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Health Components of Physical Fitness
Strength is one of the main fitness components, important for success in many sports.
Certain sports, such as weight lifting, wrestling and weight throwing, it is the most
important physical attribute. In many other sports, including team sports like rugby, good
strength is also very important as part of the overall fitness profile
Types of Strength
Strength is a generic term that describes the application of a force against a resistance.
However, if you want to look into a strength programme in more detail, you must
understand the different types of strength and how they vary. The five different types of
strength and the ways in which they are measured, are outlined in the following table:
Type of Strength Description Ways of Measuring
Maximum Strength Maximum strength is the maximum Leg Dynamometer /
force the neuromuscular system can Grip Dynamometer
exert in a single voluntary muscle
contraction. Weightlifters are usually the
one athletes associated with maximum
strength as they are measured on their 1
Static Strength Static strength is the force exerted by There is no single test
the neuromuscular system while the for static strength as it
muscle length remains constant/static. varies depending on the
An example of this could be holding a joint.
weight steady in the same position.
Explosive/Elastic Explosive/elastic strength is the ability to Vertical Jump / Broad
Strength expand a maximal amount of energy in Jump tests
one or a series of strong, sudden
highintensity movements or apply a
successive and equal force rapidly. This
system mainly uses the ATP/PC system
Dynamic Strength Dynamic strength is the ability of the Wingate Cycle test
neuromuscular system to overcome a
resistance with a high speed of
contraction. This system predominately
uses the lactic acid system for energy
Strength Endurance Strength endurance is the ability of a Push Up/Sit Up bleep
muscle to sustain or withstand repeated tests.
muscle contractions or a single static
action. It is the ability of the muscles to
`use' oxygen taken in and transported to
the muscle cells.
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Factors Effecting Strength
If you were to complete all the different strength tests highlighted in the table and
compared this with your friends, you would find that everyone would have different results.
This is because there are several factors which affect strength:
1. Muscle Composition the greater the percentage of fast twitch muscle fibres,
crosssectional area of muscle and muscle size, the greater the potential force that can
be generated and applied.
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Adaptations to Strength Training:
Increased recruitment of additional fast twitch muscle fibres
Increased recruitment of motor units
Improves coordination and simultaneous stimulation of motor units
Reduction in proprioreceptor / antagonist muscle inhibition allowing antagonist to
stretch further and agonist to contract with more force
Hypertrophy increase in muscle size (predominantly in fast twitch muscle fibres)
and or hyperplasmia increase in muscle fibre numbers
Increased number/size of contractile protein (width of actin/myosin filaments)
Increased actin and…read more