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Muscle Conditioning

Muscles can be improved so that they are able to do either or both of the following:

1. Move against greater weights or forces. If a muscle can move a greater force it is said to have greater strength.

2. Move for a longer period of time before tiring. If a muscle can work for longer it is said to have greater endurance, which is the same as greater muscle tone.

This type of exercise involves carrying repetitions of the same exercise in a sequence. Each exercise aims to work a particular muscle or group of muscles in a way that is safe (ie. does not strain or tear the muscle), but which provides a resistance that challenges that muscle.

There are 3 variables in this type of exercise:

a/ The muscle or combination of muscles being worked

b/ The amount of force being pitched against the muscle

c/ The number of repetitions

A typical sequence will involve exercising the following groups of muscles one after the other:

*Legs

*Shoulders

*Biceps

*Triceps

*Chest

*Back

*Abdominals

*Buttocks & Hips

*Ideally try to isolate the muscles you wish to develop...use those muscles as much as possible and other muscles as little as possible.

*Have a definite start and finish to each repetition....repetitions should not flow into each other; and there should not be a break between them either.

*Bouncing or rapid movements will reduce the muscle toning effect.

*Never do toning exercises unless the body is first warmed up.

The number of exercises included in this section will depend upon what you are trying to achieve. If the aim is to achieve a general all round conditioning of main muscle groups, you may choose to incorporate around 6 different exercises, each dealing with different muscles. If the aim is more targeted (eg. For a sports person wishing to develop specific muscles used in their sport), the number of exercises will be determined by the specific muscles which are being targeted. A set of 4 -5 exercises per muscle group may be performed. Exercises may include push ups, back arches and abdominal work. The following program will assist in providing a 5 - 10 minute muscle conditioning stage for your class.

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