Physiology and Fitness

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Needs to have Closed Captioning added. Enjoyed the course content but Needs to have Closed Captioning added.
Date published: 2019-09-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I haven't completed this course yet but from what I have already learned, I'm impressed.
Date published: 2019-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Physiology and Fitness This is not only pleasing to watch, I'm sure it will also be beneficial.
Date published: 2019-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Course for Fitness Instructors I am finding the information and practices demonstrated very helpful in the classes I am teaching and for my own personal fitness goals. Well taught, not to mention the eye candy!
Date published: 2019-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How This Course Helps Over-Achievers Although I have little use for “personal” reviews, this will be the exception because it is the best way to explain the value of this course. I am nearing 70 years. Given the enormous push required for my highly technical career and obligations to a large family, my efforts at physical fitness were sporadic until about 40. At that point, given the rapid rise of knowledge regarding the interplay of molecular biochemistry and exercise, it became clear that the same lessons Hodgkin now teaches in this course needed to be adapted to my own life. There were bumps, of course. Between stress and fast food, damage was accumulating. Just as drugs were introduced for the medical control of lipids, my own very unusual lipid profile provided a hint of angina during a run at a Las Vegas conference. A week later, I walked out of a high impact aerobics class because of chest pain. A triple vessel bypass was added to a hospital's Friday business that week. The Lord, however, saw fit to allow me to continue. Thanks to a wonderful wife, my diet changed radically. There was now good data to point to useful medical treatments, though my abnormalities are such outliers they will never be completely “corrected". Yet biochemical research suggests "change" has import beyond “numbers". I returned to step aerobics classes, initially lumbering through without a step. Amusingly, when my instructor saw me return, she walked out to compose her fear but to her credit returned. The high-stress job was tapered over eight years, eventually giving way to a stint as an O5 in the US Army with young bucks in 114°F heat. Finally, I retired at about 60 and remain highly physically active and fully functional. This laborious preface is meant to get to the bottom line: if you want to win in life, buy this course and listen to Hodgkin under the guidance of your physician. His range goes from exercises to a layman’s discussion of VEGF (vasoendothelial growth factor) and I highly recommend it. Unbalanced stress, fast food, inactivity, and inadequate time with the soul are prescriptions for death.
Date published: 2018-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Engaging and in-depth. Really enjoying this lecture. The professor is enjoyable to listen to, as well as watch.
Date published: 2017-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wealth of Information The amount of information in this series of lectures is substantial. The lecturer has a deep understanding of the subject matter and is able to relay the information in a well spoken and understandable format. I have been using some of the training techniques I have learned from these videos and have been rewarded with increased energy and flexibility. In the age of prescription drugs its refreshing to hear an alternative to better health thru exercise and an understanding of basic physiology. Great work Dean, Thanks
Date published: 2017-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just WOW! I have been a customer for thirteen years. My 30 or 40 courses usually range from music to science. I am approaching 80 years of age and wanted to learn more about combating the negative effects of aging, so I bought this course. I'm about to say a mouthful:. This is THE BEST COURSE I've ever owned.! Dean Hodgkin knows his business. He is from the UK and has an accent. If you find it a little offputting, my loving advice is: GET OVER IT! In a very short time you won't notice it so much and what he has to teach is worth learning. He uses no elaborate equipment and explains the benefit and result of each exercise/workout. He is about flexibility and balance, not bodybuilding. This course is of value to youngsters, oldsters, people who want to lose weight, have a nicer overall shape and just to feel better and stronger. Five stars all the way!
Date published: 2017-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great exercise fitness and physiology course This is great introductory course in exercise physiology and fitness. The professor presents each topic with an engaging dialog on the subject that includes examples on how to put them into practice in your exercise program. Definitely a course that you would want to explore id your considering a career in exercise physiology or want to take your own personal health performance to a new level.
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Purchased video for me and a friend I'm a 50 year old father of four who needed a better understanding of physiology so I could get in shape and maintain my interest in exercise. My son is a long-distance runner and I knew what he was doing wouldn't be helpful to me. This course provided a good balance of understanding along with practical routines that fit my very busy schedule. I think this course could be very helpful for individuals of any age and either gender who need to understand physiology and appreciate an array of relatively easy entry exercise possibilities in order to stay motivated. The course will also help those who want to take their fitness to an intermediate level. I recently purchased a set for a friend who was struggling to get fit after recovering from a broken leg.
