Skype in PE
Below are some pics from the Skype Lesson that Jon Rozzi and assistant and HPE major Seth Allison did in the winter and spring classes. The pics are from the first group of students Jon worked with. Jon began the session with an introduction explaining the benefits of learning Brazilian Jujitsu, and explained the importance of fitness on ones quality of life. He also gave some nutritional tips, explaining the importance of taking care of the body. He then proceeded to put the students through a quick warm up and then along with assistant Seth began demonstrating techniques on how to defend themselves against being put in a head lock. In the lower left hand corner you can see the class on our wrestling mat in the gymnasium practicing the skills being taught.
The Skype experience was an excellent way to bring these guys into the classroom to expose them to something they would more than likely never have done on their own.
Looks like Jon sees something a little unfamiliar to the Jujitsu world. Seth seems to be reflecting on the situation. These guys did an outstanding job of advocating their sport and sending a positive message to the students.
For those interested in doing a Skype Lesson the post listed as The article we have been looking for, Assessment of Learning via Skype is on the home page and explains the possibilities that could occur using Skype and the direction I am looking to send the MISHN.
If you scroll down there is a video of elementary students that sums it up titled Skype Jobs – Students Begging For More Work. I teach Junior High and High School age students. Our Skypes can be anything related to Health and fitness.
PLYOMETRICS FOR FITNESS
By Jill Coleman
When was the last time you saw someone in the gym doing squat jumps? How about bench jumps? Or even an old school squat thrust? I am going to guess and say probably not that often, if ever. Plyometric training is often overlooked in traditional weight- training protocols, with exercisers complaining more and more of bad knees, arthritis in hips and back pain. As a result, many have shyed away from using these powerful results-inducers for fear of hurting themselves, looking silly or simply knowing where to start. True, incorporating plyometrics is an advanced training tool, leaving many average gym-goers thinking it’s not for them, but the truth is that with only a few exceptions, almost everyone can attempt some type of plyometric activity. Impact training has been shown to undeniably increase bone density, performance, strength, stability, coordination and most importantly, body composition.
What happens during jumping?
A plyometric movement is one in which the body uses muscle contractive forces to overcome gravity. The feet leave the ground at the same time, such as in a squat jump, and then land together as well. A jumping squat is superior to a regular squat for building power, coordination and stability. For strength, however, a regular barbell squat may do just fine since you able to pile on the plates, while plyometric jumps use very little weight, if any. When someone performs a squat jump correctly, they recruit as much muscle tissue as possible (in the calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and low back) during the eccentric (or downward) phase, stretching these muscles slightly. During the concentric (or jumping) phase, all of this recruited muscle tissue contracts simultaneously for one maximal exertion, leading to a high vertical jump. The jumper lands softly with a bend in the knees as the feet touch down together.
When an individual begins to exercise, the body first recruits slow-twitch (aerobic) muscle fibers (Type 1 muscle fibers). However, anyone who has performed multiple squat jumps in succession knows that plyometric exercises are hardly aerobic; in fact, they are much more anaerobic, where the muscles burn, breathlessness is achieved, and eventual muscle failure is reached. Thus, the body begins to recruits more and more Type 2 muscle fibers or fast-twitch fibers. Fast-twitch fibers are used to generate power and are seen commonly in sprinters, high jumpers, tennis pros, basketball players and others whose activities require powerful, short bursts of energy and impact. Jogging, steady-state aerobics, swimming and similar low-impact activities use almost exclusively slow-twitch fibers and thus rarely achieve development of secondary functional parameters like power, speed, agility and coordination.
Jump for Function
A large percentage of exercisers will not use plyometric training because either they are scared to hurt themselves, or more likely because they are unsure of what plyometrics really do for the body, or simply think of them as a conditioning tool for elite athletes.As stated above, plyometrics improve functional parameters like power, coordination and stability. The importance of developing these functional attributes, however, is not limited to athletic competition. In fact, maintenance of excellent stability, power and coordination becomes even more important as we age. With the natural neuromuscular slow-down that occurs with aging, even older adults (whose bone density test is good enough as per their doctor’s go-ahead) can use these exercises to increase functional fitness in order to prevent falls, hip breaks and other injuries. Furthermore, as we age, development of new bone slows and risk for osteoporosis increases. Bone loss can be prevented not only through performing traditional weight-training, but even more so with plyometrics. In a study published in the journal Bone in March 2007, Vainionpaa et al. evaluated how jumping exercise impacted bone geometry in the lower extremity. Thirty- nine women were placed in the “exercise group,” where the protocol included three- times-per-week supervised impact (jumping) activities and a fourth day of home exercise. The control group consisted of 41 women doing their normal amount of activity. At the end of the 12-month study, the researchers concluded that the exercise group showed significantly higher gain in bone circumference mid-femur (thigh bone). Furthermore, bone circumference growth was positively correlated with bone strength for these individuals, where the highest levels of impact created the largest changes. Average number of impacts and magnitude of impact forces were the greatest predictors in changes to bone geometry in the femur. Thus, the incorporation of high-impact activity into a workout regimen is much more beneficial for bone growth than not. For older adults who may be intimidated to try plyometrics, regressions are recommended to alleviate fears or limit potential injury. Squat jumps can be regressed to a simple hop for this population, yet the exerciser is still generating enough force and impact to induce bone growth and prime the neuromuscular system to become more reactive in the event of a fall.
