Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fitness article

I cowrote the following fitness article with a colleague here at UK for the Wellness program newsletter, check it out here or I copied it and put it below... sorry it looks a little rough.

Improve performance: Get specific
- By Kimberlee Kabbes, AFAA, CPT and Rob Sinnott, CSCS, PFT (UK Health & Wellness Graduate Assistants)

Specificity of training is a training principle defined by performing exercises
similar to the sport or activity that you complete most often or that you wish
to excel in (the target activity). Simply put, train with movements that mimic
your desired activity to increase performance. Athletes and other highly active
individuals use this principle to enhance performance by incorporating specific
resistance training exercises for target muscle groups or planes of motion
in which their sport or activity is performed. For example, many people that
play basketball include free weight squats into their workout to increase their
vertical jump.
Free weight squats strengthen the muscles of the glutes, thighs, and calves as
well as the core which are utilized greatly while playing basketball. Squat exercises
are performed in the saggital plane (separates right and left sides of the
body) which is the same as the plane of a vertical jump. While exercises such
as leg press, leg extension, and leg curl will also strengthen the muscles of the
glutes and thighs, they are not exercises that mimic movements of basketball
players in the same plane of motion, and, therefore, will not have as great of
an effect on increasing the athlete’s vertical jump. For beginners, it is suggested
to start with body weight squats and then work up to free weight squats.
Both Body Shop facilities allow you to examine your form perfectly by using
the mirrors for front and side views throughout the exercise.
You also can approach any one of our knowledgeable Body Shop staff members for pointers on your squat form. For
those who prefer yoga, Pilates, and other group fitness classes over conventional sports, this principle applies to you as
well! Exercises specific to those activities include any core stabilizing exercises and exercises to improve your upper body
strength. Practicing these exercises build strength in order to hold poses to perform other challenging movements. The
last issue of Fit News covered multiple core exercises for reference, but the following is an example of a combined “core
and upper-body specific” exercise that any of our staff members can gladly show you.
Start with a four-point plank. In this exercise, you are facing the ground, bridged on your forearms and toes, with your
body positioned in a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Hold this for twenty to thirty seconds and then
complete twenty push ups (modified or regular) without resting. Rest for thirty seconds to a minute and repeat up to five
times. Core exercises are a great addition to the beginning of a workout to help you warm up, or after a workout to cool
down. Ending with stretching can aid in yoga, Pilates, and other group fitness workouts. If you have any questions about
how to make your workout more “sport specific,” please contact a Body Shop staff member. We would love to help!
Improve performance: Get specific
- By Kimberlee Kabbes, AFAA, CPT and Rob Sinnott, CSCS, PFT (UK Health & Wellness Graduate Assistants)
Fit body + fit mind = WELLNESS

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