Informing Musculoskeletal models with Xsens

Enabling next level biomechanics.

The measurement of individual muscle forces, ligament forces and internal joint contact forces is essential to understand the mechanical mechanisms of human movement. However, such quantities cannot be measured without invasive methods, which has led to the development of computational musculoskeletal models. These musculoskeletal models have allowed researchers to estimate parameters difficult to measure non-invasively and investigate a wide variety of topics. Musculoskeletal analysis provides valuable information into understanding the way the bodies tissues are loaded during human movement. With the emergence of musculoskeletal modelling softwares such as OpenSim, Anybody Technology and Biomechanics of Bodies (BoB), musculoskeletal analysis has become widely adopted in the biomechanics community. However, in the past the use of these models have been limited to the laboratory setting. Inertial motion capture allows the measurement of motion outside of the laboratory and may be used to inform musculoskeletal models in ambulatory settings.

Xsens and AnyBody technologies

The Anybody modeling system allows the simulation of the human body in concert with its environment. Advanced simulations can be run to calculate individual muscle forces, joint contact forces and moments, metabolism and many other parameters.

Recently the AnyBody Modeling System has incorporated techniques that enable inverse dynamics calculations using solely kinematic input, combined with ground reaction force predictions. This allows motion data from Xsens acquired in the natural environment of the participant, to be used to inform full musculoskeletal simulations

Next to speaking on multiple conferences together with Anybody technologies we also hosted a webinar.

Xsens and BoB

‘Biomechanics of Bodies’ – in short: BoB – can analyse internal body loadings, energy expenditure, reaction force, joint contact force and more. However, to round off effective analysis, BoB also requires motion data: Xsens motion data.

The team at Coventry University has adopted Xsens technology, and can now use MVN Analyze to capture instant, clean, accurate motion data. They simply clamp BOB onto Xsens Software and watch it go, almost instantly calculating the internal body loads at work in its research subjects.

Coventry University was also featured using BoB in a vehicle ingress and egress customer case on our website



Xsens and OpenSim

OpenSim is a powerful, freely available and open-source software for modeling, simulating and analyzing the musculoskeletal system.

OpenSim is developed and maintained by, which serves as a public repository for data, anatomical models and computational tools. Following inverse dynamic analysis, individual muscle forces, joint contact forces and moments are able to be extracted from these models. In addition to this, OpenSim can also be used to run calibrated EMG-informed neuromusculoskeletal models (CEINMS), which uses experimental EMG’s to represent muscle activations in the model.
Currently many projects are in place to use inertial measurement units to inform the kinematics of OpenSim models.

Download the MVN Whitepaper

It analyzes key characteristics of the new engine.


The performance analysis includes a comparison with an optical position measurement system in combination with OpenSim for walking data, as well as a consistency analysis for running data.

Read the MVN Whitepaper

Featured customer case

Analysis of vehicle ingress and egress


The biomechanics group at Coventry University recently completed an analysis of vehicle ingress and egress for General Motors when they were approached by Shanghai Automotive to undertake a similar, but larger, analysis of their vehicles.

Read the customer case

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Talk with an MVN Analyze Expert


MVN Analyze is Xsens proprietary software package for measuring and analyzing full body kinematic data. Request a demo and talk to an expert here. 
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