White Paper: An introduction to Inertial Movement Analysis (IMA)

Athlete tracking has evolved rapidly since the first application of GPS technology to quantify athlete movement. PlayerLoad, an accelerometer-derived variable, remains one of the preferred metrics in this area due to its ability to capture all of an athlete’s movement, not just running events.

The ability to objectively quantify an athlete’s external load has enabled greater insights into load management and performance. As a result, training has evolved whereby elite sporting teams around the world prescribe training protocols based on reliable and accurate information. While PlayerLoad is a valid load monitoring tool, one limitation is its inability to filter out high intensity acceleration, deceleration and change of direction micro-movements.

To identify these movements, Catapult created a non-gravity resultant vector of the X, Y and Z planes known as the inertial measurement unit (IMU). Recent literature supports the validity of the IMU acceleration stream during walking, jogging and running in comparison to motion capture as the criterion measure.

Using a combination of this accelerometer and gyroscope information and advanced Kalman filtering techniques, it is possible to identify specific micro-movements referred to as Inertial Movement Analysis (IMA). Helping to quantify explosive movements, athlete norms, and biomechanical red flags, IMA is a key component of any athlete monitoring system.

Interested in finding out more about IMA? Click the below link to download.


Image: AFC Bournemouth

Ready to Gain a Competitive Edge?