Flexibility in Martial Arts

Flexibility in Martial Arts

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Flexibility in Martial Arts


Physical fitness training or 'training' can improve many points of our
body and improve health, which of course improves our daily lives. If
we do not take care of ourselves our health and daily lives will
suffer. It is from this position that it is imperative to do something
about physical fitness training.

This is where 'training' is used; it can improve us physically and as
a result may improve us mentally, providing the circumstances allow
it, thus having an overall good effect on our lives. To stay fit you
must continuouly work to keep up your strength, stamina or whatever
you are trying to improve- this needs either of these two things:

1. Immense willpower or…

2. …to create a schedule, so as to become a daily part of your life,
that concentrates on building up certain areas of your body as quick
as possible.

Now, a variable I can already spot that will apply to every training
schedule is how well your body can adapt to the training. Adapting is
the word used to define how fit or strong you will get in a certain
amount of time; those who adapt slowly won't advance far while fast
adapting people will. Adapting also depends on how hard you push
yourself and how long you work for, this all has to be calculated into
the schedule.

My chosen topic for this project will be flexibility in martial arts,
Teak-won-do in particular. I feel that flexibility plays a bigger part
in our lives than any other training aspect: We already have enough
strength to do everything we need in this modern world, unless you are
a builder, speed is not of the essence, we have transport for that,
but flexibility is needed. If all of us could touch our toes without a
warm-up so many more things would be better in our normal every day
lives. It would be much harder to hurt ourselves when falling over, as
we would be les likely to pull any muscles.

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Related Searches

It also helps in most
sports, especially in martial arts, as flexibility also contributes
greatly toward agility. This in turn helps us to learn the skills in
any sport in a much more efficient way.

To create this 'flexibility schedule' a series of tests will be used
to find out how supple one is prior to the programme, then afterwards
I will use my newly made schedule to boost my flexibility. Once the
said period of time is over, I will use the same tests from the
beginning to measure my flexibility again and see how much I have
improved.

While doing this programme there are certain things that I must take
into account. First, any injuries that might occur during the
schedule, as either a result of the programme, or from any outside
influence. For example, if I injure my back then I must slow down the
training on that area of my body. If I stop training, then my back's
performance will decrease, whereas if I slow down the training then
the performance will remain at a constant rate or even still improve,
but at a slower rate.

Another thing that I must take into account is my age, sex and
somatotype (this describes what type of person you are physically-
fat, strongly built or thin), as these all affect my training. If I am
a teenager then my performance is going to be of a lower standard than
an adult. Males can also generally become stronger than woman. Lastly
there is the fact that my somatotype can also affect my performance
(this will be explained later on).

Now because I am a male teenager I will have to realise that my
performance is going to be greater than a female's, but less than that
of an adult's.

The last thing that I will take into account is the placement of my
training schedule during the year so that it is purposely placed for
training for things like a tournament.

Personal Profile-

The following tests are only used for measuring my abilities in
certain areas before my programme. None of the tests will be used as
exercises to actually increase the ability in the said areas.

Cardiovascular Endurance-A persons ability to exercise the whole body
for

prolonged periods of time.

There is more than one test that measures your cardiovascular
endurance. One of them being the NCF multi stage fitness test. I chose
the 12-minute Cooper test because it is much simpler to use. To do it
you must make a square with 25-metre long sides on any flat area. You
then run around this square for 12 minutes keeping a check of how many
corners you've passed. Once finished you then multiply the number you
finished with by 25. This gives you, in metres, how far you ran. Look
this final number up in the given table to see how you did.

Excellent

Above Average

Average

Below Average

Poor

Males

2800m+

2500-2775m

2300-2475m

2200-2275m

2200m or less

Females

2300m+

2000-2275m

1900-1975m

1800-1875m

1800m or less

My Result- I passed 66 corners which gave me 1650m. I got poor.

Analysis of test and my result- The only factors that affect this are
how tired or warmed up you are, the conditions (wet floor, smooth
floor that may affect grip or an injury you may have had) and your
equipment (your trainers may have poor grip).

Recovery Rate- The speed at which the heart rate returns to its normal
value

following exercise.

The Harvard step test is one of the few exercises that allow the
results to be calculated into your recovery rate. It is a very simple
test to do: all you need is a step that is about 45cm high. You step
on and off it for 5 minutes, trying to get around 30 steps a minute.
After the 5 minutes you stop moving. Then during the next 3 minutes
afterwards your heart rate is recorded 3 times. It is recorded for 30
seconds after the 1st minute of resting, again after the 2nd minute of
resting and then again after the 3rd minute of resting. Once you have
these 3 numbers you can either convert them to your recovery rate or
compare them to the table below to see how well you did. To create
your recovery rate use this calculation (HR means Heart Rate)

[IMAGE]Duration of exercise mins x 100

2 x (HR after 1 min + HR after 2 min + HR after 3 min)

Excellent

Above Average

Average

Below Average

Poor

Males

90+

80-90

65-79

55-64

-55

Females

86+

76-86

61-75

50-60

-50

My result- I managed to get 101 for my first minute, 90 for my second
minute, and 79 for my third minute. These added together give a total
of 270. If I substitute it into the calculation I will get:

[IMAGE]300 x 100 = 55. 5

2 x 270

This result is below average.


Analysis- The only thing that can affect this test is if you have just
done another exercise that has raised your heart rate already, this
would skew the results. This means that it was a reliable test as
there is little wrong with it.

Muscular Endurance- The ability of the muscles to repeatedly exert

themselves.

The test I used to measure my muscular endurance is the bent-knee
sit-up test. It measures the abdominal muscles and the aim is to do as
many sit-ups as possible in 30 seconds, with your knees bent and your
arms folded across your chest. Your feet must be held in position by
something otherwise it is harder than it is supposed to be and you
will get a poor mark.

Once the test is done look up the results in this table and see how
you have done.

