Alena Grabowski
Assistant Professor
Integrative Physiology

Office: Clare 103    
Fax: 303-492-4009

Research Interests

  • The interaction of physiology and biomechanics during human locomotion; specifically how the implementation of assistive mechanical devices, such as prostheses and exoskeletons, influence walking, running, hopping, and sprinting.
  • Applied Biomechanics Laboratory.


  • 1995-1998, B.A., Kinesiology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
  • 2002-2007, Ph.D., Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Professional Experience

  • 2007-2011, Post-doctoral Fellow, Media Lab Biomechatronics Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
  • 2009-2011, Research Scientist, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - Providence VA Center for Restorative & Regenerative Medicine, Providence, RI
  • 2011-2012, Research Specialist, Prosthetics and Orthotics, Whirlwind Wheelchair International, San Francisco, CA
  • 2012-2013, Assistant Research Professor, Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
  • 2013-Present, Research Healthcare Scientist, Department of Veterans Affairs, Eastern Colorado Healthcare System, Denver, CO
  • 2013-Present, Assistant Professor, Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.

Recent Publications

  • SP Allen & AM Grabowski. A passive exoskeleton with different linear or non-linear spring stiffness in parallel to the legs effects metabolic cost and biomechanics during hopping. Journal of Applied Physiology Published Online: 20 JUN 2019
  • J Funken, S Willwacher, K Heinrich, R Müller, H Hobara, AM Grabowski, & W Potthast Long jumpers with and without a transtibial amputation have different 3D centre of mass and joint take-off step kinematics. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise April 2019 - Volume 51 - Issue 4 - p 716–725 doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001853
  • H Hobara, S Hashizume, J Funken, S Willwacher, R Müller, AM Grabowski, and W Potthast. Vertical stiffness during one-legged hopping with and without using a running-specific prosthesis. Journal of Biomechanics 2019 86: 34-39.
  • N Kashiri, A Abate, SJ Abram, A Albu-Schaffer, PJ Clary, M Daley, S Faraji, R Furnemont, M Garabini, H Geyer, AM Grabowski, J Hurst, J Malzahn, G Mathijssen, D Remy, W Roozing, M Shahbazi, SN Simha, J-B Song, N Smit-Anseeuw, S Stramigioli, B Vanderborght, Y Yesilevskiy, and N Tsagarakis. An Overview on Principles for Energy Efficient Robot Locomotion. Frontiers in Robotics and AI 2018 5 (129). DOI=10.3389/frobt.2018.00129
  • J Funken, S Willwacher, K Heinrich, R Müller, H Hobara, AM Grabowski & W Potthast. Three dimensional take-off step kinetics of long jumpers with and without a transtibial amputation. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2018 Nov 26. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001853. [Epub ahead of print]
  • DF Feeney, RA Capobianco, JR Jeffers, AM Grabowski, and RM Enoka. Individuals with sacroiliac joint dysfunction display asymmetrical gait and a depressed synergy between muscles providing sacroiliac joint force closure when walking Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 2018 Dec; 43:95-103. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2018.09.009. Epub 2018 Sep 22.
  • ON Beck & AM Grabowski. Athletes with Versus Without Leg Amputations: Different Biomechanics, Similar Running Economy. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews Published online Oct 16, 2018 doi: 10.1249/jes.0000000000000174
  • JR Montgomery (Jeffers) & AM Grabowski. Use of a Powered Ankle-Foot Prosthesis Reduces the Metabolic Cost of Uphill Walking and Improves Leg Work Symmetry in People with Transtibial Amputations. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 2018 Aug;15(145). pii: 20180442. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2018.0442
  • ON Beck, AM Grabowski & JD Ortega. Neither total muscle activation nor co-activation explains the youthful walking economy of older runners. Gait and Posture 65 (2018) 163-168
  • JR Montgomery (Jeffers) & AM Grabowski. The contributions of ankle, knee and hip joint work to individual leg work change during uphill and downhill walking over a range of speeds. Royal Society Open Science Published 29 August 2018.DOI: 10.1098/rsos.180550
  • S Kipp, AM Grabowski, & R Kram. What determines the metabolic cost of human running across a wide range of velocities? Journal of Experimental Biology 2018 : jeb.184218 doi: 10.1242/jeb.184218 Published 31 July 2018
  • ON Beck, EN Azua & AM Grabowski. Step time asymmetry increases metabolic energy expenditure during running European Journal of Applied Physiology
  • RA Capobianco, DF. Feeney, JR Jeffers, J Morreale, RM Enoka, & AM Grabowski. Patients with sacroiliac joint dysfunction exhibit altered movement strategies when performing a sit-to-stand task. The Spine Journal DOI:
  • ON Beck & AM Grabowski. The biomechanics of the fastest sprinter with a unilateral transtibial amputation. Journal of Applied Physiology 124: 641–645, 2018. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00737.2017
  • M Batliner, S Kipp, AM Grabowski, R Kram, & W Byrnes. Does metabolic rate increase linearly with running speed in all distance runners? Sports Medicine International Open 2017; 2018; 2: E1–E8.