Microfiber - Fabric of tightly woven polyester or nylon fibers that offers good resistance to wind and light rain, as well as breathability. Shells used for high-energy, outdoor workouts are frequently made of this lightweight fabric.
Nutrition - The sum of the processes by which an animal or plant takes in and utilizes food substances.
Osteoporosis - A condition that affects especially older women and is characterized by decrease in bone mass with decreased density and enlargement of bone spaces producing porosity and fragility.
Overpronation - Excessive inward foot motion during running that can lead to injury. Learn how to choose running shoes.
Partial Reps - Performing an exercise without going through a complete range of motion either at the beginning or end of a rep.
Pectorals or "pecs" - The 2 pairs of muscles in the chest that work to pull the upper arms toward or across the chest. The pectoralis major covers the chest from the top of the arm to the collarbone, down to the sternum and upper 6 ribs. The smaller pectoralis minor is located underneath, and runs from mid-chest to shoulder blade. Push-ups work the pecs!
Perceived exertion - The level of intensity you feel your body is exerting during exercise on a scale of 0 to 10. An unscientific way of staying within your target heart rate zone.
Plyometric exercise - Where muscles are loaded suddenly and stretched, then quickly contracted to produce a movement. Athletes who must jump do these, i.e. jumping off bench to ground, quickly rebounding to another bench.
Pronation - The natural inward motion of the foot after heel strike and before pushing off again with the ball of the foot. Overpronation is excessive inward motion and can lead to running injuries. Learn how to choose running shoes.
Pull buoy - A foam flotation device designed to fit between your legs and keep the lower part of your body afloat without kicking. It allows you to work only your upper body and concentrate on your swimming stroke.
Pyruvate - A nutritional supplement that has been found to enhance athletic performance and possibly aid in burning fat.
Quadriceps or "quads" - The group of 4 muscles that make up the front of the thigh. Quads straighten the knee, and keeping them strong can help ward off knee injuries. Cycling, skiing, running and hiking downhill work these muscles!
Rectus abdominis - The muscle extending the entire length of the abdomen, from the lower 3 ribs to the top of the pubic bone (below the navel). Works to keep you upright and lets you bend at the waist. Strengthening this muscle can help prevent lower back pain.
Recumbent bike - A bicycle on which you sit in a reclined position with your back supported and your feet out in front. It can be an indoor, stationary-type or a moving, outdoor-style bike. It works the buttocks and hamstrings more than upright bicycles, and unlike uprights, supports the back.
Repetition or "rep" - A single movement, as in doing one squat. This is going down and then going back up. For toning, strength and endurance, do more reps at a lower weight.
Resistive cuffs and boots - Foam buoyancy devices placed on the ankles and/or wrists to create extra resistance for water aerobics and water running. Shown to increase workout intensity up to 5 times.
Rest Pause Training - Training method where you press out one difficult repetition, then replace bar in stands, then after 10-20 second rest, do another rep, etc.
Rhomboids - The muscles that pull your shoulder blades inward. They attach to the vertebrae at the base of the neck and go diagonally to the inside edges of the shoulder blades.
R.I.C.E. - The formula for treating an injury such as a strain or sprain. The acronym stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
Set - A number of repetitions of a movement, such as an arm curl or a squat. A set may have 8 reps, for example.
Shin splints - The generic term for pain in the front of the lower leg. Most often caused by inflammation of the tendons (tendinitis), which can result when the tendons are subjected to too much force or repeatedly overstretched. Running or walking on hard surfaces can contribute.
Simple carbohydrates - Sugars, such as fructose, glucose, maple syrup and honey. So called because their chemical makeup consists of only 1 or 2 units as opposed to complex carbohydrates, which contain many.
Slip-lasted - Shoe construction made by sewing the upper into a sock, which is then glued directly to the mid- and outsole without any board in between. These are flexible shoes with lots of cushioning and little motion control and are ideal for the underpronater. Learn how to choose running shoes.
Slow twitch muscle fibers - Slow twitch fibers, as the name suggests, contract more slowly than fast twitch muscle fibers and they can contract for a longer period of time. We often call these 'endurance' muscles because they're great for aerobic activities that require endurance like running, cycling and swimming.
Spinning® - The Spinning program utilizes a revolutionary stationary bike, the Johnny G. Spinner by Schwinn, which is designed to simulate a real outdoor biking experience. There are no computers attached to the Spinner, and the bike has a fixed gear, racing handlebars, pedals with clips or cages, and a seat that can adjust up and down, fore and aft. Each Spinner also has a resistance knob that you can use to adjust the intensity of each workout.
Sprain - An injury to the ligament.
Supination - Rolling motion of the feet onto the outer edges. Typical of high-arched, stiff feet. Also called "underpronation." Learn how to choose running shoes.
Static stretch - A simple muscle stretch that goes just to the point of gentle tension and is held steadily for several seconds without moving or bouncing.
Strain - An injury to the tendon or muscle.
Straight last - Shoe construction with a straight shaped sole. A straight last is appropriate for the overpronater with a flexible, flat arch. It helps to control inward motion.
Stretch reflex - A protective, involuntary nerve reaction that causes muscles to contract. Bouncing or overstretching can trigger the reflex in which muscles are trying to protect themselves from damage.
Super Set - Alternating back and forth between two exercises until the prescribed number of sets is completed.