Excellent

Above Average

Average

Below Average

Poor

Males

26+

25-26

23-24

21-22

-21

Females

23+

21-23

19-20

17-18

-17

My Result- 28 sit-ups in 30 seconds. I got excellent.

Analysis- This is a good test but there a number of factors and flaws
that affect it. First of all if you are quite strong in the stomach
region then you may not get tired at all in 30 seconds and so then it
would not measure your endurance but your speed instead. The only
other factors that may affect it are the obvious ones: sleepiness
(physically and mentally) and whether you have eaten food recently.

Muscular Strength- The ability to exert an external force or to lift a
heavy

weight.

I will use the chin-up test to measure muscular strength in my arms.
To do this record how many times you can pull yourself up to the chin
on a bar that you can reach when your arms are outstretched. Look your
number up in this table.

Males

Females

Rating

13+

6+

Excellent

9-12

5-6

Good

6-8

3-4

Average

3-5

1-2

Fair

-3

0

Poor

My Results- 15 Pull-ups. That is above excellent.

Analysis- the factors that affect this test are the height of the bar
(if it is lower it is easier) and the heat of the room (if it is hot
the sweat in your hands will make harder for you as you will have less
grip).

Flexibility- To have a wide range of motion in a joint.

The sit and reach test is used here. To do this, place your feet
against the end of a bench. Where your feet touch (the bench leg) mark
the same place on the sitting bit above the bench leg as 0cm. Continue
on to mark on the next 20cm. From the sitting position with your legs
straight reach as far as you can, holding it for two seconds and
record the number you can reach. This number is the measurement of the
flexibility of your lower back and hamstrings.

[IMAGE]



[IMAGE]

[IMAGE]




[IMAGE][IMAGE]Males (cm) Females (cm) Rating

>14>15 excellent

11-13 12-14 good

7-10 7-11 average

4-6 4-6 fair

<3 <3 poor

My Results- I achieved 11cm, which is a good result.

Analysis- To achieve a better result accidentally you could have
warmed-up and stretched first without realizing it (playing football
before the test). To have got a worse result an injury in either leg
or back would do.

Body Composition- The relative percentage of muscle, fat, bone and
other

tissues of which the body is composed.

To measure body composition a special device is needed- a skinfold
calliper. These callipers take a pinch of your skin in the triceps,
biceps, sub-scapular, chest, abdomen, iliac, thigh or calf. Then the
electronic part of the callipers measures the thickness of the pinched
skin and that number can be converted into percentage body fat from a
chart. This percentage can then be put into different categories:

Overweight=20% body fat (males)

30% body fat (females).

Obese= 25% body fat (males)

35% body fat (females)

My Result- Unfortunately I do not have one of these machines and so
cannot do the test.

Analysis-If I could do this test it would be very reliable as it is a
machine measurement, which is accurate, unless there is an error. I
know that I am not overweight and might get around 5% body fat, but I
have nothing to compare to so my guess is probably very inaccurate.

Agility-The ability to rapidly and accurately change the direction of
the entire

body in space.

The Illinois agility run is used to test agility. To do this you must
set up a specific course. Get at least 10 meters space and in it is
set up 4 cones equally spaced along the 10 meters in a straight line.
To run this course you must start at one end of the 10 meters and on
one side of the cones. A friend must be timing you and will tell you
when to start. Start at your starting point and begin by lying down on
that point. Then on your friends 'go' run up the 10m turn round and
run back down, then turn to the bottom most cone and go around it then
weave through the 4 cones and once to the top weave through them again
while going back down (creating a double figure of eight). Then at the
bottom turn round and go back up the 10m in a straight line but on the
opposite side of the cones to the starting point and then at the top
go back down to the finish. If done right the running pattern should
be symmetrical.

[IMAGE]

[IMAGE]

[IMAGE]




Males Females Rating
--------------------

<15.2 <17.0 excellent

16.1-15.2 17.9-17.0 good

18.1-16.2 21.7-18.0 average

18.3-18.2 23.0-21.8 fair

>18.3>23.0 poor

My results- 20.94 seconds. That is below poor.

Analysis- Injury in the leg and either poor grip on your trainers or
on the floor (I think I had poor grip on my trainers giving me a poor
mark and it does not help when the floor is slippery)

Balance- The ability to maintain equilibrium while standing or moving.

To test for balance you get a friend to time how long you can stand on
one leg with your eyes closed on a bench.

My Results- 2 minutes 20 seconds

Analysis- The test I used is not very good. Although it does test your
balance very well it needs a table to compare the result to, so that
you can see how well you've done. Since there is no table the result I
obtained is inconclusive. To make something of it, you would have to
do the same test many times over a period of time and get many
results. These results could then be made into an average or you make
your own personal table up for future or past comparison.

Co-ordination- The ability to use the senses and body parts in order
to perform

motor tasks smoothly and accurately.

To test for co-ordination, stand two metres away from a wall and throw
a ball against it with one hand then with the other hand catch it
again. Time yourself for two minutes and record how many catches you
make.

My Result- 41 catches in 2 minutes

Analysis-Again a table needs to be made for comparison of results. To
do this, repeat the test 10 times and analyse these results to create
a table (average, highest result etc.).

Power- The ability to transfer energy swiftly into force.

The vertical jump test measures explosive power. To do this mark off
on a wall the highest you can reach without jumping. Then jump as high
as you can and mark off the highest point you reach. Record the
difference between the two marks and look the number up in the given
table.

[IMAGE]

[IMAGE][IMAGE]Males (cm) Females (cm) Rating

>65>58 excellent

50-65 47-58 good

40-49 36-46 average

30-39 26-35 fair

<30 <26 poor

My Result- 44cm- Average.

Analysis-There is nothing wrong with this test as far as I can see
apart from if you're tired or if you are wearing heavy clothing.

Reaction Time- The ability to respond quickly to stimuli.

