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  • Stretching and Flexibility Guidelines Update

    by David Barr | Mar 18, 2021

    ACSM Fitness Summit 2020

    What are ACSM's guidelines for stretching and flexibility?

    The latest ACSM stretching and flexibility guidelines include:


    Equal to or greater than 2-3 times per week.
    Daily stretching is most effective.


    Stretch to the point of feeling tightness or slight discomfort.


    Holding a static stretch for 10-30s is recommended for most adults.
    In older individuals, holding a stretch for 30-60s may confer greater benefit toward flexibility.


    A series of flexibility exercises for each of the major muscle-tendon units is recommended.

    These stretching and flexibility guidelines are now presented in Table 5.6 of ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 11th Edition.

    Download ACSM Guidelines from its Book Page

    Access More Popular ACSM Guidelines Content:



    Physical Activity Guidelines | Professional Resources

  • Highlighted Sessions for Nutrition and Metabolism to be Presented at the 2021 ACSM Annual meeting

    by Caitlin Kinser | Mar 15, 2021
    2021 ACSM annual meeting nutrition and metabolism

    The 2021 American College of Sports Medicine  Annual Meeting, World Congress on Exercise is Medicine® and World Congress on the Basic Science of Exercise in Regenerative Medicine is scheduled from June 1 to 5, 2021. It will be a live virtual meeting.

    The Nutrition and Metabolism sessions during the Annual Meeting will again bring new research and practice to the forefront. The Highlighted Symposium, entitled,
    "Novel Dietary Approaches to Appetite Regulation, Health, and Performance," will be held on June 4 from 2:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time. This session highlights the following experts: James Betts, Ph.D., FACSM, who will present on “Nutrient Timing and Metabolic Regulation”; Javier Gonzalez, Ph.D., who will present on "Breakfast-exercise Timing for Weight Loss and Health: Better to Eat Before, or After, You Move Your Feet?"; Kevin Hall, Ph.D., who will present on “Foods to Avoid at Any Time of Day? Potential Role of Ultra-processed Foods in Obesity”; and, Krista Varady, Ph.D., will present on “Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting.”

    In addition to the Highlighted Symposium, there are many other exciting topics that will be covered. For example, on June 1st, there will be a symposium on “Dietary Nitrate and Exercise in Clinical Populations.” On June 2nd, there will be a symposium entitled “Beyond Carbs: The Role of Protein and Fat in the Promotion of Exercise Adaptation.” Another exciting symposium will be held on June 3rd, and is entitled, “From Hummingbirds to Humans: The Pleiotropic Roles of Beta-Alanine and Increased Carnosine for Exercise and Health.” The Buskirk Tutorial Lecture will be held on June 3rd, entitled “Standing Up for Sports Nutrition in the Age of Scienciness.” A tutorial lecture, entitled, “The PaleoKetoVeganMacroFasting Diet: Stop the Madness,” will be held on June 3rd.

    There will be a colloquium on June 4th that will discuss how sport nutrition can lead to healthier eating and lifelong physical activity in youth, and a tutorial lecture on “Physical Activity and Diet: Optimizing Combination Care in Cancer Control.” On June 5th, a tutorial lecture on diet quality and weight control titled “Carbs, Calories, or Quality? What Matters Most for Weight Control,” as well as a symposium on “The Importance of Energy Flux for Body Weight Regulation,” will be presented. These are just some of the many topics in the Nutrition and Metabolism area that will be presented at the ACSM Annual Meeting.

    These sessions all have a variety of speakers who are experts in the field. There is also a good variety of topics! We look forward to seeing you at the ACSM Annual Meeting this June! Click here to register.

