Human Kinetics Library Platform - Featured Content Archive

Featured Content Archive

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Topic in Focus: Sport and Mental Health

Illustration of Brain analysis and DNA connecting line and dot.

The Effect of Sport on the Brain

Sport and physical activity have been shown to positively affect not only cardiovascular health and body composition, but also the complex brain systems implicated in well-being and mental health. Research suggests that physical activity can have a beneficial impact on a diverse range of mental health conditions - including schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and depression - as well as enhancing general well-being. The hippocampus, a highly networked brain structure, is sensitive to the effects of physical activity. Learn more about the relationship between physical activity and the brain.

Mature father and adult son walking off soccer field after evening game with friends

Anxiety Management in Top Athletes

Anxiety is a frequent underlying cause for athletes failing to perform to their usual standard, particularly in situations of exceptional pressure (for example, a soccer penalty shoot-out or a return to competitive play after injury). Read more about the effects of anxiety on performance, including common coping techniques and examples of top athletes encountering anxiety-related issues.

Female pilates instructor assisting mature student on high-low chair during class in exercise studio.

Physical Activity and Psychosocial Well-being of Older Adults

Leisure and physical activity can make a positive contribution to the well-being, cognitive health and quality of life of older adults. Participating in activities such as social dancing, walking for exercise and swimming can provide opportunities for personal growth and stress reduction, as well as slow cognitive decline. Learn more about ageing-specific theories of psychosocial well-being, or view a demonstration of exercise diagnosis and prescription for older adults.

Topic in Focus: Nutrition

A selection of nutritious foods (Getty)

Nutrition and Fuel Systems for Sport

In Gold Medal Nutrition Glen Cardwell simplifies nutrition and reveals the essential food components that are needed for good physical health. The underlying science behind a balanced diet is explored, with an in-depth look at the benefits of different recommended food groups. Click here to find out more about what foods to eat to improve wellbeing and to get the best out of your body.

Athlete in silhouette walking towards a stadium in Cape Town (Getty Images)

Athletes and Disordered Eating

Competitive sports is a high pressured environment, and strict diet and exercise regimes are crucial to performing well. But at what stage can these habits become unhealthy eating disorders? This chapter from Fundamentals of Sport and Exercise Nutrition examines the distinguishing behaviours of different eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Anorexia Athletica, and explains why such conditions can be so difficult to recognise in pro-athletes.

Youth soccer in small town USA (Wikimedia Commons)

Undernutrition in Childhood and Adolescence

Chronic undernutrition during childhood can have long-term consequences for growth and maturation in adulthood. However undernutrition is a heterogeneous term that can have varying meanings for specialists, and is difficult to quantify. This chapter examines the criteria and prevalence of undernutrition in preschool children, school age children and adolescents, with an in-depth analysis of the long term effects this can have.

Capsule (Pixabay)

Nutritional Supplementation

Nutritional supplements are by no means uncommon in the high pressure world of sport, where athletes often strive to enhance and improve performance. Such aids can complement an athlete’s nutritional plan, however, they have the potential to be harmful when used inappropriately. This chapter from Performance Nutrition: Applying the Science of Nutrient Timing breaks down nutrition supplements into three categories - dietary supplements, sports supplements, and ergogenic aids – and describes common examples with an in depth look at their benefits and recommended usage.

A water drop (Wikimedia Commons)

Hydration Management

Water is second only to oxygen as a necessity for maintaining life. The body can withstand a 40% loss in body mass from starvation, but just a 9% to 12% loss of body mass from fluid loss can be fatal. It is not surprising then that water plays a crucial part in exercise performance. Jay Hoffman outlines the key processes for hydration during exercise and at rest, including water balance, fluid replacement, electrolyte balance and the effect of hypohdration on physiological function.

Topic in Focus: Fitness and Health

An elderly couple go for a walk on a woodland path in the Fall

Fitness and Healthy Aging

Can exercise continue to improve your quality of life in your later years? Just what are the effects of exercise on aging? This chapter from Physical Activity for Health and Fitness explores how the cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular strength of older people are affected by physical activity, and how regular, lifelong physical activity in younger people will affect their health and vitality as they grow older.

Two volleyball players hold hands before a point

The Cultural, Religious, and Spiritual Components of Fitness

Values usually drive our behavior; they reflect what we consider to be most important, such as our health, family, happiness, knowledge, and faith. In Applied Health Fitness Psychology, Mark H. Anshel examines the role of religious and spiritual beliefs in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the ways in which physical and mental health professionals can apply faith-based content in consulting with patients and clients of faith, and how religious and spiritual beliefs, texts, and programs can provide greater incentive to initiate and maintain healthy levels of fitness.

View of a woman's legs walking up a flight of steps in running attire

Fitness to Combat Diabetes

For people with diabetes, regular participation in fitness activities can help to lose fat weight, gain muscle mass, and improve overall blood glucose. Insulin sensitivity is likely to improve, resulting in a need for lower doses of insulin or other diabetes medications. In this chapter, Sheri R. Colberg outlines key fitness activities, ranging from low-intensity activities such as yoga to power ones like kickboxing, and endurance-based race walking and stationary cycling, with general recommendations for managing blood glucose during and after the fitness activities, separated out by insulin changes for anyone using a pump or injections, dietary changes, or a combination of both.

A female pilates instructor assisting mature student on high-low chair during class in exercise studio

The Exercise Diagnosis and Prescription Model

The term "exercise prescription" is often used, but have we actually considered its meaning and its implications? We can think of a prescription as "a written or verbal order for administering medicine or other treatments based on a diagnosis of the patient's needs". There is a very important concept contained in this definition which is commonly ignored when we use the word in association with fitness: the diagnosis process. In this video, Joseph Signorile outlines the importance of fitness techniques as precise tools that can be used to provide a targeted training intervention, while in this video he puts the concept to practice and looks at the diagnosis and prescription model through the diagnostic sheets of four case studies.

A view of people performing warm up exercises on a gymnasium floor

Physiological Motivation to Improve Health and Fitness

With so many people now either inactive or infrequently active, effective programs to help them start and stick with an active lifestyle are critical. Many of the techniques used to promote physical fitness originated from psychological theories of motivation and behavior change. The stages of motivational readiness for change model evolved from the work of Dr. James Prochaska and Dr. Carlo DiClemente who studied the stages of changing health habits. This chapter from Motivating People to be Physical Active outlines the concepts of motivational readiness and stages of change, and describes the strategies and techniques for behavior change.