Here is a test I thought up my self to test any person's reaction
time. However, as a result of being a made up test there is no
official and reliable table for comparison. To do this test one person
who is taller than you must hold up a ball to his full height and you
must stand a metre away from him with your hands below your waist. He
then lets go of the ball. Once the ball is released you must catch it
as quickly as possible and hold the position you caught it in. The
height of where the ball is released minus the height of where you
caught the ball from the ground is a number that should be closely
related to your reaction time.

[IMAGE]

[IMAGE]




[IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE]

Height from ball to ground (2m)

[IMAGE]




[IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE]

[IMAGE]



[IMAGE]

[IMAGE]




Here is a table I made up myself (keep in mind that the distance
between the ball and the ground is 2m):

Excellent (m)

Above Average (m)

Average (m)

Below Average (m)

Poor (m)

Male (m)

2.0-1.75

(100%- 87.5% 0f ball droppers height)

1.75-1.25 (87.5%-62.5% of height)

1.25-0.75 (62.5%-37.5%)

0.75-0.25 (37.5%-12.5%)

0.25-0.0 (12.5%- 0%)

My Results- I got 1.4m metres from the ground out of 2m. Using my
table I can see that I got above average. Knowing that the ball weighs
50g I can use the formula speed=distance x time. So I know that the
distance is 0.6 and to calculate the time I can take the same
percentage of the full time it takes the same ball to reach the ground
from 2m to 0m. The percentage of 1.4m from 2m is 70%. The time it
takes the ball to reach the ground from 2m is 0.59 of a second- 70%
percent of that is 0.413 of a second. My reaction time is 0.177 of
0.59 of a second or 0.3 of a second. From this I can say that the
lower the time the better.

Analysis-This, I think is a rather unreliable test, as for each person
the statistics will differ. The table I made up only works for me and
it only figures out the reaction. To work out the reaction time many
calculations have to be done and I am not sure if my measurement is in
the right units. There is also the acceleration factor that I didn't
take into account.

Speed- The ability to perform a movement quickly.

To measure speed a sprint would do nicely. A test that fits a sprint
includes a 30m track, a timer and a friend to time you. Basically on
your friend's signal you run as hard as you can (you may have a flying
start) to cover the distance. As soon as you pass the 30m line your
friend stops timing. The time you took to cover 30m is looked up in a
table to see how well you have done.

[IMAGE]



[IMAGE]


[IMAGE][IMAGE]Males (secs) Females (secs) Rating

<4.0 <4.5 excellent

4.2-4.0 4.6-4.5 good

4.4-4.3 4.8-4.7 average

2.6-4.5 5.0-4.9 fair

>4.6>5.0 poor

My Results- 4.23 seconds. I achieved a good.

Analysis-There is a couple of factors that may affect this. They are
the grip of your shoe and/or the floor, whether there is a wall behind
you at the start to give you a push start and how tired you are.

When I was doing all the above tests there are some things that would
affect all of my results. One of them is my somatotype because what
somatotype I am can affect what areas of fitness I will be good in.
There is also my lifestyle to consider, as it will affect both my diet
and my fitness. If am lazy and watch too much television then I will
not be as fit as if I train every day. I will be fitter and get better
results. Habits are also a factor. For instance smoking or drinking
will greatly affect my results. All the factors that I have mentioned
in my analysis telling you why it was a good or bad test would have
also affected my result.

All the tests were good and reliable, unless stated otherwise in the
analysis, because there were few really bad factors that would have
affected it.

Principles of Training-

In this I chapter will look at what affects training and what
principles I will have to follow in order to make a good programme.

The only way to train and increase your level of fitness is to
overload your body. When you overload your body it will adapt to the
new, harder work and then reach a higher level of fitness. This,
however needs to be done gradually and little at a time.

The principles of overload are seen in the FITT principles:

F is for frequency- the number of times you train.

I is for intensity- how hard you work

T is for time- how long you train.

T is for type- how specific the training you are doing.

If the following are done accurately and in a way where your body
works harder than normal then overload should occur and you should
become fitter.

While doing the training though, do not just keep an eye out for
overload. Progression, specificity, reversibility and variance are all
important as well.

Progression is when you gradually increase the workload as you train
(this is important because overload would not occur if you stayed at
the same level all the time).

Specificity is choosing the right training for the sport (otherwise
your training would not be very efficient).

Reversibility is when you understand that fitness can not be stored
for future use and will disappear when you stop training.

Variance is varying the training in order to keep yourself motivated
(otherwise you would get bored and stop training).

The 4 types of training I know are; Interval training

Flexibility training

Endurance training

Weight training

Interval Training-Form of training in which periods of activity are

interspersed with short periods of rest.

Interval training exercises both aerobic and the anaerobic systems.
Basically it means that you will have more energy if you are running
with oxygen (jogging) or without it (sprinting) because this training
has increased its limits.

To do this training method you must remember that periods of exercise
are always followed by periods of rest. The reason you rest is so that
you can get an idea of how fast your body can replace the fuels
(especially oxygen) and so know how much you need to train. To do this
exercise properly you must look at these 4 factors and see what you
personally feel the limit of each one is for you: the duration of how
long you work for (the fitter you are the longer you work for), the
intensity of the work (again- the fitter you are the harder you work),
the duration of your rest period (the fitter you are the shorter you
rest for) and lastly the number of work or recovery intervals you have
(the fitter you the more work intervals you have and the less rest
intervals).

The only measurements you need to do in interval training are the
distance, the time and the number of intervals. So for example: 10
(number of intervals) x 60 metres (the intensity) in 8 seconds (how
long you work for) with 90 seconds rest (the duration of the recovery
period).

Flexibility Training-The range of movement around a joint, or how
freely

you can move limbs.

Flexibility is often involved in the warm up and cool down exercise
but is also an important type of training.

To become flexible you have got stretch your joint just beyond its
point of resistance so that it will adapt to it and when you stretch
to that point again it will feel normal and you can go to the next
level up. The consequences of stretching is it makes the ligaments and
tendons more free to move, giving it a greater range of movement and
reduce the risk of joint injury.

