ACTIONMAN

Fitness Testing – Cross Training

Fitness Test #1

Rather than taking my cross training fitness tests during the PE block, I’ve decided to directly relate them to my dance SPIN that I’m currently taking at school. For two consecutive weeks, I will analyse my flexibility through dance

This week we’ve been going over our choreography for our ‘Black Grace Dance Company’ inspired dance. This dance is very physical and requires a lot of commitment too. When performing the dance this week, I found it was tough keeping in time with the music due to me not being able to perform some of the moves properly. For example, when performing one of the moves where I am sitting back on my knees to the side and have one of my legs up, I find it hard to keep it up for the amount of time needed. I felt the stretch in my hamstrings but I can’t physically keep my leg up for the duration required.

When looking back on this week’s progress I made in dance class, I found that maybe I should have stretched before I started dancing. Without warming up I jumped straight into performing the dance over and over a few times, back to back. If I had stretched before doing the dance maybe I would be able to perform the moves a bit better.

Fitness Test #2

After analysing my progress in dance last week, I decided to stretch before I begun dancing to see if that had any effect on my performance. I chose to stretch using the hamstring exercises I did in my second round of flexibility testing and repeated the routine about three times over before doing my dance sequences.

When performing the dance sequences that I’ve been focusing on, I found straight away that I could easily push myself to get my leg higher than last week. I felt confident in my leg muscle that I could push that little bit harder this week. It didn’t hurt as much, but I could 100% feel my leg muscle getting a good stretch. My peers also noticed that I was performing the dance a lot better because I was able to keep up in time with the music because I was able to do the dance sequences correctly and to the right time.

I found at the end of the dance overall I felt a lot better about it. I wasn’t falling behind like last week and my peers straight away noticed that I was doing a lot better. Definitely stretching my hamstrings and my legs before dancing made a positive impact on my flexibility throughout the dance.


Fitness Tests – Flexibility

Fitness Test #1

Today (on 14/03/2017) we conducted fitness testing for key areas that we wanted to focus on, mine being flexibility. Working on my flexibility will benefit me and my dancing and overall and allow me to push myself a bit further when dancing. The ability to stretch further and be able to do more moves, in particular, the side splits. The exercises I did were hip stretches, hamstring stretches and sit and reach exercises. This is the first fitness test I have conducted and the plan for the three exercises went as followed.

Hip Stretches

  1. Lie on your back with your legs together, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Try to keep both shoulders on the floor throughout the stretch.
  2. Slowly lower one knee as far as you comfortably can. Keep your feet close together and try not to move the other leg.
  3. Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds.
  4. Bring knee back up slowly.
  5. Repeat at least 3 to 5 times.
  6. Repeat at least 3 to 5 times with your other leg.

Hamstring Stretches

  1. Lunge to the front with your left leg behind. Hold for 30 seconds
  2. Repeat with opposite leg, holding again for 30 seconds.
  3. Repeat both these actions 5 times (so you have done the stretch 5 times on each leg)

Sit and Reach Stretches

  1. Sit up with feet together to attempt a “toe-touch” exercise. Hold for 30sec reaching as far forward as possible.
  2. Sit up with legs apart, stretch towards the left leg and reach for the left foot. Hold for 30 seconds.
  3. Repeat with opposite leg.
  4. Repeat both these actions 5 times (so you have done the stretch 5 times on each leg)

At the conclusion of the fitness test, I found that some specific stretches worked better in terms of my overall goal for flexibility, to achieve/progress in my ability to do the side splits. When reflecting on how productive my session was and how successful it went, I found that something wasn’t matching up. As much as the stretches and exercises were beneficial for my fitness, they weren’t as appropriate for my overall goal. If I’m trying to achieve the side splits, recording my sit and reach exercise might not be the most appropriate thing to record.

Fitness Test #2

After analysing the previous flexibility fitness test, I made modifications to best suit my goal I’m trying to achieve. Rather than doing an activity for the sake of doing an activity, I want my activity to be relevant to my goal. For example the sit and reach exercise that I was doing during the previous fitness test wasn’t appropriate and I have identified that and changed my test.

This week I focused on stretching my hamstrings and my groin more rather than my lower back and shoulder muscles like I ended up doing last week. Here are the exercises and stretches that I did this week.