    Stella Volpe, Ph.D., RDN, FACSM, ACSM-CEPStella L. Volpe, Ph.D., RDN, FACSM, ACSM-CEP, is professor and head of the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. Her degrees are in both nutrition and exercise physiology; she also is an ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist® and a registered dietitian. Dr. Volpe’s research focuses on obesity and diabetes prevention using traditional interventions, mineral supplementation, altering the environment to result in greater physical activity and healthy eating, as well as in sport nutrition. Dr. Volpe serves on the Board of Trustees for the International Life Sciences Institute North America. Dr. Volpe is an associate editor of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal®and the Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. She also is editor-in-chief for Current Nutrition Reports.

  • Highlighted Sessions in Fitness Assessment, Exercise Training and Performance to be Presented at the 2021 ACSM Virtual Annual Meeting

    by Caitlin Kinser | Mar 08, 2021

    ACSM annual meeting colorful, abstract athletesThe Fitness Assessment, Exercise Training and Performance topic area covers the broadest array of themes in the fields of exercise science and sports medicine and we have presentations for everyone from researchers, academics and practitioners to fitness professionals, educators and students. For the 2021 Annual Meeting, the program committee has focused on including more international experts and female-related topics and perspectives. As always, our topic area covers all ages and fitness levels as well as some more focused information about specific sports and activities.

    We are excited to present our Highlighted Symposium, “Military Human Performance Optimization and Injury Prevention: International Perspectives,” on Friday, June 4th 2:15 p.m. Patrick Gagnon, of the Canadian Forces Morale & Welfare Services, Dept. of National Defence, Ottawa, ON, Canada will discuss ‘Picking the Perfect Operator: A Canadian Perspective on Physical Selections for Demanding Occupations’; Julie Greeves, OBE, of the British Defense Forces, London, United Kingdom will discuss ‘Current Findings from the British Military Women in Close Combat Task Force’;  Herb Groeller, Ph.D., of the University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia will discuss ‘Physical and Cognitive Resilience Enhancement Strategies in the Australian Army’; and session chair Bradley Nindl, Ph.D., FACSM, of the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA will discuss ‘Human Performance Optimization Science and Strategies in the US Army.’ This international group of speakers will include in their talks how the general practitioner can use this science in their own training environments.

    There are two other exciting symposia, on Tuesday afternoon and Friday morning, respectively. Along with his promotion of youth fitness, John F. Kennedy was a strong advocate of the remarkable physical education program at La Sierra HS, headed up by coach Stan LeProtti and highlighted in “The Motivation Factor” documentary. “Make America Fit Again: Completing the JFK Challenge” will be presented by Irene Davis, Ph.D., FACSM; Ron Jones, and John Ratey, M.D., as well as an alum of the La Sierra HS program, Tony Asaro. “Sex Matters in Performance: The Female of the Species is Stronger than the Male,” will be presented by Glyn Howatson, Ph.D., FACSM; Sandra Hunter, Ph.D., FACSM; Paul Ansdell, Kevin Thomas and Emma Z. Ross and will include recommendations on how the emerging evidence in this area can be translated to practice to best affect in female athletes.

    There will be several practical tutorial sessions including one by Andrew Jones, Ph.D., on “Prescribing Endurance Training from Physiological Tests,” “The Compatibility of Endurance and Strength Training: Old Myths, New Science and Practical Applications” by Moritz Schumann, Ph.D., and Tommy Lundberg, Ph.D.; and finally, “Is there a Pattern to Help the Breathless Athlete? by Hege Clemm, M.D., Ph.D.; John Dickinson, M.D.; and James Hull, Ph.D., FACSM. 

    We will round out our broad category with an enlightening Colloquium “Bringing Everyone Back to the Game: The Importance of Youth Sports Post-COVID-19” with Katrina L. Piercy, Ph.D., FACSM; Karin Pfeiffer, Ph.D., FACSM, and Tom Farrey, and led in discussion by ACSM President, NiCole Keith, Ph.D., FACSM, to discuss national youth sports policy, current research and implications, and opportunities to change and improve the youth sports landscape at the local level. And finally, our European College of Sport Science Exchange Lecture – “Exercise and Health: Molecular Aspects” where Scott K. Powers, Ed.D., Ph.D., FACSM, and Bente Klarlund Pedersen, M.D., MDSC, will discuss the molecular mechanisms whereby exercise induces cardioprotection.

