Sunday, January 26, 2020

Physical Fitness Tests

Physical Fitness Tests

Physical Fitness TestsThere is an endless list of sports to try, from swimming to Golf to Rock Climbing. It’s always fun to venture into a new physical activity, but are you fit enough to do it?

This is where Physical Fitness Tests come in. Physical Fitness Tests are important in assessing one’s physical prowess. They give you—or your Fitness trainer—an idea of your capability so you don’t immediately do an advanced move that’ll bring you injuries afterwards. The results of a Physical Fitness Test guide you on how you ought to pace the progress of your physical activities. Here are some of the basic Physical Fitness Tests:

Sit and Reach Test
This tests the flexibility of the lower back. Sit on a flat surface with legs open straight out in front of you. Breathing deeply, raise both arms above your head, and then bend down, trying to reach your toes. Try to hold the position for about 10 seconds. Have someone mark the area touched by the tips of your fingers, then measure the distance of your reach in inches using a yardstick. You may choose to practice before the actual measuring.

Sit-ups Test
Sit-ups measure the endurance of the abdominal muscles. Lie down on the floor with legs bent. Place your hands behind your head, and do as many sit-ups as you can within one minute. Keep track of the proper form. The number of sit-ups you do in a minute is your score.

Physical Fitness Tests

Push-ups Test
Push ups test the strength of one’s upper body, particularly the arm muscles. Lie down facing the floor, your palms planted firmly on the ground. Hoist your chest up by bending your elbows, then go back down again. Remember to maintain proper posture: your back must be straight. Repeat the push-ups for one minute. The number of moves you do within that minute is your score.

1.5 Mile Run
This aims to determine the status of one’s cardiovascular muscles, as well as one’s endurance. A 1.5 mile run is timed; the lower your running time, the better your stamina.

These aren’t just Physical Fitness Tests actually; you can incorporate most of them into your workout. Regular sit-ups, for instance, will tone your abdomen, while running is a good way to burn calories and tone your lower body.

Remember that it is important to test your physical Fitness before plunging into a new physically challenging sport. Doing these simple exams can go a long way: since you know what your body is capable of, you know what type of sports you can do and the level at which you can perform them. This helps prevent injuries, and of course, ensures that you have a good time.

Low Bridge with Leg Raise (Training with Your Own Body Weight)

Leg Raise

The Low Bridge with Leg Raise is an exercise that targets the hamstrings and the abdominal muscles. The hamstrings are the muscles situated at the back of your thighs, while the gluteal muscles form the buttocks. On the other hand, strong stomach muscles can help a lot in preventing back-related problems and in improving your posture. Moreover, you will be able to get rid of flabs and unwanted fat, making you look good and feel good about yourself. Learn how to do the Low Bridge with Leg Raise in this section:

STEP 1: Lie on your back and bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the mat. Put your hands on your sides.
STEP 2: Lift your hips. Keep your feet and hands flat on the mat.
STEP 3: Raise your left leg towards the ceiling.
STEP 4: Still keeping your leg raised, slightly move your hips towards the mat, then return to starting position. Repeat this exercise, this time raising the other leg.

Whether you prefer working with Free Weights, Weights on Gym Machines or just with your own body weight, the important thing to do is to start realistically and keep at it – at all costs

Fitness History

Fitness History

The evolution of fitness can be attributed to man�s need for survival and can be traced back to the beginning of mankind.

Primitive men (pre-10,000 B.C) need to be fit to be able to go through their journey to hunt for food and water. Being nomads and hunters, the activities of this people required a lot of physical activity and fitness (their celebration events included trips of six to twenty miles to neighboring tribes to visit friends and family).

With the invention of the plow and other agricultural development (10,000-8,000 B.C) comes the beginning of a less active lifestyle. Neolithic men started using plow and animals to do the difficult tasks, thus decreasing the amount of physical activity.

In the ancient civilization (2500″ class=”related_products_container”-250 B.C), people started relating physical activity with physical well-being. In China, through the philosophical teachings of Confucius, they associated certain diseases with physical inactivity. This lead through the development of Cong Fu gymnastics.

During the same period, Yoga was developed in India. Yoga is an exercise program that conforms to Hinduism and Buddhism beliefs and puts emphasis on spirituality.

