Physical Activity
Level 3 Activities
Healthy People 2010 Goals
Increase the number of teens who do regular
exercise for flexibility.
Increase the number of teens who do regular
exercise for strength and muscular endurance.
Decrease steroid use among teens.
Reduce risk of back problems.
Reduce risk of osteoporosis.
Reduce risk of pain from muscle injury.
Unit Activities
Jump and Stretch Routine
The Basic 10: Flexibility Exercise Circuit
Partner Resistance Exercises
Fundamentals of Weight and Resistance Training
Homemade Weights
Muscular Endurance Exercise Circuit
10. Flexibility 153
154 Fitness for Life
In this chapter…
Activity 1
Jump and Stretch Routine
Lesson 10.1
Flexibility Facts
Arm, Leg, and Trunk Flexibility
Lesson 10.2
Improving Flexibility
Taking Charge
Building Intrinsic Motivation
Self-Management Skill
Building Intrinsic Motivation
Activity 2
The Basic 10: Flexibility Exercise
Activity 1
Jump and
Stretch Routine
Regular physical activity strengthens
your heart and improves other parts of
your cardiovascular system. Jumping
rope is an activity that most people can
perform to improve cardiovascular fitness. Stretching exercises improve the
flexibility of your muscles and joints.
This workout includes only basic jumprope skills, but you may want to add
other, more difficult skills as your ability improves. The stretching exercises
require a partner.
permitting movement in only two directions. Other
joints, such as the hip and shoulder, work like a ball and
socket, allowing movement in all directions. Range of
motion (ROM) is the amount of movement you can
make in a joint.
Flexibility Facts
Lesson Objectives
After reading this lesson, you should be able to
1. Describe the characteristics of flexibility.
2. Explain how you benefit from good flexibility.
3. Explain why it is important to balance strength
and flexibility exercises.
4. Explain how the fitness principles of overload,
progression, and specificity apply to flexibility.
Lesson Vocabulary
hypermobility (p. 156), joint laxity (p. 156), range of motion (ROM) (p. 155)
In this lesson, you will learn about the importance of
being flexible and how to improve flexibility by applying fitness principles. You will also learn to evaluate
What Is Flexibility?
Flexibility is the ability to move your joints through
a full range of motion (ROM). A joint is a place in
the body where bones come together. The best known
joints include the ankles, knees, and hips in the legs;
the knuckles, wrist, elbows, and shoulders in the arms;
and the joints between the vertebrae in the spine. Some
joints, such as the knees and elbows, work like a hinge,
Benefits of Good Flexibility
Flexibility is sometimes referred to as the forgotten part
of health-related fitness. This is because most people
tend to focus on the other parts of health-related fitness
to the exclusion of flexibility. We know, however, that
having good flexibility has many health benefits, both
when you are young and when you grow older. Some of
these benefits are described here.
Improved Function
Everyone needs a minimum amount of flexibility to
maintain health and mobility, and some people need
additional flexibility. For example, dancers and gymnasts must be very flexible to perform their routines;
plumbers, painters, and dentists often need to bend and
stretch; and some musicians need very flexible fingers
and wrists.
Flexibility is important to many athletes because
it allows a longer backswing in throwing and striking
movements. A long backswing enables a faster forward
swing. In the case of weightlifting, shot put, and some
other sports, the greater backward movement is believed
to allow a faster forward movement, producing more
Improved Health and Wellness
Stretching exercises can help prevent injury and muscle
soreness and have a beneficial effect on a number of
conditions. For example, flexible musicians are less
likely to have pain in the joints. Stretching exercises
can often alleviate menstrual cramps in women. They
can prevent or provide relief from leg cramps and shinsplints (pains in the front of the
shins caused by overuse). Stretching short muscles helps improve
posture, which helps prevent or
relieve back pain and reduces
fatigue. Stretching a muscle can
help it relax. In chapter 17 you
will learn how stretching exercises
can help relieve stress.
(a) Poor joint range of motion—knee does not fully extend because of short hamstring muscles; (b) good range of motion—knee fully extends because of long
hamstrings; (c) too much range of motion—knee bends backward.
10. Flexibility 155
Characteristics of Flexibility
Just as heredity and other factors influence your success
in sports and recreational activities, similar factors influence your flexibility. Some of these are discussed here.
Body Build and Flexibility
Some people will not be able to score as well on flexibility tests as others no matter how much they stretch.
Anatomical differences in our bodies help determine
what we can and cannot do. Rather than comparing
your scores on flexibility tests with those of others,
compare your scores with your own previous scores and
seek to improve.
