement.

Describing a Skill

The systematic approach to describing a motor skill consists of four parts. First of all, the analyst needs to identify the purpose or goal of the movement. A purpose statement with references to components such as speed, accuracy, form and distance should be developed.

Next, the movement should be broken down into specific segments. Some movement skills are discrete, meaning they have obvious starting and stopping points. For example, when driving a golf ball, there are five distinct movements: address, backswing, downswing, impact, and follow through. Other movement skills such as walking are cyclical, meaning that they are continuous.

Then the skill is classified by placing it within the major categories of physical activity to which it belongs, such as posture, movement, giving motion either to the person's body or an external object, or receiving impact. Some skills may be included in several categories.

Finally, the skill should be classified as either simultaneous or sequential. Simultaneous movements use multiple body segments to create one straight-line movement. Sequential movements use order of use of body segments to accelerate a movement.

Anatomical Analysis

The next component of kinesiological analysis is an anatomical analysis. This involves an analysis of how the joints, muscles, and neuromuscular mechanisms work to create movement. Basically, the anatomical analysis identifies which body mechanisms are involved in a movement, how they are coordinated, and what are the limits of these mechanisms to safe movement.

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