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Special Issue "Sensor Technology for Sports Monitoring"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 8584

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Vesa Linnamo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Vuokatti Sports Technology Unit, Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, P.O.Box 35, University of Jyväskylä, FI-40014 Jyväskylä, Finland
Interests: motor control and neuromuscular adaptation; sports biomechanics; Nordic winter sports

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In order to be able to analyze and give proper advice on sport techniques, it is important to understand the biomechanical and physiological demands of different sports. In a coaching situation, feedback to the athlete should be given without too much delay. Over the past decades, sensor technology-related to sports monitoring has developed with huge steps. Senors are lighter, data transmission is mostly wireless, and software applications are more user-friendly.

This Special Issue is addressed to all kinds of sensors that are currently being used for monitoring different sports. Both review articles and original research papers relating to the topic are solicited.

Prof. Vesa Linnamo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • sports
  • technology
  • wireless
  • monitoring
  • feedback
  • performance

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Article
Validation of a Sensor-Based Dynamic Ski Deflection Measurement in the Lab and Proof-of-Concept Field Investigation
Sensors 2022, 22(15), 5768; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22155768 - 02 Aug 2022
Viewed by 355
Abstract
Introduction: Ski deflection is a performance-relevant factor in alpine skiing and the segmental and temporal curvature characteristics (m−1) along the ski have lately received particular attention. Recently, we introduced a PyzoFlex® ski deflection measurement prototype that demonstrated high reliability and [...] Read more.
Introduction: Ski deflection is a performance-relevant factor in alpine skiing and the segmental and temporal curvature characteristics (m−1) along the ski have lately received particular attention. Recently, we introduced a PyzoFlex® ski deflection measurement prototype that demonstrated high reliability and validity in a quasi-static setting. The aim of the present work is to test the performance of an enhanced version of the prototype in a dynamic setting both in a skiing-like bending simulation as well as in a field proof-of-concept measurement. Material and methods: A total of twelve sensor foils were implemented on the upper surface of the ski. The ski sensors were calibrated with an empirical curvature model and then deformed on a programmable bending robot with the following program: 20 times at three different deformation velocities (vslow, vmedium, vfast) with (1) central bending, (2) front bending, (3) back bending, (4) edging left, and (5) edging right. For reliability assessment, pairs of bending cycles (cycle 1 vs. cycle 10 and cycle 10 vs. cycle 20) at vslow, vmedium, and vfast and between pairs of velocity (vslow vs. vmedium and vslow vs. vfast) were evaluated by calculating the change in the mean (CIM), coefficient of variation (CV) and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC 3.1) with a 95% confidence interval. For validity assessment, the calculated segment-wise mean signals were compared with the values that were determined by 36 infrared markers that were attached to the ski using an optoelectrical measuring system (Qualisys). Results: High reliability was found for pairs of bending cycles (CIM −0.69–0.24%, max CV 0.28%, ICC 3.1 > 0.999) and pairs of velocities (max CIM = 3.03%, max CV = 3.05%, ICC 3.1 = 0.997). The criterion validity based on the Pearson correlation coefficient was r = 0.98. The accuracy (systematic bias) and precision (standard deviation), were −0.003 m−1 and 0.047 m−1, respectively. Conclusions: The proof-of-concept field measurement has shown that the prototype is stable, robust, and waterproof and provides characteristic curvature progressions with plausible values. Combined with the high laboratory-based reliability and validity of the PyzoFlex® prototype, this is a potential candidate for smart ski equipment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Technology for Sports Monitoring)
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Article
Detecting and Visualizing Stops in Dance Training by Neural Network Based on Velocity and Acceleration
Sensors 2022, 22(14), 5402; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22145402 - 20 Jul 2022
Viewed by 339
Abstract
Various genres of dance, such as Yosakoi Soran, have contributed to the health of many people and contributed to their sense of belonging to a community. However, due to the effects of COVID-19, various face-to-face activities have been restricted and group dance practice [...] Read more.
Various genres of dance, such as Yosakoi Soran, have contributed to the health of many people and contributed to their sense of belonging to a community. However, due to the effects of COVID-19, various face-to-face activities have been restricted and group dance practice has become difficult. Hence, there is a need to facilitate remote dance practice. In this paper, we propose a system for detecting and visualizing the very important dance motions known as stops. We measure dance movements by motion capture and calculate the features of each movement based on velocity and acceleration. Using a neural network to learn motion features, the system detects stops and visualizes them using a human-like 3D model. In an experiment using dance data, the proposed method obtained highly accurate stop detection results and demonstrated its effectiveness as an information and communication technology support for remote group dance practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Technology for Sports Monitoring)
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Article
Proposal of an Alpine Skiing Kinematic Analysis with the Aid of Miniaturized Monitoring Sensors, a Pilot Study
Sensors 2022, 22(11), 4286; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22114286 - 04 Jun 2022
Viewed by 622
Abstract
The recent growth and spread of smart sensor technologies make these connected devices suitable for diagnostic and monitoring in different fields. In particular, these sensors are useful in diagnostics for control of diseases or during rehabilitation. They are also extensively used in the [...] Read more.
