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Force Analysis of Sports Equipment.

While exercise equipment is a great way to stay active, as with anything, it comes with a risk to the user when poorly designed.  Exercise equipment is subjected to high use cycles, and at times, strong and repetitive forces.  BEAR engineers can analyze body dynamics in various situations to determine when exercise machines, such as inclined bench presses and spinning bikes, put users at risk of injury.

In a personal injury case, the client had a neck muscle pain during exercising with the incline bench press. BEAR Engineers were called in to investigate if neck injury could be caused by the force of downward push of incline bench press while a user rested his head on the bench pad. We instrumented a bench and dynamically measured head forces in a controlled setting.

Figure 1. Head forces versus time elasped of exercising with inclined bench press.

In another legal battle, BEAR Engineers were asked to examine spinning bikes to calculate the peak leg impact force that could potentially cause a leg or foot injury.


Similarly, BEAR Engineers instrumented the spinning machines in our lab and experimented, as seen as figure 2, of how much forces are employed on leg or foot while riding a machine. Using the test data of recorded force, BEAR analysis once again proved critical in helping settle this case.

inclined bench press

spinning machines

Figure 2. Compartments inside of the spinning machine which were subject to be analyzed to derive the force applied on the leg and feet.

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