In 4000-250 B.C, there was a strong demand for fitness for military purposes. People during that era linked fitness with one�s performance in the military. Activities like hunting, marching, riding and javelin throwing have been developed to meet the need for physically fit soldiers. The Persian Empire and Spartans are good examples of empires that make use of fitness for this purpose. Spartans required fitness for men to be good soldiers and for women to bear children who are fit to serve the state. Because of this, Sparta actually became one of the most physically fit societies in history.

For the Ancient Greeks (2500″ class=”related_products_container”-200 B.C), working to be physically healthy is as important as developing the mind. It is during this period when Gymnastics with music gained popularity from the idea that exercise is for the body and music is for the soul.

The Romans (200 B.C.-476 A.D) shared the same views with the Spartans. They also regarded fitness as important for military service. However, the Roman civilization fell into the hands of the Barbarian tribes. Their downfall may be blamed on their lavish lifestyles which caused a decline of interest in fitness.

During the Dark and the Middle Ages (900-1400), fitness experienced a revival since physical activity was viewed as a means for survival.

Michelangelo's David during the Renaissance PeriodWith the new interest in the human body during the Renaissance Period come the revival of the Greek ideal about the importance for fitness. A lot of famous people at that time promoted the idea that good health contributes to intelligence. It is also during this time when physical education gained popularity as the main tool in spreading the value of fitness.

In Germany (1700-1850), Friedrich Jahn earned the title �Father of German Gymnastics�. He believed that having a physically fit nation decreases the vulnerability against foreign invasion.

Per Henrik Ling of Sweden introduced three gymnastics programs 1. educational gymnastics 2. military gymnastics and 3. medical gymnastics. With his strong medical background, he uses physiology in his study on the importance of fitness.

In England, a medical student named Archibald Maclaren became an important figure. Like Ling, he pointed that fitness programs vary for each individual. He also pioneered the idea that the cure for stress and fatigue was physical activity, and that physical exercise in games and sports is not enough to be perfectly fit. He later documented the importance of progression exercise.

The United States was generally influenced by European cultures in the beginning, though German and Swedish gymnastics did not gain popularity at once. It is in the US where there had been active participation from the government to promote health and fitness. Presidents like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson (1776-1860) acknowledged the need for fitness. In the 20th century, President Theodore Roosevelt, who is perhaps United States fittest president; encouraged people to be physically active by setting an example.

In June 1956, President Eisenhower held a White House Conference which aimed to promote fitness in the United States. This was prompted by the study made by Kraus-Hirchland, �Minimum Muscular Fitness Tests in Children, which was presented to him by Senators James Kelly and James Duff. The study showed that about 60 percent of American children failed at least one of the tests compared to the nine percent of European children. The Conference resulted to the formation of the President�s Council of Youth Fitness and the appointment of the President�s Citizen Advisory of Fitness of America.

President John F. KennedyAmong the presidents, President John F. Kennedy (1960s) had been the most involved in promoting fitness in America. He changed the name of the President�s Council on Youth Fitness to President�s Council on Fitness with Bud Wilkinson as head. He also wrote an article for Sports Illustrated entitled �The Soft American�. President Kennedy encouraged the government to be involved in the promotion of fitness and also started youth fitness programs.

Many Americans also took part on the development of fitness in the United States. Dr. J.C. Warren (1776-1860) began devising exercises for female. Catherine Beecher developed a system of calisthenics performed to music which is similar to modern-day aerobics. �The New Gymnastics� was introduced by Dioclesian Lewis in 1865. Edward Hitchcock introduced the use of anthropometric measurements to assess fitness progress. William Anderson, on the other hand, gave focus on physical education instruction. Dudley Sargent developed organized instructor teaching methodologies.

In the 1950s, Jack LaLanne, a media fitness instructor, developed aerobics, water aerobics and resistance exercise. He is also the person behind the first cable-pulley machine, Smith machine (safety system for doing squats), the first leg extension machine and the �jumping jack movement�.

After the World War II, as in the past war, fitness gained attention because of the alarming number of Americans who are found unfit during the drafting process. The important figure in fitness during this time is Dr. Thomas K. Cureton who initiated the application of research to fitness, improving exercise recommendation to individuals. He is also the person behind tests for cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility.

In the 1960s, a man named Dr. Ken H. Cooper earned the title �The Father of the Modern Fitness Movement�. His philosophy is to maintain good health through proper exercise, diet, and emotional balance for disease prevention.

