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The Human Performance Teaching Laboratory (HPTL), located in Mariucci Arena, is one of the finest teaching labs in the United States. Using state of the art equipment, the lab is dedicated to teaching students the latest techniques and theories in the fields of: kinesiology, exercise physiology, and biomechanics. The HPTL houses both a biomechanics lab and an exercise physiology lab. These two labs serve as a place where students can put their classroom learning into practice while gaining valuable hands on experience using the newest and latest equipment in their chosen field. The HPTL is under the direction of Dr. Donald Dengel and Dr. Jürgen Konczak.


More information about the individual classes taught in this laboratory is below.


HPTL Courses

Students in HPTL’s human anatomy lab have the opportunity to participate in both virtual dissection and the new Bone-Muscle-Movement (BMM) lab. In virtual dissection lab students use Anatomy and Physiology Revealed CD-ROMs to dissect and identify structures on cadaver images. This allows students direct exploration of human anatomy with feedback . A human model with detachable anatomic parts also provides hands on experience of organ location and spatial relationships.

In the BMM lab students are given in depth exposure to kinetic anatomy. They handle bones, identify origins and insertions of muscles and analyze the dynamic anatomy of key movements such as overhead throwing and running. A full skeleton is available with coded muscle insertions. There are also models of the knee and shoulder to better understand these joints in injury and rehabilitation.

The biomechanics/movement science portion of the lab is designed to provide undergraduate and graduate students with hands-on experiences in measuring an array of physiological and biomechanical parameters of human movement. The lab is equipped with twelve computerized workstations. During laboratory sessions students may record muscle electromyography using surface electrodes, measure dynamic grip forces or joint angles using electrogoniometers. The laboratory experience is an integral part of biomechanics courses. This lab helps students to better understand body mechanics and movement physiology by working on concrete examples.

In the subsequesnt course KIN 5235 - Advanced Biomechanics II: Kinetics students analyze biomechanical variables using Matlab and design simple computer-based biomechanical models of human limb systems using Matlab Simulink.

Students that take part in KIN 3385 Human Physiology class will have an opportunity to use our Stella computer program. This software allows students to build an interactive replica of the human heart on a computer. Learning on an interactive model allows students to manipulate heart related values (blood pressure, heart rate, stroke volume, etc.), thereby simulating different body abnormalities (such as a stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure), giving them a better understanding of the structure and function of the human heart. Students will also learn to use our Biopac machine and software. Using the Biopac, students will actively learn about lung function and flow, electrical activity of muscles through EMG analysis, and watch the effects exercise has on blood pressure and heart rate.

The HPTL’s exercise physiology lab offers students the chance to obtain a vast amount of experience in exercise testing and also provides them the opportunity to learn about their personal health and more importantly what the collected information means. Students will collect health information on themselves and conduct tests on their classmates so they are familiar with instruments and techniques when they move on to their future careers. Areas that the students are instructed in are: muscle power, muscle endurance, cardiovascular endurance, field testing, VO2 testing and analysis, body composition, basic EKG (electrical conductivity of the heart), nutrition assessment, and flexibility. The lab is fully equipped with bicycle ergometers, metabolic carts, treadmills, EKG machines, weights, Vertec, and the latest nutrition analysis software.


Lab Demonstrations

A doctoral student describes one of the experiments done in the Human Performance Laboratory.

These videos show an example of an actual VO2 max test being performed by students in the Human Performance Laboratory.

These videos show an example of an actual VO2 max test being performed by students in the Human Performance Laboratory.