Flexibility training involves holding a stretching position for at
least ten seconds- to improve at all though it needs to be done at
least three times a week. An obvious example of a sport that needs
flexibility is martial arts.

Endurance Training-

Endurance training is carried out in two ways:

· Aerobic training

· Fartlek/ Speed Play training

It is known as aerobic training because it improves the aerobic
system, which includes the heart, lungs, and vascular system. Aerobic
sports include jogging and cycling.

To do endurance training properly it must involve the whole body, must
be continuous, must be sub-maximal (where you don't work too hard but
must at least breathless by the end of the session) and must be at
least 12 minutes long for adaptation to occur.

Fartlek or, the English equivalent name to it, speed play training is
a specific form of training towards improving endurance. It involves
running (an aerobic sport) at different speeds; fast and slow both
over hills and on flats. A normal session includes normal running,
sprinting, hill work (both running and sprinting), and recovery work.

Weight Training-

This type of training improves your strength, as your muscles work
against some resistance and adapt to it. This resistance will normally
be either the weights or the machine itself.

Weight training is made up of repetitions and sets. Repetitions is the
number of times that an athlete repeats a particular exercise (e.g. 10
press-ups), sets is a certain number of repetitions (e.g. 10 press-ups
might equal a set) and a number sets make up a session. The good thing
about weight training is that every part of your body can be exercised
and improved. Also overload can be used, which is particularly
effective because it is a certain weight that goes into your
adaptation zone and so improves you until that weight is normal and
then you go up the next level. This can be done until you get to a
stage where you can't improve any more and you stay at that point. The
only bad thing is that you can injure yourself quite easily in an
overload. To improve your strength you must train 3 times a week
keeping to your programme for at least 10 weeks.

Although I have been discussing the training aspect of the programme,
I have left an important part up till now, which is the start and end
of the programme. The warm up (at the start) is as important as the
cool down (at the end) because without them we are not properly
prepared for the exercise and so can easily injure ourselves.

The Warm-up

This actually does what it says as it does. i.e. warms up your muscles
and body before the training (it is basically a mini training session
that's just enough so that it does not start to tire you out). The
warm-up is usually gentle exercise like jogging on the spot or squats,
then stretching and then the skills practice. It does not matter what
you do as long as it gently raises your pulse rate so as to prepare
your heart for the more strenuous activity ahead. As a result more
oxygen and fuels are transported to the muscles and so become warm
(hence the name) and can cope with the training ahead. The stretch is
needed to prevent injury to the joints, and the skills practice is
needed so that you have the right skills for the exercise ahead and do
not do it wrong (which might also cause injury)

The Cool Down

The cool down as you might expect is the opposite of the warm-up.
Instead of raising your pulse rate the cool down means to return you
to your normal state. The cool down usually involves your whole body
but may only include the areas you were training on. That does not
matter, what matters is, that you include exercise followed by gentle
stretching. A good cool down routine will keep the blood flow high so
as to wash out all the waste products produced during the training. A
cool down must be done gradually so that no sudden drops in
temperatures or anything else will cause injury.

Now that I have looked at what makes up training it is time to see
what factors affect its performance.

To do this we must look at what makes up physical fitness. I know that
physical fitness is how efficiently our systems work for our everyday
tasks and so therefore I can tell that many thing may make it up it
can though be defined into two things: Health related fitness and
skill related fitness.

Health related fitness includes; Cardiovascular endurance-how fast

the heart, blood, vessels and respiratory

system supplies fuel to the muscles.

Flexibility- how much motion you

have in any one joint

Muscular Strength-to be able to

give an outward force or to lift a heavy

weight.

Body Composition- what your

percentage of fat, muscle, bone and other

tissues are in your body.

Muscular Endurance-how much

You can use muscular strength.

Skill related fitness includes; Speed-how quickly can you do a

movement.

Balance-if you can keep your equilibrium

while doing everyday movements.

Agility- how fast and accurate you can

change the direction of your body.

Reaction Time-how quickly you

respond to stimuli.

Power- how quickly you can change

energy into force.

Coordination- how much you use

outward senses and your body to do physical

tasks.

The better you are in one of the above areas the less your training
programme will have to work on it. This is good because with that free
time you can concentrate on other areas.

Other things apart from the elements of fitness itself also affect
training. You have your physique, your diet (what you eat ands drink
etc.), the skill and the mental factor (how quickly you learn the
skills).

The physique includes our height, weight, body composition, age and
sex-all of which may affect training. First of all our height depicts
what sport we do because different sports require different heights
(e.g. basket ball players are tall). Because our height is linked to
our weight in some way we can look up what our ideal weight is from a
number of different charts based on a score called the Body Mass
Index.

Once we have our weight we see what type of somatotype we are:

· A endomorph (fat person)

· A mesomorph (Strongly built person)

· A Ectomorph (thin person)

Somatotypes

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What somatotype we are greatly affects our training as it defines what
sport we do. As you can see from my personal profile my somatotype has
quite varied fitness levels ranging from excellent to poor. If I was
to place myself somewhere in the somatotypes I think that I would be
between an ectomorph and a mesomorph.

Once we have our somatotype we can see how much our body composition
affects our training. Body composition is made up of 2 things: the
body fat- fat that is stored in our body (found mainly around the
organs and just beneath the skin) and the fat-free weight- the stuff
that makes up the rest of our body's weight (organs, blood and other
tissues). Bone and muscle are important parts of our body because the
bone density decides how floatable you are (a high bone density means
you will sink when swimming) and too much muscle tissue is a
disadvantage in endurance events.

The only time the sex difference changes anything is after puberty.
Before it girls and boys have a similar body structure meaning sports
between them will be very even until then. After puberty boys have a
distinct advantage over the girls.

After the ages of 20 or 30 peoples performance starts to decline. Our:

· Bones become more brittle.

· Joints stiffen and movement becomes painful (arthritis).

