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At the conclusion of this chapter, the student should be able to:


  • 1. Define flexibility, muscular strength, and endurance, and state how each can be developed.
  • 2. State the principles that should be followed when prescribing or engaging in exercises for flexibility.
  • 3. Develop an appropriate exercise for improving range of motion in any joint.
  • 4. Name and describe the four types of exercise programs used for muscle strength and development.
  • 5. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of each type of muscle strength and endurance program.
  • 6. Develop a graded exercise series for strengthening each of three muscle groups. Justify the selection and order of the exercises using the outline for kinesiological analysis.


The objectives of exercise programs are to effect musculoskeletal, circulatory, and respiratory adaptations that will make possible increases in strength, flexibility, and work capacity for safer and more enjoyable motion in work, play, and activities of daily living. In the twenty-first century exercise, in any form, has taken on new importance as the population changes. The sharp increase in the rate of obesity and the increase in active life span give new meaning to the idea of exercise for health. Exercise programs are used to ready athletes for competition, curb obesity, reduce falls in the elderly, decrease the incidence of musculoskeletal pain, and for a myriad of other reasons. Health professionals worldwide are sounding the call for an increase in levels of physical activity for all. It is the job of the movement specialist to help provide safe and effective means for exercise enhancement.


The interests of the exercise physiologist and the kinesiologist overlap in the realm of exercise. Both are concerned with the energy, work, and power aspects and the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular dimensions of exercise. They diverge in their concerns with the physiologist’s focus on energy sources and demands and the kinesiologist’s focus on forces causing the motion and analysis of technique. Knowing what to select for an appropriate conditioning or therapeutic exercise program requires knowledge of both exercise physiology and kinesiology. As might be expected, the discussion in this chapter is limited primarily to the kinesiology of selected exercises—namely, those designed primarily to increase flexibility, develop muscular strength and endurance, and improve core stability. Understanding the demands of a movement will help the individual select appropriate exercises to enhance performance or rehabilitate following an injury.


Flexibility is the ability of the tissues surrounding a joint to yield to stretching without interference or opposition and then to relax. The tissues to be stretched include not only the ligaments, fasciae, and other connective tissue related to the joints but, in many instances, the antagonistic muscles as well—that is, the muscles that oppose the movement in which the joint action is limited. For instance, the restriction in a person who is unable to bend over and touch the floor without bending the knees is more likely to be caused by tight ...

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