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Fitness Testing and Conditioning in Athletics

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1 Fitness Testing and Conditioning in Athletics
Core Concepts in Athletic Training and Therapy Susan Kay Hillman

2 Chapter Objectives Identify ways in which information from fitness testing can help the athletic trainer. Discuss the rationale for conducting fitness testing at various times before, during, or after the sport or training season. Explain the method of establishing the 1-repetition maximum in weightlifting. Define aerobic and anaerobic with reference to energy systems and relate each to various activities. Define isotonic, isometric, and isokinetic exercise and give an example of each. Compare and contrast the two types of muscle contraction: concentric and eccentric. Discuss factors to consider in designing an exercise prescription. Define the overload principle and explain how it applies to conditioning and strength techniques.

3 Introduction Individual working with team should be familiar with different aspects of strength and conditioning Coaches, S & C specialist, athletic trainer Attention to proper warm up, stretching and exercise prescription Careful planning and exercise selection can help improve performance and decrease risk of injury

4 Fitness Testing Procedures
Conditioning program requires knowledge of baseline of fitness Fitness test can help identify weaknesses, movement dysfunctions, body composition, flexibility, cardio respiratory function Preseason Participation Evaluation Used to assess individuals level of conditioning Determine weaknesses and establish conditioning/training program Ongoing Evaluations Determine effectiveness of program Evaluation of program could allow the person implementing program to better individualize lifting program of each participant Indicate individuals progress toward fitness goals Postseason Fitness Evaluations Establish specific areas to address during off-season Better understanding of goals to to reach during off-season

5 Fitness Testing Parameters
Muscle Function Muscle strength Maximum amount of force that a muscle or muscle group can generate during specific movement pattern at a specified velocity Muscle Endurance Ability of muscle or group of muscles to perform repetitive actions Sports like cross country , some events in track and swimming require great amount of endurance Repeated movement can cause trauma in weak or unconditioned muscles

6 Fitness Testing Parameters
Muscle Power Work during a unit of time Weight lifted (force) x Range of movement (vertical distance)/time required to perform lift. Develop power by lifting same (or greater) amount of weight the same distance in shorter period of time

7 Fitness Testing Parameters
Evaluating Muscle Strength 1RM: amount of weight lifted 1 time 50%-75%-90%-100% of predicted weight Add weight until person unable to complete lift Repetition maximum: maximum # of repetitions person can lift at particular weight # of repetitions at specific weight can also measure strength, but also endurance Testing Muscle Endurance and Evaluating Muscle Power Endurance uses different energy source Sport specific evaluation or general endurance evaluation Squat at given weight to test leg endurance=specific Sit up test (# in 60 sec)= general test Power Maximal force in short period of time Vertical jump

8 Fitness Testing Parameters
Cardiorespiratory Function Function of Heart and Lungs working together Measuring Anaerobic Power: “ Without Oxygen Activities of short duration=uses source of energy that does not require as much O2 Sprints/Explosive Movements Shuttle run, vertical jump Evaluating Aerobic Power: “With Oxygen” Athletic events that require O2 consumption during performance Longer duration. Energy source that is dependant on O2 1.5 mile run=standard for measuring aerobic power Table 2.2 SIDEBAR: Aerobic Tests

9 Fitness Testing Parameters
Agility and Speed Agility: ability to start, stop and change direction Useful in most sports Testing Agility Rapid acceleration, deceleration, change of direction, and acceleration T-test, Edgren Side Step Test Measuring Speed Important for sports with short burst of activity to reach a position or location 40 yard dash


11 Fitness Testing Parameters
Flexibility Ability to move a joint(s) smoothly through a full range of motion (ROM) Effect of Muscle Size on Flexibility Bulk (hypertrophied muscles) can limit movement Include stretching program for muscles exercised Strengthen agonist and antagonist muscles Effect of Ligament and Tendon Composition on Flexibility All connective tissue made up of combination of collagen and elastin Some people have more elasticity in ligaments and tendons =Hypermobile Decreased elasticity=Hypo mobile