Home Fitness Equipment Overview

Home Fitness Equipment

The Fitness Equipment you will need will vary according to your Fitness Goals or Program. Although different kinds of Home Exercising Equipment have been designed and built, you should select good equipment that is simple to use, comfortable, relaxing and safe.

The following are a list of the Common Home Fitness Equipment, their short descriptions, How to use them, and the Benefits you will get from Having them as a Home Gym Equipment:

    • Barbells. Aside from dumbbells, you may want to have a barbell set to lift heavier weights. Barbells are a kind of free weights and are used for different Fitness Exercises. They have stopper at both ends to avoid the sliding of the poundage toward one’s grips and knots. This Home Fitness Equipment will give your body something different to work on especially when working with dumbbells is becoming a bit easy.
    • Bench. This Fitness Equipment is commonly used for chest exercises and back exercises. Still, you can use this for a quick abs workout or some triceps dips. Although there are a variety of choices – from flat to adjustable – it’s best to get an adjustable bench so you can do incline and decline exercises.

Fitness Equipment: Bench

      • Flat bench. This Type of Bench is commonly used for various chest exercises. The width of a Well-Built Flat Bench must not be more than 10 inches (25cm). It should be low enough that the soles of your feet are pinned on the floor when you perform Flat Bench Exercises. Also, make sure it has an adjustable rack and a padded surface that is not so soft and not so hard.
      • Incline bench. This is usually used for upper chest exercises. Similar with the Flat Bench, the Incline Bench must have a width of not more than 10 inches, an adjustable rack and a padded surface.
      • Decline bench. This Type of Bench is normally used for lower chest exercises. Similar with the first two, it must have an adjustable rack, a foot grip and a padded surface about 10 inches.
    • Fitness Equipment: Dumbbells Dumbbells. A Fitness Dumbbell is a short bar with weights at each end that is used usually in pairs for Fitness Exercise. Similar to Barbells, Dumbbells are a kind of Free Weights. This Gym Equipment is a good buy for home training because it is versatile. Also, Dumbbells can be used to work specific muscles and to intensify some exercises.To know what dumbbells you need, analyze your workout routine and determine which range of weights you most commonly exercise with. From there, choose a range of around 5 pairs of dumbbells, starting with a weight suitable for an exercise like single-arm, going up to the maximum you would use for Bicep Curls. You can buy heavier dumbbells as your strength gradually increases. Keep in mind that a fine set of dumbbells should last a lifetime.

Fitness Equipment: Elliptical Exerciser

    • Elliptical Exerciser. Elliptical Fitness Exercisers simulate the way nature intended your body to move. They are the ultimate exercise machine since using it will give you the combination of the benefits from other aerobic equipment.
      Similar with the stairstepper, you stand on footplates. However, these plates move in an orbit around an axis like a stationary bicycle – only, the plates travel in an elliptical pattern. With this Home Fitness Equipment, you can usually adjust the length of the stride. Thus, you perform an exercise without any impact on your joints, at the same time receive a combination of striding walk or run, pedaling a bike, and climbing stairs workout.
    • Exercise ball. This Home Gym Equipment is durable and relatively inexpensive. Exercise balls are the latest trend in exercise because they don’t only improve your balance and your core strength they also help make training at home more interesting and varied.
      • Stability ball. This piece of equipment is popular in most gyms and provides a versatile base for a number of exercises. The Stability Ball is commonly used for abdominal work and is quite good for supported leg work exercises such as ball squats. It can also intensify some exercises and be used as an alternative to bench for free-weight work.
        • Medicine ball. This Home Gym Equipment has a variety of uses in a home training program. The Medicine Ball, similar with the Stability Ball, can be used to work your abdominals. Still, the Medicine Ball is commonly used for upper and lower body exercises.

    You can use the Medicine Ball to perform exercises such as crunches and squats. Same with the Stability Ball, it can intensify your exercises by carrying the ball.

    • Fitness Equipment: Exercise Mat Exercise mat. Fitness or Exercise Mats are used to provide cushioned support for comfortable floor exercises and to help protect you against injury. If your Fitness Program involves floor exercises such as Chest Press and Crunches, then Buying an Exercise Mat is more than essential.Mats are usually made from some type of foam encased in a flexible plastic covering that wipes off easily. Generally, Mats are about two feet wide. Still, they come in a variety of styles, colors, lengths, thickness, and heights. You can even choose from a foldable, roll-up, or stay flat styles. When Buying a Mat, take into account where you will be using the Mat, how hard the floor is in that area, and how much space you need to store a Mat when you won’t be using it.

