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Applying Music in Exercise and Sport

Applying Music in Exercise and Sport


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    Music has been intertwined with exercise and sport for many decades, and recent advancements in digital technology and personal listening devices have significantly strengthened that bond. Applying Music in Exercise and Sport combines contemporary research, evidence-based practice, and specific recommendations to help exercise and sport professionals, coaches, students, researchers, and enthusiasts use music to enhance enjoyment, motivation, and performance of physical activity. Readers will explore the psychological and physiological effects of music and learn how to apply scientific principles to personal workouts, group exercise classes, and both individual and team sport settings.

    Globally known authority and author Costas I. Karageorghis draws from contemporary research in an emerging field of academic study, exploring the application of music in the domain of exercise and sport. Respected psychologist and consultant for major organizations such as British Athletics, England Rugby, Nike, Red Bull, Spotify, IMG, Sony, and Universal Music, Karageorghis incorporates his unique experiences as a performer, researcher, and practitioner in music and sport to create a groundbreaking text that provides readers with an understanding of how music can play an important role in enhancing the experience of exercisers and athletes.

    Though Applying Music in Exercise and Sport is grounded in scientific research, content is presented in a way that is easy to comprehend and apply. Readers benefit from tools such as these:
    • Recommended playlists for a variety of exercise- and sport-specific settings that provide a guide to selecting and segueing music tracks
    • Tip boxes that help readers determine which track to play to promote or suppress certain emotions
    • Case studies that illustrate the process of identifying a goal, selecting an appropriate music program, and evaluating outcomes
    Applying Music in Exercise and Sport presents an interdisciplinary approach to selecting, integrating, and studying music in physical activity settings. Part I introduces the science of how music can help in exercise and sport and how it can be used to influence specific behaviors and emotions. Legal considerations regarding the use of music in exercise and sport environments are also covered. A range of assessment methods are provided for exercise and sport professionals that will enable them to select music and measure its effectiveness when used in individual, group, or team settings.

    Part II focuses on using music to enhance the exercise experience in both individual and group settings. Individual exercise types that are examined include flexibility, aerobic, and strength workouts, while group exercise activities include popular fitness classes such as Spinning, yoga, and circuit training. Part III focuses on how music can enhance sport training and performance, providing rich insight for coaches and competitive athletes participating in individual sports such as cycling, golf, gymnastics, martial arts, and tennis and in team sports such as basketball, soccer, baseball, and American football.

    Applying Music in Exercise and Sport facilitates creation of effective playlists, empowers music-related interventions, and enables assessment of the effects of music in the field. Collectively, these music-related skills promote purposeful selection of tracks, optimize psychological responses, and enhance performance.


    A reference for sport and exercise science practitioners and researchers, including fitness professionals, psychologists, coaches, and physiologists, as well as athletes and fitness enthusiasts. A supplemental text for students in athletic coaching education, sport and exercise psychology, and sport science programs. A resource to support music and physical activity-related project work for senior high school and undergraduate students.

    Table of Contents

    What Do You Know About Music in Exercise and Sport?
    Part I: How and Why Music Can Help Us in Exercise and Sport
    Chapter 1. Music in Exercise and Sport
    Music and Human Societies Through the Ages
    The Music and Exercise Revolution
    Music and the Olympic Games
    What Is Music?
    Music Use in Exercise and Sport
    Main Effects of Music
    How Music Is Used
    Music Use and the Law
    Chapter 2. The Science Behind the Music–Performance Connection
    Why Certain Tunes Resonate With Us
    Factors Influencing Responses to Music: A New Theoretical Model
    Chapter 3. Assessing Music and Measuring Its Effects
    Using Psychometrics in the Field
    Selecting Music for Exercise and Sport
    Assessing the Effects of Music During a Task
    Assessing the Effects of Music After a Task
    Summary Points for Part I
    Part II: Using Music to Enhance Exercise and Workouts
    Chapter 4. Using Music to Enhance Exercise and Workouts
    Pre-Workout Preparation
    Strength-Based Workouts
    Cardiorespiratory Workouts
    Using Music in Personal Training
    Chapter 5. Group Exercise and Workouts
    Classes With Choreographed Movements
    Classes and Group Activities With Asynchronous Music
    Chapter 6. Case Studies and Playlists
    Case Study 1: Mom of Three Sophie Who Wants to Rekindle the Exercise Habit
    Case Study 2: Ambitious Exercise-to-Music Instructor Marino Supercharges His Classes
    Summary Points for Part II
    Part III: Using Music to Enhance Sport Training and Performance
    Chapter 7. Individual Sport Training and Performance
    Serve-and-Return Sports
    Endurance-Based Sports
    Subjectively Scored Sports With an Artistic Component
    Power-Based Sports and Events
    Ice Track Sports
    Combat Sports
    Aerial and Water-Based Sports
    Aiming and Shooting Sports
    Chapter 8. Team Sport Training and Performance
    Serve-and-Return Sports
    Paddle Sports
    High-Contact Field Sports
    Subjectively Scored Team Sports
    Bat-and-Ball Team Sports
    Court-Based Ball Games
    Aiming Sports
    Interactive Team Sports
    Team Sailing
    Miscellaneous Category
    Chapter 9. Case Studies and Playlists
    Case Study 1: Frieda’s Run for Freedom
    Case Study 2: Coach Anderson Seeks New “Sound System”
    Summary Points for Part III
    What Do You Now Know About Music in Exercise and Sport?
    Answers to Quizzes
    Further Reading
    About the Author

    About the Author

    Costas I. Karageorghis, PhD, CPsychol, CSci, FBASES, AFBPsS, is a reader in sport psychology in the department of life sciences at Brunel University London, UK. He is internationally renowned for his research on the effects of music in the realm of exercise and sport. Karageorghis is a chartered member of the British Psychological Society, a chartered member of the Science Council, and a double-accredited member of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences, which elected him a fellow in 2010.

    Karageorghis is coauthor of the popular text Inside Sport Psychology (2011), which has been translated into three languages. He has also published 10 book chapters, 75 peer-reviewed journal articles, and 100 professional papers in sport and exercise psychology. His music-related research has been featured in media outlets such as the Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Sydney Morning Herald, ESPN The Magazine, and National Geographic. He has presented his research at conferences throughout the world, serving eight times as a keynote speaker. Karageorghis has worked with numerous international athletes and sport organizations as well as international corporations such as Nike, Spotify, International Management Group, Red Bull, Speedo, and Sony.

    From 2007 to 2011, Karageorghis served as head coach of the Great Britain Students track and field team. He has also managed and coached the Brunel University London track and field team since the early 1990s, leading it to seven British Universities championships.