The Importance of Kinesiology in the Study of Human Movement

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  • 0:04 The Greatest Work of Art
  • 0:39 What Is Kinesiology?
  • 1:58 Kinesiology's Importance
  • 2:42 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Allyn Torres

Allyn has taught high school chemistry, and has a master's degree in curriculum and instruction.

In this lesson, you will learn about kinesiology and how it plays a role in the study of human movement. The importance of an understanding of kinesiology will also be discussed.

The Greatest Work of Art

If you've ever suffered an injury to your foot or knee, you understand that even something as simple as walking cannot be taken for granted. Though we move our bodies nearly constantly, we probably don't think a lot about what goes into making those motions possible.

The fact is, even seemingly simple movements require the intricate coordination of muscles, ligaments, and joints. The human body is a complex machine, considered a work of art by many. In this lesson, we'll focus on the field of kinesiology, which studies the interior workings that make movement possible.

What Is Kinesiology?

Kinesiology is the study of human movement and muscle function. The field seeks to understand the impact of muscle function on health. Kinesiology draws upon concepts from several sciences, including biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, and neuroscience. The study of kinesiology seeks to understand the mechanics of human movement and pinpoints the specific muscles involved in specific movements. The field views the human body as a machine that functions in a very purposeful way.

Those who work in the field of kinesiology are very interested in the way that muscles move. They've broken muscles down into five categories in terms of how they function.

  1. The prime mover, also called agonist, is the main muscle involved in a movement.
  2. The assistant mover is a muscle or group of muscles that work with the main muscle in order to support movement.
  3. The antagonist is a muscle or a group of muscles that engage in the opposite type of movement from the main muscle. The purpose is to stabilize the joint during movement.
  4. Stabilizer muscles work to hold a moving body part in place.
  5. Synergy, or coordinated effort: There are two types of synergy. Helping synergy occurs when muscles contract together in one movement. True synergy occurs when a muscle contracts to aid another and stabilize movement.

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