Stuart McErlain-Naylor

Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Biomechanics

University of Suffolk


Dr Stuart McErlain-Naylor is a Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Biomechanics and Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Suffolk, UK.

His research interests include kinetic and kinematic analysis of sporting techniques (mostly ball striking sports), analysis of post-impact accelerations, and the mechanics of flywheel resistance exercise.

Stuart is Social Media Editor for the journal Sports Biomechanics and organiser of the ISBS Sports Biomechanics Lecture Series.

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  • sporting technique
  • impact accelerations
  • flywheel exercise


  • PhD in Sports Biomechanics, 2018

    Loughborough University

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, 2020

    University of Suffolk

  • BSc in Sport and Exercise Sciences, 2013

    Loughborough University

About Me

Research Projects

Cricket Batting

The biomechanical determinants of cricket batting performance


The biomechanical determinants of badminton jump smash performance

Flywheel Exercise

Flywheel (isoinertial) eccentric overload exercise induced post-activation performance enhancement

Impact Accelerations

The effect of compliance on post-impact elastic wave accelerations

Most Recent Publications

A practical open-source comparison of discrete and continuous biomechanical analysis techniques

Recent work has challenged the practice of extracting and analysing discrete summary metrics from continuous biomechanical data. This paper presents a practical comparison of candidate data analysis techniques including frequentist and Bayesian discrete analysis, frequentist and Bayesian statistical parametric mapping, and vector coding. Example 1 compares knee and hip flexion / extension angles during flywheel and barbell squats. Example 2 compares pelvis and thorax transverse rotations during badminton jump smashes by an international and a regional player. All example data and scripts are open-source. Statistical parametric mapping enables comparison of continuous biomechanical variables at time points other than discrete local optima. Combining this approach with vector coding provides information regarding differences in proximal-distal joint coordination throughout a movement. These continuous open-source methodologies can increase the validity and intuitive practical application of biomechanical conclusions.

The effect of delivery method on cricket batting upper-body kinematics

The aim of this study was to determine the effect of delivery method on upper-body kinematics in cricketers playing a front foot drive and a back foot pull shot. Fourteen male cricketers were played both shots against a bowler, bowling machine, and Sidearm TM ball thrower. The availability of pre-release visual cues appears to affect upper-body kinematics during the pull shot but not the drive other than at the back shoulder. The Sidearm TM may represent a compromise between bowler and bowling machine when training the pull shot but coaches should consider differences in upper-body proximal-distal joint dominance.

Undergraduate student experiences of publishing biomechanics research

The aim of this study was to investigate student experiences of publishing undergraduate research in biomechanics. Twenty-nine people with experience of publishing peer-reviewed undergraduate biomechanics research completed an online survey regarding their perceived benefits and level of involvement in aspects of the research process. On average, students perceived their experiences to be ‘largely helpful’ or greater in all aspects. Areas were identified corresponding to the greatest (e.g. understanding of the research process: median extremely helpful) and least (e.g. statistical analysis skills: largely helpful) perceived benefits and the greatest (e.g. reading relevant literature: I did most of the work) and least (e.g. developing hypotheses and/or methods: myself and my supervisor/others did a roughly equal share of the work) student involvement. No significant effects of level of involvement on related perceived benefits were reported (0.319 ≤ χ2 ≤ 9.000). Common intended learning outcomes may be achieved through involvement in the research process independently of the level of staff involvement. Such teaching strategies are especially effective in achieving broad non-technical objectives.

Spatial speed-accuracy trade-off in international badminton players performing the forehand smash

Speed and accuracy of the badminton smash are critical components for successful performance. Fifty-two participants data were collected using a Vicon 3D Motion capture system (400 Hz) at the BWF Glasgow World Championships (2017). The purpose of this study was to identify and compare spatial speed-accuracy trade-off (SATO) relationships amongst international badminton players performing the forehand smash, under two conditions: maximal speed (MS) in the direction of a target; and maximal speed aiming to hit the centre of a target (TAR). Exploratory and confirmatory cluster analyses revealed three groupings: Fitts’ inverse relationship (FIR), no relationship (NR) and alternate inverse relationship (AIR). Findings indicate that for international badminton players 80–99% of maximum speed is the threshold for achieving the highest levels of spatial accuracy.

Relationships between whole-body kinematics and badminton jump smash racket head speed

The purpose of this study was to identify kinematic determinants of shuttlecock speed in the badminton jump smash. Three-dimensional kinematic (400 Hz) data were collected for 18 experienced male badminton players using an 18 camera Vicon Motion Analysis System. Each participant performed 12 jump smashes. The trial with the fastest shuttlecock speed per participant was analysed using an 18-segment rigid body model. Parameters were calculated describing elements of the badminton jump smash technique. Four kinematic variables were significantly correlated with racket head speed. Greater peak wrist joint centre linear velocity, jump height, shorter acceleration phase, and greater shoulder internal rotation at shuttlecock / racket impact.