In this booklet you are going to learn about :
- the aspects of fitness:
Fitness can be divided into three areas. These
In order to perform at their best a performer
needs to combine all three.
There are 6 aspects of physical fitness :
What is strength?
Strength is the greatest force that a muscle can produce to lift, push, pull or
strike an object. Strong muscles find it easier to pull, push and lift heavy
For example, in Weight Lifting, a performer needs strength to lift the heavy
In basketball a player needs strength to throw the ball far when throwing a
In gymnastics a performer needs strength to hold a handstand position.
In rugby a player needs strength to push an opponent back in the scrum.
In badminton a player needs strength to hit the shuttle to the back of the court.
What is speed?
Speed is how quickly the muscles can move the joints. It can apply to the
movement of the whole body or to the movement of a part of the body like the
For example, to play a smash effectively in badminton the racquet must be
thrown forward with speed.
In football, to volley or shoot the ball past the goalkeeper, the leg must be
brought through quickly.
In football a defender needs speed to get to the ball before their opponent.
In Long Jump a performer needs speed in the run up to get distance in the
What is flexibility?
Flexibility is the ability to stretch muscles so that a joint has a large range of
movement. Flexibility is sometimes called suppleness. The more flexible
(supple) a person is the more movement they have at their joints. Flexibility
is needed to allow players to move freely without injuring themselves.
For example, in gymnastics flexibility is required to do a bridge. The gymnast
needs to have flexibility in the shoulder joints in order to reach all the way
back to the ground
In badminton, the performer needs flexibility round the shoulders to allow
them to pull the racquet back as far as possible. This will help them hit the
shuttle to the back of the court.
In swimming when performing the breaststroke a swimmer must have
flexibility in the hip joint in order to turn their legs out in the kick.
In Gymnastics flexibility is required in the hip joint when performing a
forward roll to straddle. This will allow the gymnast to stretch their legs out
as far as possible.
Static flexibility is the ability to stretch the muscles while holding a shape or
position, for example, a gymnast holding the splits.
Dynamic Flexibility is the ability to stretch the muscles during an action, for
example a karate competitor needs to be able to kick up high and fast.
Cardio respiratory Endurance
What is cardio respiratory endurance?
Cardio respiratory endurance is when the heart and lungs need to work for
a long time, getting oxygen to the muscles. It is needed to allow a person to
take part in an activity that lasts for a long time.
For example, a game of football lasts 90 minutes. This means that the players
need good cardio respiratory endurance in order to continue to run about the
pitch and continue playing well until the end of the game.
In badminton when two players of a similar ability play, a game can last a
long time. The players will need good cardio respiratory endurance in order
to continue to cover the court reaching shots at the front and back as their
opponent moves them about the court trying to win a point.
Aerobic Endurance means working with oxygen. It is another name for
Anaerobic means ‘without oxygen’. During anaerobic work, involving
maximum effort, the body is working so hard that the demands for oxygen and
fuel exceed the rate of supply and the muscles have to rely on the stored
reserves of fuel. In this case waste products accumulate, the chief one being
The rapid build up of lactic acid in the muscles prevents them from working
efficiently. The muscles overheat and become painful forcing the performer
to slow down or stop. If the lactic acid is not removed from the muscles with
a good warm down then the muscles will be stiff and sore the next day.
The muscles, being starved of oxygen, take the body into a state known as
oxygen debt. The body’s stored fuel soon runs out and activity ceases –
Local Muscular Endurance
What is Local muscular endurance?
Local muscular endurance is when a specific muscle or a group of muscles
has to keep working for a long period of time, for example this can be the
arms or the legs.
For example, in skiing local muscular endurance is needed as the skier has to
repeatedly bend and straighten their knees to stay in control all the way down
In canoeing Local muscular endurance is needed in the upper arms as the
canoeist has to paddle continuously down a run.
In volleyball a player needs local muscular endurance in their legs as they
need to continually jump to block and spike.
What is power?
Power is the ability to produce an explosive effort. It is created by combining
strength and speed at the same time. Using more strength or speed increases
power. Using more than one muscle group can also increase power. Power is
needed to perform many physical skills. The main sources of power in the
body are the muscles of the arms and legs.
Power is needed for a performer to move as fast, as high or as far as
Power is needed to hit, kick or throw an object as fast or as far as possible.
For example, a shot putter needs power in the legs to putt the shot as far as
In badminton a player needs to generate power in order to smash the shuttle
hard and fast.
In high jump power is needed in the legs at take off in order to jump high
enough to get over the bar.
In baseball the batter needs power to strike the ball as far as possible.