The recent growth and spread of smart sensor technologies make these connected devices suitable for diagnostic and monitoring in different fields. In particular, these sensors are useful in diagnostics for control of diseases or during rehabilitation. They are also extensively used in the monitoring field, both by non-expert and expert users, to monitor health status and progress during a sports activity. For athletes, these devices could be used to control and enhance their performance. This development has led to the realization of miniaturized sensors that are wearable during different sporting activities without interfering with the movements of the athlete. The use of these sensors, during training or racing, opens new frontiers for the understanding of motions and causes of injuries. This pilot study introduced a motion analysis system to monitor Alpine ski activities during training sessions. Through five inertial measurement units (IMUs), placed on five points of the athletes, it is possible to compute the angle of each joint and evaluate the ski run. Comparing the IMU data, firstly, with a video and then proposing them to an expert coach, it is possible to observe from the data the same mistakes visible in the camera. The aim of this work is to find a tool to support ski coaches during training sessions. Since the evaluation of athletes is now mainly developed with the support of video, we evaluate the use of IMUs to support the evaluation of the coach with more precise data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Technology for Sports Monitoring)
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Article
Physical Demands during the Game and Compensatory Training Session (MD + 1) in Elite Football Players Using Global Positioning System Device
Sensors 2022, 22(10), 3872; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22103872 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 558
Abstract
The aims of this study were to analyze the differences of physical demands of non-starter players regarding the playing time during the competition and to evaluate the physical demands of the compensatory training (MD + 1C) for substitute players in elite football. The [...] Read more.
The aims of this study were to analyze the differences of physical demands of non-starter players regarding the playing time during the competition and to evaluate the physical demands of the compensatory training (MD + 1C) for substitute players in elite football. The match statistics and MD + 1C of substitute players from a professional Spanish LaLiga football club were analyzed using a 10-Hz global positioning system (GPS) Apex GPS system device, which has been validated as a reliable and valid method to analyze performance in team sports, during all games of the 2016/2017, 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 seasons. The starting players showed both lower total distances covered and high-intensity actions compared to the substitutes. Regarding the minutes played by the substitutes, greater physical performance was found for the players with fewer minutes (5–15 min). Furthermore, no differences were found between first and second divisions regarding physical performance of substitutes (p > 0.05). This study highlights the importance of individualizing the workload of training sessions for substitutes and starters. Furthermore, the complementary session should be individualized according to the minutes played by the substitutes. These players are potentially under-loaded compared to starters, especially in terms of high-intensity actions, therefore additional session-specific training for each substitute would be useful to reach the optimal training load according to the minutes played during the game. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Technology for Sports Monitoring)
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Article
Propulsion Calculated by Force and Displacement of Center of Mass in Treadmill Cross-Country Skiing
Sensors 2022, 22(7), 2777; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22072777 - 05 Apr 2022
Viewed by 728
Abstract
This study evaluated two approaches for estimating the total propulsive force on a skier’s center of mass (COM) with double-poling (DP) and V2-skating (V2) skiing techniques. We also assessed the accuracy and the stability of each approach by changing the speed and the [...] Read more.
This study evaluated two approaches for estimating the total propulsive force on a skier’s center of mass (COM) with double-poling (DP) and V2-skating (V2) skiing techniques. We also assessed the accuracy and the stability of each approach by changing the speed and the incline of the treadmill. A total of 10 cross-country skiers participated in this study. Force measurement bindings, pole force sensors, and an eight-camera Vicon system were used for data collection. The coefficient of multiple correlation (CMC) was calculated to evaluate the similarity between the force curves. Mean absolute force differences between the estimated values and the reference value were computed to evaluate the accuracy of each approach. In both DP and V2 techniques, the force–time curves of the forward component of the translational force were similar to the reference value (CMC: 0.832–0.936). The similarity between the force and time curves of the forward component of the ground reaction force (GRF) and the reference value was, however, greater (CMC: 0.879–0.955). Both approaches can estimate the trend of the force–time curve of the propulsive force properly. An approach by calculating the forward component of GRF is a more appropriate method due to a better accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Technology for Sports Monitoring)
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Article
A Wearable System for Jump Detection in Inline Figure Skating
Sensors 2022, 22(4), 1650; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22041650 - 20 Feb 2022
Viewed by 933
Abstract
This article presents the design and experimental evaluation of a non-invasive wearable sensor system that can be used to acquire crucial information about athletes’ performance during inline figure skating training. By combining distance and time-of-flight sensors and gyroscopes, the system is able to [...] Read more.