    As usual, there are a multitude of virtual poster sessions on the above topics as well as body composition, health and wellness, interval training, resistance training, monitoring, recovery, running, special populations, fitness testing and specific sports. With so many abstracts and interest in this topic area, there are plenty of posters you can view in between regular sessions during the whole conference! We look forward to you joining us at the 2021 Virtual ACSM Annual Meeting to learn more about fitness assessment, training and performance. For all our ACSM Certified professionals you can ensure you are employing the most current evidence-based practices as well as earn your CECs to maintain your certifications. Not certified? You can learn more about ACSM certification there, too!

    Roti-MelissaMelissa Wehnert Roti, PhD, FACSM, ACSM-EP, ACSM-GEI, is a Professor and Director of the Exercise Science Program at Westfield State University. She is a member of the ACSM ActivEarth Task Force and the ACSM Annual meeting Program Committee. 
    Connect with Dr. Roti on Twitter: @MelissaRoti.

  • Highlighted Sessions in Psychology, Behavioral Sciences and Neuroscience to be Presented at the 2021 ACSM Virtual Annual Meeting

    by Caitlin Kinser | Mar 04, 2021
    2021 annual meeting Psychology, Behavioral Sciences and NeuroscienceIn preparation for the 2021 virtual meeting, ACSM welcomed 300+ program submissions and will offer a total of 270+ hours of scientific programming. This year, the Program Committee decided to diversify the program offering in the area of in Psychology, Behavioral Sciences and Neuroscience to include diversity issues, COVID-19 mobility restrictions, pacing, neuroplasticity, analgesia, emotions and brain health. We want to thank you for your support of this rising area in the college as we will provide a safe space to learn from one another and continue to support our community members with the most up-to-date science through this unprecedented time.

    Psychology, Behavioral Sciences and Neuroscience programming begins on Tuesday, June 1st at 1 p.m. with The American Psychological Association Exchange Lecture, “The A.I.R. We Breathe: Advocacy, Inclusion, Representation and the Importance of Attending to Cultural Diversity in the World of Sport” featuring The Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) President Kensa Gunter, PsyD, CMPC. AASP is currently the leading organization for sport psychology consultants and professionals in North America. Each individual holds unique cultural identities that help to shape our perceptions of ourselves and others as well as our experiences in the world, including the world of sport. With this frame in mind, attending to cultural diversity is really an endeavor to better understand people in all of their uniqueness including athletes, coaches, performance staff and all who operate within the athletic realm. It also includes examining sport spaces and being honest about the inequities that exist while also working to create systems that are inclusive, characterized by respect & humility and embrace diversity as a strength. This one-hour session is directly followed by a second hour-long session about creating inclusive environments in exercise science education. If you would like to learn more about cultural competence and developing humility in sport and in the classroom while paying attention to creating culturally inclusive spaces, these two sessions are for you!

    On Wednesday, June 2nd, we start at 8 a.m. with the highlighted symposium, “New Findings on the Science of Pacing in Physical Activity and Sport Performance.” In recent years, there has been an explosion of research on pacing, due in large part to the implementation of novel experimental paradigms such as avatars, brain mapping technologies and data science. These and other methodologies have greatly enhanced our understanding of the perceptual inputs and neurobiological pathways involved in the decision-making processes that underlie pacing. The findings of pacing research will be presented with recent conceptualizations of fatigue theories, the placebo effect in sport and exercise and physical activity patterns existing in non-athletes. Session chair, Jack Raglin, Ph.D., FACSM, invited five outstanding researchers: David Williams, Ph.D., from Brown University School of Public Health, Florentina Hettinga, Ph.D., FACSM, from Northumbria University in the UK, doctoral students Stein Menting and Inge Stoter from the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands and Dominic Micklewright, Ph.D., FACSM, Dean of Partnerships from University of Essex.