Can short people touch their toes more easily than
tall people? In most cases this is not true because a
shorter person does tend to have relatively short legs
and trunk but also tends to have short arms (although
there are exceptions). In contrast, a tall person tends to
have longer legs and trunk, as well as longer arms. There
are some people who have exceptionally long arms or
legs whose body build may make it easier for them to
score well or not so well on flexibility tests, but this is
the exception rather than the rule.
Generally, females tend to be more flexible than
males. Also, younger people tend to be more flexible
than older people. As people grow older their muscles
typically grow shorter because they are used less, and
their joints allow less movement because of conditions
such as arthritis. One important reason for doing regular stretching exercises when you are young is to reduce
the risk of joint problems when you are older. Good
flexibility enhances performance in a variety of tasks for
people of all ages.
Some people have an unusually large range of motion
in certain joints, and people often refer to them as being
double jointed. This condition is called hypermobility,
the ability to extend the knee, elbow, thumb, or wrist
joint past a straight line, as if the joint could bend backward. Hypermobility is usually an inherited trait and
tends to be more common in some groups than others.
Some people who have hypermobile joints are prone to
joint injuries and may be more likely to develop arthritis,
a disease in which the joints become inflamed. For the
most part, however, those with hypermobile joints do not
have problems, other than a slight disadvantage in some
sports. For example, when doing the push-up exercise,
the elbows of a hypermobile person might easily lock
when the arms straighten, making it difficult to unlock
the elbows to begin the downward movement.
Joint Laxity
When the supporting tissue around a joint allows
the bones to move in ways other than intended, it is
described as joint laxity, or looseness. Laxity occurs when
the ligaments around the joint are overstretched, most
likely from injury or incorrect exercise. If laxity occurs
in a knee joint, it may lead to knee sprains and torn
cartilage or a dislocated kneecap. Ligaments cannot be
strengthened by doing exercises. However, strengthening
the muscles around the joint can help reduce looseness.
In addition to the reasons described in the previous section, joint laxity is another cause of hypermobility.
Balancing Strength and Flexibility
You should do strength and flexibility exercises together.
Everyone needs strong muscles, but exclusive use of
About twice as many females as males are hypermobile, and more females meet minimum fitness
standards for flexibility than males.
These athletes need good flexibility to jump hurdles.
156 Fitness for Life
strength exercises can lead to a loss
FITNESS Technology
of normal range of motion and a
condition sometimes called being
When you perform flexibility self-assessments, you will use low-tech devices
muscle-bound. On the other hand, if
such as a yardstick or a ruler. In some cases you may use a flexibility box
you only do flexibility exercises, then
that includes a built-in measuring stick. When experts do research on flexyour joints may become susceptible
ibility, they use more sophisticated instruments such as goniometers, which
to injury because you need strong
measure joint angles. Some goniometers are electronic and computerized.
muscles to reinforce the ligaments
Your school may have an inexpensive goniometer, such as the one in the
that hold the bones together.
picture, that you can use when assessing joint range of motion.
A balanced exercise program
includes both strength and flexibility
exercises for all your muscles so that
they can apply equal force on all sides
of a joint. People commonly use the
flexors (muscles on the front of the
body) a great deal because many daily
activities emphasize the use of those
muscles. For example, the majority
of people have strong biceps muscles
(on the front of the arm), pectoral
muscles (on the front of the chest),
and quadriceps muscles (on the front
of the thigh). The pull of these strong
muscles results in the body hunching
forward. To avoid becoming permanently hunched over, you need to make certain that
might be the abdominal muscles. It is important to
these strong, short muscles on the front of the body get
keep your abdominal muscles strong but most people
stretched. At the same time, you must strengthen the
do not need to stretch them, In fact, if the abdominals
weak, long, relatively unused muscles on the back of
are stretched they begin to sag and the abdomen prothe body. Table 10.1 shows the muscles most in need of
trudes, leading to poor posture.
flexibility exercises in most people.
Each person must evaluate his or her own needs
Are there any muscles that do not need stretching?
to avoid stretching already overstretched muscles
For most people, the answer is yes. For example, most
and avoid strengthening muscles that are already so
people eventually begin to develop a hunched-over
strong that they are out of balance with their opposing
posture often called humpback at some point in life.
muscles. Keeping muscles on opposites sides of a joint
Because the upper back muscles become overstretched
in balance helps them pull with equal force in all direcin people with this postural problem, they should avoid
tions. Such a balance helps align your body parts propfurther stretching of those muscles. Another example
erly, ensuring good posture.