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not the best course for me I purchased both this and the Strength and Fitness course by Dean Hodgkin as a guide to re-establishing a fitness regime for myself (I'm 71) after a brief bout of illness. I believe this course and the Strength course are best for a middle age (say 40-55) year old whose recuperative powers exceed an older or less fit individual. In almost every case, after the first 2-3 exercises, the level of intensity rises dramatically, and is not a realistic goal to attain even after months of effort. As an aside, the participants shown demonstrating these exercises are muscular to an extreme, and hardly represent an encouraging peer group. Also, Mr. Hodgkin is only adequate as a guide. I have purchased over 25 Great Courses over the years, and these are not the best described or planned courses that could have been presented. Not recommended.
Date published: 2016-10-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from superficial overview this is not 21st century up to date; nor does it have all the detailed muscle in motion explanations that the description led me to believe would be present. very disappointed with the level of detail and level of figures and video embeddings.
Date published: 2016-09-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Physiology and Fitness needs a key word index The content is presented well, but there is too much information to be absorbed in a single pass-through. I wish that there would be a key word index so I could easily go back to particular parts to review them. For example, I was intrigued by the part about juggling. I even purchased a set of juggling balls, but now have to hunt and hunt to find where the instructions are located. The presenter, Dean Hodgkin, is personable and the technical aspects of the presentations are excellent. There is a huge amount of information connecting how to improve fitness by understanding the physiology behind the recommendations. I strongly suggest that one get the Transcript book. However, even it could be more helpful if there would be some sort of method of finding particular parts of the book. There is a Table of Contents in the Transcript that give the titles of the chapters, but there is no break down of important parts of the chapters. There is a glossary at the back of the book, but no page numbers so we could use those key words to hunt up a concept to review. The lectures are interesting and the exercises are well presented using live persons and are pointed to specific purposes, but it is next to impossible to find that particular exercise for review at a later time. - For example: Try to find one or more examples of how to build back muscles for improving posture. Perhaps there could be a diagram of the body with "Points" that one could click on to link related sections of the video. Or there could be a Key Word box at the top of each screen. Because I find it impossible to do any reviewing of specific parts , I don't use this course, even if it is well put together, with excellent step-by-step videos of how to do the various exercises. There is a university level amount of information that can't be used to do a university level study and review. Please add an index of key words and concepts so we can use this course as a ready reference. One other point - The examples of how to perform the exercises are shown using athletes who have no difficulty in going through the movements. I would like to see some of these examples being done with a first-time person.
Date published: 2016-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! This video is very well done. I have learned a number of things and Dean H has really inspired me to set long term goals and added some great variety to exercise program which makes it more fun and more beneficial.
Date published: 2016-06-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great lecturer, great course Very worthwhile investment in money and time. Reseach based and accessible, i would recommend this course to elderly parents and aspirering young athletes alike.
Date published: 2016-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Your Body During Fitness - The Inner Workings If you are ever curious or wondering about what is happening in your body during exercising then this course would answer this question completely and then some. After 36 lectures, approximately about a dozen active demonstrations I think this is really about as much information as a beginner & intermediate person looking into fitness would ever need. It is just so packed full of information. I was enlightened, indeed! However, as a caution if a viewer does not remember their advanced high school biology or their freshman Biology 101 then those nondemonstration lectures are sure to be tedious. As an example the professor (an international fitness expert!) goes into the breakdown of ATPs when you and your muscles begin to exercise. The only negative, and I really mean the only negative I can think of for this entire series is that watching those "regular people" perform exercise routines and "sweating it through" really made me fell less motivated?! It didn't look like they were having much fun exercising. So the take home message is that these presentations give fitness information but did not help with getting couch potatoes motivated.
