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 A Standard Conditioning Program For All Fall Sports  
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Keeping Fit by . View all columns in series


Major Muscle Groups Recommended
Free Weight Exercises
Recommended
Machine Exercises

Quadriceps (front thigh) Squat Leg Extension
Hamstrings (rear thigh) Squat Leg Curl
Hip Adductors (inner thigh) --- Hip Adduction
Hip Abductors (outer thigh) --- Hip Abduction
Pectoralis Major (chest) Bench Press Chest Cross
Latissimus Dorsi (upper back) Pulldown Super Pullover
Deltoids (shoulders) Shoulder Press Lateral Raise
Biceps (front arm) Biceps Curl Biceps Flexion
Triceps (rear arm) Triceps Pressdown Triceps Extension
Erector Spinae (lower back) Trunk Extension Lower Back Extension
Rectus Abdominis (abdominals) Trunk Curl Abdominal Curl
Neck Extensors (rear neck) --- Neck Extension
Neck Flexors (front neck) --- Neck Flexion

Many people mistakenly believe that strength training inevitably results in larger muscles and more bodyweight. This is not necessarily true. Strength training produces stronger muscles in all cases, but gains in muscle size and bodyweight are very dependent upon personal genetic factors. For example, most football players have mesomorphic physiques that respond to strength exercise with relatively large changes in muscle size and body weight. On the other hand, most cross-country runners have ectomorphic physiques that respond to strength exercise with relatively small changes in muscle size and body weight. Furthermore, the heavy weightload - low repetition training followed by football players maximizes muscle strength and size, whereas the lower weightload - higher repetition training performed by cross-country runners emphasizes muscle endurance without additional bodyweight.

The main point is that all fall sports participants can benefit from a standard program of strength exercise, and that the results will be specific to each type of athlete. A stronger athlete in any sport is a better athlete, and more importantly, a more injury-resistant athlete. If your fall athletes are not presently performing basic strength exercises, like those presented in the table, you can greatly enhance their sport safety and success by starting a sensible strength training program. Thirty minutes a day, twice a week, is all the time and energy requirements necessary for some significant physical benefits.

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 About The Author
Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D., is fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, MA. He is strength training consultant for numerous national organizations, such as the American Council on Exercise, the......moreWayne Westcott PhD
 
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