Table 10.1
Muscles That Need the Most Stretching
Reason for stretching
Chest muscles
To prevent poor posture
Front of shoulders
To prevent poor posture
Front of hip joint
To prevent swayback posture, backache, or a pulled muscle
Back of thigh (hamstrings)
To prevent swayback posture, backache, or a pulled muscle
Inside of thigh
To prevent back, leg, and foot strain
Calf muscles
To avoid soreness and Achilles tendon injuries, which may occur from running and jumping
Lower back
To prevent soreness, pain, and back injuries
10. Flexibility 157
your arms on either side of a doorframe and lean forward. You can use another body part, a partner, or a
weight to assist in the stretch. Be sure to give feedback
when a partner helps you stretch so that he or she can
apply the proper amount of force.
Principle of Progression
You need to gradually increase your exercise intensity.
You can increase intensity by stretching farther as you
gain flexibility. Up to a point, you may also progress by
gradually increasing the amount of time you hold the
stretch or the number of repetitions you perform. Eventually you will achieve your flexibility goals. Then you
need to maintain the flexibility you have achieved.
Principle of Specificity
Flexibility exercises improve only the specific muscles
at the specific joints that you stretch. To develop overall
flexibility, you must stretch all the muscles that need
Maintaining Flexibility
Once you have reached an acceptable level of flexibility for your muscles, you must continue to move all of
your joints and muscles through this new and improved
range of motion on a regular basis. If you do not use
the range of motion you have available in a joint, the
muscles will begin to shorten again and you will lose
that flexibility.
The boy in the picture is stretching the specific muscles needed
to put the shot. To develop overall flexibility, you must stretch all
the muscles that need stretching.
Fitness Principles and Flexibility
The principles of overload, progression, and specificity
apply to flexibility, just as they apply to the other components of health-related fitness.
Principle of Overload
You need to stretch your muscles longer than normal to
increase your flexibility. To stretch a muscle, you need
to lengthen it more than you do in your daily activities. To achieve this kind of stretch, you usually need
a force greater than your own opposing muscles. For
example, if you want to stretch your chest muscles, you
cannot get an overload just by pulling your arms back
and holding them in that position. You need additional
force, such as your own body weight, when you put
158 Fitness for Life
Lesson Review
1. What are the characteristics of flexibility?
2. How do you benefit from good flexibility?
3. Why is it important to balance strength and
flexibility exercises?
4. How do the fitness principles of overload, progression, and specificity apply to flexibility?
Arm, Leg, and Trunk Flexibility
This self-assessment helps you evaluate the flexibility of some of your
muscles and joints. Use these general directions for the tests that
follow. Then score yourself using table 10.2.
Perform each exercise as described and illustrated here.
Stretch and hold the position for 2 seconds while a partner checks your perfor-
Table 10.2
Use the record sheet to help you score this
test. Record only the first trial.
You are expected to do these tests in
class only once, unless your instructor
tells you otherwise. You will want to
retest yourself periodically. The record
sheet provides space to write the
results of your future retests.
This test evaluates chest
and shoulder flexibility.
Rating Chart: Flexibility
Fitness Rating
Arm Lift
1. Lie facedown. Hold a ruler or stick in both
hands. Keep your fists tight, palms facing down.
2. Raise your arms and the stick as high as
possible. Keep your forehead on the floor and
your arms and wrists straight.
3. Hold this position while your partner checks
the height of the stick from the floor with a ruler.
4. Record 1 checkmark in the correct column.
Pass = 10 inches or more.
This test evaluates
shoulder, arm, and
chest flexibility.
1. Reach your right arm and hand over your right
shoulder and down your spine, as if you were pulling up a zipper.
2. Hold this position while you reach your left arm
and hand behind your back and up your spine to try
to touch or overlap the fingers of your right hand.
3. Hold the position while your partner checks it.
4. Repeat, reaching your left arm over your shoulder.
5. Record 1 checkmark for each side. Pass =
touch or overlap fingers.
10. Flexibility 159
center of target
This test
evaluates spine,
shoulder, and
hip flexibility.
Trunk Rotation
1. Stand with your toes on the designated line.
Your right shoulder should be an arm’s length
(fist closed) from the wall and directly on a line
with the target spot.
2. Drop your right arm and extend your left
arm to your side at shoulder height. Make a fist,
palm down.
3. Without moving your feet, rotate your trunk
to the left as far as possible. Your knees may
bend slightly to permit more turn, but don’t
move your feet. Try to touch the target spot or
beyond with a palm-down fist.
4. Hold the position while your partner checks it.
5. Repeat, rotating to the right.
6. Record 1 checkmark for each side. Pass =
touch center of target or beyond.
Wrap Around
1. Raise your right arm and reach behind your
head. Try to touch the left corner of your mouth.
You may turn your head and neck to the left.