Topic in Focus: Health Care in Sport and Exercise

This Topic in Focus brings together a carefully curated selection of exclusive instructional material from the brand new Human Kinetics Health Care in Sport and Exercise module. From injury assessment and management, to cultural competence and sports massage techniques, this rich collection is your gateway into this important topic.

Injury Assessment and Management

Injuries happen, and when they do, athletes and coaches need to have access to quick support. Sports Injuries Guidebook, Second Edition is an authoritative guide covering more than 150 common sports injuries that will arm you with the expert guidance you need to understand injuries and get back in the game. This chapter provides a broad overview of the different types of athletic injuries one may encounter, along with initial assessment and management strategies. It will categorize injuries based on the tissue or system injured, discuss principles of treatment approaches, and provide a comprehensive pathway to allow the athlete a safe return to sport.

Cultural Competence in Sports Medicine

Developing cultural competence is a process in which an athletic trainer learns to appreciate and respect cultural differences and take them into consideration in order to care for patients in a culturally congruent manner. Cultural competence can be developed, and doing so takes time, energy, and commitment; the process requires an active choice followed up with conscious effort. For athletic trainers it is important to be responsive to the needs of all patients, regardless of how they are packaged. Click here to read more from Cultural Competence in Sports Medicine, and learn how to develop cultural competence.

Understanding the Basics of Stretching

Our understanding of the physiology of stretching has broadened as a result of advances in research on the subject. Traditionally, explanations of the benefits of stretching have been based on a mechanical model proposing that stretching increases muscle length. As researchers continue to study the effects of various forms of stretching in an attempt to understand what actually happens, it is important to include stretching as a valuable component of an overall health and fitness program. This chapter from Facilitated Stretching, Fourth Edition looks at some of the elements of stretching, including soft tissues, types of muscle contractions, stretch reflexes, and different stretching techniques.

Neurological Injury in Sport

Sport-related neurological injuries are among the most complex and dreaded injuries that an athlete can sustain. Increased awareness and medical advances have certainly led to a greater understanding of the causation, diagnosis, and treatment of sports-related neurological injuries, although it is clear that there is still much to learn. To grasp the enormous public health impact these injuries have, it is paramount to appreciate that neurological injury can occur in just about any type of sport. This chapter from the Handbook of Neurological Sports Medicine: Concussion and Other Nervous System Injuries in the Athlete outlines neurological injuries across a spectrum of sports ranging from recreational activities to organized athletic competition.

Techniques and Skills of Sport Massage

Individual massage techniques are the building blocks of a sports massage session. Skilled practitioners combine these techniques into therapeutic sequences and perform them with the rhythm, pace, and pressure needed to produce the desired results. Understanding Sports Massage, Second Edition provides readers with an understanding of the fundamental theory and practical basis for using sports massage to keep athletes in top shape, recover from injuries, and improve performance. Sports massage practitioners must understand the physiological and psychological effects of techniques and their combinations to apply them effectively. This chapter provides a knowledge base for thoughtful and informed practice of the manual techniques of sports massage.

Topic in Focus: Physical and Health Education

To celebrate the launch of Human Kinetics Physical and Health Education, we are showcasing a selection of essential readings for teachers and educators from this exclusive collection of ebooks and videos.

Inclusive Physical Activity

Understanding the philosophical basis for and sociocultural context of inclusive physical activity is an important prerequisite to offering physical activity programs that include all individuals regardless of age, ability, or experience. This chapter from Inclusive Physical Activity presents a philosophy of inclusive physical activity and a contemporary approach to including all individuals, regardless of ability, in physical activity programs. Definitions of wellness have changed over the years, but an important step toward further progress in including all individuals in physical activity and health promotion programs is to focus on ability, not disability.

Culturally Responsive Physical Education

Culturally responsive teaching in the physical education setting involves more than having students learn about other cultures or develop an appreciation for their own heritage. Nor is it merely having groups of students participate in a series of games from other countries. Culturally responsive teaching stresses the need for teachers to take into account the student’s race and ethnic origin as well as linguistic and academic background, since one’s culture can influence a preferred learning style, communication patterns, values and partiality toward specific physical activities and sport, and orientation to school. Read this chapter from Urban Physical Education to learn more.

Professional Development for Educators

In Survive and Thrive as a Physical Educator Alisa R. James explores the unique challenges of teaching and offers a wealth of information on handling day-to-day issues, such as adapting to the work environment, understanding the school culture, communicating with parents, and behavior management. In this chapter James provides support for professional development within the field of teaching physical education which will help you grow as an educator. You can explore several options that will enhance your professional and personal growth as a teacher, including joining professional organizations, reading professional literature, continuing your education, creating a professional development plan and portfolio, and working with a mentor.

Mental Health in Physical Education

Good mental health gives you an overall sense of well-being and the ability to adapt, maintain balance, and manage difficult situations. However, in the United States, about one in four adults suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year, and about half of all college students report that they’ve had trouble functioning due to depression. This chapter from Health and Wellness for Life provides an overview of the history of the study of mental health and mental disorders and explain how treatment methods have changed over time. You’ll learn how the brain and the environment influence mental health and what behaviors help professionals diagnose a mental illness.

Developing Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is a measure of our self-worth (both physical and emotional), self-respect, and personal potential. Without self-esteem, it is more difficult to overcome adversities, control our emotions, and deal effectively with others. A young person’s ability to stand up to peer pressure is greatly influenced by one’s self-esteem level. The activities outlined within this chapter from Judy Demers’ Character-Building Activities emphasize self-esteem, personal attributes, values, self-awareness, and the effects people have on others. By gaining a better sense of who they are, young people can learn ways to change and control destructive or inappropriate behaviors.

Topic in Focus: Careers and Professional Development

This Topic in Focus brings together a carefully curated selection of exclusive instructional material from across the Human Kinetics Library platform on the topic of Careers and Professional Development in sport. From careers in dance and resource management, to career transition after a sporting career, this rich collection is your gateway into this important subject.