This article presents the design and experimental evaluation of a non-invasive wearable sensor system that can be used to acquire crucial information about athletes’ performance during inline figure skating training. By combining distance and time-of-flight sensors and gyroscopes, the system is able to detect when jumps are performed and provides a live view of the data (e.g., the number and height of jumps) through a graphical user interface. The main novelty of our approach lies in the way in which the optical sensors are orientated. Typically, the sensors are orientated horizontally and positioned in pairs on the ground, where they measure the time interval between the moment the athlete leaves the ground and the moment they land. In our system, an optical sensor is placed under each foot and is vertically orientated so as to constantly measure the distance from the ground. In addition, a gyroscope sensor is placed on the athlete’s back, which provides information on the direction and angular momentum of the movement. By combining this data, the system provides the accurate detection of various jumps and technical elements without any constraints on the training ground. In this paper, the system is also compared to similar platforms in the literature, although there are no other specific systems that are available for inline figure skating. The results of the experimental evaluation, which was performed by high profile athletes, confirm its effectiveness in correctly detecting jumps, especially considering its compromise between precision and the overall cost of the equipment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Technology for Sports Monitoring)
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Article
Magnitude and Shape of the Forces Applied on the Foot Rest and Paddle by Elite Kayakers
Sensors 2022, 22(4), 1612; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22041612 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 651
Abstract
The study aimed to investigate the magnitude and shape of the forces applied on the foot rest, foot strap, and paddle. Thirteen elite male kayakers participated in this study and performed a 2-min test simulating 500 m race pace in a kayak ergometer. [...] Read more.
The study aimed to investigate the magnitude and shape of the forces applied on the foot rest, foot strap, and paddle. Thirteen elite male kayakers participated in this study and performed a 2-min test simulating 500 m race pace in a kayak ergometer. Forces applied by the kayakers on the paddle, foot rest, and foot strap were measured with load cells and recorded by an electronic measuring system. The magnitude of the peak forces applied on the foot rest (left: 543.27 ± 85.93; right: 524.39 ± 88.36) approximately doubled the ones applied on the paddle (left: 236.37 ± 19.32; right: 243.92 ± 28.89). The forces on the foot strap were similar in magnitude to the paddle forces (left: 240.09 ± 74.92; right: 231.05 ± 52.01). A positive correlation was found between the peak forces applied on the foot rest and paddle on the same side (p < 0.001). When comparing the best and worst kayakers’ performance, the best showed greater forces magnitudes and synchronization of the peak forces. Analyses of the force–time curves, including not only the forces applied by the kayaker on the paddle but also the ones applied on the foot rest and strap, should be considered relevant in terms of technique analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Technology for Sports Monitoring)
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Article
The Effect of Paddle Stroke Variables Measured by Trainesense SmartPaddle® on the Velocity of the Kayak
Sensors 2022, 22(3), 938; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22030938 - 26 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1535
Abstract
(1) Background: This study aimed to compare key variables of paddle stroke measured by a commercial Trainesense SmartPaddle® against the strain-gauge shaft and investigate how these variables are associated with the velocity of the boat among national-level canoe polo players. (2) Methods: [...] Read more.
