Tuesday, November 30, 2010


There are many ways that a student can improve and maintain outside of physical education class. On Friday, November 19th I created a post entitled "How can I prepare for the Trunk Lift Assessment?" In this post there are a few exercises that can be done a few times a week at home to improve and maintain strength and flexibility. However, I have decided to add some more exercises that can be performed at home, or anywhere for that matter. These exercises do not require any special equipment.

Mountain Climbers: Assume a pushup position with your arms completely straight. To start, lift your right foot off the floor and slowly raise your knee as close to your chest as you can. Touch the floor with your right foot and return to starting position. Repeat with your left leg and repeat for 30- 45 seconds. During the exercise your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles, while bracing your core. Don't change your lower-back posture during the movement phase of the exercise.

Lying Glute Stretch: Lie faceup on the floor with your knees and hips bent. Cross your left leg over your right so that your left ankle sits across your right thigh. Grab your left knee with both hands and pull it toward your chest until you feel a comfortable stretch in your glutes and hamstrings. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat twice.

Cobra Stretch: Get down on your hands and knees, then stretch your legs outward and lower your hips so that they lie flat on the mat. Separate your legs so that each foot touches each corner of the mat or is pointed toward each corner. Keep your hips and legs flat on the mat. Make sure that your hands are aligned to the width of your shoulders. You should begin to feel pressure in your lower back. Hold your head back so that you are looking up at the ceiling. Make sure that your head isn't pulled back too far. You don't want to feel any pressure in the back of your neck. Just hold your head back enough to glance up at the ceiling. Now take a deep breath and inhale. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Relax your body, then repeat again for another 30 seconds.


To improve our scores and maintain increased flexibility, we will be doing a variety of stretches and exercises on a daily basis. All of the stretches that are performed before daily activities are designed to work the muscle groups that will be activated that day. Majority of the stretches will target the legs, and core muscles. All of our exercises will work to improve muscle strength and endurance, such as body weight squats, lunges, crunches and planks. One of the units that we will work on in class is a dynamic fitness unit which will last for nearly 3 weeks. The unit will focus on a variety of exercises that can be done in class, at home or any fitness center.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


For privacy reasons, students names will not be posted. Each individual student has received a copy of their scores. These scores should be kept in a safe place, so the student can revisit them to compare future results. The instructor will also record the scores to keep track of throughout the year.

As a class, the students performed very well. There were 24 students who performed the test. The average score was 10.45 Inches, which is passing. The standard deviation was 1.67, which determines that all of the students were close to the average mark. The scores ranged from 6.5 Inches to the Maximum of 12 Inches. Of the 24 students, 10 of them are boys, 14 are girls. 9 out of the 10 boys received a score of 9 Inches or higher. 12 out of 14 Girls received a score of 9 or higher. These results show that gender doesn't play a major role in the outcome of this test.


The trunk lift test is part of the Fitnessgram, which has a variety of fitness tests used in schools all over the country. Many states, such as New York and Texas, have made Fitnessgarm testing a requirement in their schools. All of the tests have shown to accurately gauge students fitness levels in a safe and effective manner. Instructors are able to record the tests results and use them in the future to measure for improvement on future tests, while also giving students an idea of their overall fitness level. As part of all of the Fitnessgram tests, instructors are able to help students prepare for the test, and improve on low scores, while maintaining or improving passing scores. 


In order to make sure the test is run accurately and reliably, the instructor will only allow a small number of students to perform the test at one time. A demonstration and explanation of the test will be given to ensure that students understand how and why they should perform the test. Each student will have a marker to make sure they keep their eyes down and are not looking up causing cervical movement. While the test is being performed the instructor will be looking for proper form and correct any students who are not performing the test properly. This will allow for 100% accuracy during the test. 

Friday, November 19, 2010


The next trunk lift assessment will be performed on Monday, November 15, 2010. The test will take place in the gymnasium. Along with the trunk lift, we will also perform the sit and reach test.


To prepare for the assessment, we will be doing a dynamic fitness unit in class. The unit is designed to build muscle strength and endurance, as well as improve flexibility. Students can also practice some of the exercises performed in class, to prepare themselves for the test. Majority of the muscles used for the test are located in the back, abdomen and hamstrings. Some of the exercises that will target these regions are listed below.

Prone Cobra: Lie face down on the floor with legs straight and arms next to sides, palms down. Contract your glutes and the muscles in the lower back and raise your head, chest, arms, and legs off the floor. Simultaneously rotate your arms so that your thumbs are pointed toward the ceiling. Your hips should be the only parts of your body touching the floor. Hold for 60 seconds. If you can't hold for 60 seconds, hold for 5 to 15 seconds, rest for 5 seconds and repeat as many times as possible for 60 seconds.

Back Extensions: Position yourself in the back extension station and hook your feet under the leg anchors. Keeping your back naturally arched, lower your upper body as far as you comfortably can. Squeeze your glutes and raise your torso until it is inline with your lower body. Pause, then slowly lower your torso back to starting position. Arms can be kept behind the head, or crossed over the chest.

Plank: Start in pushup position, but bend your elbows and rest your weight on forearms, instead of on hands. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were going to get punched in the stomach. Hold the position from 30 seconds to 2:00 minutes.