Date published: 2015-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Much Information I have been looking for a tape or book that would break down the body: how exercise works, how the body functions, how the muscles work and interact with each other. I needed an overall view of all of this information instead of getting hit or miss books that may or may not supply the information I am looking for. I got this because I care about my health and wanted to go a step further, I am 60 but feel 35 and have been exercising for years. I do not have enough knowledge to continue to improve my health as I age and wanted something that would really be informative and take the fear out of progressing instead of regressing. I like feeling healthy and in this society, I see too much dependence on drugs and see people that age, getting lazy. You don't have to, you can still participate and be vital and strong and healthy. This tape and accompanying book is amazing, filled with knowledge and presented in an interesting, engaging way. Dean Hodgkin is exceptional. He is knowledgeable and motivational. He wants you to participate and be healthy. He cares. I highly recommend this to all ages, with a good attitude and desire you too can become fit and healthy.
Date published: 2015-03-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from like 4th grade health If you ned a refreshwr on 4th grade health this is the class for you. If you are well read on the latest health practices you too will find this rather unenlightening. The professor was engaging and enjoyable to watch, but the cucurriculum was not what I expected.
Date published: 2015-02-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Physiology and Fitness There is a lot of useful information, about physiology in general and how it relates to fitness. There are also many specific routines that one can use as a physical fitness personal program. There is only one problem: If you wish to return to a specific exercise, you have to remember which chapter it was in and about where in the chapter it was located. This is the reason for the reduced stars. It is too hard to hunt up the exercises, so I just forget the whole thing. It would be very helpful to have an index of the various routines with links to where they are shown in the program. There would need to be a separate index for each disc. The other possible solution would be to have the ability to bookmark the discs yourself. I realize these suggestions would involve added expense for The Great Courses - which would have to be passed on to the users, but I think it would more than double the usefulness of the programs that include step-by-step directions.
Date published: 2014-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceptional - Make the time to take this course - I am a 73-year-old power yoga-pilates-tai chi-meditation-dance instructor teaching 3 hours a day 4 days a week and a firm believer that exercise is the key to vibrant health. This course is well designed to educate, demonstrate and inspire. The lectures are not too long and Dean is an exceptional instructor. I have watched all the lectures, some more than once, and incorporated some aspects into my own classes. I highly recommend this course for anyone interested in their physical fitness and health in will change your life.
Date published: 2014-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent!!! Why did i wait so long!!! I have wasted so much time groping in the dark and I know have a solid knowledge based foundation to proceed from. I don't plan on stopping here!! Everyone should take this class
Date published: 2014-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from More From This Guy Dean Hodgkin knows his subject in "Physiology and Fitness". Like many others I wish that I had gotten my hands on this when I was in my early 20's. Now I'm 65 and I see that this is a great tonic for any age.. I purchased the Video format and the Course Guidebook. I can't imagine trying to follow this course in any other format and the Course Guidebook is a constant reference. Through this course I found that I have been doing some very basic exercises and stretches improperly since my time in the U.S. Army (1967 - 1969). I would like to see a follow-up course containing the very basics that are never taught or taught wrong, like: How to Walk, How to Run and so forth. When in the Army I was never taught the most efficient mechanics of walking for optimal duration and minimal discomfort, somthing that the US Army and everyone else might think important. This is one of the best courses offered. Get it if you plan on living more than five more years.
Date published: 2013-10-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One Terrific Course!! I'm a 74-year-old female who has been interested in fitness since taking a "Physical Fitness" PE course in college. While never being all that athletic and someone who would really prefer to curl up with a good book or sit at the computer, I have tried various exercise programs over the years. I have done workouts at home to TV and DVDs, bought home exercise equipment, gone to classes at work, joined gyms, wear a pedometer, and participated in exercise classes. Having said that, I wish I had seen this course years ago. It is the most complete, scientific series on sports medicine and fitness that I have ever been exposed to. It brought everything all together for me, and I have learned a lot that I didn't know. Every lecture had practical tips and pointers that I find useful, and the workout lectures are great too. I recommend it strongly for anyone interested in fitness who isn't already an expert in the subject. I especially recommend it to people over fifty who want to stay healthy and active.
Date published: 2013-10-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Muscle up A combination of an exercise video, and physiology course. Probably not much new to those into such. Good general info and instruction for the rest of us. Hodgkin is very pleasant. Lectures well, and seems very knowledgeable. Teaches routines well. Give you multiple levels of each exercise to try, based on your fitness level. All this said, I still maintain that the BETTER LIVING courses, are not up to rest of the offerings of the Great Courses . They may be useful, but not great.
Date published: 2013-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A ton of good information and inspiration This course is amazing. Not only the instructor is able to communicate in a simple terms of how our body works, but he also gives a variety of specific exercises to help improve the quality of life. Every lecture is filled with interesting information, advice and suggested instructions. Great course. Even if you think you are already fit, there is still a ton of useful information one might find interesting and helpful.
