Chapter 14 - Cardiovascular Training Methods

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Chapter Objectives:

  • Give relevant recommendations for cardiovascular activities. These include hydration, clothing, footwear, and warm-up and cool-down activities.
  • Give Advice for proper exercise techniques on machines.
  • Be able to teach people safe participation in group classes.
  • Give clients compatible cardiovascular activities for their preferences and abilities.

Safe Participation

Hydration

Water is about 60% of body mass and it is used to regulate body temperature. It is a solvent for minerals, amino acids, glucose, and vitamins. It also serves to lubricate and cushion the body’s joints.

During high-intensity exercise in hot environments, we can lose as much as 2 – 4 quarts of water every hour.

The digestive system can use and absorb 1 quart of water every hour.

When exercising for less than an hour, water is the main drink recommendation, but when exceeding that hour, we should look to sports drinks to restore both water and other important things lost with exercise. Your goal should be to replace the water lost with exercise, or if that is not possible, replace as much as you can while exercising and then reach that pre-exercise level later after stopping exercise.

Clothing and Footwear

It is important to wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing when doing an aerobic activity so we can easily move.

Shoes should provide good cushion, stability, and comfort for the wearer while also maintaining flexibility. 

Running shoes should be replaced every 300 – 500 miles or every 6 months. 

A Podiatrist can run a biomechanics analysis and recommend the best footwear for you.

Warmup and cool down

Both warmups and cooldowns help the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems adjust to the workload. 

If the exercise has you going to a targeted heart rate, then you should have a 5 – 15 minute warm-up to increase the heart rate gradually. 

Exercise Frequency, Intensity, and Duration

  • Frequency: 2 – 5 sessions per week.
  • Intensity: 50 – 85% HRR.
  • Duration: 20 – 60 minutes.

Proper Breathing Technique

You don’t have to be without breath the whole time to have cardio benefits. 

Breathing needs to be relaxed and regular. Generally, you should be able to handle a conversation without too much time spent trying to breathe.

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These are not true for sprint and interval training.

Exercise Program Variation

Bringing in new exercises will require decreases in intensity. 

Clients should acclimate to new training types as they are introduced to them and then increase.

Training on Cardiovascular Machines

Treadmill

The main muscles used are the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, iliopsoas, tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, and soleus.

Steeping on the Belt

Tell the client to hold on to the handrails and straddle the belt. Turn the treadmill on and then set the speed to begin 1 mph. The client should step with one foot and then begin walking.

If unsure about balance at any time, they should hold the handrail until they feel comfortable.

Advise clients to stay toward the front of the treadmill.

Treadmill Running

Clients will find treadmill running easier than running outside due to there not being air resistance. 

Offset the difference by placing the treadmill at a 1% grade.

Stair Climber

The main muscles used are the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, erector spinae, gastrocnemius, and soleus.

Body position

The client should face the pedals and step forward onto them. 

Facing outputs the client at risk for injury.

Hip movement is beneficial to effectively working out on the climber, but not too excessive.

Range of Movement

Moving between 4 – 8 inches at a time is most appropriate. 

Anything else will not target the intended muscles properly.

Stepping Speed

43 – 95 steps per minute are the general step ranges. 

The client should be comfortable before demanding more speed.

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Elliptical Trainer

The main muscles used are the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, iliopsoas, tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, and soleus.

Foot Placement and Handrail Usage

The entire foot must always contact the pedal surface unless the machine needs the heel to lift.

Body Position and Knee Placement

Torsos should balance over the hips, and knees should never come in front of the toes.

Cadence, Elevation, Resistance, and Direction of Movement

The cadence typically should resemble a walking motion when slow cadenced and a running motion when fast. 

These machines allow pedaling in both forward and backward directions to expose muscles to different stress.

Stationary Bicycles

The main muscles used are the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, and soleus.

Seat height

Seat height should give you a slight bend at the knee joint at the bottom pedal stroke without locking the joint out.

Handlebars and Body Positioning

The handlebars allow a forward tilt in the hips but not an excessively round position.

Cadence and Pedaling Action

60 – 100 revolutions per minute are the most economical rate. But these totally depend on experience with cycling, as more experienced people prefer higher intensities.

Group Indoor Cycling

This is typically a higher-intensity workout for people as t is in a class atmosphere.

Beginners need a good baseline before they begin cycling classes.

Rowing Machines

The main muscles used are the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, soleus, biceps brachii, brachioradialis, brachialis, rectus abdominis, posterior and medial deltoids, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, teres major, erector spinae, and flexor and extensor carpi ulnaris.

Starting Position and the Drive

The head is upright, looking straight in front with a slight forward lean and an upright back. 

The arms are straight in the front of the body, and the hips and knees are flexed. The drive is done by extending the legs and hips and leaning back with the torso a little. The arm pulls after the hips and legs are fully extended.

The Finish, Recovery, and Catch

The finish has the legs and hips extended, the torso back, elbows flexed, and the handle in the abdomen. The recovery extends the elbows, leans forward, and returns to the start. 

Resistance and Cadence

Air resistance and water resistance are the common types of rowing machines. Most recreational rowers go at a pace of 20 -25 strokes per minute, with elite rowers going 25 – 35.

Nonmachine Cardiovascular Exercise Techniques

Walking

The main muscles used are the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, iliopsoas, tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, and soleus.

Body Positioning

Walking tall means that a string pulls the head up, and the vertebral column is straight. The shoulders relax and never round. The upper body is above the hips.

Foot Strike

Walking has the heel strike first and the body’s weight rolls through the foot.

Arm Action

A coordinated movement that has the left arm swing forward with the right leg, and vice-versa.

Running

The main muscles used are the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, iliopsoas, tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, and soleus.

Body Positioning and Foot Strike

 The head is upright with the shoulders relaxed and tors over the hips.

Foot strike is with the heel and rolling the weight again like walking. 

Arm Action

The arms alternate with the opposite leg. 

Stride Length

Stride length and frequency determine the running speed.

The length is how far your stride goes.

Overstriding occurs when the foot lands further out than the hips.

Under striding occurs when the foot lands before the spot over the hips.

Stride Frequency

This is how fast the strides are occurring. This plays a part in how great the force is on your feet.

Swimming

The main muscles used are dependent on the stroke you are doing. But mostly every muscle in the body is used.

Leg Kick

The legs are used to balance the body and maintain a horizontal position.

Breathing

This occurs with the head-turning to each side as a natural body rotation. Many beginners lift their heads, and this causes them to sink.

Group Exercise Classes

The main muscles used are dependent on the exercises being done.

Clients in group classes should try their best to maintain optimal posture and align their ears, shoulder, and hip.

The abs and glutes should be slightly contracted so there is no excessive back arching. The knee should not come too far forward during knee flexion.

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Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read


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