· Muscles and tendons lose their elasticity

· Reduction of cardiac output

· Arteries lose elasticity

· Slower recovery rate

· Increased blood pressure

· Decreased lung capacity

· Decreased VO2 max

· Increased body fat

· Increased chance of disease.

Your diet is another important factor of training. A good diet can
help very much towards good fitness. A diet is made up 7 things.

· Carbohydrates- can be either simple (are known as sugars or complex
(are known as starches). They give us the energy needed for our
muscles. Inside our body it is stored in small amounts, as glucose.
When it is stored in greater amounts it is called glycogen. When
training we need to make sure we have a good supply of glycogen
beforehand.

· Proteins- can be either non-essential amino acids (the 13 which the
body can make itself) or essential acids (the remaining 8 which we get
from food). We can get our proteins from fish and meat and their
products. Protein provides material to build and repair cells and
tissues. Excess protein is thrown away.

· Fats- can be either unsaturated fats (e.g. fish) or saturated fats
(e.g. meat- if we eat to much of it we increase our cholesterol). Our
body uses fats as an energy source for when we are asleep. This is
because fats, to be efficient, must be combined with oxygen and so can
only be used aerobically (with oxygen). Excess fat is stored under the
skin and so can serve as protection in sports but slows us down.

· Minerals- there are quite a few different types of minerals:

1. Calcium: Hardens bones and teeth.

Used during muscle contraction.

2. Zinc: Keeps skin healthy.

3. Iron: Helps produce haemoglobin in red blood cells.

4. Sodium: Helps the contraction of muscles and the

transmission of nerve impulses.

5. Potassium: Helps with the contraction of muscles

Controls many chemical reactions inside cells.

· Fibre- (is also called Roughage) is found in vegetables, fruits and
nuts. Has no nutrients and is not digested. It adds bulk to our food,
helping it through our digestive system.

· Vitamins- all vitamins help many of the body reactions to take
place. Each one helps different functions though:

A- Helps with vision, keeps tissues healthy

B- Helps with growth

C- Helps to heal wounds, protects against germs

D- Builds up bones and teeth

E- Helps skin (in cream form)

K- Helps to clot the blood

· Water- water is 60% of our body weight and is found in most tissues.
It enables us to keep our bodies cool but because it is always being
lost (sweat etc.) it needs to be replaced to stop dehydration.

Drugs can also affect performance but is illegal in most cases and can
be very dangerous.

The next component that affects performance is skill. Skill is a
movement that that can be used in various things. The more skilful you
are the better you can do this movement. As you improve in skill you
will do the movements more accurately and be more in control.
Obviously the more skilful you are the better you train and do the
sport after.

The factors that affect skill are personality and aggression. Within
personality there are two types: extroverts, who tend to like team
sports, with aggression and competition, and introverts, who like
solitary, less active/competitive sports. Aggression, although part of
personality, is a more important part of it as aggression is needed in
most sports or training (contact sports like football and rugby) for
you to be successful but too much can lead to fights, which is bad. So
a fine balance of aggression is also needed in sports and in training
(it gives you the right mind to train in).

The last thing that affects training is the mental factor. This is
made up of 4 things: motivation, arousal, anxiety and goal setting.

Motivation is made up two things: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic
motivation. Intrinsic motivation is the drive to do well from only
yourself in a sport that you like. Extrinsic motivation is motivation
that comes from your environment. It usually comes in the form of a
reward.

Arousal also plays a part in motivation: the more aroused we are the
more motivated we are. Our arousal level affects how well we do. But
if you're over-aroused it can be harmful to you (can cause injury if
you over do it). Arousal causes:

· The heart to beat faster, sweating, slight shaking, rapid breathing,
and causes us to feel anxious, excited and nervous.

Sometimes before an event we become anxious about how well we will do
(it can be called stress). Anxiety is normal but too much can cause us
to perform badly. The only way to stop this is to do these things:

· Give him verbal reassurance.

· Ensure that he'll succeed by giving him easier tasks.

· Make him relax.

· Make him think positively.

· Give him calm, relaxing imagery.

· Make him mentally rehearse everything in his mind.

Goal setting can also help our performance. Goal setting can either be
short term or long term depending on what your goal is. The reason it
helps is because it motivates us and it controls our anxiety- as soon
as we set a goal we work harder to get it done and once it is done you
feel calm because it is one less thing to do. To make good goals for
yourself you must consider the SMARTER rule that is used by coaches.

· Specific to what you want to be better (for instance improve your
endurance).

· Measurable. If you can not measure something you will not get
results. Without results the performer will not see his progression
and will lose his motivation.

· Agreed. The coach and performer should agree to the sport for then
they can discuss how to do it together.

· Realistic. Goals must be in the reach of the performer.

· Time phased. If a goal has steps (which it usually has) then each
step must be harder than the last.

· Exciting. Exciting goals motivate the performer more.

· Recorded. If goals are recorded then as the performer goes on and
his goals are crossed off it motivates the player to see how well he
is doing and then do more.

Safety also plays a big part in training or the sport itself. It is
made up of understanding the health and safety aspect, the correct
clothing, footwear, equipment and playing surfaces.

First of all you must always play in a safe and healthy environment
knowing what injuries or conditions the player might have and taking
it into account (each sport requires different safety aspects but can
be summed up in the safety guidelines). The safety guidelines is self
explanatory and includes:

· Obey the rules of the following sport.

· Wear the correct clothing or footwear: should allow unrestrictive
movement, no jewellery, watches or sweets/gum, long hair tied back,
consider protective clothing and studded boots and footwear should
provide good grip.

· Only use the correct equipment: can not be faulty/ broken- to make
sure follow this: look for damage, feel if it is stable or smooth and
field equipment, like goalposts, should be firmly anchored and
protective gear should be taken into consideration and extra safety
should be taken in some events (mostly throwing ones like javelin
etc.).

· Remember the warm up/cool down.

· Competition should be balanced (age, sex and size should be
categorised).