15 Fitness Testing Parameters
Effects of Age and Sex on Flexibility Generally thought females are more flexible than men though this is not absolute Activities that encourage flexibility will increase their ability to stretch regardless of sex As we age we decrease in flexibility Can delay or reverse effects of aging with continued stretching program Active people have better flexibility than sedentary people

16 Fitness Testing Parameters
Testing Flexibility Evaluating flexibility important to fitness program. Decrease in ROM at a joint may play role in causing injury Manual stretching test: compare to normal values Sit and Reach Test: General test for hamstring flexibility Functional Movement Test Can identify shortened (overactive/tight) muscles and/or lengthened (inhibited(weak) muscles

17 Fitness Testing Parameters
Height, Weight, and Body Composition Anthropometry: measurement of body size Body composition: amount of fat in relation to lean tissue in body Levels of fat that are to high affect ability to move optimally Also associated with heart disease high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and some cancers Measured by skin caliper test, BMI, test, hydrostatic weighting test and electric impedance


19 Exercise Prescription
Needs Analysis- Specificity Muscle Groups Demands of the sport and the abilities of the individual Physiology and mechanics of the sport and sport skills is essential for designing the exercise program Energy Systems Aerobic vs. anaerobic or both Train accordingly Muscle Activity Concentric, eccentric and isometric Injury Patterns Understand teams injury history or evaluate baseline testing If individual has pre-existing injury must have clearance from physician before beginning exercise program


21 Exercise Prescription
Goal Setting Critical role within exercise prescription Program without objectives and goals will lose interest of athlete Short-Term Goals Immediate (daily) and short range (monthly Contribute to long term goals Long-Term Goals People take responsibility for establishing own goals motivation is more likely Identify specific goals and exact outcomes Relate to needs analysis: strength endurance and cardiorespiratory Limitations to the Plan

22 Exercise Prescription
Exercise Plans Training volume Amount of work performed during a workout, during a week, and during a season Repetitions or total weight lifted If increasing muscle mass is the goal volume will increase as program progresses Exercise order The station approach Maximize overload on one muscle group before moving on to another More intense load on muscle group, but need to manage rest time between sets Circuit training Perform one set of exercise and then move on to another When circuit is complete start at first station again Theory is to work a muscle group to near fatigue or fatigue and then moving on to next exercise keeping heart rate elevated Muscle groups get rest period while doing other exercises

23 Developing the Strength Training Program
Necessary to incorporate 2 essentials into every program Resistance to muscle actions Gravity, dumbbells, cables, elastic bands, etc. Overload Stress or load on the muscle that is greater than what the muscle is accustomed to moving

24 Developing the Strength Training Program
Exercise Intensity: Intensity refers to % of 1RM Hypertrophy method Hypertrophy=general increase in bulk of muscle through increase in size of individual muscle fiber 5-12 repetitions at 70-85% of 1RM High-intensity training method Improve recruitment of existing muscle fibers rather than increase size of fibers Greater the load on muscle fibers the more fibers are used 1-4 repetitions at % 1RM


26 Developing the Strength Training Program
Periodization Gradual increase in type, intensity and amount of training Achieve peak performance Decrease injuries and overtraining Program that spans various seasons Modify program relative to athlete’s General to specific training throughout the cycles of competitive season

27 Periods or Phases Transition period:
Follows last competition (early off-season) Unstructured (escape rigors of training) Preparatory period: Off-season Hypertrophy/endurance phase (Low intensity with high volume) Allows for development of endurance base Lasts several weeks to 2 months Strength Phase Power Phase (High intensity/ pre-season)

28 Periods or Phases Preparatory period (continued) Strength Phase
Intensity and volume increase to moderate levels Power Phase (High intensity/ pre-season) Volume is decreased to allow adequate recovery Competition period: May last a < week or several months for seasonal sports High intensity, low volume, skill training sessions May incorporate weekly training cycles (1-7 days) Designed to ensure peak on days of competition

29 Developing the Strength Training Program
Progressive Overload Gradual increase in stress placed on a muscle as it gains strength or endurance Rest periods and Training Frequency Rest Periods Rest between sets or exercises Crucial component to strength training Depends on training volume and exercise order Higher volume=longer rest period vice versa If circuit training 1:1 ratio in rest to exercise can increase strength and aerobic endurance