Careers in Dance

Never before has a greater variety of careers been available in dance - and never before has such comprehensive, expert guidance on those burgeoning careers been accessible in one book. Ali Duffy’s Careers in Dance: Practical and Strategic Guidance From the Field (2020) is a master guide that will help students navigate the expanding opportunities in dance and familiarize current professionals with potential career choices that best align with their pursuits and strengths. This highly practical text offers a wealth of information on career options in a variety of settings and with a variety of focuses, including commercial ventures, scholarly pursuits, administrative avenues, medical and scientific settings, and interdisciplinary opportunities. Click here to read the Introduction to this volume.

Mentorships for Coaches

Coaches take on various roles; that is, their responsibilities are dependent on the type of setting they are coaching within and their own level of development. Yet coaching titles are at times not reflective of the coach’s experience or level of knowledge, and therefore may not fully describe a coach’s ability to produce effective coaching practices. In this chapter from Coach Education Essentials (2020), Clayton R. Kuklick and Brian T. Gearity provide a framework, informed by existing research on knowledge development, that helps identify gaps or weaknesses in coaches’ knowledge. This framework organizes professional, interpersonal, and intrapersonal knowledge and connects what coaches are capable of based on the knowledge they possess in each stage of their development.

Career Transition

In the past two decades, interest in the career transitions of athletes has gained momentum. The evolution of research in this field has helped us understand that athletic careers are not discrete occurrences composed of participation, termination, and retirement but rather a sequence of stages that present idiosyncratic challenges. Each athlete has different ways of coping with these demands. This chapter from Assessment in Applied Sport Psychology (2018) provides information, insights, and practical assessment tools to help you guide transitioning athletes in a way that is positive, constructive, and life affirming during a time that is often experienced as negative, unpredictable, and stressful.

Human Resources in Sport and Recreation

Human resources differ considerably from material resources, and it is not surprising that the field of study known as human resource management (HRM) has gained increasing significance. Textbooks and scholarly journals in this field have been and continue to be published, and almost every school of business administration addresses it in at least one specialized course. Now in its third edition, Human Resource Management in Sport and Recreation (2017) provides current and future practitioners with a solid foundation in research and application of human resource management in the sport and recreation industries. Click here to read the Introduction to this volume.

Survive and Thrive as a Physical Educator

A key title from the Human Kinetics Physical and Health Education collection, Survive and Thrive as a Physical Educator: Strategies for the First Year and Beyond (2013) will help you face the unique challenges of teaching and support your development as a physical educator. Practical and reader friendly, Survive and Thrive as a Physical Educator is filled with the most current information plus examples based on the author's experiences as both a K-12 teacher and a college instructor who prepares future teachers. You'll also find a wealth of information on handling day-to-day issues, such as adapting to the work environment, understanding the school culture, communicating with parents, and behavior management. Click here to read the Introduction to this volume.

Topic in Focus: Sport Physiology

This Topic in Focus brings together a carefully curated selection of exclusive instructional material from across the Human Kinetics Library platform on the topic of physiology in sport and exercise. From advanced exercise physiology and the physiology of aging, to the history of physiology and the physiology of cycling, this rich collection is your gateway into this important subject.

Book cover image for Careers in Dance by Ali Duffy

Advanced Exercise Physiology

Advanced Exercise Physiology: Essential Concepts and Applications builds upon foundational topics and looks further into key physiological components to help advanced students gain a deeper level of understanding. Authors Jonathan K. Ehrman, Dennis J. Kerrigan, and Steven J. Keteyian address a wide range of complex topics with evidence-based information and a focused, targeted style. Enhancing the content are learning aids, more than 140 images and illustrations, and practical examples from among clinical patients, healthy individuals, and competitive athletes. Click here to learn more about pulmonary exercise physiology, and the factors that can enhance or negatively affect the function of the pulmonary system.

Book cover image for Conditioning for Dance by Eric Franklin

Physiological Aspects Of Sport Training And Performance

Physiological Aspects of Sport Training and Performance, Second Edition provides an in-depth discussion of physiological adaptation to exercise. Students will learn the importance of an evidence-based approach in prescribing exercise, while sports medicine professionals will appreciate using the text as a primary reference on conditioning and performance of athletes. A range of topics are covered, including environmental influences on performance, hydration status, sport nutrition, sport supplements, and performance-enhancing drugs. Click here to read a sample chapter on the Principles of Training. This online edition of the text includes access to videos of over 40 drills being performed in their entirety, including a dynamic warm-up routine video features 10 warm-up exercises.

Book cover image for Dance Imagery for Technique and Performance by Eric Franklin

History of Exercise Physiology

Exercise physiology research is ongoing and its knowledge base is stronger than ever, but today’s scholars owe much of their success to their predecessors. History of Exercise Physiology (2014) brings together leading authorities in the profession to present this unique resource that is certain to become an essential reference for exercise physiology researchers and practitioners. The contributors to this book believe it is essential for exercise physiologists to understand the past when approaching the future and they have compiled this reference to aid in that process. Eric Franklin’s updated Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery expands on the classic text and offers audio files for dynamic imagery exercises which enable users to discover their natural flexibility and quickly increase their power to move. This chapter traces the history of physiology from antiquity to the early years of the 20th century.

Book cover image for Public Scholarship in Dance by Lynnette Young Overby

Physiological Aspects of Aging

It is important for physical activity instructors to understand the physiology of aging, which is often associated with progressive declines in physiological functions. Though much decline occurs in the cardiovascular system with age, regular physical activity slows the decline and restores function even in the frailest older adults. In this chapter from Physical Activity Instruction of Older Adults, Second Edition (2019) Priscilla G. MacRae summarizes the effects of biological aging on the major systems of the body, discusses how exercise affects these biological changes, describes the most common diseases associated with the aging of each system, and then discusses the implications for instructors of physical activity programs.

Book cover image for Attention and Focus in Dance by Clare Guss-West

Cycling Physiology and Genetics

The body is an incredibly complex engine, which explains why scientists are still busily exploring its inner workings after centuries of study. Great advances in genetic technology and understanding have opened new avenues for exploration of how humans respond to exercise. This chapter from Cycling Science (2017) distills some of the basic principles in exercise science, defines the major systems and terminology, and discusses the latest concepts about what limits exercise capacity. It finishes with a look at the new wave of genetic insight into exercise performance and explores the limits of genetics as a predictive tool for identifying elite athletes.

