Recently, I received a call from an associate that shall serve as the backdrop for "
In Search of Power, part 9
". Though I would like to say his situation is rare, unfortunately is it not. But my hope is that this article, as others, will go a long way in dealing with the epidemic of teen-aged obesity.
Whilst the issue of obesity certainly involves a number of complicating factors, far beyond the scope of a basic article, the simple fact is that proper diet and common exercise is vanishing throughout society. Despite the generally accepted marketing image within the fitness market of a lean and healthy individual, the public is waging an unsuccessful war on obesity. Within the teen and youth markets, this is most troubling because the habits formed in their early years are likely to carry forward and it is highly questionable whether future generations could reverse the trend. Clearly, obesity in the youth market must be addressed with utmost concern or it may never be thwarted.
Pushing beyond the very broad topic of diet, the other side of the attack must be within activities. Participatory activities, that promote healthy lifestyles, need to be implemented at every turn. However, much of society has seen healthy pastimes eliminated and within the youth market, for the few who are involved, its focus is on competitive sport. Naturally, those who participate in competitive sport should be applauded, but from the broad vision of a healthy society, greater focus needs to be placed upon participatory activities.
For the fitness industry, this is not only a coming boom but also a call to action. The day of the generic exercise facility with rows of "cardio" machines is coming to a close and while manufacturers of exercise machinery are developing interactive machines that promote the "fun-factor", attendance in exercise classes is ready to jump into the stratosphere. For those like my associate, an educator, the problem is highly magnified because whilst school budgets for physical education are plummeting, the need for healthy activity is great.
With this in-mind, I suggested a pilot project that in its earliest phases would develop a classic physical education program, with virtually no equipment, that would make a dramatic impact on the health of attendees. Along with a series of diet suggestions, that includes the abolition of soft drinks and processed foods from school cafeterias, and the use of DMC.
For the educator making use of this program, regardless of your budget or location, the first point to note is that it will, quite obviously, not involve any costly equipment. I want to stress this point because whilst I have seen many schools purchase expensive exercise equipment that would put many spas to shame, they are not worthwhile. In an era of greater fiscal restraint, this serves as a near perfect template for broad based conditioning. Equally, this program can be utilized for athletic interests within the framework of General Physical Preparation (GPP) and is extremely easy to implement within broad team based environments. Personally, I have made extensive use of this program with an extremely broad range of individuals and can attest to both its impact upon development and compliance-friendly approach.
The basic format of the initial roughly thirty-minute class is merging a series of basic callisthenics programs within the RED2 and DMC system, in large circuits. Each series of the starting six-step RED2 program precedes to two-to-three minute rounds of GPP (thirty seconds each of jumping jacks, shuffle splits, burpees, mountain climbers, pushups, sit-ups). Each "giant set" should consist of six repetitions of the various lunges to either side, be done without stopping, follow with the Rx Squat (as shown) and will be approximately five minutes in total duration.
Though I warrant this is highly simplified approach, this back to basics approach will do wonders for overall health and serve as a basis for the next series that will implement DMC. For educators or coaches implementing this program please refer to "Diagnostic Testing
" for key points to consider.
Forward Lunge (a)
Note: for such a basic movement it is rarely performed correctly. Of the many points to consider is drawing the knee (left) up whilst stepping out. Avoid the "slide lunge", where the knee is not lifted very high and focus on dropping into a deep lunge position.
Forward Lunge (b)
note: the key point in this aspect of the movement is the deep lunge position, with the lead (left) shin roughly perpendicular to the ground. Key emphasis on the position of big toe of trail leg should be placed.
Toy Soldier (a)
note: raise (not kick) lead (left) leg up straight with foot pointed straight up.
Toy Soldier (b)
note: fall into deep lunge position
Toy Soldier reach back lunge (a)
note: the key to this movement is "snapping back" the leg back as if you were driving your heel through a wall behind you.
Toy Soldier reach back lunge (b)
note: in the lowered position the lead (right) need will track roughly perpendicular to the lead (right) toe with the upper thigh roughly parallel to the ground.
Forward twisting lunge (a)
note: as with standard lunge but twist back and forth to each side, without allowing legs to move off position
Forward twisting lunge (b)
Side Step over Lunge (a)
Special Notation: Be patient with this movement as it is crucial transitional action into DMC. This is a move will place deal on emphasis on hip flexibility as well hip, glute and hamstring strength.
note: the initial move is driving off the plant (right), with high leg drive
Side Step over Lunge (a)
note: in the first landing stage of this move make sure the plant foot (left) remains pointed straight-ahead. With each movement gradually turn the landing foot (right) from straight ahead to out at 45.
(positions 1, 2, 4 shown)
note: should this movement be beyond the capabilities of the user at the star, make use of a partner to "spot". With hands extended, hold spotters hand and pushing the buttocks back, with heel flat on the ground, perform standard squat.
In upcoming releases of "
In Search of Power
", we will look at how this program can be extended throughout full heath-care and wellness programs as well use within school systems.