2. Hold the position while your partner checks it.
3. Repeat with your left arm.
4. Record 1 checkmark for each side. Pass =
touching corner of mouth.
This test evaluates shoulder
and neck flexibility.
160 Fitness for Life
Knee to Chest
This test evaluates the flexibility of the muscles on the front
of the hip, the hamstrings, and the lower back.
This test evaluates the flexibility
of the calf muscles and range of
ankle movement.
1. Lie on your back. Extend your left leg. Bring
your right knee to your chest. Place your hands
on the back of your right thigh. Pull your knee
down tight to your chest.
2. Keep your left leg straight and both the leg
and lower back flat on the floor.
3. Hold the position. Have your partner check
that your knee is on your chest and use a ruler
to measure the distance that your left calf is
from the floor.
4. Repeat with your left knee.
5. Record 1 checkmark for each side. Pass =
calf 1 inch or less from floor.
Ankle Flex
1. Sit erect on the floor with your legs straight
and together. You may lean backward slightly on
your hands if necessary.
2. Flex your ankles by pulling your toes toward
your shins as far as possible.
3. Hold this position while your partner checks
the angle that the soles of your feet make with
the floor. The partner will align a T square or a
book with the floor, and see whether the soles
are at least perpendicular to the floor.
4. Record 1 checkmark in the correct column.
Pass = soles angled 75 degrees or more.
Safety Tip: Warm up before taking a flexibility test.
Warm muscles are less likely to be injured and will
stretch farther.
10. Flexibility 161
Rest or
Improving Flexibility
Lesson Objectives
After reading this lesson, you should be able to
1. Explain the differences among static stretching, PNF stretching, and ballistic stretching.
2. Describe the fitness target zones for static
and ballistic exercise.
3. List the guidelines for doing flexibility exercises safely.
Lesson Vocabulary
ballistic stretching (p. 163), CRAC (p. 163), PNF
stretching (p. 163), range of motion (ROM) exercise
(p. 162), static stretching (p. 162)
In this lesson, you will learn about the types of exercise
used for flexibility. In addition, you will see how to
apply the FIT formula to maintain or build flexibility.
Finally, you will learn safety guidelines and try some
stretching exercises for various muscle groups.
The Physical Activity Pyramid
As you learned in lesson 10.1, flexibility in the joints
of the body is essential for good health as well as for
efficient, effective functioning. For best results you must
perform exercises especially designed to improve flexibility, because other activities may do little to improve
it. Selecting activities and including exercises for flexibility from the Physical Activity Pyramid is the most
effective way to improve your flexibility.
Types of Flexibility Exercises
Properly selected exercises can improve your flexibility
and provide many other benefits such as helping to relieve
muscle cramps. Range of motion exercise and stretching
exercise are two main types of flexibility exercises.
Range of Motion (ROM) Exercise
The term range of motion (ROM) exercise, usually
called ROM exercise, refers to flexibility exercises that
162 Fitness for Life
for strength
for flexibility and muscular
Level 3
Active sports
and recreation
Lifestyle physical activity
are used toCorbin/E2923/Fig.
maintain the range
of motion already
G./R2 present in your joints. ROM exercises are probably the safest
type of flexibility exercise to use in a warm-up routine.
Some experts think that when you stretch your muscles
too much in the warm-up, the muscles are more likely
to be injured in the workout or sport that follows. So
ROM exercise, or moderate stretching exercises, are recommended for the warm-up. More intense stretching is
necessary to improve flexibility, but as noted in chapter 1
this type of stretching should be done in flexibility workouts when the body is warm rather than in the warm-up.
If you are as flexible as you need to be, then you
should move your body to maintain that flexibility.
Without attempting to stretch muscles any farther, it
is wise to move all of the joints through their complete
range of motion at least three times a week. Every day is
even better. For example, if your self-assessment scores are
in the good zone where you wish to be, then you should
regularly exercise to maintain that level of flexibility.
Stretching Exercise
Whereas a ROM exercise maintains your current level
of flexibility, a stretching exercise is designed to increase
your range of motion by stretching farther than your
current range of motion. The three types of stretching
exercises are static, PNF, and ballistic.
Static stretching is stretching slowly as far as you
can without pain, until you feel a sense of pulling or
tension, then holding the stretch for several seconds
(15 or more for best results). Done correctly, static
stretching increases your flexibility and can help you
relax. Static stretching exercises are safer than ballistic
stretching exercises because you are less likely to stretch
too far and injure yourself. Static stretching can be especially beneficial for people who have bad backs, previous muscle or joint injuries, or arthritis. Even athletes
should perform static stretches at the beginning and
end of their exercise programs to warm up and cool
down. By themselves, static stretches might not build
enough flexibility for an athlete, so athletes may need to
add PNF and ballistic stretches.