Topic in Focus: Sport Psychology

This Topic in Focus gathers together material from across the Human Kinetics Library platform on the subject of psychology in sport and exercise. From advanced studies of sports medicine psychology and methods of measuring anxiety in sport, to an exploration of cultural sport psychology and the importance of psychological development in athletes, this rich collection offers a vast array of insights into the role of the mind in sport.

Sports Medicine Psychology

Athletes, exercisers, dancers, and other physically active people face the risk of sport injuries with every movement. The actual occurrence of such injuries (or even the anticipation of them) can result in significant effects on the physical and psychosocial well-being of participants within these contexts. The field of study labeled as sports medicine psychology encompasses the various roles that psychology plays within sports medicine contexts. Among these, it incorporates theory, research, and professional practice concerning the psychological, behavioral, and social aspects of injury prevention and rehabilitation among physically active participants, as well as the psychological roles and influences of those who coach, train, and care for them as part of their multidisciplinary sports medicine teams. This chapter from Advances in Sport and Exercise Psychology provides a detailed and expertly explained overview of the theory, research, and professional practice surrounding the psychological aspects of sport injuries, using this review to identify gaps in the knowledge base from which to draw implications for future research in sports medicine psychology.

Psyched Out

Of all the psychological factors thought to influence sport performance, anxiety is often considered the most important. Sport psychologists have produced scores of articles, manuals, and tapes to help athletes deal with anxiety. Yet considerable disagreement remains about the most useful theory of anxiety and sport performance, as well as the most appropriate instrument for measuring anxiety in athletes.In the chapter ‘Competitive Anxiety’ from Emotions in Sport, authors John S. Raglin and Yuri L. Hanin seek to explore and evaluate different approaches to defining and measuring anxiety in athletes, paying particular attention to the Zones of Functioning (ZOF) model.

Cultural Sport Psychology

Cultural issues have become a significant aspect of the sports psychology field. As clinicians develop their practice to include more diverse athletes and sport psychologists expand to work in multicultural settings, the importance of taking into account cultural factors when practicing sport psychology cannot be understated. As the first compilation on the topic of multicultural considerations in sport psychology, Cultural Sport Psychology assists practitioners in creating strategies relative to the culture and context of their clients, with focus on important cultural factors such as religion, gender, personal space, and social structure. These factors and many others are laden with cultural assumptions that may contribute—positively or negatively—to athletic performance and an athlete's well-being. This chapter explores the plethora of cultural aspects that must be taken into account as a Western sport psychologist working in Ghana..

Sport Psychology Applications

Ask any champion athlete whether psychology is vital to success, and the answer every time will be a resounding yes. What many athletes and coaches are unsure about is how precisely to develop psychological skills and the mental approach to training and competition. In this chapter from Inside Sport Psychology, the authors’ aim is to provide a structured, easy-to-use guide to help athletes and coaches develop the psychological aspects of performance. This introductory chapter continues with a warm-up exercise and a brief history detailing the evolution of applied sport psychology, draws upon the very latest research on skill development to explain how to organize practice sessions to maximize skill learning, and explores the intriguing nature-versus-nurture debate in sports psychology.

Topic In Focus: Teaching Fitness

Kick off the back to school season with this carefully curated selection of Human Kinetics’ market-leading eBooks on fitness education. From the foundations of fitness education to the complexities of performance-based assessment, this rich collection supports physical education teachers, coaches, and researchers seeking to deepen their knowledge and expertise.

Foundations of Fitness Education

Fitness education is a crucial component of helping students understand the boundless benefits of lifelong physical activity. Designing and Teaching Fitness Education Courses offers secondary-level physical educators innovative ideas, practical answers, and guidance in implementing fitness education programming to meet the needs of all students. Enhanced by over 200 instructional photos and 139 video demonstrations of all the book’s exercises and stretches, this text comprehensively provides the tools for teachers to offer appropriate fitness, health, and wellness education. Click here to read this chapter on core Fitness Components and Training Principles.

Core Teaching Practices for Health Education

Core Teaching Practices for Health Education is a compact and precise book that serves up effective core teaching practices for preservice and practicing health educators, as well as for health teacher educators. This work offers cutting-edge teaching skills that are specific to health education, practices that are highly transferable across the spectrum of fitness education, and detailed explanations of fifteen core practices and case studies. Click here to read a chapter on Teaching Health Content.

Assessing Fitness in Middle and High School

Class size, skill levels, and time factors can make assessments difficult when teaching fitness. However, Performance-Based Assessment for Middle and High School Physical Education shows that it is far from impossible. As a groundbreaking text explaining the theory behind assessment in fitness education, as well as the application of that theory in practice, this work provides teachers with the tools to appropriately structure performance-based assessments and acquire effective teaching strategies for standards-based instruction. Click here to read this chapter on Developing Culminating and Progressive Assessments.

Topic In Focus: Dance Education and Instruction

Dance instructors see first hand the benefits of the art form every time they lead a class, watching students of all ages increase their strength and agility, and experience the pure joy of physical expression. This month, Human Kinetics Library highlights new and popular titles in our Dance Technique collection with free-to-read content exploring Dance Education and Instruction.

The chapters below offer instructional guides, lessons, and other resources to support dance instructors at all levels. Scroll down to discover activities that help children explore movement through collaboration, guidelines for activating a dance student’s body-brain connection, teaching tips for instructors of creative dance, and more.

Dance Composition Basics, Second Edition

Dance Composition Basics introduces dancers to choreography through a series of problem-solving activities. This new edition of veteran dance teacher Pamela Anderson Sofras’ text, featuring the works of dance legends Alonzo King and Dwight Rhoden, offers lessons plans, assessment tools, and instructor guides to support dance instruction for students learning the fundamentals of choreography.

In this sample chapter, Sofras presents dynamic lessons to help dancers and choreographers connect with their physicality, from the first warm-up to the last cool-down of rehearsal.

Elementary Dance Education: Nature-Themed Creative Movement and Collaborative Learning

Physical movement can be a valuable tool to help children explore, learn, and create in any setting. In Elementary Dance Education: Nature-Themed Creative Movement and Collaborative Learning, dancer and instructor Janice Pomer helps teachers develop the instructional skills they need to incorporate dance into their curricula with more than 70 movement activities and exercises for students in grades K-6, centered on nature-based themes.

