In the last few years, estimating ground reaction forces by means of wearable sensors has come to be a challenging research topic paving the way to kinetic analysis and sport performance testing outside of labs. One possible approach involves estimating the ground reaction forces from kinematic data obtained by inertial measurement units (IMUs) worn by the subject. As estimating kinetic quantities from kinematic data is not an easy task, several models and protocols have been developed over the years. Non-wearable sensors, such as optoelectronic systems along with force platforms, remain the most accurate systems to record motion. In this review, we identified, selected and categorized the methodologies for estimating the ground reaction forces from IMUs as proposed across the years. Scopus, Google Scholar, IEEE Xplore, and PubMed databases were interrogated on the topic of Ground Reaction Forces estimation based on kinematic data obtained by IMUs. The identified papers were classified according to the methodology proposed: (i) methods based on direct modelling; (ii) methods based on machine learning. The methods based on direct modelling were further classified according to the task studied (walking, running, jumping, etc.). Finally, we comparatively examined the methods in order to identify the most reliable approaches for the implementation of a ground reaction force estimator based on IMU data.
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