(1) Background: This study aimed to compare key variables of paddle stroke measured by a commercial Trainesense SmartPaddle® against the strain-gauge shaft and investigate how these variables are associated with the velocity of the boat among national-level canoe polo players. (2) Methods: This study involved 14 Finnish national-level canoe polo players. The measurement protocol consisted of three different paddling velocities, which were performed in indoor swimming pools. The velocity of the boat was calculated based on the performance time measured with the laser photocell gate. Canoe polo equipment was used in the study and a SmartPaddle sensor was attached to the paddle blade. A strain-gauge paddle shaft was used as a reference method to examine the validity of SmartPaddle. (3) Results: The stroke rate, force production time, mean and maximal force measured with the strain-gauge paddle shaft correlated strongly (r = 0.84–0.95, p < 0.01) with SmartPaddle. However, the SmartPaddle overestimated the maximum force compared to the strain-gauge shaft. Stroke rate (r = 0.86, p < 0.01), mean force (r = 0.79, p < 0.01), maximal force (r = 0.78, p < 0.01) and total absolute impulse (r = 0.70, p < 0.01) correlated positively and force production time negatively (r = −0.76, p < 0.01) with the velocity of the boat. (4) Conclusions: We conclude that the SmartPaddle provides promising information on stroke key variables when compared to the strain-gauge paddle shaft. The SmartPaddle is a new and interesting tool for biomechanical research and daily kayaking coaching in real open water conditions. However, more research and algorithm development are needed before the SmartPaddle can be used in everyday coaching sessions in kayaking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Technology for Sports Monitoring)
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Article
Framework for In-Field Analyses of Performance and Sub-Technique Selection in Standing Para Cross-Country Skiers
Sensors 2021, 21(14), 4876; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21144876 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 818
Abstract
Our aims were to evaluate the feasibility of a framework based on micro-sensor technology for in-field analyses of performance and sub-technique selection in Para cross-country (XC) skiing by using it to compare these parameters between elite standing Para (two men; one woman) and [...] Read more.
Our aims were to evaluate the feasibility of a framework based on micro-sensor technology for in-field analyses of performance and sub-technique selection in Para cross-country (XC) skiing by using it to compare these parameters between elite standing Para (two men; one woman) and able-bodied (AB) (three men; four women) XC skiers during a classical skiing race. The data from a global navigation satellite system and inertial measurement unit were integrated to compare time loss and selected sub-techniques as a function of speed. Compared to male/female AB skiers, male/female Para skiers displayed 19/14% slower average speed with the largest time loss (65 ± 36/35 ± 6 s/lap) found in uphill terrain. Female Para/AB skiers utilized DP, DK, and DIA, 61/43%, 15/10%, and 25/47% of the distance at low speeds, respectively, while the corresponding numbers for male Para/AB skiers were 58/18%, 1/13%, and 40/69%. At higher speeds, female Para/AB skiers utilized DP and OTHER, 26/52% and 74/48% of the distance, respectively, while corresponding numbers for male Para/AB skiers were 29/66% and 71/34%. This indicates different speed thresholds of the classical sub-techniques for Para than AB skiers. The framework provides a point of departure for large-scale international investigations of performance and related factors in Para XC skiing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Technology for Sports Monitoring)
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Article
A Novel Sensor Foil to Measure Ski Deflections: Development and Validation of a Curvature Model
Sensors 2021, 21(14), 4848; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21144848 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 956
Abstract
The ski deflection with the associated temporal and segmental curvature variation can be considered as a performance-relevant factor in alpine skiing. Although some work on recording ski deflection is available, the segmental curvature among the ski and temporal aspects have not yet been [...] Read more.
The ski deflection with the associated temporal and segmental curvature variation can be considered as a performance-relevant factor in alpine skiing. Although some work on recording ski deflection is available, the segmental curvature among the ski and temporal aspects have not yet been made an object of observation. Therefore, the goal of this study was to develop a novel ski demonstrator and to conceptualize and validate an empirical curvature model. Twenty-four PyzoFlex® technology-based sensor foils were attached to the upper surface of an alpine ski. A self-developed instrument simultaneously measuring sixteen sensors was used as a data acquisition device. After calibration with a standardized bending test, using an empirical curvature model, the sensors were applied to analyze the segmental curvature characteristic (m−1) of the ski in a quasi-static bending situation at five different load levels between 100 N and 230 N. The derived curvature data were compared with values obtained from a high-precision laser measurement system. For the reliability assessment, successive pairs of trials were evaluated at different load levels by calculating the change in mean (CIM), the coefficient of variation (CV) and the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC 3.1) with a 95% confidence interval. A high reliability of CIM −1.41–0.50%, max CV 1.45%, and ICC 3.1 > 0.961 was found for the different load levels. Additionally, the criterion validity based on the Pearson correlation coefficient was R2 = 0.993 and the limits of agreement, expressed by the accuracy (systematic bias) and the precision (SD), was between +9.45 × 10−3 m−1 and −6.78 × 10−3 m−1 for all load levels. The new measuring system offers both good accuracy (1.33 × 10−3 m−1) and high precision (4.14 × 10−3 m−1). However, the results are based on quasi-static ski deformations, which means that a transfer into the field is only allowed to a limited extent since the scope of the curvature model has not yet been definitely determined. The high laboratory-related reliability and validity of our novel ski prototype featuring PyzoFlex® technology make it a potential candidate for on-snow application such as smart skiing equipment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Technology for Sports Monitoring)
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