Universität Innsbruck

Biomechanics Research Group

connect, collaborate, and discuss with us:


lab director

Prof. Werner Nachbauer

Email: Werner.Nachbauer@uibk.ac.at 

Phone number: (+43) 0512 507 45890

Team MembersInternships - Team publications - Current research projects - Research methodologies

Mission statement

The main focus of the Biomechanics Research Group at the Institute of Sport Science is on alpine sports with special emphasis on Alpine and Nordic Skiing and other outdoor sports taking place in the mountains. The aim is to contribute to the sport science community, improve performance and prevent injuries by developing and evaluating research questions based on a biomechanical point of view. 

The biomechanical laboratory is equipped with basic dynamic, kinematic and friction measurement systems. In order to analyze large-scale outdoor movements, special measurement systems have been developed, e.g. ski dynamometer or co-pivoting video analysis systems. In addition to experimental recordings of movements, computer simulations and inverse dynamics are also used for performance optimization, musculoskeletal load analysis and sports equipment development. 

Using different approaches based on engineering, simulations or human kinematics, our group has the opportunity to work within various research scopes. For example, the development of an electronic ski safety binding to prevent knee injuries or  to support the alpine squad of the ÖSV by measuring pressure distribution or conducting video analyzes, wind tunnel measurements, or glide tests. Computer simulation of cut and slid turns in alpine skiing or biomechanical jumping technique analyzes at BergIsel are also part of our research. 

Other projects deal with the further development of a satellite navigation system for the analysis of large-scale movements - increased recording frequency and improvement of the spatial accuracy. Moreover, dynamic ski behavior - measurement with accelerometers, ski dynamometer and strain gauges are performed in our lab. 

Movement science

The field of movement science deals with motor control processes and muscular / conditional prerequisites for successful movement execution. Motor learning and the course of human motor development are further core topics. The Institute of Sports Science in Innsbruck has a long tradition, founded in the early 70s by em. Prof. Friedrich Fetz in the development and evaluation of specific sport motor test procedures.

New developments of such test procedures are further used and investigated after their evaluation especially in the field of training science and training support. The development of a test profile for the survey of general trait levels was started for adolescents and has been used in recent years, especially for questions of gender-specific and sport-specific expression in 14-year-old adolescent squad athletes. Many diploma theses at ISW Innsbruck dealing with questions of motor performance in school age and adulthood provide a broad overview of the changes during the last decades.

New in the focus of movement science research at the institute are questions about movement variability, adaptation of movement coordination under the influence of fatigue or under altitude exposure. 

Team Members


Dr. Werner Nachbauer

Research interests:

  • Biomechanical performance optimization and injury prevention in winter sports
  • Friction on snow and ice

 Contact: Werner.Nachbauer@uibk.ac.at

associate professors

Dr. Kurt Schindelwig

 Research interests:

  • Safety aspects in skiing
  • Friction of skis on snow
  • Determination of mechanical properties of devices in skiing

Contact: Kurt.Schindelwig@uibk.ac.at 

assistant professors

Dr. Dieter Heinrich

Research interests:

  • Computer methods in biomechanics
  • Musculoskeletal modeling and simulation
  • Motor control

Contact: Dieter.Heinrich@uibk.ac.at 

postdoctoral fellows

Werner Jud, PhD

Research interests:

  • Unraveling the mysteries of ski-snow friction
  • Measurement of snow wetness and proof of liquid water formation at the snow surface after ski passage

Contact: Werner.Jud@uibk.ac.at 

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