This provided chapter offers practical lessons in which children use animals as inspiration for learning about their own bodies and the larger world we share.

Dance Appreciation

Dance Appreciation, by Dawn Davis Loring and Julie L. Pentz, helps students understand dance from the perspectives of dancers, choreographers, and professionals in other related careers. This formative text introduces students to a broad range of dance genres and helps both new and experienced dancers learn to connect their craft with other academic and artistic disciplines, as well as with their own life experiences.

Click here to read Loring and Pentz’s introductory chapter contextualizing dance by exploring its role in different cultures and settings.

The resource also includes dynamic videos exploring movement and choreography with internationally recognized dance scholar and choreographer Bliss Kohlmyer. Click here to view the first video in the series, introducing key choreography concepts.

Brain-Compatible Dance Education

Anne Green Gilbert's Brain-Compatible Dance Education, Second Edition, strikes the perfect balance between hard science and practicality, making it an ideal resource for dance educators working with dancers of all ages and abilities. Gilbert connects fundamental brain research to the teaching and learning that takes place in classrooms and studios, emerging with insights that are accessible and easy to digest.

In this chapter, Gilbert introduces readers to the Body-Brain Connection, setting the stage for subsequent chapters detailing how awareness of that connection can help dancers strengthen a broad range of skills.

Creative Dance for All Ages: A Conceptual Approach

Every dancer of every age, ability, and style should be able to dance without risk of harm to the body or mind. Safe Dance Practice , by Edel Quin, Sonia Rafferty, and Charlotte Tomlinson, offers dance instructors advice for helping student maintain their health and safety, from the physical (nutrition and hydration, warm-ups and cool-downs) to the psychological (stress, group dynamics, mental balance).

In this sample chapter to read Gilbert’s chapter on different ways dance instructors can develop their teaching skills and support students on their creative dance journey.

Safe Dance Practice

Every dancer of every age, ability, and style should be able to dance without risk of harm to the body or mind. Safe Dance Practice, by Edel Quin, Sonia Rafferty, and Charlotte Tomlinson, offers dance instructors advice for helping student maintain their health and safety, from the physical (nutrition and hydration, warm-ups and cool-downs) to the psychological (stress, group dynamics, mental balance).

In this sample chapter, the authors provide practical advice for maintaining a safe and healthy dance environment, from maintaining an appropriate rehearsal space to implementing policies for safety and injury assessment.

Topic in Focus: Welcome to Strength and Conditioning

Building strength correctly takes more than time and motivation; it also requires reliable, authoritative instruction. To aid fitness professionals as they help clients, students, and athletes become stronger and healthier, Human Kinetics Library is proud to offer our new Strength and Conditioning collection, a library of ebooks and videos to support training programs at all levels.

Scroll down to discover free-to-access content highlighting key areas of this new, innovative collection: from building the perfect fitness program, to incorporating high-intensity interval training into your workout, to sport-specific conditioning and injury prevention.

Explore these resources and learn how Human Kinetics Library’s new Strength and Conditioning collection can help you power up your training!


Elite Physique: The New Science of Building a Better Body

The science of building a better body involves the ability to assess physicality at the start of a fitness journey. Whether you’re evaluating your own fitness level or that of your trainees, Dr. Chad Waterbury’s Elite Physique: The New Science of Building a Better Body provides straightforward assessment methods to apply at the start of a workout program, including ways to analyze posture, balance, mobility, and endurance.

Click here to learn more about assessment strategies you can integrate into your own workout programs.

Then, watch the videos on Deadlifts, Half-Kneeling One-Arm Overhead Press and Zercher Squats for a sampling of Dr. Waterbury’s practical instruction.


Eat. Lift. Thrive.

When it comes to fitness programs for women, one size definitely does not fit all. Health coach and researcher Sohee Lee, CSCS, CISSN, knows that the key to a successful fitness journey involves finding the right tools and strategies for each individual.

In this free-to-read chapter from Eat. Lift. Thrive., Lee prescribes the right steps to help women create their own programs that not only address key fitness goals, but consider factors including time constraints, equipment availability, injuries, and more.


Smarter Workouts: The Science of Exercise Made Simple

Fitness professionals know that exercising better means exercising smarter. In his book Smarter Workouts: The Science of Exercise Made Simple , fitness expert Pete McCall explains the effects of correct exercise and offers practical workouts that focus on mobility training, core strength, and metabolic conditioning.

In this sample introductory chapter, McCall sets physical trainers up for success by examining fundamental beliefs about strength conditioning through a scientific lens, exploring the impact that correct—and incorrect—exercise can have on muscle fibers, fascia, the skeletal system, and more.


Stretch to Win

The journey to full fitness requires more than just strength and power. The best strength training programs are accompanied by attention to mobility and flexibility as well. In Stretch to Win, Ann and Chris Frederick offer the tools, stretches, and instruction to create an effective flexibility program for any sport or activity.

In this provided introductory chapter, the authors map out ten principles for optimal flexibility, part of the established Stretch to Win system designed to help increase mobility, power, speed, agility, range of motion, and overall performance.


Soccer Anatomy

Different sports require different strength and conditioning programs, to both heighten an athlete’s performance and protect against injury. As one of Human Kinetics Library’s series of sport-specific training resources, Soccer Anatomy , by Donald T. Kirkendall and Adam L. Sayers, offers 95 specific exercises with step-by-step directions and anatomical illustrations designed for soccer players.

Click here to read this sample chapter about injury prevention programs conceived and approved by The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).


The HIIT Advantage: High-Intensity Workouts for Women

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an effective technique for achieving maximum strength results in minimal time. For those professionals offering conditioning programs for women, fitness veteran Irene Lewis-McCormick’s The HIIT Advantage: High Intensity Workouts for Women offers an authoritative guide to this method of burning fat and improving performance, and is accompanied by a video library with demonstrations of 24 key exercises and an original 30-minute workout.

Read Lewis-McCormick’s introduction providing an overview of HIIT, explaining its background and benefits.

Then, watch the videos on Burpees, Cycle Lunges and Speedskaters to see Lewis-McCormick’s HIIT expertise in action.


Power Yoga: Strength, Sweat, and Spirit

Increasing strength means more than pushing heavy weights around. In particular, fitness devotees know that integrating yoga into their regimen helps boost overall strength, flexibility, and focus. Power Yoga: Strength, Sweat, and Spirit is your guide to unlocking the benefits of regular yoga practice, offering dozens of warm-up, power, peak, and cool-down poses designed for maximum effectiveness.

