Exercise Terminology
The definitions of terms used in Workout programming

Exercise Terminology can sometimes give the impression that your Trainer is talking another language. They refer to Reps, Sets, Contractions, Extension, etc… and you may be left scratching your head. So to clear up the meanings and to have as future reference, I will list the most commonly used terms and phrases with their definitions.

Exercise Terminology refers to the Words and Phrases used to describe different Workout or Exercise Procedures used when developing an Exercise or Workout Program.

  • Reps.
  • Or Repetitions, which are the number of times an Exercise is performed within a Set.

  • Sets.
  • Are the number of times that a set number of Reps are performed for a certain Exercise.

  • Resistance.
  • This refers to the amount of Weight or Load used to work a Muscle or Muscle Group.

  • Frequency.
  • Is the time an Exercise Session is performed. For example 1, 2 or 3 times in a week. The more regular or frequent an Exercise Session is performed a sustained improvement in Cardiovascular Fitness or Muscle Strength will be achieved.

  • Intensity.
  • Is the amount of effort used during an Exercise Session (usually Aerobic Exercise). For example you may exercise at 50, 60, 70 or 80% of your maximum heart rate.

  • Flexion.
  • Refers to the shortening or narrowing of an angle across a joint. For example when you bend your Arm at the Elbow and bring your hand towards your shoulder, that is “Elbow Flexion”.

  • Extension.
  • Is the opposite of Flexion, it is the lengthening or straightening of an angle across a joint. For example, straightening your Arm at your Elbow. This is called “Elbow Extension”.

  • Time.
  • Is a reference to the duration that you exercise per session. It may be 30, 40, or 60 minutes.

  • Type.
  • Refers to the chosen Activity. For example Swimming, Cycling, Jogging or a Resistance Workout.

  • Stabilizing Muscles.
  • Means the secondary Muscle Groups that assist or stabilise while another Major Muscle Group is being Exercised. An example would be the Triceps in a Chest Exercise or Biceps in Back Exercises.

  • Concentric Contraction.
  • This is when a Muscle actively shortens and thickens. The two ends of the Muscle move closer together. Usually in the lifting or working mode.

  • Eccentric Contraction.
  • This is where the Muscle lengthens while being under tension. Usually in the lowering or relaxing mode.

  • Muscle Origin.
  • This is where the Muscle is attached to the bone and is a fixed end. This is an important note, “This end of the Muscle does not move”. Remember It.

  • Muscle Insertion.
  • This is the opposite end of the Muscle and it is attached to another bone passing over a joint. This end does move, and when the Muscle contracts the angle at the joint will decrease. Remember It.

  • Isometric Contraction.
  • This refers to the Muscle being contracted with no visible change in length.

  • Variable Resistance.
  • As the Muscle moves throughout it range of motion, the load or resistance applied changes, as with the use of Resistance Bands.

  • Hypertrophy.
  • Is a term given to the growth of Muscles as their fibres increase in overall dimension.

  • Circuit Workout.
  • This is when a set of Exercises (both Aerobic and resistance) are performed in a certain sequence and in a predetermined time frame, for example 60 – 90 seconds each. Each exercise is usually called an “Exercise Station”.

  • Resistance Bands.
  • These excellent pieces of Exercise equipment are latex or rubber tubing or bands, that have differing elasticity due to their thickness or length and are fitted with handles at each end.

  • Exercise Ball.
  • These rubber spheres are a Dynamic and Challenging Exercise tool. Its ability to increase your positional awareness gives a feeling of another dimension. Is also known as Swiss Ball, Gym Ball, Pilates Ball, Workout Ball and Fitness Ball. These Balls come in various sizes to suit different heights.

  • Split Routine.
  • To perform Resistance Exercises for different Body Parts on different days.

  • Warm-up.
  • Is a short period of time at the beginning of an Exercise Session to ready the body. It is free body movements that can increase blood flow to the Muscles, raise body temp and can assist in reducing the chance of Muscle injury.

  • Cool-down.
  • A short period of time following an Exercise Session, to slowly return the body to a relaxed state. A great opportunity to Stretch the Muscles and take deep soothing breathes.

  • Training Principles.
  • Is a reference used to describe Workout Procedures that can provide different levels of overload to stimulate the Muscles.

  • Press.
  • To push the Resistance or Load away from the Body.

  • Pull.
  • To move a Resistance towards the Body.

  • Strength.
  • A capacity to undertake a certain amount of workload, Muscular power.

  • Rest Periods.
  • Is the time used in between Exercises to allow the Muscles to recuperate and replenish some energy.

    This list of “Exercise Terminology” should clear up any confusion when dealing with Workout Routines and Exercise Programming.

    If you have any Questions or need any Advice on Exercise Terminology, please "Click Here”.
    Exercise Terminology is always growing and this list will be added to as time passes. So check back if you require clarification on terms and phrases that you may not be familiar with.

    Exercise Terminology is really easy after all, once you get the hang of it.

    One last definition,"Exercise Terminology" is the term given to describe all of the above. (LOL)

    swiss ball

    Please take me from "Exercise Terminology" and return me to "Workout Routines".

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    balls and bands