Hamstring Stretches

  1. While still standing, slowly stretch your legs out sideways and find a stretch position where you feel comfortable.
  2. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds.
  3. Bring your legs back in and rest for 30 seconds.
  4. Stretch your legs out sideways again, going slightly lower than the previous stretch.
  5. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds.
  6. Bring your legs back in and rest for 30 seconds.
  7. Repeat the exercise until you can’t go any lower

Groin Stretches

  1. Sitting on the floor, push your legs out sideways and find a comfortable stretching position.
  2. Hold for 10 seconds.
  3. Rest for 30 seconds.
  4. Stretch again, bringing your legs around slightly further until you feel comfortable but know you’re pushing yourself to do better.

At the conclusion of this fitness test, I found that this test worked a lot better than my other flexibility test. I felt that these stretches I did worked a lot better and I could really feel the stretch in my hamstrings this time and I knew I was pushing myself to do a good stretch. If I was to compare flexibility test #1 to flexibility test #2, I would say #2 worked a lot better and was more beneficial.


Reflecting on my COF’s and my goals

My fitness goal for this year is to have improved flexibility. The main reason that I want to particularly improve my flexibility is so I can dance better and achieve certain moves that I haven’t been able to perfect in the past. I’ve always struggled with flexibility in my dance classes and have found it really hard to keep up in the past, so I’m hoping that this will change that. I will know if I achieved this goal when I try and do the moves that I’ve been struggling with, and I will know if I’ve achieved this if I see any improvement and progress.

My current level of fitness isn’t as good as I’d want it to be, I’m struggling with my overall flexibility. For example, today (on 14/03/2017) I undertook a coordination test led by some other students. The goal of the exercise was to throw a ball against a wall and see how many times you were able to successfully catch it. I initially thought I’d do quite well with it, but in fact, I surprised myself, not in a good way. I was only able to successfully achieve 7 catches in 30 seconds. The previous student to do it achieved 26 successful catches.

But when I look back on that exercise (reflection recorded on 08/05/2017), is a coordination test really appropriate if I want to improve my flexibility? The simple answer to that is no, a coordination test isn’t appropriate and relevant to what I’m trying to achieve. I mean, yes a coordination test is great to take and I’m grateful to the students who led that particular exercise but it’s just simply not relevant. I need to be testing my flexibility, not my ball catching reflexes.


Why is fitness testing important before starting a training programme?

Fitness testing is almost an essential aspect to cover before starting a training programme. It’s a good way to record and measure where a person is it, identify their strengths and weaknesses and find results that you can work towards in a training programme.

For example, in the CareVets Toyota TR86 Championship Scholarship programme, they fitness tested all of their participants before choosing their Scholarship driver for the 2016/17 season. The fitness test consisted of elements such as running around the 2.7km Hampton Downs race track to a variety of skill tests such as press ups and burpees. The main aspect was the driving where they were coached by professional race car driver Greg Murphy. The tests identified key strengths and weaknesses from each participant and gave the judges a guide to work from.


How & why is technique important for resistance training?

1. Identify a fitness need/goal (what COF) that might be met through resistance training (i.e. what COF/s can be improved through this MOT).

Resistance training could improve your muscular endurance and overall muscular strength

2. Explain why and how technique is relevant to/important for effective weights/resistance training, i.e. to meet a fitness need. Use the 3 exercises (deadlift, back squat, bench press) as examples.

Technique is important when it comes to effective weights/resistance training as it’s an element of safety and is used as a guideline for people to use. For those less experienced and knowledgeable about effective weights and resistance training, following examples and guides would hopefully eliminate the risk of injury being sustained during physical exercises.

3. Insert photos front & side views of each exercise to support your examples.

Dead lift:

Back Squat:

Bench Press:

Questions:

1. How might you apply Progressive Overload when using Resistance Training?

Applying progressive overload throughout resistance training would act as a simple but effective modification to enhance and challenge participants to dig deeper and push harder. For example, when doing a bench lift you may increase the weight you’re lifting by 1kg each time you lift. When doing a back squat you might do the same thing, increase the weight by 1kg when back squatting. And it might be the same for the bench press, increasing the weight by 1kg when bench pressing and increasing the weight until it becomes too heavy or uncomfortable to lift anymore* (*this goes for the three examples of bench press, back squat and bench lift)