Jump for Body Composition Changes
There are experts everywhere that praise weight-training and even plyometric training for its positive impact on bone growth and functionality. But what about using jumping to improve body composition? Is there really a difference in squatting versus doing squat jumps to impact fat loss? The answer is yes and the mechanism has to do with hormones. During any type of exercise, certain hormones are released, like cortisol and adrenaline (catecholamine). These hormones facilitate sugar release into the blood to allow for fuel for activity. However, when exercising at higher intensities, like 85% of heart rate max or to the point of muscle failure, studies shows that naturally anabolic hormones like human growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone are also released into the blood stream. These hormones along with cortisol and adrenaline have been shown to create a large fat burning effect in the body. Luckily, one way to significantly increase blood levels of these hormones is to jump. One study published in the Japanese Journal of Physiology in January 1996 attempted to quantify the hormonal responses during high-impact activity. The study was conducted with 16 Italian professional soccer players. The researchers asked the participants to complete 60-seconds of consecutive vertical jumps to consequently induce complete muscle fatigue. The study recorded blood serum levels of hormones like HGH, testosterone, cortisol and others immediately following the 60-
second supramaximal effort. They found significant increases in amounts of cortisol and testosterone released, among others. There was an increase in HGH also, but not to a significant degree. Additionally, the most pronounced testosterone release was found in the subjects with the highest vertical jumps and the largest power output. Since increasing testosterone levels in the blood stream has been shown to prevent loss of fat- free mass (like muscle) and prevent a gain in fat mass as we age, it is beneficial to perform exercises that create this effect, like jumping. It is also beneficial to do jumping activities in a way that consequently induces muscle failure for even more pronounced results. Preservation of muscle mass as we age will also prevent a sluggish metabolism since muscle tissue requires a higher degree of caloric burning for maintenance.
Who Can Jump
Attempting a jump can be challenging, but now that you know how effective it can be, practice at home first to help overcome the fear of performing plyometrics in the gym. Once you feel comfortable, begin incorporating them into your traditional leg routines at the gym. For optimal results, a supramaximal effort of jumping in succession to the point of muscular burning (as opposed to doing 1 jump and then resting for several seconds) leads to an even greater release of testosterone and other muscle-building/fat-burning hormones since lactic acid accumulation signals a release of these hormones. Additionally, feel assured that if you have good joint health already, jumping will only make joints stronger and prime the neuromuscular system even more for improved coordination, stability and balance. If you are an athlete, try everything from switch jumps to bench jumps, and even add weight to jumps. The more fit you are, the more advanced you can make the exercises, and the greater the gains will be.
For older adults or those with achy joints, begin slowly. Do not start on switch jumps or bench jumps, but instead attempt a small hop where the feet are only an inch or two from the floor. Safety should of course be a top priority, and this regression is much less risky for ankle rolls or knee pain. Even a small jump will induce positive neuromuscular and bone-strengthening effects.
Obese individuals should not necessarily be jumping right away. When someone jumps, the force of the landing can be up to 4 times their body weight. If someone is already overweight or obese, it can cause even more stress on the joints and can be dangerous. Obese individuals already have large forces being placed on the joints of their lower extremity through daily activities such as walking down stairs. In fact, many are not usually at risk for osteoporosis, but instead suffer more from osteoarthritis, a joint degeneration that causes pain in the hips, knees and ankles. Incorporate regular weight- training paired with low-impact, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), such as on a recumbent bike, to help with weight loss initially. Once a good amount of weight is lost and as long as joint health is not an issue, begin slowly incorporating higher impact exercises into your routine, such as high knees or short track sprints. Progress to jumping and sprint intervals and watch as the fat melts away even quicker.
Jump Start Your Plyometric Training
Impact activities should be included in any regular exerciser’s training regimen, regardless of goal. For fat loss, hormonal effects of jumping allow the body to become a more efficient fat burner. For older adults, impact movements create an acute sense of neuromuscular control and awareness to prevent injuries like falls and twisted ankles, not to mention prevent osteoporosis and loss of fat-free mass. Incorporate plyometrics to enhance functional parameters like power, agility, balance and coordination, all of which are of utmost importance for performance and optimal joint health. Remember to steer clear of plyometrics if you are obese until a good amount of weight is lost or else joint health can become compromised. All in all, impact activities are beneficial for almost everyone so stop shying away from them and instead start challenging yourself in a different, more impactful way and watch as your body strengthens, grows, and tightens.