PNF stretching (PNF stands for proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) is a stretching technique used
by physical and occupational therapists. It has recently
become popular among athletes. PNF stretching is a
variation of static stretching that is more effective for
improving flexibility. A PNF stretch involves contracting the muscle before you stretch it so that you can
stretch it farther. Some variations of PNF require a
partner to assist you, but one form is easy for you to use
with or without a partner. It is called CRAC (contractrelax-antagonist-contract). After you contract a muscle
that you want to stretch, the muscle automatically
relaxes. Contracting the opposing muscles (antagonist) during the stretch also makes the muscle you
are stretching relax. CRAC does both of these. Some
samples of CRAC are included in the activity at the end
of this chapter.
Ballistic stretching is a series of quick but gentle
bouncing or bobbing motions that are not held for a
long time. If you are active in sports, part of your exercise program should include movements used in your
sports. If you move or stretch muscles quickly in a sport
(for example, fast throwing or sprinting), then some
of your flexibility exercises should resemble the sport’s
movement. Those who use ballistic stretching should
start with static stretching before doing the ballistic
stretches. Take care to stretch gently; stretching too
quickly or overstretching can cause injury.
Some teachers and coaches have been opposed to all
ballistic stretching because of the possibility of overstretching if it is not done carefully. However, studies
show that ballistic stretching does not cause as much
muscular soreness as static stretching. If you are an
athlete and wish to achieve a high performance level of
flexibility, you may wish to apply the principle of specificity by using a ballistic stretching exercise that closely
mimics the backswing so common to sports. You can
see an example of this type of stretch at baseball games
when the batter takes a few easy swings with a weighted
bat or does trunk twists with a bounce in each direction
before getting in the batter’s box. Another example is
the track athlete who stretches the Achilles tendon with
a few gentle bounces on the heels.
The athletes in the photo are using static stretching as they
warm up before working out.
The FIT Formula for Flexibility
To improve flexibility as a result of increasing the length
of your muscles, you must exercise in the fitness target
zone for flexibility. Flexibility has two different target
zones, one for static exercise (including PNF) and one
for ballistic exercise. The FIT formula for static stretching and PNF is located in the second column of table
10.3, and the FIT formula for ballistic stretching is
located in the third column of table 10.3.
Guidelines for Flexibility Exercises
To get the most benefit and the most enjoyment from
your exercise program, it is important to perform the
10. Flexibility 163
exercises correctly and
observe certain cautions
to avoid injury. Before
you begin stretching,
follow these guidelines
and cautions to help you
safely achieve and maintain flexibility.
Start with a general
body warm-up. Stretching is most effective in
building flexibility when
the muscles are warm.
If stretching is used in
a warm-up, it is wise to
warm up your muscles
with mild cardiovascular
exercise such as walking
or slow jogging before
Proper stretching is necessary to avoid injuries.
you begin stretching. If you
Do not stretch joints that are hypermobile,
are planning a more intense flexibility workout, it is
swollen, or infected.
best to do it after you have done other exercise that gets
Do not stretch until you feel pain. The old
the muscles warm.
“no pain, no gain” is wrong. Stretch only until
Use static stretching or PNF when beginning or
feels tight and a little uncomfortable.
for general health. If you do not exercise regularly or if
Avoid dangerous exercises. As you learned in
you do not need a high performance level of flexibility,
chapter 2, you should avoid some popular exercises
do static or PNF rather than ballistic stretching. Ballisbecause they can cause injury. Avoid rolling your head
tic stretching is only needed by those interested in high
and neck in a full circle, tipping your head backward to
level performance.
stretch your neck, backbends (unless you are a trained
Do not overstretch or ballistically stretch an
gymnast), arm circles with your palms down, and
injured muscle. If you have a recent injury to a muscle
standing toe touches or windmills.
or joint, such as a back problem, do not stretch ballisti Avoid stretching muscles that are already overcally; do only static or PNF stretches.
from poor posture.
If you do ballistic stretching, do not bounce too
far. Stretch gently to avoid injury.
Table 10.3
Fitness Target Zones for Flexibility
Static or PNF
•Stretch each muscle group daily, if possible, but at
least 3 days a week—ROM stretch before and after
•Stretch each muscle group daily, if possible, but at
least three days a week. Caution: Before doing ballistic
stretching, read about ballistic stretching on page 163
and the guidelines on pages 164 to 165.
•You must stretch the muscle beyond its normal
•You must have a partner or equipment, or you can
use your own body weight to provide an overload.
