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When we talk about physical condition, we usually think in a more common
term that we understand better to be fit or to be in shape. If we are fit we can afford
a physical workout better and with more successful possibilities. It means that our
physical condition is optimum. Having a good physical condition affects us in a global
way. Between the advantages of having a good condition we can distinguish:

Better global health and quality of life.

Less risk suffering any injury.
Take out the diary tasks (work, study, enjoy time...) without getting tired.
More self-confidence to affront life with optimism.

There are determined causes that limit our physical condition or can deteriorate
it. The most important are: lack of physical activity, food excess, improper diet, stress
and the tobacco or alcohol consume. All of them can have negative consequences in as
the reduction of the cardiac capacity, more injures, or obesity tendency.
So what can we do to improve our physical condition? Firstly you need to know
that the physical condition has different components that we are going to study one by


Basic physical abilities, also known as basic physical skills, are essential
components of physical fitness since physical performance can be improved through
their training.
Several or even all of them are involved in all the physical activities we perform,
although normally, there are always some that predominate over others. For example, in
a workout involving 45 minutes continuous running, stamina will be the outstanding
physical skill, while in races involving high frequency movements, speed will be the
main component.

Physical Education Department // I.E.S. El Astillero

Stamina is also a basic ability of human beings that allows us to sustain prolonged effort
and withstand fatigue. When it is developed, it will help to delay the start of fatigue and
keep the feeling of tiredness as low as possible.
Stamina is the skill used to perform efforts during the longest possible time, withstand
the state of progressive fatigue caused by the efforts and recover from them quickly.
From the point of view of training, stamina can be classified into two different types,
based on the supply of oxygen to the muscles:

Aerobic stamina: it is when oxygen supply is sufficient to meet the needs of our
body. It is the kind of strength needed for activities such as jogging, rowing,
skating, playing football, dancing...

Anaerobic stamina: it is when the supply of oxygen is insufficient due to higher

demand for oxygen than the body can supply. This happens when the intensity of
exercises increases. It can be subdivided into alactic and lactic. This kind of
stamina is needed for activities such as sprinting, long jump, or weightlifting.

There are numerous systems to improve both types of stamina. They can be divided into
two main groups:

Continuous systems, in which exercises are performed without lengthy breaks:

continuous run, fartlek, complete workout...

Fractional systems, in which pauses and breaks are made between the
different exercises: interval-training, tempo runs, circuit-training...

Strength is a basic skill of human beings, from a health perspective as well as
performance in physical activities. Of all the physical skills, strength is considered as
the foundation that supports the rest since all sporting gestures need it for their
Strength is the ability that enables us to overcome resistance or oppose muscle
tension (muscle contractions) and it is perceived as a functional skill of human beings.
From the perspective of training, strength can be classified into three different
types according to the way it is manifested:

Maximal strength: it is the ability of the muscles to develop maximum potential

tension to perform activity using the greatest possible strength. For this purpose,
large loads are mobilized regardless of the time taken to do it. It is also called slow
strength or absolute strength. This is the kind of strength used in weightlifting or

Physical Education Department // I.E.S. El Astillero

Speed strength: it establishes a relationship between strength and speed. It is the

ability of the muscles to perform movements that require strength at the highest
possible speed. It is also referred to as explosive strength and muscle power. This
kind of strength is used in sports gestures such as a serve in tennis, a thrust in
fencing, a taekwondo kick, a block in volley ball, penalty in handball...

Stamina strength: it establishes a relationship between strength and stamina. It is

ability of the muscles to perform movements that require strength for a long period
of time. Neither the load nor the speed of performance are great, therefore, many
repetitions can be made. This type of strength is needed for physical activities that
require long and continuous effort, such as middle distance running in athletics,
rowing tests, cross-country skiing, canoeing, cycling, swimming...

Flexibility is essential in many activities that require large joint movements, such
as taekwondo, rhythmic gymnastics and sports, ballet or trampolining,
Also, in sports that require explosive strength, the more flexible you are the greater the
distance and the higher the momentum achieved.
Flexibility is defined as the ability of a given joint or a group of joints to perform
movements with maximum range of motion. Flexibility is determined by joint mobility
and muscle elasticity.
There are various systems of flexibility training. They are grouped into two
Dynamic system: it uses joint mobility exercises.
Static systems: in these systems, you have to perform and maintain a position with
maximum range of motion for a few seconds, as in the case of isometric stretches and
proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation.

Speed is a physical skill used to determine sports performance. It is involved in
one way or the other in many sporting events such as jumping, throwing, hitting....
These are actions which normally last for a short time, do not cause tiredness and use
little stamina or small loads..
It is a skill that depends heavily on the central nervous system and for its quick
development training should start at an early age. In sports, speed is usually classified
into three types:

Physical Education Department // I.E.S. El Astillero

Reaction rate: it is the ability to respond in the shortest possible time after the start
of a stimulus. This is seen, for example, in a response to a pitcher throwing a ball in
baseball, a starting gun in swimming or athletics, an attempt at immobilization in
judo or a handover in relay race. It is possible to measure the reaction time.

Movement rate: it is the ability to cover a short distance in the shortest possible
time, such as, a 100 meter race in athletics, 50 meter backstroke in swimming or
running to win a base in baseball.

Gesture rate: is the ability to perform rapid movement with part of the body, for
example, backhand stroke with racket in tennis, batting in baseball or a shot in

Motor skills: they are also involved in every physical activity, but they are
related with the quality of the movement. They are responsible for the processes that
direct and regulate movements and they depend on the central nervous system. These
include coordination, balance and agility.

Coordination is the ability to repeatedly execute a sequence of movements
smoothly and accurately. This may involve the senses, muscular contractions and joint
Everything that we participate in requires the ability to coordinate our limbs to
achieve a successful outcome - from walking to the more complex movements of
athletic events like the pole vault.

Balance is the ability to maintain equilibrium when stationary or moving through
the coordinated actions of our sensory functions (eyes, ears and the proprioceptive
organs in our joints). We can difference:

Static Balance - ability to retain the centre of mass above the base of support in a
stationary position

Dynamic Balance - ability to maintain balance with body movement

Agility is the ability to change direction or position of the body in an efficient
and effective manner and quickly. It requires a combination of coordination, balance
and speed.

Physical Education Department // I.E.S. El Astillero

Physical Education Department // I.E.S. El Astillero