Physical Fitness Tests
These are the tests that will test your fitness in each of the different aspects of
Aspect of Fitness Test
Speed Flying 40m
Suppleness Sit and reach test
Local muscular endurance Sit up test
Cardio respiratory endurance Leger test
Power Standing long jump test
Aspects of Skill related fitness
There are five types of skill related fitness.
What is agility?
Agility is the ability to change the direction or shape of the body quickly.
Goalkeepers and gymnasts are good examples of people who have this ability.
What is speed?
Speed is the ability to perform a movement or cover a distance in a short
period of time. Sprinters and footballers are good examples of people who
have this ability.
What is reaction time?
Reaction time is the time it takes to respond to a stimulus. The stimulus could
be a starting pistol, a shuttle being returned over the net in badminton, or a
goalkeeper moving to get their body in line with the ball to save a shot in
What is balance?
Balance is the ability to maintain your centre of gravity above the base of
support and keep upright whether you are standing still or moving. We
naturally think of gymnasts balancing on their hands but we all have to
balance when we are running or playing a game. In football when we are
dribbling a ball an opponent may shoulder charge us. We need to shift our
body weight to prevent us from falling over. We have all tripped up, to stop
ourselves falling over. Mostly we move our base of support to regain balance
after a strip or stumble.
What is coordination?
Coordination is the ability to move different parts of the body in time with
each other. For example, a shot putter needs to use muscles in their legs,
trunk, shoulder and arm. If they use the muscles in the wrong order they will
not create the power necessary for a good throw.
It is also important to be able to coordinate movement with our sense of sight.
An example of this is hand eye coordination. For example, when hitting a ball
in tennis, volleyball and baseball.
It is also important to be able to coordinate foot eye coordination. An
example of this is when volleying a football.
Aspects of mental fitness
A good mental attitude will help the body achieve high levels of fitness. If a
person has decided that they are ‘not sporty’, then they are going to have a
difficult time working past that ingrained attitude to achieve even basic fitness
It is important when preparing to participate in an activity, that you visualise
your performance before it is physically carried out. This is called mental
In order to perform at your best you must be motivated and focused.
Managing emotions is controlling your emotions during an activity and in
demanding situations, for example, if decisions go against you or are behind
on points, you must continue to concentrate and not let this affect your
We have now looked at all three areas of fitness.
Can you name the three areas of fitness?
Can you name and define the aspects of physical fitness?
Can you name and define the aspects of skill related fitness?
Can you name and define the aspects of mental fitness?
1) Read the statements below and fill in the missing aspect of fitness.
___________ helps a performer lift heavy weights.
___________ helps joints to stretch as far as possible.
___________ helps a winger get to the ball before his opponent.
___________ helps a badminton player to keep moving back to base at
the end of a long game.
2) Which of the following statements are true and which are false. Tick
one box each time.
Power requires both speed and strength
Power means that you can run for a long time.
Power helps you touch your toes.
Power helps you to throw a ball further.
3) Choose an aspect of fitness. Describe how it helped you during an
How it helped ______________________________________________
4) Flexibility is an important aspect of fitness in a number of activities.
a) What is flexibility? _________________________________________
b) From 3 different activities give 3 examples of Skill or technique that
can be improved by increasing flexibility. Name the activity, the
skill/technique and the joint.
Activity Skill / Technique Joint
c) Take one of the examples you gave in part b) and explain how the
performance was improved by increasing flexibility.
Skill / Technique _______________________
5) Muscular endurance is another Aspect of fitness which is important in
many physical activities.
a) What is muscular endurance?
b) Name an activity where muscular endurance is important and explain
6) Striking an object is an important part of many activities.
a) Select an activity and name a skill / technique that requires a striking
Skill / Technique __________________________
b) How did you create power in the striking action?
c) How did striking harder improve your performance?
7) Reaction time is how quickly you respond to a signal or the activity of
a) Choose an individual activity.
Describe how a quick reaction time could help your performance in this
b) Choose a team activity.
Describe how a quick reaction time could help your performance in this
8) Actions such as batting in softball need only one part of the body to
move at speed. This is known as speed of limbs.
a) Select an individual activity and a skill or technique from this activity.
Name the body part that has to move at speed.
Individual activity ________________________
Skill or technique ____________________
Body part that needs to move at speed __________________________
Explain in detail how the speed of limb helped your performance.
b) Whole body speed can help you carry out your role or position in a
team activity successfully.
Select a team activity and describe your role or position in the team.
Team activity _________________________
Role or position ______________________________
Explain in detail how speed was an advantage to your performance.