    On Thursday, June 3rd, Jochen Baumeister, Ph.D., from Paderborn University in Germany, will chair a symposium on musculoskeletal injuries resulting in neuromuscular deficits. This session will overview novel methods that incorporate enriched sensory, motor, cognitive and biofeedback stimuli to provide clinicians a means to resolve both the neuro- and muscular deficits associated with injury.

    On Friday, June 4th, Bryan Saunders, Ph.D., opens at 8 a.m. with a fascinating symposium compromised of several world-leading experts in the placebo and nocebo field from all over the globe (USA, Brazil, UK). They will discuss novel data regarding the interplay between exercise-induced analgesia and placebo analgesia; placebo, motion and emotion; and the recent application of an open-label placebo intervention to improve exercise outcomes. The session will round off with what recent research tells us about the need to reconceptualize placebo and nocebo effects in sport and exercise. Insights will be provided to demonstrate the neurobiological mechanisms and psychological determinants of placebo and nocebo effects in sport and exercise, while providing recommendations on how we can harness their power and avoid their negative consequences. This symposium will be followed at 10.30 a.m. by a captivating symposium on sitting. If 2020-2021 was the year to brace for sitting, it had to be it! ACSM Executive Board member Erica Taylor, Ph.D., FACSM, and her team of researchers will introduce how our intentions capture the motivational factors that influence a behavior. Encouraging a physically active lifestyle is different from examining an individuals’ intent to decrease sedentary behaviors. Positive effects of physical activity on health are well known, and research now supports a negative impact of sitting on health independent of physical activity participation. However, research on interventions to decrease the amount of time spent sitting is still lacking. This session will examine the factors that influence intent to decrease sedentary behaviors to enhance a healthy lifestyle, including the role of emotions. Further, a discussion about disparities in sitting time and related health outcomes across diverse populations will be presented. Non-traditional and traditional strategies proven to decrease sitting time across diverse populations and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sitting will be shared with our audience. 

    Finally, on Saturday, June 5th, Shelby Baez, Ph.D., begins her one hour session at 8 a.m., and she will link maladaptive psychological responses and brain function in patients after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Injury-related fear is a primary barrier for return to sport and has been associated with secondary anterior cruciate ligament injury risk. Dr. Baez will explore the consequences of injury-related fear after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction on important neural factors, including brain activity and reaction time. The importance of underlying neuroanatomy concomitant factors with injury-related fear will be discussed. Lastly, psychological interventions addressing neuroplasticity associated with injury-related fear in this population will be identified.

    We look forward to welcoming you virtually until we meet again, to register for the 2021 ACSM Annual Meeting, please follow the link here.

    2021-ACSM-Election-PoudevigneMélanie Poudevigne, Ph.D., FACSM, ACSM-EP, CMPC, started her career in Europe with the Paris V Lacretelle STAPS and graduated with her doctorate as a Graduate Research Assistant in Exercise Science at the University of Georgia where she worked with special populations in mental health and cardiac rehabilitation with young gymnasts, pregnant women and elderly dawgs fans. She also holds a Masters in Sport Management from Georgia Southern. Her scientific work focuses on exercise/mental performance for the general public and elite athletes worldwide. When she is not busy teaching, she creates service learning opportunities pairing academic educational experiences and the ACSM certifications to promote training, civic engagement, and meaningful public health research and service to underserved students at Clayton State U., in the Southern crescent of Atlanta. She contributed over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles, book chapters on emotions, international presentations, and commercial products in health. Dr. Poudevigne was recently elected to the ACSM Board of Trustees, representing the area of Basic & Applied Science. She is a proud ACSM Fellow and certified member in exercise physiology, and she would like to encourage accomplished scientists to join her in becoming an international fellow with ACSM. 