Date published: 2013-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible information I wish I had found this information years ago. Now that I have viewed the course my exercise and nutrition goals are much more focused. At 65 I feel healthier than I have for a long time, thanks for the best exercise information ever! I watch this and review it occasionally while I exercise to refine my habits. Balance and balanced strength are greatly improved now and I am just getting started, thanks.
Date published: 2013-07-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from physiology and fitness Everything you need to know to get into shape and maintain a healthy body all in one course.
Date published: 2013-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Course As a university hospital phsyician and in sports medicine, I can't believe how good this course. Been around trainers for decades. The course combines great workouts with insight into how they effect the body. Unique and strongly recommended. Buying copies for my friends.
Date published: 2013-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I always wanted to here the scientific explanations of the workout benefits. Instructor does excellent job and gives motivation to go to gym everyday.
Date published: 2013-02-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from It Depends... Exercise is a topic that is all too often left to "experts" and "trainers"- this is for the most part unfortunate, especially for those beginning their exercise after long absence from the gym. There is plenty of highly valuable reference material out there. Unfortunately, this course is not one of those. Note that in martial arts there are various sorts of tournaments and engagements and the phrase 'champion' has to be taken with some latitude. This is not to question the author's indisputable qualifications, but to point out that exercise needs be designed to one's goals and capabilities. And these goals and capabilities constantly change with more exercise, changing weight, advancing age. No exercise program is ever complete, it need be constantly reassessed and realigned throughout the decades of one's active life- much like reapportioning one's financial portfolio, only if anything, of even more importance. As a 63 year old life-time rat of the gyms and martial arts studios, I am always open to the latest input in fitness, flexibility, agility and response time. The search is never-ending. And in that light, as I've gained so much from Teaching Company courses over the years, I thought this course might introduce me to some things I've missed or forgotten or too hastily dismissed. It did not. Unless you are a true beginner [and in need of some handholding- as well as introductory level movement coaching], this course is not going to contribute much [anything]; in fact, it seems to omit some resistance training basics [for example, order of exercise is as important as what exercise you choose; duration at which one remains above the exhaustion threshold, work from center out, etc- these are not concepts for 'only the advanced', they are basics, and I find them little reinforced in this course] Similarly, one can watch many of the programs at local gyms and unfortunately, they are often designed to a low denominator; and/or designed on newest gimmick/fashion as opposed to solid, proven, long tested [scientifically, physiologically and empirically] methodology. No one knows at what level he treads the line between 'not enough' and 'too much' except the person himself. [Tangentially, the Ancient Greeks often wrestled to the death in their Olympics; armies fought hand to hand throughout the ancient world- to these people, fitness meant more than health or cosmetics- it meant survival. It is difficult to believe that any of the "latest thing in exercise" today would have improved much upon what the dedicated Greeks/Persians/Indians/Romans/Chinese of the ancient world were already doing 3,000 years ago. Their sculptures remain testament to the beauty of the human form]. To this end, one can suggest this particular course in fitness won't hurt you, but we want more from our dedicated work-out hours than that. There are better approaches available, their are better introductions available. The old "Health for Life" series is a bit dated but has served as basis for much of new approach to resistance and flexibility training- based as that series was in age old techniques and latest science of physiology.. The idea, please: do the study yourself, do the homework, don't rely on hear-say or result of one general fitness guru. A single week of applied study can save you months and months of sweat in the gym for little results. Applied study means more than listening to one broad sweep entry level course. How you work out is as important if not more so, than how long. A week out of the gym and in the study will, when one returns to the gym, reduce exponentially the time needed to gain in whatever direction one feels he wants to go : And on'e direction too, can only be decided by first doing the homework, and armed with that input, self-analysis: your direction in workout, if the exercise is to be of true lasting value, cannot be assigned by someone else; this is a very personal choice and can make the difference between becoming the person you wish and stalling again in some 'same old routine'. It is the individual's responsibility to do the homework- if he has not yet begun, this course may give him a tentative starting point. If he already has begun or has been on the path for a while, this course is unlikely to speed his journey.
Date published: 2013-02-19
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Physiology and Fitness
Course Trailer
Components of Fitness
1: Components of Fitness

