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Since the publication of the first edition of this text, courses in kinesiology have undergone many changes in both content and emphasis. Each subsequent edition has reflected these changes, and the eleventh edition is no exception. The primary goals of this revision have been to update and expand the material where appropriate and to strengthen the textbook as a pedagogical tool. Several of the chapters have been expanded and updated in light of current research. The resultant content makes this a book ideally suited to help students achieve an understanding of the integrated nature of kinesiology as an area of study that includes both anatomical and biomechanical components.


In the twenty-first century, the traditional course often titled kinesiology has been separated into courses in anatomy and biomechanics. This text attempts to integrate the anatomy of human movement with the mechanics of human movement. It is neither an anatomy text nor a biomechanics text, but is an integrated kinesiology text. The textbook is designed as a basic source to introduce the undergraduate student to the fundamentals of kinesiology. Because the fundamentals are presented without compromising basic theory, this book may be used as an introductory text. The book presents the subject in a fashion that presupposes some background in anatomy and a little in physics. The text does not shy away from presenting material that requires some theoretical foundations in these areas. Whatever background is needed to understand the various applications is supplied, and numerous examples and exercises are provided. There is extensive discussion of both anatomical and biomechanical fundamentals of human motion and the application of these fundamentals to the analysis of a wide variety of motor skills. For these reasons, the text is especially appropriate for use in courses with these objectives:

  1. To afford students the opportunity to learn a systematic approach to the analysis of human motion.
  2. To provide information that will help students obtain an understanding of the anatomical and biomechanical fundamentals of human motion.
  3. To provide the types of experiences that ask students to apply anatomical and biomechanical analysis to the learning and improvement of a broad spectrum of movement activities.


The Introduction to the Study of Kinesiology is a single chapter that sets the stage by presenting a kinesiological analysis model. This chapter is intended to lay the foundation for the remainder of the text. It is here that the student will learn to organize the thought process involved in understanding human movement. It is critical that the study of kinesiology begin here—with a systematic approach to learning.

Part I, Anatomical and Physiological Fundamentals of Human Motion, consists of eight chapters, each beginning with a discussion of the anatomical background essential for understanding human movement followed by the presentation of a systematic approach to kinesiological analysis. The emphasis throughout is on the relation of anatomical structure to function, not on anatomy as such. It is assumed throughout this section that the student has acquired a basic knowledge of static anatomy as applied to stationary models, skeletons, and cadavers. The emphasis in this text is the dynamic anatomy of the moving body. Applications of the knowledge of structure to the analysis of human motion are introduced in these early chapters so that the student can begin to put theory into practice immediately, rather than wait until the knowledge base is more complete. Additional laboratory experiences have been added to assist with this practice.

Part II, Fundamentals of Biomechanics, presents the fundamentals of biomechanics as they apply to human movement analysis. The first chapter introduces the student to terminology and to the units of measure used when motion and the forces that cause it are studied. This chapter is followed by chapters in which motion and the forces that cause and modify it are described. The section concludes with a chapter on the center of gravity and stability.

Part II provides an elementary approach to the material without oversimplifying to the point where misconceptions could occur. In many instances the student is shown the “proof” of a principle through experimental examples or mathematical derivation. This approach is used in the belief that greater understanding will result. The reward will be greater comprehension of the reasons “why” optimum movement patterns occur as they do. It should be remembered, however, that the emphasis in a first undergraduate course in kinesiology should be on the development of the qualitative method of analysis. The introduction of the quantitative method, if used, should be limited to understanding fundamental concepts and not for extensive application to analysis of movement patterns.

Part III, Motor Skills, utilizes the kinesiological analysis system that has been developed in concert with the anatomical and mechanical concepts that have been presented. This analysis model forms the basis for the organization of the nine chapters in Part III. In each of these chapters the basic principles of anatomy and mechanics are identified and applied to specific motor skills. Sample analyses are also included.

Pedagogical Features

Helpful pedagogical tools in every chapter successfully assist the learning process. These include chapter outlines, objectives, laboratory experiences, and references and selected readings.

Eight comprehensive appendices have been updated to provide material that supplements the basic concepts presented in the text:

A. Classification of Joints and Their Movements
B. Joint Range of Motion
C. Muscular Attachments and Nerve Supply
D. Mathematics Review
E. Table of Trigonometric Functions
F. U.S.–Metric Equivalents
G. Exercises for Kinesiological Analysis
H. Answers to Problems in Part II

New to this Edition

Once again the text has been revised in response to feedback from instructors and students, and includes new information as well as more thorough discussions and appropriate applications throughout:

  • New co-author, Wendi Weimar, is Director of the Sports Biomechanics Laboratory at Auburn University. Her related experiences, along with her academic background in physics, chemistry, and secondary education, combine to bring an educational approach to the science.
  • Analysis examples are updated throughout the text to help better explain anatomical and biomechanical concepts to undergraduates.
  • Applications have been expanded to include more examples with young, elderly, and disabled people and are not only sport-specific.
  • Less common activities (such as synchronized swimming) are replaced to focus on more common ones.
  • The coverage of bone in the elderly population and the implications of bone loss have been updated and expanded.
  • New graphical representations of projectile motion help readers make the connection between seeing something move and what the motion looks like on a series of graphs (i.e., position versus time; velocity versus time; and acceleration versus time).
  • Numerical examples of impulse demonstrate the application of formulas.
  • A new summary of levers is provided to give the student a visual representation of the relationship between the components of the levers and the order those components must assume to fulfill the role of the lever.
  • A new discussion of balance with regard to the center of gravity and the base of support is included to reinforce the importance of this relationship to remaining upright.
  • Postural sway and balance strategies have been added to identify two methods humans employ to remain upright.
  • New sections on ground reaction force, friction, and postural stability are included.
  • A new section on protective equipment indicates how technology is enhancing sport safety.
  • The role of stored elastic potential energy is explored to help the student understand how this concept which forms the basis of plyometrics is applied in other movements.


Anatomy & Physiology Revealed CD-ROM #1: Skeletal and Muscular System (ISBN 0-07-297299-8)

Developed by the Medical College of Ohio, this is the ultimate interactive cadaver dissection experience. This state-of-the-art tutorial uses cadaver photos combined with a layering technique that allows the student to peel away layers of the human body to reveal structures beneath the surface. Anatomy & Physiology Revealed offers animations, radiologic imaging, audio pronunciations, and a comprehensive quizzing tool. This tutorial is available as a stand-alone or can be combined with any of McGraw-Hill's textbooks. Contact your sales representative for more information.


We would like to thank the following individuals who served as reviewers for this edition for their helpful comments and suggestions in revising the text:

William Barfield, College of Charleston
Jeff Broker, University of Colorado
Declan Connolly, University of Vermont
Wayne Jacobs, LeTourneau University
Thomas Marzilli, University of West Florida
Steve McCaw, Illinois State University
Georgios Stylianides, University of Texas–Permian Basin
Thomas Temples, North Georgia College and State University
Mark Walsh, Miami University

Appreciation is also expressed to the authors and publishers who graciously gave permission to quote passages and reproduce illustrations from their publications. We also wish to acknowledge our indebtedness to the generations of students whose stimulus has been a vital reason for the existence of this book. Finally, we would like to express our sincere thanks to the editorial and production staffs of McGraw-Hill for their helpfulness throughout the preparation of this edition.

Nancy Hamilton, Cedar Falls, Iowa
Wendi Weimar, Auburn, Alabama
Kathryn Luttgens, Wellesley, Massachusetts

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