For a valid determination of a rower’s mechanical power output, the anterior–posterior (AP) acceleration of a rower’s centre of mass (CoM) is required. The current study was designed to evaluate the accuracy of the determination of this acceleration using a full-body inertial measurement units (IMUs) suit in combination with a mass distribution model. Three methods were evaluated. In the first two methods, IMU data were combined with either a subject-specific mass distribution or a standard mass distribution model for athletes. In the third method, a rower’s AP CoM acceleration was estimated using a single IMU placed at the pelvis. Experienced rowers rowed on an ergometer that was placed on two force plates, while wearing a full-body IMUs suit. Correspondence values between AP CoM acceleration based on IMU data (the three methods) and AP CoM acceleration obtained from force plate data (reference) were calculated. Good correspondence was found between the reference AP CoM acceleration and the AP CoM accelerations determined using IMU data in combination with the subject-specific mass model and the standard mass model (intraclass correlation coefficients [ICC] > 0.988 and normalized root mean square errors [nRMSE] 3.81%). Correspondence was lower for the AP CoM accelerations determined using a single pelvis IMU (0.877 < ICC < 0.960 and 6.11% < nRMSE < 13.61%). Based on these results, we recommend determining a rower’s AP CoM acceleration using IMUs in combination with the standard mass model. Finally, we conclude that accurate determination of a rower’s AP CoM acceleration is not possible on the basis of the pelvis acceleration only.
- centre of mass acceleration