Begin by considering the life-enhancing value of fitness and the remarkable statistics showing its wide range of benefits for your physical and mental health. In approaching the specifics of exercise, you'll investigate the health-related components of fitness, including cardiovascular health, muscular endurance and strength, flexibility, and body composition.

36 min
How Fit Are You?
2: How Fit Are You?

Measuring the core elements of your own fitness is an important step in designing and managing an exercise program. Here, learn about the principal methods of fitness testing and how to set benchmarks to monitor your own progress. Guided by filmed demonstrations, perform your own at-home tests covering the areas of fitness you learned about in the first lecture.

28 min
Overcome the Barriers to Exercise
3: Overcome the Barriers to Exercise

This lecture looks in depth at potential obstacles encountered in exercise. Examine the logistical and psychological challenges in designing a fitness program and how to overcome them. Explore the elements of motivation and effective approaches to setting fitness goals. Also, learn some of the many ways you can integrate exercise into your daily routine.

32 min
Your Heart in Action
4: Your Heart in Action

Here, investigate the fabulous mechanism of your own heart, the system of blood flow through the body, and exactly why the heart becomes stronger through exercise. Learn about the primary cardiovascular workouts-including continuous training, interval training, and cross training-and their effects on your quality of life.

32 min
The Fitness of Breathing
5: The Fitness of Breathing

In exploring the respiratory system, study the processes of breathing and lung function and the ways in which exercise benefits all maladies of the lungs. Then practice a group of breathing exercises from different traditions, noting how they improve cardiac function, decrease stress, and aid both physical and mental health.

31 min
You Can Reduce Stress
6: You Can Reduce Stress

Exercise offers one of the most effective defenses against stress. First, look at the root causes of stress, its debilitating symptoms, and specific self-help tactics to counter it, including relaxation techniques, meditation, and even laughing. Conclude with a series of targeted physical exercises to release stress from all areas of the body.

36 min
Fitness and Pregnancy
7: Fitness and Pregnancy

Contrary to common myths, intelligent exercise provides numerous benefits during pregnancy. Study how exercise affects the changes taking place in a pregnant woman's body. See how the core principles of exercise apply during pregnancy and learn specific recommendations for prenatal exercise and for returning to normal fitness afterward.

27 min
Refuel, Recover, and Reenergize
8: Refuel, Recover, and Reenergize

Proper physical recovery, both after exercise and between workouts, is essential to achieving fitness goals. Learn about the physiology of fatigue and rest and the fundamentals of refueling, including carbohydrate, protein, and fluid intake. Then, study physical recovery after exercise, highlighting water therapy, stretching, myofascial release, and self-massage techniques.

31 min
Thinking-The Brain-Body Connection
9: Thinking-The Brain-Body Connection

This lecture explores the significant effects of physical activity on brain function and psychological health. Investigate the capacity of exercise to build your self-esteem, elevate your mood, and improve your cognitive function and sleep habits. Also, explore the use of mental imagery to boost your physical performance and deepen your well-being.

30 min
Healthy Joints for Life
10: Healthy Joints for Life

Now discover the body's incredible system of joints and the role of the joints in human mobility. Study the structure and function of all the major joints and why exercise is crucial for their health and longevity. Consider the various forms of joint problems and specific ways to overcome them.

35 min
Protecting Yourself from Injury
11: Protecting Yourself from Injury

Injury in exercise can be minimized or avoided completely with a clear knowledge of its potential. Begin by tracking how injuries heal, then review common activity-related injuries and their remedies. After that, study the psychological factors in injury, approaches to pain management, and how to calibrate your fitness program to avoid injury.

34 min
The Amazing Benefits of Balance
12: The Amazing Benefits of Balance

This lecture explores balance training as a prime preventive tool for health. Investigate the processes involved in balance and the role of balance in all physical activity. Practice a spectrum of exercises to improve your posture, coordination, reaction speed, strength, and flexibility. Also, learn about advanced techniques for improving your sports performance.

35 min
Fueling Fitness
13: Fueling Fitness

Every biological process requires energy. Understanding energy production, therefore, gives you far-reaching insight into exercise. Study the body's three basic fuels (carbohydrates, protein, and fat), the three systems of energy production in the body, and, in practice, how to train these energy systems to get the fitness results you're after.

