In presenting the third edition, the goal has been to make improvements on material found in the second edition and to update information. Revising and rearranging the contents of the second edition led to new chapter titles, addition of new material, substantial reworking of illustrations as well as adding new ones, and the welcome input of three contributing authors.
There is continued dedication to the fundamental idea that mechanics of the human body cannot be dealt with adequately unless the neurophysiology of the human body is also discussed. This dedication stems, in part, from my own heritage and that of the previous authors, and from some herculean efforts on the part of some of my colleagues to define what should be included in a kinesiology/biomechanics course. In February 1980, a task force of leaders of the Kinesiology Academy of the National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) proposed guidelines and standards for undergraduate kinesiology. This report was adopted by the Academy and NASPE (Kinesiology Academy, 1980). Course content recommended by the task force includes not only mechanical considerations, i.e., kinematics and kinetics, but also very specific anatomical considerations related to joint structure and function, muscular function, and neuromuscular concepts. Competencies in anatomy and mathematics are considered as prerequisites to an undergraduate kinesiology course.
About the same time, an Ad Hoc Committee of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology (ISEK), was attempting to standardize technical terminology, especially in the reporting of electromyographic research (ISEK, 1980). Their report, first made available in August 1980, is titled, "Units, Terms and Standards in the Reporting of EMG Research," and is available from the Newsletter Editor of ISEK.
In addition, physical therapy recognized the need to standardize terms, especially biomechanical ones, and the American Physical Therapy Association published a glossary of terms, concepts, and units (Rodgers and Cavanagh, 1980). It is quite clear just how eclectic the field of kinesiology/ biomechanics really is when studying the groupings employed in their glossary; they include kinematics, kinetics, a special section on forces, computational methods, muscle mechanics, mechanics of materials, instrumentation, body segment variables, and even units of measurement and conversion factors. I am aware also of the work of a committee within the Canadian Society of Biomechanics charged with the task of providing a document for standardization of terms used in kinesiology/biomechanics. This material may also be available by the time the present textbook is published.
With all of these guidelines for standardization available, it is important that this textbook follow the recommendations of the reports cited. It is not difficult to follow the recommendation of the NASPE Committee report since the textbook always has included neurophysiological considerations. Also, attempts are made to incorporate the recommendations of the ISEK Committee and the Physical Therapy Association. In the process, the Imperial system and United States customary units are dropped and only units of measurement derived from the Système International d'Unitès (the International System of Units or SI system) are used.
Chapter 1 is a short introduction defining what the textbook intends, as well as defining a few basic terms. Chapter 2 is the previous Chapter 1, and concentrates on the skeletal framework of the human body. Chapters 3 and 4, Kinematics and Kinetics, have taken on new dimensions. Under new titles, they have been reorganized with new content, and in each, many more examples are provided. In addition, the reader is invited to attempt solving sample problems. The solutions and answers are provided in Appendix 1. Chapter 5 adds additional examples of concepts discussed in Chapters 3 and 4, and offers an even more extensive set of problems for the reader to solve. Having dealt with the mechanics of motion, Chapter 6 deals with the forces that power movement, the skeletal muscle system, and combines the material that was offered formerly in Chapters 4 and 7. Chapters 7, 8, and 9 (formerly chapters 8, 9, and 10) attempt to explain the neural mechanisms that control the motor elements, including basic neurophysiology, a review of the central nervous system, and the overall organization of the elements of the neuromuscular system. Chapter 10 on proprioceptors remains essentially unchanged except for updating and new information. Chapter 11 is the concluding chapter and deals with instrumentation. Most of the material is elaborated and synthesized on the basis of measurement schemes. The textbook concludes with selected references and appendices that include body segment tables not easily found elsewhere, as well as solutions and answers to problems.