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Introduction

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Where does anatomy end and biomechanics begin? In truth, there is no answer because the question itself is not valid. One might as well ask, “Where does the study of words end and the writing of compositions (or articles, or books) begin?” or “Where does the study of building materials end and the designing and erecting of buildings begin?” Just as words are the elements used in all writing, whether creative, factual, or expository, and just as bricks, wood, cement, metal, and glass are some of the elements used in building, so bones, joints, muscles, connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves are the vital elements of human motion. They are the essential elements used in batting a baseball, passing and carrying a football, shooting a basketball into the basket—in fact, in all running, walking, jumping, throwing, striking, catching, and swimming; likewise, one finds them in keyboarding, manual labor, painting, sewing, knitting, and so forth, almost without end.

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One aim of Part I is to prepare students of human motion, whether they are in physical education, athletic training, physical therapy, occupational therapy, exercise science, or other related professions, to systematically analyze human movements in terms of muscles, joints, and nervous system integration and to apply the knowledge provided to improve performance in motor skills. This section should not be looked upon merely as a review of anatomy but as the very foundation for analysis of human motion. It demonstrates the close relationships between anatomical structure and function, and it provides a body of knowledge that can be utilized in learning and perfecting various motor skills. It aims to demonstrate how the bones, joints, and muscles serve as elements in anatomical levers, which act in accord with the laws of mechanics. It also strives to make clear the influences of gravitational and other external forces on muscular actions. For instance, under certain circumstances, these forces may cause an action to be the exact opposite of what one would expect in view of the movement that is being performed. It should be obvious, therefore, that memorizing the actions of muscles will not prepare the student to make accurate analyses. Rather, a true understanding of all the conditions that influence the functions of the muscles is necessary.

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Part I contains eight chapters—two on the musculoskeletal system and its movements, one on the neuromuscular aspects of motion, and five on the anatomy and fundamental movements of specific segments of the body. The order in which these chapters are studied is entirely optional. Students who use this text may differ widely in their educational backgrounds. Some may already have completed courses in anatomy, possibly even including the experience of human dissection. Others may have had only brief courses and will feel the need to receive more detailed information. In an attempt to meet the needs of all students, whatever their backgrounds, in Part I we have presented fairly complete coverage of the ...

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