Running in circles: Describing running kinematics using Fourier series

Sebastian Deisting Skejø*, Morten Enemark Lund, Martin Thorhauge Stensvig, Nickolaj Mads Kaae, John Rasmussen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


We explore the use of Fourier series to describe the kinematics of human running. From a database of 285 trials of treadmill running, we drive a musculoskeletal model with 104 anatomical joint angles to obtain kinematics. Using FFT analysis, we determine a fundamental frequency for all independent joint angles and compute average step kinematics. Finally, we represent the average step kinematics using Fourier series with numbers of coefficient pairs ranging from one through ten. We find that five or fewer Fourier coefficient pairs provide an accurate (Pearson's correlation > 0.99 and root mean square difference < 0.5 degrees) representation for most joint angles. In conclusion, Fourier series appear to provide a compact and valid representation of running kinematics, thus enabling researchers to confidently use Fourier series in research of human running.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110187
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2021


  • Running
  • Fourier
  • Gait
  • Simulation
  • Motion analysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Running in circles: Describing running kinematics using Fourier series'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this