Exercise Science

Brian Solberg (department head)

Required Exercise Science

A seven-week exercise skills activity (HES 110) and a seven-week Lifetime Health and Wellness course (HES 100) are required for graduation. Each is offered for one hour of credit. The Health & Exercise Science skills requirement may also be completed with HES 180, LS 225, LS 226, or DAN 100. The Health and Exercise Science skills requirement (HES 110) will be waived for students who have participated in varsity athletics at Luther College for at least two traditional seasons in the same sport. A student may apply a maximum of four credit hours of wellness/skills courses (HES 100 and HES 110 courses) toward the 128 hours required for graduation. Additional courses may be completed, but may not be counted toward the 128 hours. A student may audit skills courses by following the college procedures for auditing. Any student may register for exercise skills courses on a credit/no credit basis.

Subsequent to a medical examination or review of documentation, a student's participation in Health & Exercise Science coursework may be modified to follow the limitations suggested by the college physician or disabilities coordinator.

Exercise Science Major/Minor

The Exercise Science major is designed to prepare students for careers ranging from the clinical healthcare setting to human performance. Our graduates are knowledgeable in the scientific principles surrounding exercise science. The coursework incorporates rigorous didactic study along with laboratory learning and hands-on techniques that aim to prepare students to meet the needs of their chosen profession.

A core of courses including human anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and biomechanics, motor learning and exercise physiology provide the foundation for students preparing to work with individuals recovering from injury or improving performance capacity. Students completing a major in Exercise Science also gain depth of knowledge in one specific area of study. Two tracks, offered in Allied Health Sciences and in Strength & Conditioning, provide students the flexibility to prepare for graduate school or enter directly into a professional career. The Allied Health Sciences track is designed to prepare students to enter graduate studies in allied health programs including physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training and other fields. Students are able to work with their advisors to select from a range of courses in the Health & Exercise Science (HES), Anthropology (ANTH), Biology (BIO), Chemistry (CHEM), Physics (PHYS), Psychology (PSYC), Mathematics (MATH), and Science (SCI) departments to help them meet their prerequisites for entry into the professional graduate program of interest.  The Strength & Conditioning track is designed to prepare students to serve as professionals in the field of human performance including athletic performance, personal training, fitness training, corporate wellness, research and clinical exercise physiology.

Required for an Exercise Science major:

Core: HES 261 or BIO 115, BIO 116 or BIO 255, HES 264, 343, 366, 490 plus one of the following tracks.

Allied Health Science track: Complete the Exercise Science Core plus 28 credits from the following: ANTH 102 or ANTH 208; BIO 151, 152, 301; CHEM 141, 151, 152, 201, 202; HES 126, 323, 324; MATH 115 or BIO 256; PHYS 151, 152; PSYC 130, 240, 465; SCI 110

Strength & Conditioning track: Complete the Exercise Science Core plus HES 126, 323, 324, 340, 372, 380 (4 credit min - 8 credit max), and 425.

Writing requirement is completed with HES 343.

Required for an Exercise Science minor: A minimum of 20 credits, requires HES 261 or BIO 115, HES 264, plus 3 of the following electives: HES 126, 323, 324, 340, 372, 425. No more than two courses counting for another major or minor may be applied to the Exercise Science minor.

View program learning goals for an explanation of learning outcomes in Exercise Science. 

Exercise Science Courses

HES 100 Lifetime Health and Wellness

  • 1 hour
  • Fulfills: Wellness

This common course for all first-year students examines holistic dimensions of wellness and the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary for developing and maintaining health in a diverse world throughout college and across the lifespan. An emphasis will be placed on individual health and wellness promoting behaviors within an ever-changing social environment through weekly lectures, activities, and self-assessments. Previously HP 100. Students may not earn credit for both HP 100 and HES 100.