· Check the playing surfaces are suitable: for instance if the ground
is uneven then ball bounces could be unpredictable, litter is also a
problem (glass etc. can injure) and weather is also something to look
out for (frost will make the ground hard).

· First aid should be known how to be used so as to prevent injuries.

· Emergency procedures should be known also to prevent or treat
extremely bad injuries.

Safety also includes the consideration of injuries that have either
occurred or might occur during play. Injuries tend to fall into 2
categories:

Impact injuries- any injury from impact. It usually occurs during play
especially contact sports.

Overuse injuries- happen from gradual overuse on any parts of the
body, so it can only happen over time. It can only occur in sports
that need a lot of training like tennis.

There are different types of injury and can fall under joint and
muscle injuries or skin damage.

Skin damage-

Cuts- when the skin is broken and bleeding occurs. Infection can
happen and so should be treated.

Grazes- when a layer of skin is taken off and nearly broken. This is
best avoided by wearing pads.

Blisters- repeated friction on the skin causes the layers to separate
and fill with fluid. This is best dealt with by wearing well-fitting
and correct shoe wear.

Bruises- swelling caused by impact and broken blood vessels leak
blood. Again padding can deter this.

Joint and muscle injury-

Strains- the muscle is overstretched or twisted.

Pulled muscle- the muscle fibres are torn or overstretched.

Sprain- the ligaments are overstretched or torn at a joint.

Dislocation- the bone is jolted out of its normal position at a joint.

Tennis/ Golf elbow- overuse injuries to the lower arm.

Not much can be done to prevent joint or muscle injuries. Rest and
time is the best cure for it though.

Serious injuries include concussion, which is caused by the brain
being shaken violently about from an impact. You can be knocked
unconscious and should only play sport after full recovery, which is
about several weeks. Dehydration is when the body loses too much
water. This can seriously affect your performance and so taking plenty
of drinks is vital. The last one is hypothermia, which can only occur
after prolonged periods in cold conditions that cause your body
temperature to fall below 37oC. Hypothermia should be recognised
before anything fatal happens and treated immediately.

When an injury happens the RICE principles should work in most cases:

R- rest- stop playing.

I- ice- put something cold on the injury.

C- compression- prevent further swelling wrapping or compressing the
injured area with a bandage.

E- elevation- elevating the injured area will slow swelling as the
blood flow also slows down.

Before any of this is done or thought about the performer must know
what the short term and long term effects are of training. In short
term effects it will depend on how hard you train but it will effect
the heart; increasing the heart rate (more blood pumped around the
body), the hormones; a hormone called adrenaline will be released
increasing the heart rate and make the blood pump faster, the lungs;
increase in breathing rate and depth, the blood; more of it will
pumped around the body, it will become more acidic (the waste product,
lactic acid will do that) and its pressure will rise, and the muscles;
they will produce heat, use up the energy fuels and produce energy as
a result.

The long-term effects have different affects on different parts of the
body. On the skeletal system the:

· Tendons become stronger.

· Ligaments are stretched so they become loose and more flexible.

· Calcium is added to bony tissue, strengthening the bones.

· Cartilage at the ends of the bones gets thicker, cushioning the
shock in the joints.

The main effects on the muscular system are:

· Muscle myoglobin increase.

· Muscle mitochondria increase.

· The energy stores get bigger and better.

The cardiovascular system effects are:

· The heart improves, pumping more blood with each beat.

· The blood volume increases, meaning that it can carry more oxygen.

The respiratory system has:

· The rib muscles improve, making breathing more efficient.

· The lung volume increases.

· Surface area of lungs increase, meaning more oxygen can be
transported there.

· More oxygen can reach the muscles and so the VO2 max increases.

You can see that the long-term effects of training are all very
positive and basically make you stronger, healthier and let you
breathe easier. All your heart rate zones improve including the stroke
volume and your VO2 max. The stroke volume is how much blood is
ejected from the heart in one beat and as you exercise this improves
by ejecting more blood out in one beat, which in turn lets more oxygen
through the body. The VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen we can
transport and use in one minute, which also improves with training by
increasing that maximum number.

Measuring Improvements-

To measure improvements you can use scientific tests, video analysis,
and a check sheet or peer analysis.

The first thing you could do is do one of the tests in my personal
profile and see what score you get. Then after the training programme
do the same test and see how much you have improved. Using
calculations or other methods can also be used to measure your
improvements. For instance the heart rate can be measured using your
pulse (you just put your hand either over your wrist or your neck in a
specific place over your artery to feel the pulse) in however much
time. If you have your heart rate and your stroke volume then you can
use a calculation to see what your cardiac output is. Also after the
Harvard step test you can use your pulse and a calculation to measure
your recovery rate.

The other thing you could do is get outside advice or results. The two
ways to do this is to either get information or analysis from a video
(video analysis) or you can use a check sheet, which also gives peer
analysis. To form a check sheet you've got to produce a series of
questions that will analyse the performance of the athlete.

Example (this is completely made up)-

The 30-metre sprint

1. What is the performers best time? 5.26

2. What is the performers current time? 5.16

3. Any advantages/ disadvantages given to the performer? What were
they?

One disadvantage- the floor had little grip.

4. Is there any way the performer could improve?

He could improve his running technique and starting off technique.

5. Any good points about the runner worth remembering for next time?

That he carried on running full speed until he crossed the line and
didn't slow down at all until after the finishing line. Also, leave
the soft pad at the back behind the line so that he doesn't smash into
a wall after he has finished.

This check sheet can either be filled in during the test or after it.
It is advisable to get a friend (or peer- this is where peer analysis
comes into it) to fill it in though because he can watch you and see
your mistakes much easier than you can.

The Training Schedule I Undertook-

The first thing to remind you about this is that I will be improving
and measuring the flexibility in my legs over the course of 6 weeks.
For each week I will record which week it is, the method, results, and
my conclusion so as to justify what I have done.

