Design and verification of a simple 3D dynamic model of speed skating which mimics observed forces and motions

E. van der Kruk*, H. E.J. Veeger, F. C.T. van der Helm, A. L. Schwab

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Advice about the optimal coordination pattern for an individual speed skater, could be addressed by simulation and optimization of a biomechanical speed skating model. But before getting to this optimization approach one needs a model that can reasonably match observed behaviour. Therefore, the objective of this study is to present a verified three dimensional inverse skater model with minimal complexity, which models the speed skating motion on the straights. The model simulates the upper body transverse translation of the skater together with the forces exerted by the skates on the ice. The input of the model is the changing distance between the upper body and the skate, referred to as the leg extension (Euclidean distance in 3. D space). Verification shows that the model mimics the observed forces and motions well. The model is most accurate for the position and velocity estimation (respectively 1.2% and 2.9% maximum residuals) and least accurate for the force estimations (underestimation of 4.5-10%). The model can be used to further investigate variables in the skating motion. For this, the input of the model, the leg extension, can be optimized to obtain a maximal forward velocity of the upper body.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-102
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number-
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Multibody model
  • Optimization
  • Speed skating
  • Verification

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