Read this sample chapter to learn how power yoga can be added to existing sport and conditioning programs to help your athletes increase their fitness and performance.

Sport in Focus: Basketball

Close up image of friends playing basketball at a gymnasium.

Performance Demands of Basketball

Basketball is a stochastic, intermittent high-intensity sport. It is characterized by periods of high aerobic oxidative and anaerobic glycolytic demands, continuous changes of direction that challenge the neuromuscular system, including accelerations and decelerations, jumps, sprints, physical contact, and sport-specific skills. Learn more about the application of high-intensity training to basketball performance, or view a short clip demonstrating the human movement of shooting in basketball.

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers guards LeBron James of the Miami Heat during a game at American Airlines Arena on February 10, 2013 in Miami, Florida.

Basketball Legends

LeBron James’ intensity, skill level, and control are legendary. Many researchers have described this high-performance state as ‘flow’: the ability to pursue a goal and become immersed, without conscious awareness of the goal, objective or need to apply skills. Learn more about LeBron James, the concept of ‘flow’ and the harnessing of inner strength.

The story of Michael Jordan’s celebrated rise to greatness is characterized by rigorous practice. One of the most celebrated basketball players of all time, Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team but refused to let this set-back deter him. Jordan’s perseverance and focus on perfecting his technical and tactical skills propelled him to professional excellence. Learn more about expert performance in sport.

Much-missed basketball superstar Kobe Bryant described how the training he underwent as a youth contributed to his later success. Instead of an environment that over-emphasized competitiveness, he benefited from a training culture that prioritised skill development such as ‘fundamentals, footwork, spacing, back cuts’. Learn more about best practices for developing young athletes’ readiness for competing in sport.

Adaptive athletes in wheelchairs playing basketball together in a indoors sports court.

Wheelchair Basketball

Sport is universal. It provides common ground for societies around the world through the compelling performances of many differently-abled participants. Wheelchair basketball is the most played disability sport in the world: it has featured at every Paralympic Games since 1960 and is also commonly played at club and recreational levels. Learn more about designing wheelchair basketball programs and promoting inclusion.

Activity in Focus: Dance Technique

GDC Feelin’ Good (Wikimedia Commons)

History of Jazz Dance

The rich history of jazz dance parallels the social, economic, and political history of the United States from the early 1900s to today. In this chapter you will learn how jazz dance grew from West African roots into a performing art, supported along the way by a fascinating list of artists, dancers, and choreographers. Understanding jazz dance history helps you realize the connections between the varied expressions that jazz dance takes, as well as the vital connections that exist between the figures, personalities, and every jazz dance student.

Lighting effects (Beginning Musical Theatre Dance)

Musical Theatre Choreography

Beginning Musical Theatre Dance introduces students to basic musical theatre dance techniques from a variety of genres, forms, and styles and explains how to put them into practice for performance on stage. Accompanying instructional video clips help students practice and review musical theatre dance forms, techniques and adaptations. Click here to watch a video clip of precision style choreography in the style of musical theatre.

Preparing for Class (Beginning Tap Dance)

Safety in the Classroom

As with any physical activity, dance related injuries sometimes occur. Understanding safety precautions along with basic movement, nutrition, and anatomy can help you prevent many of those injuries. This chapter from Beginning Tap Dance examines studio safety, including creating the best environment to minimize joint and muscle stress and keeping the studio free of injury-causing obstacles. Basic anatomy, proper alignment, nutrition and hydration are also addressed to further assist understanding of injury prevention.

Ballet Swan Lake (Pixabay)

Ballet Steps

Beginning Ballet introduces students to the study of ballet as a performing art and provides instructional support in learning foundational ballet technique. The book features an audio glossary which explains key terms such as échappé sauté and rond de jambe à terre, as well as images demonstrating basic positions, barre exercises, and centre combinations. Whether you are learning an arabesque a terre or a coupe devant, this collection will provide clear instruction to help guide your dance practice.

Spotlight Lighting (Pixabay)

Staging a Performance

A dance exists only in the mind of the choreographer and as a rehearsal exercise until it is performed. However, bringing a dance performance to fruition requires long-range planning and a number of intermediary steps. Planning a dance performance can be a daunting task, but it is possible to minimize the challenge by arranging the production process into a series of smaller, more digestible tasks. From rehearsals and lighting, to props and sets, this chapter is your guide to staging informal concerts and lecture-demonstrations.

Activity in Focus: Developing Dance Practice

The first update to Human Kinetics Dance Technique provides access to 21 additional titles from Human Kinetics’ market leading list and accompanying video and audio content that supports students developing their dance technique, and also provides instructors with valuable teaching tools that can be implemented within their curriculum.

Book cover image for Careers in Dance by Ali Duffy

Support for Teachers and Instructors

The new update collection for Human Kinetics Dance Technique includes a wealth of material designed to support teachers and instructors of dance. Lesson Plans for Creative Dance by Sally Carline offers 28 age-appropriate dances based on Laban movement concepts that help to both teach and assess students, and provides a progression of learning that creates a rich, extended experience for students. Anne Green Gilbert’s Brain-Compatible Dance Education, Second Edition strikes the perfect balance between hard science and practicality, making it an ideal resource for dance educators working with dancers of all ages and abilities, while Careers in Dance spotlights entrepreneurship and leadership opportunities for dancers, delving into an array of options and offering much-needed advice.

Book cover image for Conditioning for Dance by Eric Franklin

Instructional Videos

The content collection will be accompanied by 37 fully cross-searchable videos which provide an innovative multimedia experience for users. Eric Franklin’s Conditioning for Dance, Second Edition features portable whole-body workouts that use elastic bands to increase strength and aerobic conditioning for dance, and a personal conditioning program you can use to monitor your conditioning development to support your performance, while the instructional videos accompanying Brian-Compatible Dance Education provide great teaching aids that show you real-world examples of dance movements. Anne Green Gilbert's Creative Dance for All Ages provides videos that demonstrate the lesson plans and teaching strategies and how to put them to work in the classroom. Click here to see an example of her instructional techniques in action.