Aim-

The aim for the first week will be to measure my current flexibility
in my legs using various tests and to then work out for half an hour
to an hour every day afterwards. At the end of every week on Sunday I
will use the same tests from the first measuring to see how much I
have improved. I will then record the results.

Using the SMARTER principles I will set my goals. I will be specific
by saying that I will increase my leg flexibility by using a training
schedule specific towards that task. The task is measurable because I
have 2 tests ready to see how well I will do. I do not have a coach to
agree with but the programme is safe and does contribute only towards
my aim. My goal is realistic and can be achieved. As I become more
flexible I will naturally push harder anyway so my training will be
time-phased. To make this exciting I will vary my training (maybe the
locations but most probably the types of training I'll do). Lastly I
will record my results and if I do well it will motivate me and if I
do badly I will become motivated/ determined to do better.

Method-

While doing my schedule I must remember all my training principles.
Things like FITT and RICE will all contribute towards the efficiency
of the programme.

To measure my current flexibility I will do only a warm up so that I
do not pull a muscle and a cool down to return to my original state- I
will not do any stretching because I aim to measure my flexibility at
a normal state and although the warm-up will help increase my
flexibility a bit it has to be done to prevent injury.

First test-

This warm up will include:

· being inside a room (for the warmth),

· doing exercises that do not exert too much energy (I want to save
some energy for the actual stretches); these may include:

1. running on the spot,

2. star jumps,

3. jumping up and down from a crouch,

4. some press-ups.

· I would also include doing minor and gentle stretches like:

1. reaching my leg out as far as possible while keeping the other one
bent

2. bending either leg back so as to stretch my quadriceps.

After that I would use the sit and reach test and a test I have made
up.

The test I have made up includes a measuring tape pulled out as far as
it can get and put down across the room. Then putting one foot at 0 do
the side-splits both ways (right and left) and the splits, measuring
and recording the distance between my two legs.

Reached out as far as possible

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[IMAGE]

n cm

0cm

The further you reach the better




I will have to make up the table using averages etc. from my own data
that I have collected from the two tests and so will input and compare
the data in this essay after the 6 weeks. After collecting the data of
my current state I will do a cool down.

This cool down will include:

· gentle stretches and exercises that gradually decrease in how hard
you work over a period of time. The stretches will be:

1. sitting on the floor reaching for your toes,

2. gentle side-splits and splits

3. pulling your legs out as far as possible while sitting on the
ground.

· The exercises will be much the same as the warm up exercises-
running on the spot, star jumps etc. but they would all be gentler and
if it is a cool evening I may choose to work outside so as to cool off
quicker.

Although I will not do it here during the next 6 weeks I will take
into account the frequency and time for each warm-up, cool down and
the work- out in between (the type has already been mentioned and the
intensity will be to work as hard as possible).

The normal workouts

Every day from there on I will do a work out including a warm up,
stretches and a cool down, all for obvious reasons which have already
been mentioned. The warm up and cool down will be same as I have
already mentioned and the stretches will include the same as in the
warm up and cool down; these being-

· side-splits both ways,

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· [IMAGE]the splits,

· reaching either leg out as far forward as I can while sitting and
then trying to touch my toes bending my back forwards.

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· another stretch that I will do is to touch my toes while standing. I
will not specifically use this as a stretch but as a way to give me a
rough idea of how much exercise I have done (the easier it will be to
touch my toes the more I have worked out). This is not a very
efficient stretch because personally I find it very easy to do.

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In all of the above though I will hold my furthermost position for as
long as I can, making the stretch as efficient as possible. Since the
number of times that I have to do the stretch to make it efficient can
not be guessed I can only say that I will do the stretches as many
times that I feel fit. I think that once I have completed all 4 of the
said stretches I will repeat them again in the same order. By the time
I have reached the same stretch that muscle will have rested and be ok
to stretch again. If I do all the stretches one after the other one
muscle will have time to rest while I am stretching another muscle.

Important Note-

The thing I must remember to do is to use the different types of
exercises and stretches I have mentioned and vary them in all the
aspects of the training programme (whether it be the warm up, cool
down or the actual stretches) so that I do not get bored and lose
interest or start to make less effort and not improve myself as much.
I have to keep myself going for as long as possible using other means.

Results and Tables-

For the sit and reach test I will compare my results to this table
given below (it is an official table and so any comparison will be
reliable):


[IMAGE][IMAGE]Males (cm) Females (cm) Rating

>14>15 Excellent

11-13 12-14 Good

7-10 7-11 Average

4-6 4-6 Fair

<3 <3 Poor

Original condition-

The result I got for my current condition is 10 cm, which is an
average result.

First week-

12cm- good result

Second week-

14cm- excellent result

Third week-

15cm- above excellent result

Fourth week-

16cm- above excellent result

Fifth week-

17cm- above excellent result

Sixth week-

17cm- above excellent result

[IMAGE]Conclusion and Summary of results-

As you can see from my results my training schedule at least for my
hamstrings went well. You can see that my flexibility

increased every week but started to plateau near the end. This means
that my exercises weren't strong enough near the end and that if I
wish to continue training I will have to think of harder exercises.

For my own test I managed to come up with this table after the 6 weeks
training:

Excellent

Above Average

Average

Below Average

Poor

Splits

175 cm+

175- 166cm

166- 162cm

162- 159cm

-159 cm

Side splits L

179 cm+

179- 170cm

170- 167cm

167- 163cm

-163 cm

Side splits R

180 cm+

180- 173cm

173- 169cm

169- 166cm

-166 cm

This table, you must remember, was made up from my results and so is
only made suitable for me.

Original condition-

Side-Splits: Left- 161cm Right- 165cm Splits- 156cm

poor poor poor

First week-

Side-Splits: Left- 165cm Right- 168cm Splits- 160cm

below av. below av. below av.

Second week-

Side-Splits: Left- 168cm Right- 171cm Splits- 164cm

Average average average

Third week-

Side-Splits: Left- 171cm Right- 174cm Splits- 167cm

Above av. above av. above av.

