Components of Physical Fitness

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There are four main components within the scope of physical fitness with each having their own individual physical attributes and qualities.  When questioning whether somebody is ‘fit’ or not, this all depends on the activity in which they are questioning. For example, a body-builder has exceptional muscular strength but may be lacking superior cardiovascular fitness. Another example is a marathon runner who normally has a high level of cardiovascular fitness but may lack muscular strength. It is therefore wise to say that an ‘all-round’ athlete would have all four of the below attributes to class themselves as ‘physically-fit’ in all areas of fitness.

1. Cardiovascular Fitness – the the ability of the heart, lungs and vascular system to deliver oxygen-rich blood to working muscles during sustained physical activity. Examples include running, cycling and swimming.

2. Muscular Strength – the amount of force a muscle or muscle group can contract and exert against a heavy resistance. Examples include gym exercises such as a bicep curl or bench press.

3. Muscular Endurance – the ability of a muscle or muscle group to repeatedly contract for an extended period of time. Examples include rowing and circuit training.

4. Flexibility – the degree to which an individual muscle will lengthen beyond its resting state. An example of a specific testing measure is the ‘sit & reach test’ (hamstrings & spinal range of movement assessment).

When following a training programme, it is therefore important to include the specific components of fitness relevant for the sport or activity which is being trained for. It is of high importance that the personal trainer or fitness instructor has the skills and knowledge to provide the most effective and efficient training protocol to achieve the desired goals.

Please feel free to contact the Manchester G4 Clinic to speak to a member of the team for any questions that you may have.

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