Book cover image for Dance Imagery for Technique and Performance by Eric Franklin

Audio Clips for Teaching and Research

In addition to supporting videos, the Human Kinetics Dance Technique collection also offers a rich collection of audio clips which enable a dynamic learning experience, and provide dance instructors with invaluable teaching tools to engage and inspire students. Nola Holland’s Music Fundamentals for Dance includes extended learning activities and support materials that combining music skills with dance and uses music clips to offer ready-made examples of dance choreography which students can use in applying concepts from the book. Eric Franklin’s updated Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery expands on the classic text and offers audio files for dynamic imagery exercises which enable users to discover their natural flexibility and quickly increase their power to move. Click here to listen to a sample of these exercises.

Book cover image for Public Scholarship in Dance by Lynnette Young Overby

Practical Support and Wellbeing for Dance Professionals

From writing about dance as part of course assignment, to promoting wellbeing and supporting professional careers in dance, the new Human Kinetics Dance Technique collection includes practical material to support students, educators and instructors alike. Safe Dance Practice takes a multidisciplinary approach to the components of dancing safely, integrating principles without compromising dancers’ artistic creativity and expression, while Dancer Wellness provides theoretical concepts, practical information and applications that dancers can use to enhance their health and wellness. Alternatively, if you are a dance educator or student seeking to engage in public scholarship in dance and want to ensure your work receives the attention it deserves, Public Scholarship in Dance is the resource for you.

Book cover image for Attention and Focus in Dance by Clare Guss-West

Practical Dance Technique

Diana Green’s Choreography From Within and Justine Diane Reeve’s Dance Improvisations allows students to learn, explore, and create based on their own unique styles while also providing expert instruction for educators in planning, teaching, and assessing students’ routines. Attention and Focus in Dance takes a more mindful approach to dance, helping dancers hone the skills of attention, focus and self-cueing to replenish energy and enhance their physical and artistic performance, while Breathing for Peak Performance outlines the anatomy of breathing, and how to improve your breathing function to benefit health and improve performance.

Sport in Focus: Hiking

Discover the outdoors through this carefully curated collection of ebooks exploring key topics such as environmental stewardship, environmental hazards, the mechanics of walking, and more.

Environmental Stewardship

While hiking can be low intensity outdoor activity it can still have an impact on the environment. Soil compaction and vegetation trampling are the most common impacts to the back country and can occur after as little as one night of use. Recreation ecology works to identify, document and mitigate the effects of outdoor activities such as hiking and provide a scientific basis for management. Click here to find out more about the impact that outdoor recreation can have on all aspects of the natural environment, from vegetation and soil to water and wildlife.

Technology and Equipment

In Risk Management in Outdoor and Adventure Programs Aram Attarian describes the role new technology can play in recreation activities. Access to the appropriate equipment can play a significant part in the success or failure of outdoor programmes and have become important tools for adventurers and guides, as well as search and rescue teams. Click here to find out how a personal locator beacon (PLB) saved the life of a hiker stranded in Big Bend National Park, USA.

Overnight Hiking

For many hikers, there exists a reluctance to extend day walks into overnight trips because of the unknown elements. In this chapter, Daniel L. Chase seeks to quell these anxieties by outlining the fundamental skills and techniques that can be applied to overnight hiking. Written to aid teachers and tour leaders preparing students who are new to the activity, Chase provides a step by step guide to planning a safe and enjoyable overnight hike, from hazard evaluation and basic first aid, to outdoor ethics and equipment packing.

The Mechanics of Walking

Bipedal walking is a primary form of human locomotion. This action of putting one foot in front of the other, at a relatively constant speed, is no trivial task. Indeed, scientists and engineers have spent millions creating robots that can perform the feat of walking. This chapter from Biomechanical Analysis of Fundamental Human Movements explores the mechanics and biomechanics of walking, stance, pressure and recovery, with highlighted calculations and examples to aid independent research.

Outdoor Program Management and Environmental Hazards

Guides and outdoor programme providers cannot control natural environments, however it is important to be able to identify and successfully manage these potential hazards. The most effective protection from such natural phenomena comes from experience and education, combined with appropriate equipment, skill, and tactics. Click here to learn how to minimise objective dangers and explore case studies of common hazards that outdoor leaders may encounter.

Sport in Focus: Soccer

Celebrate the kicking-off of the international soccer season with this carefully curated selection of titles exploring key topics relating to the beautiful game.

A Global Game

As a sport that invites global investment, attention, and participation, soccer has stakes that reach far beyond the boundaries of the pitch. As a result, the study of international relations can provide key insights into understanding the international characteristics of soccer as a sport, as well as in debates concerning relations between sport and so-called global society. Over the past few decades, sport has moved up the political agenda nationally and internationally, and awareness has grown of the role of sport in cultural and social life. In this chapter, you can read more about the significance of soccer, and sport more broadly, on the global socio-political stage.

Player Conditioning and Injury Prevention

In soccer, as in all sport development and training, as players climb the ladder of performance, the gains become smaller and more infrequent. The demand for consistency and to stay in peak form increases, and the risk of deterioration or loss of fitness goes up because the demand is so high at the top level. This unfortunately leads to the one aspect of training that very few professionals like to address with aspiring athletes: injuries. In this chapter, find out how to keep players game-ready, with detailed information on avoiding some of the most common soccer injuries as well as step-by-step, position-specific training protocols for players returning from injury.

Women in Soccer Media

With the surging popularity of women’s soccer worldwide, the presence of women in the media relating to the sport has equally grown. But the history of the role of women working within the sports media industry is a long and complex one, raising issues of inequality and mistreatment in comparison to their male counterparts. As long as sports have been covered in the mass media, through magazine, radio, newspapers, television, or digital platforms, women have been helping to produce that coverage. In this chapter, learn more about the role of women in sports media in a historical context, the issues that affect women’s status in the sports media industry, and the connection between the status of female media professionals and female athletes in media depictions.

High-Intensity Interval Training and Soccer

The popularity of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which consists primarily of repeated bursts of high-intensity exercise, continues to soar because its effectiveness and efficiency have been proven in use by both elite athletes and general fitness enthusiasts. Surprisingly, few resources have attempted to explain both the science behind the HIIT movement and its sport-specific application to athlete training. HIIT can be utilised in the context of soccer to optimise player performance, particularly with focus on the development of aerobic power and endurance in athletes. Read more about the science behind HIIT, its applications in soccer, and the importance of physical performance in winning games in this chapter.

