Importance of Exercise

“Over the past few decades the number of recreational and competitive sport programs for children and adolescents has increased dramatically” (Faigenbaum and Micheli). Popularity and competitiveness has grown amongst people of all ages in sport today.

Children even as young as six along with adults over 55 years old now participate in sports. Women and young girls now also compete more than ever before (Faigenbaum and Micheli). There is a risk for injury if you don’t pay close attention to strength training, conditioning, and stretching.For an athlete, strength training, conditioning, and stretching contribute to a healthy stable career. Proven athletic performance depends on qualities of strength training (Defranco).

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The background for all other athletic qualities is built by strength. Speed in running can be directly related to muscular strength. So you must be strong to increase your fastness. If you cannot attain proper knee drive, proper arm swing, posture and push-off, then you can’t be fast. “There is a high correlation between an athlete’s jumping ability and agility in relation to relative body strength.A strong athlete will acquire the ability to jump higher and move quicker than their weaker counterparts. The primary function of the body’s 600 plus muscles is to move body parts.

Only muscle can cause movement” (Defranco). The stronger the muscles, the more forceful the contractions of the movement is. The athlete will run faster, jump higher, kick or throw further, and he or she will hit harder. In addition to all of this, injuries are also decreased with a strong body.

Even if an injury does happen, the recovery time will tend to be significantly less (Defranco).There are many benefits to strength training. Increasing your muscular strength will raise your basal metabolism rate (Rodriguez).

That is your resting metabolism. You’ll burn more calories on days you are giving your body a rest. Losing weight or burning calories can be done easier or faster.

“Weight training counteracts muscle loss associated with aging” (Rodriguez). Every year after your 30s, you lose 0. 5 pound of muscle if you don’t strength train regularly (Rodriguez). That is why it is important when you grow old to still strength train regularly, like this 82 year old granny dead lifting 153 lbs.Physical Specialists tell us that energy is more abundant in a strong body. Some even believe there is a direct relationship between muscular strength and a strong mind that has more self control and self discipline. There is also a noticeable increase in balance, coordination, and posture (Rodriguez).

Another benefit would be enhanced sleep. Increasing your muscular strength improves your sleeping patterns. At the high school level, it is important to focus on strength. Strength is the foundational attribute for improving athletic performance (Meglio).

High schoolers usually focus too often on speed, power, and explosiveness. “Speed, agility, flexibility, mobility, power, and explosiveness are all aspects of athleticism and can be significantly improved by increases in strength” (Meglio). Strength training is an important factor in being an athlete. Another factor to consider in athletics is conditioning. There is a potential illness or injury if boys and girls are unfit and ill-prepared to handle the demands of their sport (Faigenbaum and Micheli).

“Half of the young people between ages 12-21 participate in vigorous activity on a regular basis.Their musculoskeletal system of children and adolescents may not be prepared to handle the extent and magnitude of force that develops during practice and game situations” (Faigenbaum and Micheli). To participate in at least 6-8 weeks of preseason conditioning prior seems prudent. It is time to identify correctable risk factors.

You can correct poor flexibility and poor physical condition. “A combination of strength, aerobic and flexibility exercises performed two to three times a week on nonconsecutive days seems reasonable” (Faigenbaum and Micheli).When preparing for sports involvement, it is important to contain multiple-joint movements that call for balance, stabilization, and coordination (Faigenbaum and Micheli). Strengthening aerobics for the core strength are needed, due to the possibility of lower back harm. “Conditioning programs should be modified over time to prevent overtraining and in order to optimize gains in fitness. Without participating in a well-designed conditioning program, it is difficult for children and adolescents to gain the benefits of physical training” (Faigenbaum and Micheli). A different factor to consider is the idea of stretching.Stretching is important for a young athletes growing body (Wood).

It plays an important role in injury prevention. Stretching aids in flexibility which is critical for a sport. With stretching, speed, power and personal speed can be optimized (“Benefits”). It increases blood circulation in the muscles. There are two types of stretching.

The first is dynamic stretching. This is stretching arrangements that use strength power to shift your limbs through the full range of movement (Wood). The second type of stretching is called static stretching. This is where you put a muscle in an extended place and hold it for up to 20 seconds (Wood).“The stretch is taken it to the point where resistance is felt, but there is no pain” (Wood). There are multiple principles of stretching.

Warming up before stretching is always key. Breathing throughout your stretches is also vital. It is important to balance between static and dynamic stretching during your warm up (Wood). When you stretch, you should target the muscle groups that you will be using. A benefit to stretching would be that it increases your speed. It help optimizes your personal speed by increasing range of motion (“Benefit”).

There will be less resistance from contraction and tension from stretched muscles.That being said, less force is required to entire a movement. It is important to know how to stretch. Before stretching occurs your muscles should be warm. All the players’ should break a sweat and then start stretching. “A key mistake that is often made is over stretching. You would like your athletes to have a good range of motion, but it is not time to try to gain flexibility” (“Benefits”).

People believe that stretching before practice is all that is needed. After practice stretching is needed also. After practice, to reduce next day soreness, you should do a cool down jog.Stretching is a main factor in being an athlete. To maintain a successful profession, an athlete needs to pay close attention to strength training, conditioning, and stretching.

In a world like today where every athlete wants to be the best they can be, there are many factors a competitor needs to focus on. Everyone should take advantage of the opportunities they are given in today’s sports. Works Cited “Benefits of Stretching. ” US Youth Soccer.

n. p. ,n. d. 9/16/2013.

Defranco, Joe. “Why Is Strength Training Important For Athletes?. ”Defrancos Training. Yellow House Design, 2013. 9/16/2013. Faigenbaum, Avery D. and Lyle J. Micheli.

“Preseason Conditioning for Young Athletes. ” American College of Sports Medicine. ACSM Current Comment. Indianapolis: n. p. , n. d. 9/16/2013.

PDF File. Meglio, Joe. “The Importance of Strength Training for High School Athletes.

” Stack. n. p. , 3/15/2011. 9/16/2013.

Rodriguez, Maritza. “Strength Training. ” Strength Training Benefits. Merritt Athletic Clubs, 2013. 9/16/2013. < www. merrittclubs. com/blog/personal-training/strength-training-benefits-it-is-not-just-for-athletes-or-bodybuilders> Wood, Michael.

“Stretching for Sport. ” Stretching for Athletes. n. p. , n. d.

. 9/16/2013.