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Boxes and Bands for Strength and More

Katherine Kuzma

Youth Heavy Foam 3 in 1 Plyo Boxes and Resistance Bands for Mill Creek Physical Education students to learn and practice Iron Dread warm up and strength exercises, improve our focus on flexibility and mobility, and to provide more opportunity during our regular class activities, including Muscle Monday, Teamwork Tuesday, Workout Wednesday (student created), and Fitness Friday.

Most students come to Mill Creek without any knowledge of proper weightlifting form, mechanics, or safety. Having a set of heavy foam plyo boxes and resistance bands will allow us to teach a variety of exercises throughout the quarter and prepare our students for the future. One important function of the Youth Heavy Foam 3-in-1 Plyo Boxes is for us to teach proper squat form and other exercises in the way that Chris Whittaker teaches his students and athletes in his Iron Dread program. My participation in the Iron Dread program over the last four months has prepared me to instruct our middle school students so that there will be a smooth transition into high school. The Iron Dread program utilizes resistance bands in all phases and boxes to perform proper squats as well as power movements, such as box jumps. It is our goal to teach students how to use the bands and boxes early each quarter so that we can incorporate them into our Muscle Monday curriculum, Teamwork Tuesday activities, student created Workout Wednesdays, and additional circuit training work on Fitness Fridays. While we would like to increase what we offer our students regarding muscular strength, our physical education curriculum incorporates a variety of fitness, sport, and invasion game activities that can be expanded with the use of boxes and bands. These various activities align with the state standards to provide valuable experience in the 5 Health Related Components of Fitness (cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition).

Michigan Department of Education Content Standards for 7th and 8th grade that will be enhanced by the approval of this grant proposal include:

-Participates in a variety of strength- and endurance-fitness activities such as weight or resistance training. (S3.4.7)
-Participates in moderate to vigorous muscle- and bone-strengthening physical activity at least 3 times per week. (S3.6.7)
-Identifies the components of health-related fitness (muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, cardiorespiratory endurance, body composition) and explains the connections between fitness and overall physical and mental health. (S3.1.8)
-Plans and implements a program of cross-training to include aerobic, strength and endurance, and flexibility training (S3.4.8)
-Designs and implements a warm up/cool down regimen for a self-selected physical activity (S3.12.8)
-Accepts responsibility for improving one’s own levels of physical activity and fitness. (S4.1.8)

The addition of heavy foam plyo boxes will allow additional opportunities for our physical Education students to:

Modify fitness exercises to individualize a student’s own preferred level of intensity:
-Modified incline pushups
-Modified incline plank
-Modified incline side plank
-Modified pull ups as jump ups
-Modified incline tricep push ups
-Modified incline plyo push ups
-Modified incline burpees
-Modified incline mountain climbers
-Advanced decline push ups
-Advanced pike push ups
-Advanced decline plank
-Advanced dynamic decline plyo push up
-Advanced single and double leg glute raises

Participate in additional HIIT, Plyo Box, and Agility exercises such as
-Box squat
-Donkey kicks
-Box jumps
-Burpee box jumps
-Bulgarian Split Squat
-Tricep dips
-Toe Taps
-Elevated calf raises
-Dumbbell Hip Thrust
-Plyo Lunges
-Depth Jumps
-Elevated single leg squat
-Step ups
-Lateral box shuffle
-Plank Ski Hops
-Rocket Jumps
-Elevated Knee Pulls
-Elevated Superman

Participate in additional team building and invasion game opportunities that can include the use of boxes
-Team obstacle courses
-Floor is Lava Tea Challenge
-Capture the Cone, Gold Rush and Power Ball Games
-Props for an agility course

The addition of resistance bands of varying levels will allow additional opportunities for our students to:
-Improve knowledge of flexibility and mobility as we will have more tools to use to teach these important concepts
-Improve flexibility and mobility by advancing the effectiveness of stretches such as
Lying Hamstring Stretch
Lying Inner Thigh Stretch
Lying Hip/IT Band Stretch
Seated Upper Back Stretch
Kneeling Quad Stretch
Seated Lateral Stretch
Prone Quad Stretch
-Improve muscular endurance while minimizing overuse injuries
-Learn key Iron Dread lower body mobility and warm up exercises such as
Banded Hip Mobility
Lying Hamstring Curl
Seated Hamstring Curl
Band Good Mornings
Band Abductors
High Band Hamstring Curl
-Learn key Iron Dread upper body mobility, warm up, and accessory exercises such as
Band Shoulder Traction
Band Face Pull
Overhead Band Tricep Extensions
Tricep Extensions
Cross Body Tricep Extensions
Assisted Pull Up
Band Upright Rows
Side Bends
Band Tear Apart
Seated Low Rows

In addition to use in our physical education classes at Mill Creek, plyo boxes and resistance bands would also be utilized by students in our Sports Medicine elective. Students would learn and practice popular physical therapy band exercises for various sport related injuries. They would also learn how to use the boxes to modify exercises for clients recovering from injuries.

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