Sport in Focus: Pickleball

Learn more about the fastest-growing sport in the United States and improve your play with the Human Kinetics Library’s curated Pickleball content.

The Origins of Pickleball

Belonging in the net and wall games category, pickleball is a divided court game whose primary intent, as for all net and wall games, is to get the ball in the court area more often than the opponents do. Pickleball was invented by two families via a recursive process of adjusting equipment, rules, and areas of play until this dynamic and exciting sport was born. Discover the history of pickleball in this chapter from the ebook Playing Fair.

King of the Court

How can playing pickleball help cultivate new and existing skills among students? In his chapter from Playing Fair, Tim Hopper provides an in-depth explanation of the techniques and benefits of pickleball for young players. The author outlines how developing an understanding of the tactical concepts and strategies behind the sport, as well as learning how to apply these concepts in game-based scenarios, allows players to engage in a form of negotiation and collaborative problem solving that reaches beyond the lines of the court.

Pilates for Pickleball

Pickleball is a sport that requires flexibility and mobility. For pickleball players who wish to improve their fluidity of movement, the Lateral Glute Walk is a pilates exercise to help develop the glutes and hip abductors. Learn the correct technique in this chapter from Pilates and Conditioning for Athletes.

Executing the Perfect Volley

A volley is a shot hit in the air before the ball bounces. It is used as a return of a ball that travels close to the top of the net and that is usually hit with force. This could be a groundstroke, another volley, or a missed hit by the opponent. The volley is executed from a position just behind the non-volley zone, and it can be either offensive or defensive in nature. The ability to volley with strength and confidence is crucial to your success as a pickleball player. This chapter from Pickleball Fundamentals, provides a number of volleying drills to help your game become more well-rounded – such as the Toss and Volley drill.

Defending Against the Drop Shot

A drop shot is hit off of a bounce from deep in the court. The object of hitting a drop shot is to give the team deep in their court – usually the serving team – the opportunity to follow up the shot to the non-volley zone line. When hit correctly, the ball will drop just over the net and land in the opponent’s non-volley zone, making it a challenge to return. This chapter from Pickleball Fundamentals provides a series of drills for players to practice performing and defending against drop shots, including the Throw and Drop Shot drill.

Sport in Focus: American Football

From game preparation to technical skills, this specially-selected collection of titles on American Football provides players of all levels with the tools to elevate their game. Explore the chapters below and discover insights and advice from expert coaches, players, and sport scientists.

Game Preparation

Preparing for game day mentally is just as important as preparing for it physically; you must have a plan. Jay Norvell’s chapter from Complete Wide Receiver delves into the importance of game preparation and how investing time in film preparation and opponent analysis puts you a yard ahead on game day. Breaking down this process into concise and practical steps, this chapter serves as a key foundation for those looking to up their game. Click here to read Norvell’s chapter on Game Preparation.

The Elements of Success

Success can be measured in many ways. No matter how you measure it, either as a coach or as a player, the fact remains that as long as a score continues to be kept, winning will remain a vital part of success on the football field. In his chapter from Winning Football, Bill Ramseyer explores the different facets of what enables a team to compete consistently at the highest level; from a strong work ethic and mental toughness to communication and accountability. Click here to read Ramseyer’s chapter on The Elements of Success.

Techniques of Football Kicking and Punting

In Football Kicking and Punting, former NFL player Ray Guy and veteran kicking coach Rick Sang join forces to provide aspiring kickers and punters with expert instruction. From the fundamentals to advanced strategies, this text provides detailed technique instructions on field goals, extra points, and special plays through 46 proven drills, maximising practice time and ensuring improvement. Football Kicking and Punting also includes specialized warm-ups and conditioning programs, as well as game strategy preparation to enhance your game. Click here to read this chapter on Punting Fundamentals.

Interval Training and Performance Demands

The popularity of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which consists primarily of repeated bursts of high-intensity exercise, continues to soar because of its effectiveness and efficiency. In a chapter from Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training, Paul Larsen and Martin Buchheit turn their attention to how this training practice can be used to maximise performance in American Football. Offering a breakdown of the targets of physical performance in the sport for all field positions, as well as strategies for structuring a specially-tailored American Football training program using HIIT, this text provides a scientifically-proven and invaluable approach to training for the sport. Click here to read this chapter on the benefits of HIIT in American Football training.

Sport in Focus: Swimming

No matter what time of year, swimmers at every level can enjoy health benefits from their time in the water. This specially-selected collection of titles offers advice for all swimmers, from the outdoor triathlete looking to increase strength and speed to the beginner seeking more confidence in the pool. Explore the chapters below and discover tips and insights from professional coaches, instructors, and swimmers.

Teaching Technique

Swim coaches and instructors know that swimmers must understand and apply the right technique in order to improve. In this chapter from Developing Swimmers (2011), award-winning coach Michael Brooks defines key benchmarks for assessing a swimmer’s potential and strengthening technique, both at the whole body level, and in the nuance of particular strokes. Click here to read Brooks’ chapter on Teaching Technique Effectively.

The Art of the Freestyle

Freestyle is more than just the fastest competitive stroke; it’s fundamental for all swimmers looking to keep their bodies fit and flexible. In this chapter from his formative instructional guide The Swimming Drill Book (2017), United States Swimming (USS) coach Ruben Guzman presents practical tips for the freestyle stroke from body position, to breathing, to kicking and a strong two-arm coordination. Click here to read Guzman’s chapter on Freestyle.

The Science of Swimming

It may sound obvious, but there’s a science to moving through water effectively. In The Science of Swimming Faster (2015), editors bring together coaches, athletes, trainers, and researchers to consider how scientific application can help competitive swimmers shave crucial seconds off their time. Click here to read a chapter by Timothy Wei, Russell Mark and Sean Hutchinson exploring Fluid Dynamics, Propulsion, and Drag.

Preparing for the Marathon

Swimming in a marathon requires a unique set of physical and mental skills. In his book Open Water Swimming (2011), professional marathon swimmer and coach Steven Munatones offers athletes his insight and expertise on preparing, training, and competing in different types of open-water events. In this free-to-read chapter, Munatones gives helpful advice for swimmers preparing for full marathons.

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