•You must stretch the muscle beyond its normal length.
•Use slow, gentle bounces or bobs, using the motion of
your body part to stretch the specific muscle. Caution:
No stretch should cause pain, especially sharp pain. Be
especially careful when doing ballistic stretching.
•Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 sec. Rest for 10 sec.
•Stretch each muscle group. Start with 1 set of 1 rep
and progress to 3 or 4 sets, 1 rep each.
•Bounce against the muscle slowly and gently 10 to 15
times. Rest for 10 sec between sets.
•Stretch each muscle group. Start with 1 set and progress to 3 sets.
164 Fitness for Life
Taking Charge: Building Intrinsic Motivation
Some people need to be rewarded by others to
stay physically active. When they are no longer
rewarded, they use it as an excuse to stop
being active. They have extrinsic motivation—
motivation given by others. People who have
intrinsic motivation are self-motivated—they
are active because they want to be. The more
intrinsic rewards you get from physical activity,
the more likely you are to remain active.
James pulled on his track shirt and stuffed
his jeans and T-shirt into his locker. “I can’t wait
for track season to be over,” he told Leon. “If the coach
makes us do sprints again today, I’m going to pretend
I sprained my ankle or something.”
“I like sprints,” Leon said as he tied the laces on his
running shoes. “You get to see what you can do when
you go all out.”
“I’m already all out—all out of here as soon as possible! If I weren’t going to get a letter jacket at the end
of track this year, I’d quit now.”
“What about next year? Are you going out for track
again?” Leon asked.
Be sure to overload when stretching. To benefit
from static or PNF stretching, you need gravity, force,
or a partner to provide sufficient overload. If you use
a partner, he or she should be extremely careful not to
cause overstretch. You must tell your partner when the
tension is tight enough.
Consider contracting then relaxing the muscle
before your stretch. Your stretch can be more effective
if you contract the muscles before you stretch them.
Consider contracting the antagonist (opposite)
muscle while you stretch. Your stretch can be more
effective if you contract the muscles opposite of the
muscles you are trying to stretch so that the stretched
muscle can relax more and stretch farther as in PNF
Start slowly. Regardless of the type of flexibility
exercise you choose for your program, start slowly. Like
muscular endurance exercises, even though some flexibility exercises seem easy, it does not take much to make
your muscles sore. Begin slowly, and gradually increase
the time and the number of repetitions and sets.
“Nah. I can barely beat you and Angelo now
in the 400. If I can’t run faster than you two,
how am I going to place in meets with other
schools? I’m slowing down. It’s time to quit
while I’m ahead.”
“Why don’t you try out for something different next year? I’m thinking about soccer,”
Leon said. “I figure all this running would help
me there. And it would motivate me to jog all
summer to keep in shape.”
“Yeah, maybe I’ll try out for the soccer team,
too. If I jogged with you this summer, maybe I’d stay
For Discussion
How does James show that he’s extrinsically motivated?
How does Leon show that he is intrinsically motivated?
What could James do to become more intrinsically motivated? Fill in the questionnaire provided by your teacher
to evaluate your own motivation to be physically active.
Consider the guidelines on page 166.
Lesson Review
1. What are the differences among static stretching,
PNF stretching, and ballistic stretching?
2. What are the fitness target zones for static and
ballistic exercise?
3. What are the guidelines for doing flexibility exercises safely?
10. Flexibility 165
Self-Management Skill
Building Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation refers to doing something because you enjoy it rather than doing
it for a reward such as a grade or an award. People with good intrinsic motivation to
be physically active are interested in it because they enjoy it. They feel confident in
their abilities and typically do not feel tense or nervous when doing activities. Extrinsic
motivation refers to doing an activity for some external reward or to avoid punishment.
Exercise is unfortunately often used as punishment. Extrinsic motivation techniques,
including punishment, can lead to lower intrinsic motivation and less enjoyment. Follow
these guidelines to help you build intrinsic motivation for physical activity:
Do a self-assessment to determine your
current intrinsic motivation level. A worksheet
that includes a self-assessment is available from
your teacher.
Use the self-assessment to plan strate-
gies for improvement. If you are low in intrinsic
motivation, the remainder of these guidelines will
be especially useful.
Choose goals that will allow success. If
you are successful, you are more likely to enjoy an
activity. Choose activities that encourage success.
Set small, attainable goals that you can accomplish. Optimal challenge, having a goal that is not
too hard nor too easy, is important.
Avoid negative self-talk. Do not tell yourself
that you are incompetent or ineffective. Instead,
use positive self-talk. Tell yourself that you will
improve with practice.
