Evaluating & Measuring Fitness

Evaluating & Measuring Fitness

Evaluating & Measuring Fitness
Determining fitness levels is important in order to see where you are and where you can go with improving your fitness. Checking body fat, muscular endurance, cardio fitness and flexibility are just a few ways to evaluate your physical fitness.

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    A , Fitness, answered
    Anyone interested in increasing performance or burning calories for weight loss. As long as the form is correct and the participant can keep up, it is a great way to burn calories and get faster in most sports. Power training is demanding on all joints and one should rest enough and recover before repeating.  Only a certified trainer would help you follow a strategy program with a structured routine. Plyometric or power training is not the best choice for growing children or older people. It puts a lot of stress on the knees and hips. When trainining for power, timing and body weight matter so good mechanics must be used to perform in alignment without any compensations. NASM programs provide great sequences of exercises to follow in an order so that you are improving without getting injured. Sometimes it takes time and dedication to follow a program which might not work for everybody, but you can find your program through trial and error or hire a trainer to develop one for you based on an assessment. Remember that power or plyometrics should not be used everyday. If you do, make sure you are not using the same exercises or muscles.
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    The circumference of your waist may trump body-mass index (BMI) or body weight to gauge your risk for developing diabetes, especially if you’re a woman. According to a study published by PloS Medicine, non-obese people with large waists are at a higher risk for the disease. A large waist is 35 inches or more in a woman, for men, 40. Get out the tape measure, then get to the gym.
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    A Fitness, answered on behalf of
    Yes, but what is happening to you is every bodybuilder’s dream. If your statistics are correct, you’ve gained over 10LBS (estimating your weight at over 150 lbs.) of lean body mass (LBM) while reducing more than 3% body fat (lost 4.5LBS body fat). With this much muscle gain during body fat loss, it appears you may be fairly new to resistance training and must be taking your supplements (e.g. vitamins, pre/post training formulas). Muscle is great to add because it helps you burn more fat, but at some point your LBM gains should dramatically slow down while your fat continues to drop. At 28% body fat you have plenty to lose (if you want to) and you probably are happy with the amount of muscle you have acquired. You can therefore reduce your calorie intake by at least 500 calories daily and body fat should start dropping faster while muscle gains slow down. If your weight plateaus, you may continue to drop calories in order to restart the process or better yet, increase daily activities and/or cardio time.
    Stay with this formula until you hit your goal, and you will succeed! And always remember, the lighter you are, the fewer calories your body burns during all activities. To make sure you stay on goal, use the Free Sharecare Fitness Application. You can set your goals and create the ideal program including individualized menus, proper calorie and protein requirements, meal timing, exercises that you choose to perform, ideal supplement recommendation and coaching/feedback all the way till you reach your goal. Click here for access: http://www.sharecare.com/home/coach.
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    A Sports Medicine, answered on behalf of
    A comprehensive gait analysis is a functional and biomechanical evaluation for athletes who are looking to improve their running performance or for athletes with lower-body (such as foot, ankle, or knee) musculoskeletal injuries.

    The analysis is performed on a state-of-the-art treadmill equipped with force sensors and cameras that provide meaningful biomechanical data and real-time biofeedback. Each athlete receives a personalized performance plan, including specific stretching and strengthening exercises, shoe/orthotic recommendations, and corrective exercise techniques.
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    The Shark Skill test measures agility and neuromuscular control in the lower extremities. Start by making a grid of squares three rows by three columns. You can use tape to mark this area on the ground, large enough for your foot to fit inside each square. Number each square cross ways 1, 2, 3, then 4, 5, 6, then 7, 8, 9, and then stand in square number five. Create a designated pattern, such as hopping to each number in order but going back to five in between each. Time yourself performing the pattern, hopping on one foot, with your hands on your hips. Repeat on the other foot. Add 0.10 seconds for each of the following: other leg touches the ground, hands fall off hips, foot goes in wrong square, foot does not come back to center square. Reassess every couple weeks/months to measure improvements.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered

    Wondering just how strong your abdominal muscles are? Lie on the floor in standard push-up position with your toes on the ground, but with your elbows on the ground instead of your hands (the classic "plank" position). Maintain a straight line through your body with no arch in your back. Keep your head down and in line with your back. Hold that position for as long as you can.
    If you lasted less than 15 seconds: The core muscles in your abdominals and lower back are on the weak side, meaning you're more vulnerable to suffering from acute or chronic lower-back pain.
    If you lasted 15 - 45 seconds: You've got a nice foundation of strength, which will help protect your back, but there's still room for improvement.
    If you lasted more than 45 seconds: Wow, can I see your abs?

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    The most common method for testing upper body strength is to estimate one-rep maximum on the bench press.

    • For safety purposes, this test always requires a spotter. Additionally, good form should be utilized throughout the test: feet straight ahead, low back neutral, hips remain in contact with the bench.
    • Start out by doing 8-10 repetitions with a light weight that can easily be performed independently.
    • Rest for one minute and then add 10-20 pounds and lift three to five times.
    • Rest for two minutes and then add 10-20 pounds more and lift again for 3-5 repetitions. Continue this step until you reach a weight that you cannot lift five times with proper form.
    • Use a “one-rep max estimation chart” to calculate your 1 RM, based on the amount of weight and number of times lifted.
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    A , Athletic Training, answered
    The proper progression in a good strength training program should be stabilization first. Being able to have great balance will reduce your chance of injury in the long run. The second part to focus on should be your strength. This is where you will build stronger muscles, and improve stabilization. The last phase to worry about is your power phase, This is where you will learn how to recruit more muscle fibers to perform explosive movements such as ball throws or high jumps. 
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    The most common method for testing lower body strength is to estimate the one-rep maximum (1RM) on the leg press.
    • Good form should be utilized throughout the test: feet shoulder-width and pointing forward, knees in line with toes (when legs are bent), and low back in a neutral position.
    • Start out by doing 8-10 repetitions with a light weight that can easily be performed independently.
    • Rest for one minute and then add 30-40 pounds and lift three to five times.
    • Rest for two minutes and then add 30-40 pounds more and lift again for 3-5 repetitions. Continue this step until you reach a weight that you cannot lift five times with proper form.
    • Use a “one-rep max estimation chart” to calculate your 1 RM, based on the amount of weight and number of times lifted.
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    Interval training is the most effective way to improve your running speed. Where as long running sessions at a steady pace primarily develop your slow twitch muscle fibers, it takes short bursts to emphasize your fast twitch muscle fibers. These fast twitch muscle fibers are primarily responsible for speed and power and are an important component to train if you are looking to improve your running speed. Your local running track can serve as a great tool for interval training. A sample workout includes doing sprints on the straightaways of the track while jogging/walking around the curves to recover. The number of laps performed should be based on your fitness level. 

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