Background and Literature review
The topic that the researcher has chosen was, Fitness for flexibility training within sit and reach test and the cooper test. The researcher had interest in fitness and flexibility. These concepts related to the researchers life in a way of them being an athlete throughout their life. The researcher was a cheerleader and runner throughout middle school and high school and cheerleading in their first two years of college. Flexibility goes a long way with any sport and the researcher found an article that helps explain that in order to have a great performance in any sport you need to have the flexibility in your muscle to perform well. The cooper runs test actually caught the researchers attention when choosing the article. The researcher thought it was amazing how it works. Knowing about that now the researcher wished she knew about it back when the researcher ran Cross-country. The article explained what the test was and how they can calculate your VO2 max. The sit and reach test also goes along with flexibility but leaning more towards the flexibility in the participant’s hamstrings.
In the article written by Dominique Gummelt, she talked about the importance of flexibility training and how it could improve their performance. Everybody who worked out and has gone to the gym focused more on muscle strength, cardiovascular endurance, body composition, and muscular endurance; but what about flexibility? Flexibility, is the ability to move a joint through its complete range of motion, is arguably the most neglected component of fitness among the general population (Gummelt, 2015). Gummelt states that there are three components that effect flexibility muscle elasticity and length, joint structure and nervous system. All of those could help improve regular flexibility training. When the participant was working out their muscles he or she doesn’t want them to be tight and not flexible to be able to complete the workout that they are preceding to do.
Having flexibility training in their workout had helped increase their joint mobility, better posture, decrease back pain and lower their risk of injury. With flexibility training within sports had helped aerobic fitness training, muscular strength and endurance sport training as well. Having a complete free range of motion would be the most important in preventing injuries. Everyday that he or she would wake up they are doing some sort of flexibility. Gummelt had examples of, lifting groceries, vacuuming, and getting up out of bed. With flexibility training it had decreased soreness and stiffness within their body especially with athletes who train in higher intensities.
The article had also gone into how flexibility can achieve peak performance within the sport they took part in. Using the length of the muscle to have highest power and strength in their muscles. When the muscles in their body are to tight it will not be able to provide the necessary exploding movement. Flexibility enhanced movement and mobility for athletes. When flexibility should just be a routine in the participant’s daily workout. That would be after working out their muscles of the body to be warmed up and to be allowed the stretching of the body to flow.
In the article written by Elizabeth Quinn, explained what the Cooper test was. Dr. Ken Cooper developed the Cooper test in 1968 as a way to measure aerobic fitness to provide VO2 max for the military. This test was still used in today’s society to determine aerobic fitness. He had found that there was a correlation between the distance someone can run or walk in twelve minutes and their VO2 max. In VO2 max, it measured the efficiency with which someone can use the oxygen while exercising. It tested the used for coaches and trainers to determine their cardiovascular fitness and how they could progress over time. The test also always had the athlete to compare cardiovascular endurance with the athlete’s age and gender.
How the test was done was, that a person was required to run as far as they could in a twelve-minute time period. The object of the test was to measure the maximum distance covered by the individual during the twelve-minute period. Quinn said in the article that there are six things the participant needed to do before participating in the test. Those included: safety first, having a physicians clearance followed by equipment, location, warm up, run or walk, and record the participants distance. Then once they had that and performed the test it had explained how they could calculate twelve minute run test. In miles, VO2max = (35.97 x miles) “ 11.29. In kilograms: VO2max = (22.351 x kilometer) “ 11.288. This test would help those with wanting to run better and have a better VO2 max (Quinn, 2015).
In the article it talked about how the sit and reach test was used to measure hamstring and low back flexibility. Jackson and baker had conducted a study that examined the relations between the sit and reach test and criterion measures of hamstring and low back flexibility in girl aged 13- 15 years old. They have found that validity coefficients of r = 0.64 between sit and reach test and criterion measures for hamstring flexibility, and r= 0.28 compared to low back flexibility. That had yielded that moderate validity for hamstring flexibility and poor validity for lower back flexibility. The girls who had performed higher had a higher degree of trunk and hip flexibility than those with lower scores.
In another study done there were 102 female university students aged 20 “ 24 year old total. The criteria were for inclusion was no musculoskeletal limitation and low back pain that would limit their performance in the sit and reach test. Using ACSM manual performed the test and the standard sit and reach box was placed on the floor. The participant sat on the floor with shoes on and had one leg fully extended and the bottom on the foot was flat against the end of the box. She then extended her arm forward placing one on top of the other. She then had pushed her arms forward where the measuring scale was and as far as possible as she could without bending the knee of the extended leg (Baltaci, Un, Tunay, Besler, Gerceker, 2003).
The researcher had conducted this research due to the fact that being an athlete throughout her life she knew the importance of flexibility and the importance of running within everyday life. When one did a sit and reach test to see where they had the flexibility and how they could have trained to allow their body to become more flexible? When the researcher did a pre and post- test on the sit and reach test she knew that her participants needed to get increasing number which meant they would need to be more flexible. Within the test with the cooper test the researcher also needed her participants to get better times. With that she knew that they had to keep practicing the test. The participants that took part of the research were fifteen males and fifteen females. These articles that the researcher had found provided information that helped explain how each test was done which related to the topic above.
The researcher conducted the study by having 30 participants. It included fifteen female and fifteen males. The participants had to participate in a 1.5-mile cooper test and detect their flexibility with a sit and reach test. The researcher had selected this because she felt that these were an important part of fitness and wanted to test their running and flexibility. The first part of the study the researcher had the participants partake in the 1.5-mile cooper test. The participants had to run around the Rowan University track field for 12 minutes. Then the researcher had collected the data, which was the pre cooper test, which was measured in seconds for their time records. In the sit and reach test this study was taken at Rowan University, James hall health and Exercise lab. This study was done over a 6-week span.
The researcher had set up different exercises for the participants to do to get the result that they wanted to achieve. When the researcher had talked about the 1.5-mile cooper test she explained to the participants that they had warm up before every run with 5 to 10 minutes of light jogging. The warm up helped with loosening of the participant’s muscles. Then they would proceed to having to run different types of run. The participants would have to do building endurance and aerobic recovery. Which, was them doing aerobic runs, long runs, and jogs. The researcher also had them do relaxed speed and endurance which, included tempo runs, intervals, and hills. Lastly, she had them partake in strength and quickness which, included strides and drills. These all helped them in getting a better performance then their first test.
For the sit and reach study the researcher had them in the exercise lab and use the sit and reach box. The test involved sitting on the floor with their legs stretched out straight ahead. The soles of their feet were placed flat against the box. With their palms faced downwards and there hands on top of each other the participant than leaned forward along the measured line as far as they could (Sit and Reach). She then recorded their scores. For her to help them she explained different stretches to help them achieve their goal. The participants had sat down on the floor with both legs straightened out in a straddle position. Inhaled and on an exhaled; slowly folded forward as far as they could with a flat back. Kept their toes and knees pointing straight up and kept their spine long and avoid hunching over. Reached their hands out in front of them. That helped with flexibility and stretched their lower backs. With flexibility in the participants it was very important for them to become more flexible in the back.
The researcher had conducted test to run while before the test to get results of the 1.5-mile cooper test and the sit and reach test. She felt that while all participants were doing the study that she would fill out a rubric to write down her results after each one went. This had helped her stay organized throughout the program so when it was time for her to collect all the data and figure out her results this was best possible for her to put into her data sheets. Provided below was her rubric.