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  • To begin analyzing sport skills in terms of phases and the various joint movements occurring in those phases

  • To understand various conditioning principles and how to apply them to strengthening major muscle groups

  • To analyze an exercise to determine the joint movements and positions, the specific muscles involved and their contraction types in accomplishing those movements, and/or maintaining those positions

  • To learn, understand and apply the concept of open versus closed kinetic chain

  • To learn to group individual muscles into units that cause, control, or prevent certain joint movements

  • To begin to think of exercises that increase the strength and endurance of individual muscle groups

  • To learn to analyze and prescribe exercises to strengthen major muscle groups

Proper functioning of the upper and lower extremities as well as the trunk and spinal column is critical for most sports activities, as well as for many activities of daily living. Strength and endurance in the muscles of the human body are essential for improved appearance and posture, as well as for more efficient skill performance and work/life activities. Specific exercises and activities to condition the various body parts should be intelligently selected by becoming thoroughly familiar with the muscles involved.

Simple exercises may be used to begin teaching individuals how to group muscles to produce joint movement. Some of these simple introductory exercises are included in this chapter.

The early analysis of exercise makes the study of structural kinesiology more meaningful as we strive to better understand the importance of individual muscles and groups of muscles in bringing about joint movements in various exercises and activities. This chapter contains analysis of exercises for the upper extremities, trunk and lower extremities. Contrary to what many new to structural kinesiology may believe, muscular analysis of activities is not difficult once the basic concepts are understood.


Children seem to have an innate desire to climb, swing and hang. Such movements use the muscles of the hands, wrists, elbows and shoulder joints. But the opportunity to perform these types of activities is limited in our modern culture. Unless emphasis is placed on the development of this area of our bodies by physical education teachers in elementary schools, for both boys and girls, it will continue to be muscularly the weakest area of our bodies. Weakness in the upper extremities can impair skill development and performance in many common, enjoyable recreational activities, such as golf, tennis, softball and racquetball. The same can be said for the trunk and lower extremities. As we age, muscle volume and joint function tend to decrease, primarily due to decreased activity. Working specifically to avoid this can prevent loss of function and related pathological conditions such as osteoarthritis. People enjoy what they can do well, and they can be taught to enjoy activities that will increase strength and endurance throughout the body. ...

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