Noraxon Biomechanics Buying Guide: Which System Is Right for You?

Biomechanics, the study of the structure and function of biological systems through the methods of mechanics, is a pivotal area in sports science, rehabilitation, and ergonomics. With Noraxon‘s state-of-the-art technology, professionals across these fields can access precise data on human movement and muscle activity, enhancing performance, accelerating recovery, and preventing injuries. Accordingly, this guide explores Noraxon leading systems — the Ultium Motion 3D Motion Capture/IMU System, Ultium Wireless EMG, Core EMG, and Ultium Portable Lab — alongside essential accessories like SmartLeads, helping you select the perfect setup for your biomechanical analysis needs.

Understanding the Basics: IMU vs. EMG

Before diving into specific systems, it’s crucial to grasp the fundamental differences between Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) and Electromyography (EMG). Understanding the basics of IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) and EMG (Electromyography) involves recognising their distinct roles in measuring different aspects of human movement.

IMU focuses on capturing motion and orientation data by utilising accelerometers, gyroscopes, and sometimes magnetometers. Therefore, it measures linear acceleration, angular velocity, and magnetic fields to track changes in position, velocity, and orientation. IMUs are commonly used in applications such as navigation systems for vehicles, drones, and wearable devices for activity tracking and virtual reality.

On the other hand, EMG is concerned with recording the electrical activity generated by muscles during contraction. It involves placing electrodes on the skin or directly into muscles to measure muscle activation, timing, and intensity. EMG is valuable for diagnosing neuromuscular disorders, assessing muscle function in rehabilitation, and studying muscle activity during movement and exercise.

In summary, IMU measures motion and orientation using inertial sensors, while EMG records muscle activity through electrical signals. Both technologies provide valuable insights into human movement, with applications ranging from sports science and biomechanics to healthcare and rehabilitation. Understanding their differences allows for their effective use in various fields to analyse and optimise human performance and health.1

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Athlete wearing Noraxon EMG sensors with straps

Noraxon Leading Biomechanics Systems

Ultium Motion 3D Motion Capture/IMU System

Target Market: High-end research facilities, sports teams, and performance labs.

Key Features:

  • Advanced motion capture technology integrated with IMUs for real-time, 3D kinematic analysis.
  • Portable and versatile, suitable for lab and field studies.
  • Seamless integration with Ultium EMG systems for comprehensive biomechanical assessments.

Ultium Motion’s intricate 3D capture is perfect for analysing athletes’ movements, boosting performance and preventing injuries in all sporting activities. It also empowers biomechanical research (gait analysis, movement disorders) and rehabilitation (customised programmes, recovery tracking), leading to improved performance, safety, and treatment outcomes.

Ultium Wireless EMG

Ideal for: Clinicians, sports scientists, and researchers requiring dynamic muscle activity analysis.

Key Features:

  • Wireless technology ensures freedom of movement.
  • High-resolution data capture for detailed muscle activity analysis.
  • Scalable and flexible, supporting up to 16 channels for full-body assessments.
  • Integrated IMU (16-bit resolution)

Ultium Wireless EMG shines in analysing dynamic muscle activity. It offers real-time insights for athletes, researchers, and clinicians. It helps monitor muscle activation, fatigue, and recovery in sports, clinical evaluations (e.g., muscular dystrophies, nerve disorders), and ergonomic assessments. On the whole, the versatility of Noraxon EMG makes it valuable for understanding and improving muscle function across various applications.

SmartLeads connect the Ultium EMG sensors to the electrodes placed on the subject’s skin, providing a secure and stable connection between the Noraxon EMG sensors and the subject. The design of SmartLeads offers flexibility in sensor placement, consequently enabling researchers and clinicians to easily position the sensors on various muscle groups. Each SmartLead collects different kinesiological data, e.g. BioMonitor captures ECG, heart rate, and respiration. See below for the section on SmartLeads.

Core EMG

Target Market: Entry-level users, educational institutions, and small clinics.

Key Features:

  • Wireless system designed for simplicity and reliability.
  • User-friendly software for straightforward data collection and analysis.
  • Cost-effective solution for basic muscle activity studies.

The Core EMG system shines in education and research. Offering hands-on learning for students, it simplifies EMG & muscle physiology. Additionally, its cost-effectiveness makes it ideal for small research projects and budget-conscious clinics, providing basic EMG analysis for various studies and assessments. This versatility caters to educators, researchers, and practitioners seeking reliable EMG at an affordable price. The Core EMG system is also well-suited for professional sports clubs seeking to incorporate EMG technology into athletes’ recovery from injury, ensuring proper muscle activation.

Ultium Portable Lab

Target Market: Field researchers, mobile clinics, and sports teams needing on-the-go analysis.

Key Features:

  • All-in-one biomechanical analysis system in a compact, portable setup.
  • Integrates motion capture and Noraxon EMG technologies with additional sensor support.
  • Designed for high-capacity data collection in any setting.

