Inertial Sensor-Based Motion Tracking in Football with Movement Intensity Quantification

Erik Wilmes, Cornelis J de Ruiter, Bram J C Bastiaansen, Jasper F J A van Zon, Riemer J K Vegter, Michel S Brink, Edwin A Goedhart, Koen A P M Lemmink, Geert J P Savelsbergh

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Inertial sensor-based measurements of lower body kinematics in football players may improve physical load estimates during training sessions and matches. However, the validity of inertial-based motion analysis systems is specific to both the type of movement and the intensity at which movements are executed. Importantly, such a system should be relatively simple, so it can easily be used in daily practice. This paper introduces an easy-to-use inertial-based motion analysis system and evaluates its validity using an optoelectronic motion analysis system as a gold standard. The system was validated in 11 football players for six different football specific movements that were executed at low, medium, and maximal intensity. Across all movements and intensities, the root mean square differences (means ± SD) for knee and hip flexion/extension angles were 5.3° ± 3.4° and 8.0° ± 3.5°, respectively, illustrating good validity with the gold standard. In addition, mean absolute flexion/extension angular velocities significantly differed between the three movement intensities. These results show the potential to use the inertial based motion analysis system in football practice to obtain lower body kinematics and to quantify movement intensity, which both may improve currently used physical load estimates of the players.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2527
JournalSensors (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2020


Funding: This work is part of the research programme “Citius Altius Sanius” with project number P16-28 project 6, which is (partly) financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

FundersFunder number
Citius Altius SaniusP16-28
Dutch Research Council
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek


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