30 min
Why Everyone Should Exercise in Water
14: Why Everyone Should Exercise in Water

For many people of all fitness levels, the pool is becoming the new gym. Here, immerse yourself in the numerous benefits of water-based workouts, delving into fluid dynamics as they affect exercise. Study a range of tips for your pool workout and learn about variations such as water-based yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi.

29 min
The Secret Life of Muscles
15: The Secret Life of Muscles

Physical strength and endurance-as well as movement itself-rest on the body's complex system of muscles. Study the basics of muscle construction and action and the muscular movements in all the key joints. Learn in detail about resistance training and how to construct dynamic workouts around your own fitness goals.

31 min
Strong to the Bone
16: Strong to the Bone

Discover the living structure of the skeleton, the surprising construction and variety of the bones, and how bone health plays a critical role in the quality of your later life. Then, see how resistance training increases bone density, and review the many training options that can delay or even reverse bone deterioration and osteoporosis.

32 min
Getting Your Back on Track
17: Getting Your Back on Track

The engineering marvel of the spine provides support for your entire body. Study the anatomy of the spine, spinal motion, and the concept of "core strength"-the action of the spine-related muscles working together. In filmed demonstrations, target the core muscles in exercise, laying the foundation for a healthy back for life.

32 min
21st-Century Yoga
18: 21st-Century Yoga

Drawing on a 3,000-year-old tradition, consider the many proven health benefits of "fitness yoga," which aims to enhance muscular balance and strength, develop flexibility, and improve skeletal posture and lung capacity. In this lecture, demystify the complexities of yoga. Here, you'll practice a sequence of three basic poses and discover how to link them as a routine.

39 min
Walk Your Way to Fitness
19: Walk Your Way to Fitness

This lecture highlights the remarkable and underappreciated rewards of walking. Track the research documenting the numerous health parameters affected by walking, including its cardiovascular, weight loss, and disease-reduction benefits. Learn the physiology of walking motion, key principles for walking workouts, and three walking techniques you can use to improve your health and fitness.

30 min
The Amazing Benefits of Stretching
20: The Amazing Benefits of Stretching

As one of the core health-related components of fitness, flexibility plays a fundamental role in your quality of life and longevity. Using filmed demonstrations, learn three kinds of stretching techniques (as well as guidelines for your own stretching program) to enhance your range of motion and physical relaxation, reduce risk of injury, and improve posture.

30 min
Stay Active-Defy the Aging Process
21: Stay Active-Defy the Aging Process

Explore the nature of aging in all of the body's systems and the extraordinary capacity of exercise to slow and even reverse the biological clock. Target relevant exercises for cardio fitness, strength/endurance, flexibility, balance, and motor skills. Also, establish an exercise blueprint for each decade of your life.

34 min
Sitting Disease
22: Sitting Disease

As the flip side of physical activity, prolonged sitting poses real hazards for your health. Study the physiological effects of sedentary living and the risks and loss of functionality that result. Learn a four-prong system to improve your future health by introducing more activity at work, at home, and while flying and driving.

37 min
Exercise for Weight Loss
23: Exercise for Weight Loss

Beyond aesthetic matters, weight management is a fundamental issue for health and longevity. This lecture explores exercise as a dynamic tool for weight loss, showing you how and why it works. Learn about exercise programs and approaches for weight-loss training and the factors involved in successfully maintaining your new weight.

29 min
Mobilizers and Stabilizers-Managing Your Abs
24: Mobilizers and Stabilizers-Managing Your Abs

The perfectly flat stomach remains the most popular aesthetic indictor of fitness. In understanding this key area, uncover the structure of the "mobilizer" and "stabilizer" muscles and their unique functions. Practice a series of moving and isometric exercises to tone them, serving both to look your best and build a strong core.

33 min
Body Weight Workout
25: Body Weight Workout

This first workout uses only the weight of your body against gravity, providing a whole body workout you can do anywhere, with no cost and no special equipment. Emphasizing everyday movements for functional fitness, this lecture shows you 13 core floor and standing exercises that target all areas of the body.

29 min
Medicine Ball Workout
26: Medicine Ball Workout

Prized by athletes since ancient times, the medicine ball is an ideal exercise tool to develop power for personal fitness and sports performance. Here, perform a complete top-to-toe workout with the ball, targeting flexion, extension, rotation movements, and muscle groups including your shoulder girdle, triceps, abdominals, and core muscles.

