Guillaume Nery is a freediving champion who practices breathing to store as much air in his lungs as possible. Alveoli are tiny air sacs that allow for gaseous exchange. Nery and his partner practice and film themselves training underwater.
Muscle Flexibility (04:29)
Alice Renavand, the principal dancer at the Paris opera, talks about the elasticity of muscles and strength of a ballet dancer. Muscles can thicken or elongate depending on the exercise. Young girls learn how to dance, practice, and stretch together.
Muscle Strength (03:57)
Aurelien Rougerie, a French rugby player, says the legs are the most important because they keep him mobile. He says his upper body is like armor to protect and overcome his opponents. He lifts weights and does the plank for core strength.
Extreme Flexibility (07:41)
Hassan Hassani and Ali Abdallah make up the Plastic Boys, contortionists in a circus. They go see a doctor, perform various activities and tests, and the doctor explains what is happening with their bodies. Stretching creates less stress on tissue, muscles, tendons, and joints and makes people age less quickly and use less energy.
Muscles for Swimming (04:28)
Florent Manaudou says Thomas Sammut, the French Olympic swimmers’ sports psychologist, helps the team as much as physical training. Swimmers prepare mentally so they can perform at their best, manage and combat stress, and manage their emotions. He has one swimmer practice breathing and think of calming images while he monitors his heartbeat.
Sammut taught Manaudou neuro-linguistic programming to get him at his optimal state immediately. Camille Lacourt explains how he gets mentally prepared to perform at swimming competitions. The French swim team has improved since Sammut has been working with them; their strongest weapon is their state of mind.
Bones and Concentration (06:20)
Bertrand Kron, a karate instructor, talks about strengthening bones and teaches children karate. The doctor for the French National Karate Team explains how human bones break down and regenerate throughout our lives. Kron goes to a doctor for tests to ensure his bones are undamaged and stronger from performing karate.
Prehistoric Movements (06:21)
A man runs barefoot, crawls, lifts rocks, swims in the river, climbs boulders, and carries trees for exercise. Fitness coach, Erwan Le Corre, tells his class this is the best way to exercise because it is natural and uses the entire body. Scientists show footprints from an Ice Age runner; they calculated his height and stride and claim that he could run faster than Usain Bolt.
Credits: Extraordinary Powers of the Human Body: Part 2 (00:40)
Credits: Extraordinary Powers of the Human Body: Part 2
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