10 Principles of Physical Fitness

Everything can be broken down into its basic building blocks so that we can build a strong foundation. We will be breaking down the 10 principles of physical fitness so that we can truly understand what we are setting out to accomplish every time we increase our heart rate or add another rep to our bicep curl.

  1. Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance: Breathe in oxygen, breathe out carbon dioxide. Sounds simple enough right? Well as time goes by muscles aren’t as strong as they used to, breathing can become a little difficult when doing the simplest of tasks. So how can we make this right? By increasing our cardiovascular/respiratory endurance. When we focus on our heart and lung health we supporting our ability to increase oxygen delivery to all of our organs. Our body will be able to pump oxygenated blood more efficiently and our lungs will be able to hold more air and regulate our breathing while performing physical activities.

2. Stamina: So now what? Your cardiovascular/respiratory endurance has increased, what to do with it! Well now that you have strengthened your heart and lungs you can go a little longer each time in your physical activities. Unpacking after a move? Would you usually stop to rest after a few steps while carrying that heavy box? Well, with increased stamina you might even be able to make it in one shot. Efficiency at its best! Training for a 10K run? With a stronger heart and set of lungs you will be strides closer to that finish line with less time taken to walk.

3. Strength: Now that you can go a little further with that heavy box, you might be able to add a little more weight when at the gym. Your muscles are able to produce greater force when moving a weight than they were before you worked on your muscle endurance. You will experience more control when lifting and lowering a weight and the ability to perform more sets or long rep counts.

4. Flexibility: Performing a weighted squat and want a challenge? Now we can work on ass to grass squats which require a greater range of motion or in layman terms more flexibility. Increased your ability to hold different stretches? Now you can push yourself a little further and increase your flexibility. Strength allows you to control your movement as you lean deeper into a stretch, stamina allows you to hold it longer and increased cardiovascular/respiratory endurance allows you to deliver oxygen to the muscle being stretched and control your breathing so that you can relax.

5. Power: Being able to lift at maximal effort for a short period of time requires great strength, stamina and endurance. No one became a great power-lifter without having to work on those 3 important principles of physical fitness.

6. Speed: How quickly can you move when performing a physical task and keep moving quickly? Speed is the body’s ability to accelerate to its maximal rate of movement and maintain this speed. Being able to move faster requires your body to have power and strength. Maintaining maximum speed requires stamina and maintaining that speed requires cardiovascular/respiratory endurance.

7. Coordination: Not quite the “pat your head and rub your belly clockwise” type of coordination. Coordination is the ability to move multiple body parts with control and efficiency. Compound exercises are a good way of increasing your physical coordination. Compound movements will train different muscles in coordinating their contraction and firing rates.

8.Agility: So now that we have worked on our ability to move faster and trained our muscles to fire and contract together, we have supported an increase in our agility. Agility is our ability to move quickly with ease. Agility allows us to move with a gracefulness we thought only a dancer could possess. Examples of agility are the ease with which a talented basketball player moves around his/her opponent towards their net or the way a swimmer somersaults at the end of a lap to continue with a break in the opposite direction.

9. Balance: Do you think standing upright on both feet is a sign of good balance? Well let’s try standing on one foot with both hands straight in the air? A little more challenging for some. Why is that? Well if you haven’t developed strength in your core to keep your posture upright while you raise your arms above your head you might have some difficulty. Have no idea how to gracefully coordinate the movement of your arms and legs to keep yourself upright and poised? Might be a sign you need to work on your coordination and agility. When it comes to balance smooth transitions from rest to final pose is recommended, speed and power will help with such a task.

10. Accuracy: Last but by no means least, we have accuracy. Can you swim in a straight line? Shoot a basketball and clear the hoop every time? Hit a baseball? In order to improve your accuracy, you have to develop the first 9 principle skills of physical fitness. Without endurance and stamina your accuracy can and will diminish over time.

All of these principles are important when mastering jump rope. Unless you build cardiovascular/respiratory endurance how do you expect to master a double under? If you can’t move the rope quickly and with coordination how do you expect to be able to keep your balance performing multiple double unders one after the other with precision (accuracy).

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Team Make It Fun NYC