HES 110 Skills Class

  • 1 hour
  • Fulfills: Skills

Skills courses are designed to expose students to lifetime activities. The major emphasis of these courses is to acquire basic knowledge of the activity, enhance/improve skill performance, and develop health related fitness. Course may be selected from aerobic fitness, archery, badminton, bowling, disc golf, fly fishing, golf, individual and dual sports, insanity, pilates, racquetball, racquet sports, rock climbing, ropes course, swim fitness, lifeguard instruction, soccer, team sports, tennis, strength training, yoga or other activity options provided based on staffing. A student may apply a maximum of three credit hours of skills (HES/ES 110) plus one HES/HP 100 toward the 128 hours required for graduation. Previously ES 110. Students may not earn credit for both ES 110 and HES 110 that are in the same skill.

HES 125 Introduction to Nutrition

  • 2 hours
  • Prerequisites: Admission into Nursing or Education program or Consent of Instructor.

An introductory course emphasizing the fundamental and practical aspects of nutrition. This course will include discussion of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fluids. Special topics such as sport nutrition, supplements, energy balance, weight loss, and food safety will also be examined. Students will complete a diet analysis, caloric expenditure, and label assignment. Admission into Nursing or Education programs or Consent of Instructor. Previously HP 125. Students may not earn credit for both HP 125 and HES 125.

HES 126 Human Performance Nutrition

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Natural World—Nonlab

A comprehensive course emphasizing fundamental aspects of nutrition and explores the practical application of nutritional concepts related to health, fitness, and human physical performance. This course includes discussion of the basic nutrient groups, supplements, nutritional labeling, energy balance, dietary planning, food safety, food and society, food production and sources, malnutrition in the United States and the world, gastrointestinal disorders and their effects on nutrition. Students will implement knowledge of nutrition into dietary planning and prescription for specific situations. Previously HP 126. Students may not earn credit for both HP 126 and HES 126.

HES 180 Wellness and Fitness Abroad

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Skills

This course affords students a unique opportunity to explore wellness concepts and participate in fitness activities in an international setting. The course is designed to promote healthy lifestyles and increase the enjoyment of physical activity. The international setting, which may vary from year to year, exposes students to a different culture and unique fitness activities. (This course will fulfill 3 credits towards the exercise science skills requirement). Previously ES 180. Students may not earn credit for both ES 180 and HES 180.

HES 190 First Aid, CPR & AED

  • 2 hours

Instruction and practice in procedures for providing emergency care, including first aid, CPR and AED techniques, to adults, children and infants. The written and practical testing for First Aid, CPR, and AED certification through either the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association will be administered. Students successfully meeting the minimum standards set by the appropriate agency will be certified.

HES 233 Stress Management

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Behavior

This course approaches stress management, grit, and resilience from a holistic perspective. Causes and effects of stress, signs and symptoms produced by stress, and modalities for managing stress, preseverance and passion for long term goals, and building resilience are emphasized. Students will gain practical knowledge of stress management techniques for daily life. Previously HP 233. Students may not earn credit for both HP 233 and HES 233.

HES 260 Adaptive Physical Activity

  • 4 hours

A study of the physiological, cognitive, and behavorial factors affecting learning and development. The primary emphasis is on experiential learning. Luther students work individually with young students (ages 3-18) from area school districts to adapt activities to their specific needs. Previously ES 260. Students may not earn credit for both ES 260 and HES 260.

HES 261 Applied Human Anatomy

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Natural World—Lab

A study of the essential structural features of human anatomy with special reference to applications related to activities of daily living, injury, and human movement associated with occupational and athletic activities. Laboratory focuses on applied functional anatomy. Previously ES 261. Students may not earn credit for both ES 261 and HES 261.

HES 264 Kinesiology and Biomechanics

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Natural World—Nonlab
  • Prerequisites: HES 261 or BIO 115

Study of human movement and the mechanical principles, both kinetic and kinematic, as they apply to human motion. Identification of muscles, planes of movement, description of motion, levers, and internal and external forces as they apply to motion. Previously ES 264. Students may not earn credit for both ES 264 and HES 264.