30 Developing the Strength Training Program
Training Frequency Weight training on alternate days to allow sufficient recovery periods Early in exercise program athlete may experience muscle soreness or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. May require longer recovery periods Sessions of multiple joint exercise require more recovery than single joint exercises When using 1Rm or near maximal loads individuals will require more recovery time Lower training volume in between heavy training volume days can allow for more frequent lifting sessions Persons who have weight lifted on a regular basis for a long time may benefit from more frequent training sessions

31 Types of Strength Training
Isometrics Contraction where muscle length remains unchanged Muscle generates force without joint movement Resistance greater than participant is able to move, thus no movement occurs Muscle contraction that lasts 10 seconds and should be performed 5-10 times/daily Pro: quick, effective, cheap, good for rehab Con: only works at one point in ROM, produces spiking of blood pressure due to Valsalva maneuver, not often applicable to sport performance

32 Types of Strength Training
Isotonic Training Moving a joint through range of motion with a set amount of resistance Strength curves: points in the range of every joint where the muscle is at its weakest Middle of range usually the strongest

33 Types of Strength Training
Variable Resistance Started in 1970’s by nautilus company who developed an offset cam to deliver a variation in the resistance to the movement Maximize strength at various points in the range of motion Sliding lever bar systems and elastic tubing developed later

34 Types of Strength Training
Isokinetics Muscle action performed at constant velocity More often used in rehabilitation

35 Types of Strength Training
Concentric and Eccentric Training Concentric Muscle Activity shortening of muscle with contraction in an effort to overcome more resistance Eccentric Muscle Activity lengthening of muscle with contraction because load is greater than force being produced


37 Types of Strength Training
Plyometrics Rapid stretch, eccentric contraction followed by a rapid concentric contraction to create a forceful explosive movement Mimics most sport movement Rate of stretch vs. magnitude Jumps, bounds, medicine ball throws Very technical training - skills must be learned with appropriate technique Often develop muscle soreness as a result of extensive eccentric loading

38 Integrating Cardiorespiratory and Flexibility Parameters
Aerobic Endurance Training Nearly every sport activity requires some degree of cardiorespiratory , or aerobic, endurance Develop rational program with understanding of persons current fitness level ACSM recommends intensity of 60-90% of maximal HR 3 days a week for minutes Be person and sport specific Use overload and specificity training principles Vary Program to keep participants motivated

39 Integrating Cardiorespiratory and Flexibility Parameters
Anaerobic training Energy production of the body in the absence of O2 Training requires short, intense burst of activity Should be sport specific High intensity near maximal exercise is impossible to sustain for long periods of time Must use rest periods Interval training can be useful Not appropriate for those with low level fitness Events that take 1-5 minutes require aerobic and anaerobic systems Important to train both systems

40 Integrating Cardiorespiratory and Flexibility Parameters
Flexibility and Stretching Programs Thought that flexibility and stretching will decrease risk of injury Not well supported by research Though many injuries occur when joint is forced beyond its ROM Flexibility important, however proper warm up proven to be more important Passive Stretching Entails no work by individual Someone takes limb through ROM Requires training and experience Active Stretching Individual uses own body to produce a stretch of particular area Contract–Relax Stretching PNF stretch: Uses passive and active participation from individual

41 Integrating Cardiorespiratory and Flexibility Parameters
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Specialized technique of therapy that incorporates muscle spindle stretch and specific movement patterns Uses 3 movements Flexion-extension Abduction-adduction rotation Stretching Methods Static stretching Joint moved to point where stretch is felt and position is held 30-60Seconds Holds

42 Integrating Cardiorespiratory and Flexibility Parameters
Stretching Methods Ballistic stretching Involves bouncing movements Difficult to perform safely because bouncing fires Golgi Tendon Organs in muscle Causes muscle to reflexively contract Can cause damage to muscle Dynamic Stretching Stretching through specific movements Shown to be best method of warm up Stretches muscles Activates other muscles Addresses balance and coordination Increases body and intramuscular temperature Addresses neuromuscular system


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