In most GCSE courses, you will be required to know 10 different components of fitness. They are listed and defined below.


There are three kinds of strength; static strength, explosive strength and dynamic strength.

Static strength

  • This is used when you try to move an immovable object, or carry a heavy object
  • There is no movement of the object
  • The muscles do not change length (isometric contraction)

Explosive strength

  • Used when exerting a force in a short, fast burst
  • This is similar to power
  • For example throwing a ball or long jump

Dynamic strength

  • Repeatedly applying force, over a long period
  • Similar to muscular endurance
  • For example when performing reps when weight training



Speed is  the maximum rate at which an individual is able to cover a distance or perform a movement in a chosen period of time. IT is a combination of reaction time and movement time:

Reaction time is the time it takes you to respond to a stimulus (such as a goalie responding to a shot in football or the starters gun)

Movement time is the time it takes to perform a movement (such as sprinting to catch an opponent or the arm speed in a golf swing)

Speed can be improved through training which concentrates on strength and technique, although some factors may limit your speed:

  1. Inherited characteristics - such as the number of fast twitch fibers you have
  2. Body shape and size - bone structure, weight and muscle size will affect how quickly you can move
  3. Event duration - over longer distances, it is not possible to run at full speed throughout


Power (or explosive strength)

Power = speed x strength

Power is basically strong movements, performed with speed. Lots of sports require power, for example shooting in football requires power, as does driving in golf and smashing in badminton and tennis.

To be powerful you need to be strong, but you also need to have good balance and coordination, to direct and control this power.


This is the ability to change direction (at speed) without losing control.


The ability to maintain the centre of mass over a support base

Cardiovascular endurance

The ability of the heart and lungs to provide the working muscles with oxygen.


The ability to move more than 2 body parts to move efficiently and showing control.


The range of movement around a joint

Muscular endurance

How able a muscle (or muscle group) is to undergo repeated contractions without fatigue.

Reaction time

The time taken to process information to react to a stimulus