Focus on physical activity goals rather
than fitness goals. Fitness goals take time to
achieve. Keep records and focus on doing activities
that you schedule. Giving effort is the important
166 Fitness for Life
Select activities that match your abilities.
Find friends of similar abilities and interests.
Consider non-competitive activities. If
competition is not fun for you, select activities
that are noncompetitive such as lifestyle activities,
active aerobics, or active recreation activities.
Avoid situations that make you tense or in
which leaders use exercise as punishment.
Avoid situations that focus on external
rewards such as money or trophies.
Consider outdoor activities that are
refreshing and relaxing.
Activity 2
The Basic 10: Flexibility Exercise
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that
you perform 8 to 10 basic exercises to stretch all of the major muscle
groups of the body. The exercises included in this activity will allow you to stretch each
of the major muscle groups.
This flexibility program will help improve your range of motion. If you did not get
a good fitness rating on your evaluation, or if you have been inactive or have joint
injuries, choose the static and PNF exercises. If you got a good rating and exercise
regularly, then you may add some ballistic exercises to your program. If you add ballistic
exercises, be sure to begin with the static and PNF exercises before progressing to
the ballistic ones. Review the guidelines on pages 164 to 165, and then follow these
directions. Write your results on your record sheet.
Refer to table 10.3 on page 164 for the appropriate number of repetitions (reps), sets, and time.
Perform each of the exercises below and record
the date and number of sets or reps on your record sheet. Your instructor will probably specify
the number of sets and reps.
For a PNF exercise, hold a maximum isometric
contraction for 3 seconds, relax, then stretch for
15 seconds or more.
You may do a PNF exercise as a static exercise
by omitting the contraction phase and doing only
the stretch phase for 15 seconds or more.
Back-Saver Sit and Reach
(PNF or Static)
Biceps femoris
This exercise stretches
the hamstrings and
lower back muscles.
E2923/Corbin/ Fig10.3/81357/Argosy/R1
1. Assume the back-saver sit and reach
position, with the right knee bent and left leg
2. Bend your left knee slightly and push your
heel into the floor as you contract the hamstrings hard for 3 seconds. Relax.
3. Immediately grasp your ankle with both
hands and gently pull your chest toward your
knee. Hold the position for 15 seconds.
4. Repeat the exercise on the other leg.
Note: For static stretch, omit step 2.
10. Flexibility 167
Knee to Chest (PNF or Static)
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your
arms at your sides.
2. Lift your hips until there is no bend at the hip
joint. Squeeze the buttocks muscles hard for 3
seconds. Relax by lowering your hips to the floor.
Lower back
3. Immediately place your hands under your knees
and gently pull your knees to your chest. Hold
the position for 15 seconds or more.
This exercise
stretches the
lower back and
gluteal muscles.
This exercise stretches
the muscles of the lower
back and hip.
Lower back
mu scles
E2923/Corbin/ Fig10.5/80304/Argosy/R
168 Fitness for Life
Note: For a static stretch, omit step 2.
Spine Twist (Static)
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent
(hook-lying position), arms extended at shoulder
2. Cross your left leg over your right.
3. Keep your shoulders and arms on the floor
as you rotate your lower body to the left, touching your right knee to the floor. Stretch and hold
the position for 15 seconds or more.
4. At the end of the stretch, reverse the position of your legs (cross your right over your left),
then rotate to the right and hold the position.
Sitting Stretch (PNF or Static)
This exercise stretches
the muscles of the inside
of the thighs.
1. Sit with the soles of your feet together, your
elbows or hands resting on your knees.
2. Contract the muscles on the inside of your
thighs, pulling up as you resist with your arms
pushing down. Hold the position for 3 seconds.
Relax your legs.
3. Immediately lean your trunk forward and
push down on your knees with your arms to
stretch the thighs. Hold the position for 15 seconds or more.
Note: For a static stretch, omit step 2.
Zipper (PNF or Static)
1. Stand or sit. Lift your right arm over your right
shoulder and reach down the spine.
2. With your left hand, press down on your right
elbow. Resist the pressure by trying to raise that
elbow, contracting the opposing muscles. Hold
the position for 3 seconds. Relax.
3. Immediately stretch by reaching down your spine
with your right arm, as your left arm assists by
pressing on your elbow. Hold the position for 15
seconds or more.
4. Repeat the exercise with your other arm.
Note: For a static stretch, omit step 2.
This exercise stretches the triceps and latissimus muscles.
E2923/Corbin/ Fig10.7/80306/Argosy/R2
10. Flexibility 169
Arm Pretzel (Static or Ballistic)
1. Stand or sit. Cross your right arm over your
left. Turn your right palm toward the back of your
left hand and point your thumb down.