25 min
Step and Interval Workout
27: Step and Interval Workout

Using a simple step platform, this workout combines cardio and strength exercises that work your upper and lower body. Alternating one minute of cardio and one minute of strength work (with 30 seconds of rest in between), perform a comprehensive range of exercises to burn calories, improve balance, and tone your body.

32 min
Dumbbell Workout
28: Dumbbell Workout

Beyond its many remarkable health benefits, resistance training is the number one choice for changing or "sculpting" your physique. Using the principle of your muscles' adaptation to work against resistance, practice a series of eight dumbbell exercises, targeting alternating muscle groups in your arms, shoulders, legs, chest, and abdominal areas.

24 min
Combat Workout
29: Combat Workout

Using no equipment, this workout employs intense cardio combat movements and develops the skill-related elements of agility, balance, and coordination. Learn a series of defensive blocks as well as dynamic punches and powerful kicks, linking them together in sequences to burn calories and reshape your whole body.

32 min
Fitness Ball Workout
30: Fitness Ball Workout

Challenging you to work against an unstable surface, this large, inflatable ball is a versatile tool for achieving whole-body strength and alignment. Practice a range of exercises in different positions with the ball, working muscle groups including the gluteals, hamstrings, quadriceps, inner thighs, back muscles, and rotator cuffs.

27 min
Balance Board Workout
31: Balance Board Workout

Exercising with a balance board challenges your body's joint receptors that control movement and balance, as well as recruits 20% more muscle fibers than a flat-surface workout. Learn 13 key exercises using the board, in a total-body workout for toning, balance, and core strength.

33 min
Kettlebell Workout
32: Kettlebell Workout

First used by the Russian military in the 18th century, the kettlebell allows for swinging movements and working with momentum, stimulating a different muscular response from other resistance tools. Practice an eight-exercise workout, using the kettlebell to build your cardio fitness, endurance, core strength, posture, and coordination.

26 min
Plyometrics Workout
33: Plyometrics Workout

Also known as "jump training," plyometrics uses the principle of increasing muscular power by stretching muscles before contracting them. In this time-efficient, intensive workout, focus on six jump-based exercises, dynamically working both your legs and upper torso, burning calories and toning all of the major muscles in your body.

29 min
Resistance Band Workout
34: Resistance Band Workout

The resistance band, an elastic tube with handles on either end, is an ingenious exercise tool, allowing you to do a full muscular strength workout at home or while traveling. Using the band's resistance in various positions, work a range of muscle groups in your arms, chest, back, shoulders, and legs.

33 min
Training Bar Workout
35: Training Bar Workout

Weighted and roughly three feet long, the training bar is a convenient home-use tool for building muscular strength and endurance. Practice a spectrum of exercises that will work and tone numerous muscle groups, develop your arms and legs, and integrate strength in your upper and lower body.

30 min
Stretching Routine
36: Stretching Routine

This concluding workout is designed as both a daily flexibility routine and as a sequence you can use at the end of any of the other workouts. After reviewing the core principles of flexibility training, you'll practice a pleasurable and invigorating group of static stretches that will release all the areas of your body.

37 min
Dean Hodgkin

Teaching people how the body works and how exercise can be of benefit is my mission in life, hence I'm so grateful for the opportunity to work with The Great Courses.


University of Portsmouth


University of Portsmouth

About Dean Hodgkin

International fitness expert Dean Hodgkin has presented master classes and seminars to fitness instructors in more than 30 countries. Voted Best International Fitness Presenter at the One Body One World awards in New York, he has appeared on numerous television and radio programs worldwide. A three-time World Karate Champion and a two-time European Karate Champion, Hodgkin earned a B.Sc. honors degree in Mathematics and Management Studies from the University of Portsmouth. He continued his education at Leicester College, where he was awarded the Certificate in Exercise and Health Studies by the Physical Education Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the leading qualification in the field at the time. Since then he has accrued a wide and impressive array of vocational qualifications and is a regular attendee at conferences focused on the latest health and fitness research findings. At the 2012 International Fitness Showcase-Europe's largest group exercise event, attracting more than 7,000 participants-Hodgkin received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his services to the fitness industry.

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