View Full Version : Kinetics vs Kinematics

Clay Davidson
July 21st, 2014, 01:27 PM
You often hear claims about kinetics vs kinematics in the golfing world. What do these words/concepts mean and how do they relate?

A noted biomechanist gave the following (paraphrased) definitions:

Kinetics - the study of the CAUSE of motion.

*usually involves such areas as force, inertia, power and energy.

Kinematics - the DESCRIPTION of motion and position of the body.

*usually involves such areas as velocity, speed, linear and angular positions of the body (ex. pronation, supination, flexion and extension)

NOW HERE IS THE BOMBSHELL by the biomechanist: kinetics and kinematics CANNOT contradict and nobody has a solid model of IDEAL kinetics. All we can do is: (1) understand common kinematic aspects of elite golfers, and (2) through simulation try to figure out the kinetics derived from such elite kinematic data.

Kinetics involves high level math and instructors aren't giving math lessons on the range. Very few machines exist that provide kinetic data (ex. force plates). Kinetics and kinematics are inter-related and two sides of the same coin. The next time some instructor tries to tell you he/she teaches kinetics ask him what kinematic data of elite golfers he used to develop his "kinetics."