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1. What is Body Conditioning?

Body conditioning is essentially a form of exercise that targets the whole body. It focuses on developing strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility. Body conditioning can involve almost any exercise; therefore, it is important that you design a specific and balanced exercise routine that caters to your overall goal.

It is important to assess four factors when talking about body conditioning:

  1. Cardiovascular Fitness: Remember the heart is a muscle too. Therefore, total body conditioning must include cardiovascular training.
  2. Muscular Strength: The maximal amount of force a muscle or muscle group can exert during a muscular contraction. (Think power – useful for short bouts; i.e.: power lifters)
  3. Muscular Endurance: The ability of a muscle or muscle groups to apply force against a resistance over a given duration of time. (Think distance/sustainability; ie: Lance Armstrong)
  4. Flexibility/Mobility: The ability of a joint to move through its full range of motion (ROM). (Decreased mobility typically results in an increased chance of injury)

In order to successfully condition the body, one must decide which of the four factors they need to work on. It is absolutely okay to want/need to work on more than one factor at a time. This is why cross training (or using multiple modes of exercise) is imperative. Additionally, it is absolutely essential one remembers there is no set blueprint (or “cookie cutter” approach) for body conditioning. The same cardiovascular or strength workout will not yield the same results for every individual. This is why it is important to critically evaluate “canned” programs such as P90x or Insanity to determine if the workout pace, mode, and intensity are right for you and your goals.


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Ch.1 - Body Conditioning by UGA PEDB Program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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