Fourth week-

Side-Splits: Left- 173cm Right- 176cm Splits- 170cm

Above av. above av. above av.

Fifth week-

Side-Splits: Left- 175cm Right- 178cm Splits- 173cm

Above av. above av. above av.

Sixth week-

Side-Splits: Left- 177cm Right- 179cm Splits- 175cm

Above av. above av. excellent

[IMAGE]

Conclusion and Summary of results-

From the graph you can see, again, I managed to improve my flexibility
every week, but I can also see that at the beginning the 3 types of
leg flexibilities were quite far apart in their measurements, then,
near the end, they were considerably closer. This implies that the
right side-splits plateau more than the

flexibility.

Week by Week Analysis-

Week 1- this being the first week I felt a bit confused as I didn't
quite know how to go about it. Once it became an everyday thing I
quickly got into the rhythm. I generally warmed up in the garden. I
also realised that training in the right clothing helped (like jogging
bottoms help as they will not tear when you do stretches). I found
that half an hour a day was too short a time and so increased it to ¾
hour - an hour.

Week 2- My legs start to ache, realising that I am pushing myself too
hard I slow down- decreasing my time from before to ½ hour - ¾ hour
and work a bit harder on the cool down. Everything else goes smoothly

Week 3- Start to get a bit bored with the programme and so start to
vary my locations and stretches to keep me interested.

Week 4- everything is pretty much ok during this week.

Week 5- I really have to start motivating myself now as I am bored
with doing the same programme over and over again. To keep me going I
set up a little table of my results so far to show me how well I have
done.

Week 6- as a final effort to keep me going I incorporate some other
exercise like sit-ups or running to give some variation and interest
in my programme. The main thing that keeps me going is that it's the
last week. I start to get cramps in my legs so once again I slow down
the pace working more on my cool down.

Justification-

The first week of my training programme went very smoothly as there
were no setbacks. I did everything for a reason; the first test, the
exercises and the second test at the end of the first week. The first
test was to measure my original state, the exercises were to improve
myself and the second test was to see how well my training programme
went and also how hard I worked.

I did the first test so as to warm up certain parts of my body:

· The jumping, star jumps and running warmed up my legs

· The star jumps and the press-ups warmed up my arms

I did more on my legs because those were the parts I was actually
stretching but to keep my body balanced in the warm up I also did my
arms (the rest of the body warmed up naturally during the exercises).

The stretches were efficient and specific to the course because they
concentrated on all the different parts of the legs (quadriceps,
hamstrings etc.) and only on my legs and nowhere else, which is
specific to my aim. Also, another thing that I kept fresh in my memory
was to hold the stretch so as to make it as efficient as possible

The cool down also did what it was supposed to do: Return my body back
to its normal state as slowly as possible so as not to injure myself
from a rapid change in temperature and in overall condition. Since I
spent about 10-15 minutes on every cool down I would say I did that
successfully. This changed as injuries started to occur like cramps
and so more effort was put into the cool down to prevent such
injuries. So as a result my programme became safer.

I believe that my training schedule was quite appropriate and looking
at my results I must have done something right as they were very
successful. I managed to motivate myself enough to keep on going by
finding different methods or incorporating new things.

Conclusion and Evaluation

Although the actual stretches were efficient in themselves I think
that I did not give myself enough stretches and exercises to do. I
therefore lost interest and got bored with the same workout every day
for 6 weeks. If I were to do this again I would definitely research
some more stretches to do before doing the 6 weeks again. Another
thing I would research is more tests to do because I think that I did
not efficiently measure my leg flexibility. If I were to repeat the
programme I would research more official tests so that I could measure
each muscle in my legs. My own test was not too reliable because it
only took into account my legs and so I could not use my table to
compare it to a top athlete of my age.

While doing the programme I found that motivation was a big problem.
Since I have no coach and do not go to a gym I didn't get much
extrinsic motivation (apart from the fact that I what I am doing is my
P.E coursework) so most of my motivation was intrinsic (motivation
that comes from myself). I followed the SMARTER principles especially
the Time-phased one, by creating short-term goals I managed to get
through the 6 weeks.

Another problem I encountered was that I worked too hard and so got
aches and pains in my legs from the sudden contrast in lifestyle. The
next time I do this I shall make a specific timetable for myself
alternating the days of rest and workouts. It might be something like
this:

Workout= W Rest= R

Mon.

Tues.

Wed.

Thurs.

Fri.

Sat.

Sun.

W

R

W

R

W

R

W

Heart rate and recovery rate were two things that I considered doing.
The reason I did not do it is because I did not believe that it would
show me much. Since the programme did not do very tiring exercises I
would not get a very accurate result for either my heart rate or my
recovery rate. In the end I decided that doing either tests would be
pointless. I also did not include a pier sheet because there was
little skill involved in doing stretching so I needed little advice.
The last thing I did not take into account was my somatotype. The
reason I did not do this is because I do not think that your
somatotype affects your flexibility.

Other than those points I think that the training programme was a
success. The results prove that I did extremely well as they go up on
every week and not down. I think the reason that the sit and reach
test stayed at 17cm for the 5th and 6th was because I was reaching a
point where I needed a lot more work to improve (I was plateauing).
You can see that the results increased but they did not increase in a
constant manner- they decreased over the weeks. This means that I
either did not work out constantly or that my legs were starting to
plateau and needed to work harder - I can not do any tests to figure
this out exactly but from my own judgement I can safely say that the
workouts I did in the first week were exactly the same as in my sixth
week which means my legs must have been plateauing. Even though I got
slightly bored with the exercises I do think that I managed to cover
the aim: to stretch my legs. The warm up, stretches, and cool down all
managed to stretch my legs without to much injury-, which is what a
good programme is supposed to do.

In the end though all my results, even through boredom, aches and
plateauing, came to a successful finish, increasing all the way.
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