Do you know why you are good in one sport but really bad in another? The answer is fitness components.
You might have the components needed for a certain physical activity which makes you good in that. While on the flip side, failing in another means you are simply missing out on some important components which were required by that sport.
In today’s blog post, we will give you a definition of fitness components including the major 5 components of fitness, discuss why it is important and share our knowledge on how to improve them over a short period of time.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
1. What is a Fitness Component?
A Fitness Component is one of the many elements that define a person’s fitness. These elements are more like skills than organs and can be developed through training. Components are literal subsets of fitness. Put all the components together in one set and it is your fitness.
To give you an example, let’s say you want to be able to run longer and faster. For that, you have to work on the component called Cardiovascular Endurance. The higher your competence in that element, the better you will be able to run.
2. Why Fitness Components Are Important?
To work on any specific fitness goal, you have to first understand how it works. Otherwise, it would be like throwing stones at your target with eyes closed. The human body is not one giant organ. But it comprises many small organs each of which has a different skill.
Your lung knows how to keep the respiratory system up and running. But let’s say you want to improve the efficiency of how your body handles fresh air. To be able to do that, you have to identify which part of your body is responsible for that (in this case your lungs) and train them with proper exercises. This is where understanding components is important.
It is not just about fitness. It can also help you understand your internal health better and possibly avoid serious health issues such as diabetics, mental illness, and even some cardiovascular diseases.
3. 5 Components of Fitness
There are 11 components of fitness in total, 5 of which are directly related to health and should be paid attention to at the least. They are as follows:
- Cardiovascular Endurance
- Muscular Strength
- Muscular Endurance
- Body Composition
Let’s talk a little more about them individually.
3.1 Cardiovascular Endurance
Cardiovascular endurance is the ability to supply fresh oxygen to the body during heavy strain. Lungs, heart, and brain play the most important role here.
An untrained cardiovascular system will get fatigued quickly for activities like running or swimming. If you train them with proper HIIT exercises, the oxygenated fresh blood supply will sustain longer giving you the energy to run for a longer period of time.
3.2 Muscular Strength
Muscular strength is the amount of force a muscle group can apply to something. It is slightly different from endurance because strength is the ability to produce force at a single point in time.
For example, when you do bench press, muscular strength would be how much weight your body can press by exerting an opposite force.
The bigger your lean muscles are, the more strength they will be able to produce. In order to gain lean muscle, you will have to combine weight exercises with a protein-rich diet.
3.3 Muscular Endurance
Muscular endurance is the ability to keep the muscle from becoming fatigued from strength exercises. In other words, it is a test for your body against continuous strength training.
As an example, when you are performing leg presses, how long before you are unable to do one more rep is the endurance.
Muscular endurance will come from pushing and training your muscles against fatigue. Training them to their limit, giving them time to recover, and training them again will improve the endurance gradually.
Flexibility is the ability of your joints to stretch up to a certain range or angle. The skeleton muscles or tendons attached to the bones are mainly responsible for flexing your body.
To clear it up with an example, when you do a leg split, the skeleton muscles around your leg will try to stretch and create an angle close to 180 degrees.
In an untrained condition, those muscles will not be able to strain much and as a result, the range created by them would be minimum. By incorporating stretching exercises, the muscle groups will get trained to endure more tension.
3.5 Body Composition
Body composition is the ratio of lean body mass to the amount of body fat. In this case, lean body mass includes the weight of the organs, bones, and muscles.
It is by far one of the most important factors for aesthetics. People who have better body composition look naturally better than those who caries some extra pounds of fat.
Not only in the department of looks, but a good body composition can also mean good overall health and possibly lesser chances of getting diseases from being overweight.
We have a wide selection of fitness calculators that can help you interpret your fitness and adjust your goals accordingly.
4. Fitness Components for Different Sport Activities
Although most sports will require a bit of every physical component, here is what a narrowed-down list might look like.
The information in the table below is completely based on research and personal opinion. I totally respect that if you have a different opinion about something.
|Swimming||Speed, Endurance, Strength|
|Running||Endurance, Speed, Flexibility|
|Cycling||Agility, Strength, Endurance, Flexibility|
|Basketball||Agility, Strength, Flexibility, Strength|
|Soccer||Speed, Agility, Endurance|
|Volleyball||Speed, Agility, Power, Flexibility|
|Football||Speed, Endurance, Strength, Agility|
|Tennis||Strength, Agility, Flexibility, Endurance|
|Badminton||Agility, Flexibility, Endurance|
5. How to Improve Fitness Components
Improving fitness components is a long time commitment. What happens with people normally is that they want to square in all the areas and end up realizing that it is too much work at once. So it is best to define your goal first.
Let’s say you play soccer and you want to have better stamina. One solution for you would be trying some exercises that improve your cardiovascular endurance and perhaps work on your body composition by lowering body fat percentage.
So taking things slow and proceeding step by step is the best way to approach this. Regarding which exercises to do for which component, you might enjoy this read from Joe.
6. Wrapping Up
I am sure by now you have a fairly good grasp of the 5 components of fitness. The examples should have cleared the high-level confusion you might have before.
Understanding all these key concepts can actually help you plan your exercises and diets better. They are also important if you want to understand what this so-called healthy living is and what to do about it.