HES 323 Principles of Strength Training and Conditioning

  • 4 hours
  • Prerequisites: HES 261 or BIO 115 and HES 264

A study of the structural and functional factors related to training adaptations associated with various physically active populations. This course meets objectives for National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) certifications. Previously ES 323. Students may not earn credit for both ES 323 and HES 323.

HES 324 Principles of Fitness Assessment

  • 4 hours

Instruction of fundamental principles of fitness testing, development of practical assessment skills and interpretation of results based upon National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) health-related fitness assessment protocols and recommendations, including pre-participation screenings, anthropometric measures, flexibility, anaerobic muscular fitness, proprioceptive capabilities, and aerobic capacity. Previously ES 324. Students may not earn credit for both ES 324 and HES 324.

HES 340 Exercise Techniques

  • 4 hours
  • Prerequisites: HES 264 or consent of instructor

This course will be taught in accordance with the principles recommended by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Course content will include principles of anaerobic and aerobic training techniques and experiential learning in technique assessment and development. Topics will include flexibility, strength, power, anaerobic capacity, aerobic capacity, speed, agility, balance and stability.

HES 343 Motor Learning

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Behavior

The principles of motor development over the lifespan including motor control and motor learning are presented with emphasis on examining how the interactions of the individual, environment, and task bring about changes in a person's movements. Focus areas will address growth benchmarks, activities of daily living, gait, and influence of disease. Previously ES 343. Students may not earn credit for both ES 343 and HES 343.

HES 358 Substance Abuse Prevention

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Behavior

This course examines drug use and its effects on society as well as on the individual. The behavioral, pharmacological, historical, social, legal, and clinical determinants of substance use and abuse will be covered. Both theoretical and evidence-based practical approaches to identifying substance abuse problems and implementing substance abuse prevention will be addressed. Previously HP 358. Students may not earn credit for both HP 358 and HES 358.

HES 365 Current Issues in Health & Fitness

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Behavior

In this course students will investigate current local, national, and international health issues causing disparities in health. Students will actively participate in selecting course topics, work collaboratively with others in developing and implementing course objectives, and will research, write and present information on selected course topics. Previously HP 365. Students may not earn credit for both HP 365 and HES 365.

HES 366 Physiology of Exercise

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Natural World—Lab
  • Prerequisites: HES 261, BIO 115, or BIO 152

Designed to provide scientific background and laboratory experience essential for understanding the nervous, muscular, cardiovascular, and respiratory system responses and adaptations to physical stress. Previously ES 366. Students may not earn credit for both ES 366 and HES 366.

HES 372 Administration and Management of Health and Fitness Programs

  • 4 hours

Administrative and management issues confronting professionals in the health and fitness industries will be explored. Organizational issues including policies and procedures, scheduling, facility and personnel management, financial and legal considerations, and marketing will be examined. Previously HP 372. Students may not earn credit for both HP 372 and HES 372.

HES 380 Internship

  • 1, 8 hours

HES 425 Program Design and Periodization

  • 4 hours
  • Prerequisites: HES 323, HES 324 and HES 340

Didactic and application in the design and development of periodized exercise programs for athletic, occupational, and special populations.

HES 430 Exercise Science Practicum

  • 1, 2, or 4 hours
  • Prerequisites: HES 380

This experiential learning course is designed to give students the opportunity to apply knowledge, skills, and abilities acquired in the classroom. Students will serve as exercise specialists for members of the campus and local community; provide assessments, prescribe appropriate interventions, provide proper instruction, and design appropriate programs based on client's needs and abilities. Previously ES 430. Students may not earn credit for both ES 430 and HES 430.

HES 490 Senior Project

  • 1 hour

Previously ES/HP 490. Students may not earn credit for ES 490, HP 490 and HES 490.