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Integrating Strength and Conditioning Into a High School Physical Education Curriculum: A Case Example

Kacie V. Lanier, Chad M. Killian, and Richard Burnett

joperd cover May June 2021

Today, many schools have the facilities and equipment needed for a strength and conditioning program and already provide programming for school athletes. However, some schools do not, given the space and cost requirements necessary to equip traditional weight and fitness rooms. Nevertheless, strength and conditioning is more than just being in a weight room. Strength and conditioning can take place in a gym, in a classroom or outside using no equipment (e.g., bodyweight exercises such as squats, burpees, push-ups or lunges) or minimal equipment (e.g., bands, milk containers filled with sand, cans of food, weighted PVC pipes etc.).

In light of this, implementing strength and conditioning into the physical education curriculum can add diversity to physical activity opportunities and introduce more students to health-enhancing, lifetime physical activities (Kozub & Brusseau, 2012; Takano, 2013; “Weightlifting Nurtures Strength,” 2018). Therefore, the purpose of this article is to provide an overview of benefits and potential value of integrating inclusive strength and conditioning courses into physical education curricula. The case example gives a practical overview of how one high school has designed a high-quality, accessible, and inclusive strength and conditioning course that all of its students have the option to participate in.

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