Week 3 Learning Goals
Explore biomechanics of the human body
Week 3 Overview
Learning Objectives
Students will learn about biomechanics and how the muscles attach to the bones with tendons to create movement. Students will work in pairs to conduct guided research of the anatomy of the human arm and complete a guided SFM analysis. Students will interact physically to identify movements that pertain to each muscle group in the arm.
Before the Lesson


  • Tendon:
  • A cord of strong, flexible tissue, similar to a rope. Tendons connect your muscles to your bones. Tendons let us move our limbs. They also help prevent muscle injury by absorbing some of the impact your muscles take when you run, jump or do other movements.

  • Ligament:
  • Ligaments are bands of tough elastic tissue around your joints. They connect bone to bone, give your joints support, and limit their movement. You have ligaments around your knees, ankles, elbows, shoulders, and other joints. Stretching or tearing them can make your joints unstable.

Engage 5 min

Physical Connection

Complete the following exercises. Think about which muscles in your body you are using for each movement.

  • Push your chair 4 feet forward.
  • Pull your chair 4 feet backward.
  • Lift your backpack five times.
  • Hold a plank with your arms out for as (with hands on the wall, table, or ground).
  • 10 Tricep dips on a table.
  • 10 Pushups.

Play Video: 5 Minute Timer

Explain 10 min (Mini Lesson)


  • Biomechanics is the study of the structure, function and motion of the mechanical aspects of biological systems. This can happen at any level from whole organisms to organs, cells and cell organelles, using the methods of mechanics.
  • Biomechanics studies not only the human body but also animals and even extends to plants and the mechanical workings of cells. For example, the biomechanics of the squat includes consideration of the position and/or movement of the feet, hips, knees, back, and shoulders, and arms.
  • Mechanics is a branch of science that deals with forces and the effects produced by these forces. The application of this science to the biological system is referred to as biomechanics. Human biomechanics focuses on how forces act on the musculoskeletal system and how the body tissue responds to these forces.
Explore 30 min (Pairs)

Guided Research and SFM Activity

Today you will work with your partner to complete research about the human arm. You will use the 2.3.1. SFM Arm Organizer to guide your research efforts.

Resource Sandbox:


3-D Models - Click and drag to move


Discussion/Reflection 5 min

  • How do bones and muscles work together to create movement?
  • We learned how to do an SFM analysis on an organism last week. What were the challenges in applying what you know about SFM to the human arm?
Student Handouts
Student Materials
Instructional Slides & Materials
Web Resources