  • 2021 ACSM Annual Meeting Highlighted Sessions in Skeletal Muscle, Bone and Connective Tissue

    by Caitlin Kinser | Feb 23, 2021

    mitochondria and green and blue graphic design elementsIt is a pleasure to serve as the ACSM topical representative for Skeletal Muscle, Bone, and Connective Tissue. The 2021 ACSM Annual Meeting will feature a number of outstanding sessions on the interactions between exercise, skeletal muscle, bone and connective tissue health. There are three sessions that I think will be of particular interest to conference attendees. The first is a highlighted symposium entitled, “Macronutrients and Muscle Protein Turnover During Weight Loss.” This session is scheduled for Friday June 4, 2021 from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM.  The symposium will be chaired by myself and features three outstanding speakers: Stuart Phillips, Ph.D., FACSM, from McMaster University, Stefan Pasiakos, Ph.D., FACSM, from the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, and Jamie Baum, Ph.D., from University of Arkansas. This session will highlight the role in which protein quality and exercise training can optimize loss of fat mass and preserve lean mass during weight loss. The key molecular mechanisms in which muscle protein turnover is regulated during different stages of energy balance and the influence of macronutrient composition on key regulatory pathways will be highlighted.

    The second symposium, entitled, “Mitochondrial Metabolic Control: Studies Using Experimental and Computational Approaches,” is scheduled for Wednesday June 2, 2021 from 2:00 PM-4:00 PM and will feature four of the leading experts in the field of mitochondrial metabolism. Speakers include Brian Glancy, Ph.D., from the National Institutes of Health, Wayne T. Willis, Ph.D., from the University of Arizona, Sarah Kuzmiak-Glancy, Ph.D., from the University of Maryland, and Jason Bazil, Ph.D., from Michigan State University. This session will describe how novel computational models can be used to better understand metabolic control within mitochondria. There is an ever-growing interest in the study of mitochondrial function in the pathophysiology of chronic diseases, thus this sessions should appeal to a broad audience from basic scientists to clinicians.

    The final symposium that I would like to highlight is “Lactate as a Signaling Molecule,” and features four of the leading experts in the world on the topics of lactate and metabolism. The session is scheduled for Tuesday June 1, 2021 from 3:30 PM-5:30 PM. Speakers include, George Brooks, Ph.D., FACSM, from University of California at Berkeley, Takeshi-Hashimoto, Ph.D., from Ritsumeikan University, Kristen Stanford, Ph.D., from Ohio State University, and Ralph Deberardinis, M.D., Ph.D., from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. This session will provide an update on the role in which lactate acts as a signaling molecule with autocrine, paracrine and endocrine functions. Dr. Hashimoto will describe how lactate accumulation during exercise signals metabolic adaptations in skeletal muscle, Dr. Sanford will describe how lactate influences energy substrate partitioning in exercise via the TGF-B signaling pathway, and Dr. Deberardinis will discuss the “Warburg Effect” and new findings on the role of lactate signaling in cancer.

    In addition to these sessions there will be a symposium on “The Role of Diet in Athlete Bone Health” (Thursday, 3:30 PM), a colloquium entitled, “Skeletal Muscle Fiber Phenotype in Obesity: Can it be Modified by Exercise to the Extent that Impacts Disease?” (Friday, 8:00 AM) and the Priscilla M. Clarkson Tutorial Lecture entitled, “Rhabdomyolysis: Could this Athlete have a Metabolic Myopathy or Did they Just Push a Bit Too Hard?” (Wednesday 10:30 AM), as well as several poster sessions spread throughout the week.

    Learn more about the other featured sessions in Skeletal Muscle, Bone, and Connective Tissue and the many other sessions that will be presented at the 2021 ACSM Annual Meeting here.

    Gordon FisherGordon Fisher, Ph.D., FACSM, is a member of the faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Human Studies, and he holds Senior Scientist positions in the Center for Exercise Medicine, Nutrition and Obesity Research Center and the Diabetes Research Center at UAB.