Phase Angles and Continuous Relative Phase for Research into Motor Coordination

Rosa Angulo Barroso

Albert Busquets Faciabén

Eliane Mauerberg-Decastro

*Corresponding author: Rosa Angulo-Barroso

Original Language

Cite this article

Angulo-Barroso, R., Busquets Faciabén, A., & Mauerberg-Decastro, E. (2011). Phase Ángulos and Continuous Relative Phase for Research into Motor Coordinación. Apuntes. Educación Física y Deportes, 103 , 38-47.



Any process geared towards the attainment of a motor skill involves learning, control and motor coordination. Motor coordination is generally defined as the space-time relationships between different body segments. The aim of this paper is to present a methodology for the study of motor coordination. Phase angles and continuous relative phase are two techniques that make it possible to find out the displacement/angular velocity relationship of one or several segments throughout the movement. These techniques generate graphs whose paths tell us how different segments are coordinated (in phase or out of phase). This in turn enables us to discover the coordination strategy which individuals use to perform a new task. In spite of the findings obtained, phase angles and continuous relative phase do not represent the movement in its entirety and are based on qualitative analysis. We therefore recommend that researchers (1) complement the analysis with quantitative variables that reflect the dynamics of the different segments, and (2) select normalization on the basis of the variables analyzed.

Keywords: biomechanics, degrees of freedom, inter-segmental coordination, intra-segmental coordination, Motor learning.

ISSN: 1577-4015

Received: September 15, 2009

Accepted: November 10, 2009

Published: January 01, 2011