Fitness Equipment: Fitness Bike

    • Stationary bike. One of the most common Fitness Equipment that offers a great cardiovascular workout is the stationary bike. Stationary bike or the “bikes without wheels” works out your lower body.Most stationary bike mechanisms are encased in metal housing; some have fly-wheel in front. Some bike designs allows upper body workout by providing movable handles that you can pump back and forth as you pedal in a coordinated motion. You can often select the profile of your ride and the level of challenge, but your speed depends on how hard you pedal. When Riding the Stationary Bike, hold the hand grips comfortably but do not lean on the handlebars.
    • Rowing machine. Also known as Rower, this calorie-burning Fitness Equipment is very low maintenance and is easy to use. A low-to-the-ground machine, the Rower comes with a seat, handles, and foot-boards. The Rowing Machine not only works the entire body from the ankles to the elbows, it’s also a terrific upper and lower body workout.For an Effective Rowing Exercise, begin pushing back with your legs before you start pulling on the handles. While this is a great upper-body exercise, it is important that 60 percent of the work is being done by your legs. As you pull on the oars, let your back arch naturally, but aim to maintain your elbows close to your sides. After that, go back to the starting position in one fluid motion.
    • Stairclimber. Fitness Stepper is an exercise machine designed to assist in aerobic conditioning. Also known as Stairstepper or Stepper, this is probably one of the most popular piece of indoor Fitness Equipment. Not only is this a great Cardio Exercise, it also works your quads and glutes.The movement you perform in the Stairclimber resembles climbing an endless flight of stairs. Because of this, the Stairstepper is an excellent lower-body workout. Not only that, you can adjust the resistance and you derive aerobic benefit from the level that you select and the speed that you use to push the pedals. This Fitness Apparatus consist of two footplates that looks like oversized pedals. When you stand on those pedals, keep your body centered and straight – don’t lean on the rails. Throughout the motion, maintain your feet flat on the footplates. Bigger steps work your butt muscles more, while smaller steps concentrates more work on your legs and calves.
  • Treadmill. If you’re not into biking, then try walking on a treadmill. A Treadmill is an exercise device consisting of an endless belt on which a person can walk or jog without changing place.Fitness Equipment: TreadmillSimilar with the Stationary Bike, there’s a variety of options for this Fitness Equipment. Treadmills are used to improve cardiovascular health. Treadmills have electric treadbelts (4-6 feet long and 16-22 inches wide) that continuously loops. Other models are powered by the user. For this type, your speed determines the speed of the treadmill: slow down and it runs slow, walk fast and it also goes fast. Treadmills are often supported by partway down the sides of a grip rail below the console.To use the treadmill, select the speed that you want. You may also adjust the angle of the treadmill from flat to an upward slant. Make sure you can keep up with the speed and angle you selected. Walk or run as you normally would without the treadmill (i.e. your torso should be lifted, arms swinging, head up and looking forward). Never lean on the handrail and don’t push forward. You should walk or run in full stride. Move your feet as you would when you jog: hit the treadbelt with your heel, roll through the foot and take off from the toe. Push the stop button, also called the panic button when you need to stop.

Having the proper equipment for your Fitness Exercise can help you determine how you can accomplish your Fitness Goals or programs. Stick to that Fitness Goal and work your way to having a physically fit body and mind.

Cat Stretch (Back Stretches)

Cat Stretch (Back Stretches)

One of the major benefits of Stretching is that it increases your flexibility. While Stretching may appear a bit bland as compared with resistance exercises such as Training with Free Weights and Weight Training Exercises, without a good stretch, you will not be able to minimize the risk of injury.

The Cat Stretch helps strengthen your lower back muscles and ease any minor back pain due to bad posture. Learn how to do the Cat Stretch in this section:

STEP 1: Go down on your hands and knees. Maintain a straight back.
STEP 2: Create a curve in the middle of your back by pushing your spine upward. Hold the position for 5 seconds, then release the stretch and return to the starting position.

Stress makes your muscles tense up and can cause headache, stiff neck, sore shoulders, and a knotted back. The back takes in tension more than any other part of the body. During a Fitness workout, the back muscles contract, further increasing the tension. Full body stretching will relax your muscles, help you breathe deeper, and release all of the accumulated tension your body takes each day. For a great full, upper, or lower body Stretching Sequence, go to Fitness Exercises – Stretching Sequences.