Top “Apps” for PE Teachers – Part 3

With the world of mobile apps continuing to explode,  Its time to share another 8 apps that will prove valuable in any PE class. Here they are in no particular order.

1.) TimeMotion – Fantastic FREE application that allows you to record locomotion types of either live or recorded team sports. While observing the activity, simply select the type of movement the athlete is completing and update throughout the game. The app keeps a statistical breakdown of time/percentage spent standing, walking, running, sprinting etc allowing for a detailed exploration of energy system usage, training requirements and much more.

2) TempoPerfect - TempoPerfect is free metronome software for keeping a clear and precise beat. Metronomes are essential for keeping time, improving practice sessions, and for developing a consistent rhythmic feel. Have used this in the past while connected to speakers to facilitate a variety of fitness tests and training sessions. Users can select from 40bpm to 280bpm.

3) iMuscle - Incredible application that allows you to explore the muscles of the human body in isolation. Zoom in close to find out the anatomical name, appropriate stretches and training. Recently used this on the iPad while connected to an interactive whiteboard to explore stretches for specific muscle groups.  A MUST HAVE. Check out there other apps here 

4) Step Test - Designed with PE teachers in mind, the step test app quickly and easily facilitates the queens college step test. The app guides the user through the test using the internal metronome to keep users in a “up-up-down-down’ cadence. At the completion of the 3minutes the user measures their Heart Rate for 15 seconds with this data then being used to determine their cardiovascular fitness and predicted V02max. See the video demo here

5) Heart Rate Training Zone - Helps you to determine your maximum heart rate then allows you to focus your training within a designated zone to ensure you maximise your training benefits. Measure your Heart Rate using the app by simply tapping the screen in sync with your actual heart beat.

6) Tru Posture - Amazing application that allows you to use your camera on your device to explore the state of your posture. Simply stand tall and have someone take a picture and let the app immediately identify the areas under pressure.

7) EasyTag - Simple application that allows you to do statistical recording within sports. Perfect for getting Key Performance Indicators from within games. Have injured students do recording during practical classes.

8) 12MinuteRun - Application designed to facilitate the coopers 12minute run fitness test. Uses the internal GPS to measure recorded distance covered in 12minutes. This distance is then used with your gender and age to determine your aerobic fitness level and predicted V02max.

So what are your favourite apps? How about android apps you are using in PE? Share your suggestions below.

Music Workouts

At present my students are participating within a 6 week training program in which they have planned and will reflect upon as apart of a major assessment piece. This involves them incorporating a variety of training methods and as a result we completed a circuit training session at school last week. The idea behind circuit training is that participants move between stations that each seek to develop different aspects of fitness. Basically this means that they work for a designated period of time at one station, lets say 30 seconds, then they complete a small rest period as they move to the next station before commencing again. This method  is repeated over and over again and is popular amongst large groups given its structure, ease of implementation and fitness benefits.

With this in mind circuit training is a very popular activity, however one thing has always annoyed me when co-ordinating one of these sessions is that someone is required to keep an eye on the timer and facilitate the station transitions. Solving this problem is the basis behind my recent idea of utilising music to give audio cues when designated work and rest periods have elapsed. Heres a few ways you can automate the session, giving yourself the ability to focus more on student performance as opposed to the stopwatch.

In iTunes

Although the above examples are relatively easy, it does however require time and herein lies the motivation for the development of my latest “App” for the iPod/iPhone/iPad which seeks to do the same thing automatically using the music contained on your device. The app is called “Music Workout” and the user starts by selecting the amount of work/rest time they desire followed by the repetitions they would like to complete. They then select their desired playlist and begin the workout. The app then plays songs for the work period and during rest the volume of that song is lowered to give users a cue that rest time has commenced. The user can also select to pause the song completely during rest and have it resume during recovery.  Stay tuned for it.

So how important is music in your exercise and activity?