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See what muscles you're really using
  (+3, -2)
(+3, -2)
  [vote for,

A lot of exercises are easy to do incorrectly, especially if the muscle you're exercising is already weak. Other muscles jump in to compensate, and before you know it, you're trying to use jaw tension to strengthen your biceps. It's true in other physical endeavors as well; many singers have no idea (or whimsical ideas on) how to breathe properly.

It seems that fMRI or an equivalent technology could provide a solution; we could actually watch ourselves perform an activity, and through training, visual feedback, and reinforcement, teach ourselves to use the right muscles the right way.

jaylev, Dec 16 2007

Muscle activity monitoring with Symbian device and smartwear. http://blogs.forum....38462&articleId=161
how to use technology we already have to work like your proposed device. [pyggy potamus, Dec 16 2007]

how fight science was measured. http://www.media.wa...release.php?id=2325
[pyggy potamus, Dec 17 2007]


       Not a bad idea - [+].   

       I think it would be diffucult to do this using fMRI for practical purposes. But perhaps skin-mounted electrodes could be used to monitor the activity?
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 16 2007

       Maybe a sort of tracksuit with built in strain guages and skin contacts to map neuromuscular activity ? Then add one of those "suit of lights" things that are used in mapping real-world performers onto bluescreened/CGI; EL panels on the suit light up to show muscle activity.   

       Then just stand in front of a mirror.   

       The concept behind the idea is excellent. [+]
8th of 7, Dec 16 2007

       An issue with skin mounted strain gauges / tension contacts / electrodes is that they smooth and blend the result of the underlying muscle movement significantly. Look at a muscle chart. Start with one point on the outside of the skin and project inwards; you'll go through fat layers, a couple layers of inner fascia, a couple muscles and possibly a tendon or two. Then, the bone. Each part moves somewhat differently, all blending and sliding together to finally calculate the position of the skin, above.   

       So, you'll never get anything anywhere near accurate using a skin monitor, especially if the people, in need of exercise the most, are using it. Most of the internal muscles will be missed completely.
mylodon, Dec 16 2007

       // smooth and blend the result of the underlying muscle movement //   

       Hey, we never said it would be easy ...   

       // Most of the internal muscles will be missed completely. //   

       We sincerely hope so ....
8th of 7, Dec 16 2007

       I first saw this technology you describe on National Geographics - Fight Science Lab. They used high-speed, high-resolution, infrared motion-capture cameras with other measuring devices which allowed scientists to create computer animations of how martial artists' bones and muscles move during a fight. In another experiment, they also measured techniques to find out which was the deadliest.   

       For a cheaper way to identify and measure - - check out the [link] I provided, a guy in Finland is doing the same thing using his cellphone.
pyggy potamus, Dec 16 2007

       //An issue with skin mounted strain gauges...// Yes, you're probably right. On the other hand, though, it's going to be a while before gyms are equipped with large enough MRIs. I imagine that it's cheaper to have an experienced sports physio person with you, telling you which muscles you're using wrongly.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 16 2007

       Haven't seen Fight Science but normally those things are more artistic then scientific, and normally (I haven't seen otherwise) the muscles and internal doodads are passively or artistically driven.   

       But hey, paint some blood vessels on something and people think you are simulating blood vessels.
mylodon, Dec 17 2007

       [mylodon] I've provided a link to what the biomechanical engineering department of Wayne State University did for this particular Fight Science show. They determined the comparative strengths, advantages and limitations of the various martial arts styles, measuring and mapping the speed, force and range of nerves, muscles, bones and weapons.   

       Also, for [jaylev], if you're interested in this sort of thing, National Geographic has a new Fight Science show which will air next month. This time they will measure Mixed Martial Arts - like the ones we see on the Ultimate Fighting Championship , and special ops.
pyggy potamus, Dec 17 2007


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