The Noraxon Ultium Portable Lab, integrating high-fidelity IMU and Noraxon EMG systems, empowers researchers and clinicians to conduct comprehensive biomechanical analysis in real-world settings. Consequently, this modular system allows on-site assessments, real-time feedback, and a holistic view of movement through combined EMG, motion, and force data, making it ideal for field studies, mobile clinics, and multi-modal research.

Enhancing Your System with SmartLeads

Noraxon’s Ultium Smartleads are innovative accessories that unlock a diverse range of biomechanical measurements.

  • The Surface EMG Smartlead, for instance, delves into muscle activation patterns with shielded cables minimising signal interference. It comes in 3″, 7″, and 11″ lengths to suit different muscle groups. 
  • For force analysis, the Linear Force Smartlead quantifies pull strength or similar linear forces accurately. 
  • Additionally, the 3D Accelerometer Smartlead captures intricate movement dynamics.
  • Meanwhile the BioMonitor Smartlead tracks heart and respiration rates.

These are just a few examples, and Ultium SmartLeads can be combined in the same network for comprehensive analyses. Whether you’re studying, elite athletes, analysing clinical gait, or researching human movement, Ultium Smartleads offer a versatile and powerful solution.

Noraxon myoRESEARCH

The myoRESEARCH software platform is designed by Noraxon to serve as a comprehensive solution for data capture, analysis, and reporting in the realm of biomechanical research and clinical analysis. It integrates seamlessly with Noraxon’s hardware, including Noraxon EMG, motion capture systems, force plates, and other biomechanical sensors. More significantly it offers a unified system for multidimensional biomechanical studies. The myoRESEARCH software is modular, allowing users to customise their setup according to their specific research needs or clinical assessments.



  • myoMUSCLE is designed for in-depth analysis of kinesiological data from their Ultium EMG system and legacy EMG systems. It offers advanced tools for detailed insights into muscle performance, injury prevention, and neuromuscular biofeedback, featuring functionalities like EMG baseline noise evaluation, impedance checking, real-time amplitude normalisation, lossless data recovery, SmartLead detection, integrated IMU data for comprehensive motion analysis, and an interactive 3D muscle map for sensor configuration.


  • myoMOTION software module by Noraxon is a 3D inertial motion capture system that features real-time synchronisation of skeletal avatar, joint angles, orientations, and acceleration data for comprehensive human movement analysis. It includes advanced features for course stabilisation, magnetic environment evaluation, spatial gait parameters, functional calibration routines, lossless data recovery, manual contact correction, and various calibration options to support detailed analysis for performance enhancement, injury recovery, and research.


  • myoPRESSURE software module is designed to integrate with pressure Treadmills such as the h/p/cosmos 3D Gaitway, pressure platforms, & Insoles. It automatically computes the average pressure print, Centre of Pressure (COP) gait line, and butterfly diagram, alongside COP Parameters, zone segmentation, and zone-separated force curves. Additionally, it generates statistics on peak force and duration, as well as a display for the averaged total force curve.


  • myoFORCE enhances biomechanical analysis by integrating force plates with the myoRESEARCH platform. It offers advanced analysis of jump mechanics and landing dynamics through over 50 jump parameters and real-time feedback. Key features include integration with isokinetic dynamometers, force vector overlay on video, centre of pressure (COP) tracing, 3D force treadmill integration for detailed gait analysis, automatic jump detection, and extensive jump analysis routines and reports, supporting hardware from leading manufacturers like Bertec.


  • myoVIDEO streamlines video data capture and analysis for biomechanical research and clinical assessment. It features synchronised video recording, 2D marker tracking, and slow-motion playback for detailed movement analysis. Additional capabilities include supplemental video compression to save storage space, synchronised audio recording, multiple video format exports, inclusion of sagittal plane gait normatives, point-of-interest reporting for focused analysis, multi-camera configurations for comprehensive viewing angles, drawing tools for enhanced video annotation, and external video import options for flexibility in data sourcing.


  • myoANALOG enables the integration of any data from hardware with analog output capabilities into the myoRESEARCH platform. It allows for the combination of data from exercise equipment, isokinetic machines, custom sensors, or any other analog signals with other data types, creating a unified solution for storing, reviewing, and analysing biomechanical data. This versatility facilitates comprehensive analysis across a wide range of equipment and custom sensor applications.

Understanding Your Needs

Understanding that each client’s requirements are unique, HaB Direct’s sales team takes a consultative approach. Accordingly, they delve into the specifics of each project, assessing the objectives and constraints to recommend the most suitable Noraxon system. Beyond the initial purchase, HaB Direct offers comprehensive training sessions designed to empower users. These training modules are tailored to the system in question, ensuring that clients are proficient in utilising the technology to its full potential. This combination of personalised consultation and expert training ensures that clients not only make an informed purchase decision but also achieve optimal results from their investment.

Case studies, Research, and Applications

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