2. Grasp your right thumb with your left hand
and pull down gently. Stretch and hold the position for 15 seconds or more.
3. Reverse arm positions and stretch your left
This E2923/Corbin/
exercise stretches
shoulder rotator muscles.
Hip Stretch (Static or Ballistic)
1. Take a long step forward on your right foot
and kneel on your left knee. The right knee
should be directly over your ankle and bent at a
right angle.
2. You should feel a stretch across the front
of the left hip joint and in the front of the thigh
3. Place your hands on your right knee for
balance. Stretch by shifting the weight forward
as you tilt your pelvis and trunk backward
slightly. Keep your back knee in the same spot
to stretch the hip and thigh muscles. Hold the
position for 15 seconds or more.
E2923/Corbin/ Fig10.9/80308/Argosy/R2
4. Repeat the exercise with your other leg.
Note: For a ballistic stretch, do a gentle
bouncing motion forward as you tilt the pelvis
170 Fitness for Life
This exercise stretches the muscles on the front of the thigh
(quadriceps) and the muscles on the front of the hip.
Arm Stretch (Static)
1. Sit or stand and cross your right arm over
your left with the palms facing. Lace your fingers
2. Raise your arms overhead to your ears.
Straighten your elbows, stretching up and back.
Hold the position 15 seconds or more.
This exercise stretches the muscles
of E2923/Corbin/
the shoulders,
arms, and chest.
Chest Stretch
(PNF, Static, or Ballistic)
1. Stand in a forward stride position in a doorway.
Raise your arms slightly above shoulder level.
Place your hands on either side of the doorway.
2. Lean your body into the doorway. Resist by contracting your arm and chest muscles. Hold the
position for 3 seconds. Relax.
3. Immediately lean further forward, letting your
body weight stretch the muscles. Hold the position for 15 seconds or more.
4. For a ballistic stretch, gently bounce your body
Note: For a static stretch, omit steps 2 and 4.
This exercise stretches the chest and
shoulder muscles.
E2923/Corbin/ Fig10.11/80310/Argosy/R2
10. Flexibility 171
Calf Stretch (Static or Ballistic)
E2923/Corbin/ Fig10.12/80311/Argosy
1. Step forward with your right leg in a lunge position. Keep both feet pointed straight ahead and
your front knee directly over the front foot. Place
your hands on your right leg for balance.
2. Keep the left leg straight and the heel on the
floor. Adjust the length of your lunge until you
feel a good stretch in the left calf and Achilles
tendon. Hold the position for 15 seconds or
3. Repeat the exercise with your other leg.
Note: For a ballistic stretch, gently bounce heel
toward floor.
This exercise stretches the calf muscles and the
Achilles tendon.
172 Fitness for Life
Chapter Review
Reviewing Concepts and Vocabulary
Number your paper from 1 to 7. Next to each number, write the word (or
words) that correctly completes the sentence.
1. ________ in the body’s joints is essential for good health, wellness, and efficient, effective functioning.
2. The amount of movement you can make at a joint is called your ________.
3. Exercises that involve moving beyond your range of motion are ________.
4. Doing ________ will help you maintain movement ability in your joints.
5. A ________ involves contracting, then relaxing the muscle before you stretch
6. ________ is stretching slowly as far as you can without pain, then holding the
stretch for several seconds.
7. Gentle bouncing motions are part of ________.
Number your paper from 8 to 12. Next to each number, choose the letter of
the best answer.
Column I
Keep a record of your daily participation in flexibility exercises for one
week. Record the minutes of these
exercises each day. How might you
adjust your physical activity to better
maintain or improve your flexibility
level? What short-term goals might
you have for performing specific flexibility exercises each day? Make a
written plan for the following week,
incorporating changes that might
help you reach your goals. Use the
worksheets provided by your teacher.
Column II
a. pain in the front of the shins
b. place where bones come together
c. looseness of the joints
d. the ability to extend the knee, elbow, thumb, or wrist joint past a straight line
e. disease in which joints are inflamed
Number your paper from 13 to 15. On your paper, write a short answer for
each statement or question.
13. Why do you have to be especially careful when a partner helps you stretch?
14. Why should you do some mild cardiovascular exercise before stretching?
15. What are the two main kinds of exercise that increase flexibility?
Thinking Critically
Write a paragraph to answer the following question.
During the first two weeks of volleyball practice, three players suffered
shoulder muscle tears and two players experienced extreme back pain. The
coach thinks the injuries may be because of a lack of flexibility. Why do you
think flexibility may be a factor, and what advice would you give the coach?
10. Flexibility 173
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