Importance of health related fitness

Speed is the maximum rate at which a person is able to move his/her body over a certain distance. It is a production of repeated maximal contractions, usually associated with short distances, i.e. 100m sprint requires very good speed. Reaction time is the time in which it takes for you to react, by making a muscular contraction, to a stimulus. It can be related to most sports, i.e. goal keepers in football, wicket keepers in cricket, squash players.

Balance is the ability to be aware of where your body is in relation to your centre of support and body mass. There are two types of balance, static and dynamic. Static balance is the being able to balance in a stationary position, dynamic balance is keeping your balance while your body position is changing and you might also be under pressure from an opponent. You can relate balance to most sports, but in particularly gymnasts would need to have extremely good static and dynamic balance.

Co-ordination is the ability to combine your senses with one or more muscular contractions in unison to carry out a motor skill. The most commonly known being hand eye co-ordination, which combines your sense of sight to any muscular contraction, i.e. if you saw the ball coming towards you in cricket you would put your hands out in the correct position to try and catch it. Agility is the capability to change body position and/or direction quickly in precisely whilst maintaining speed. You would combine your reaction time and co-ordination with your agility, i.e. in squash when your opponent hits the ball you will have to see where it has gone, then react to that by using your agility to change body position quickly to reach for the ball.

Health Related Components

Body Composition is made of up of mainly muscle, bone, fat, minerals and water. We usually measure it in terms of % of body composition as fat. Body composition is very important for long distance runners who have a very low percentage of body fat. Aerobic Capacity (also known as cardiovascular endurance or cardiorespiratory endurance) is the total volume of oxygen you can inspire and then use efficiently per kilo of body weight per minute of exercise. It is usually measured by the VO2 Max test.

Muscular Endurance is the capacity to contract a muscle or group of muscles repeatedly usually for long periods of time. Muscular endurance usually works in unison with cardiovascular endurance which is ability for your bogy to deliver oxygen to the muscles during endurance exercises. For example a marathon runner would need a lot of endurance (slow twitch) muscle fibres but they would also need a good supply of oxygen to give them enough ATP to keep going.

Muscular Strength is the amount of force your muscles can exert in one maximal effort. It is measured by your 1Rep Max, which is usually measured in amount of weight you can lift in one single maximum effort. A very good example is weight lifters who specialise in lifting very large weight in one maximal attempt. Muscular Power is capability to combine speed and strength, so you can apply all your muscular strength very rapidly. A sprinter would need a lot of power, especially at the beginning of the race as s/he will want to push off their feet as hard as possible but they also want to accelerate exceptionally quickly.

Flexibility is the range of movement at a joint, this is pre dominantly an inert fitness component, although you can train your joints to be more supple to a certain extent. A gymnast needs to be very flexible in order to carry out the manoeuvres that they are required to do. Now I have listed what the health and skill related components of fitness are, I will relate them too the sports football and sumo wrestling, and show how even though they use similar components, they mainly use them in very different ways.

Sumo Wrestling

In terms of skill related components, sumo wrestlers will need very good balance, in order to try and stay on their while wrestling his/her opponent, each wrestler will be exerting very large amounts of force on each other so they will train to find the best stature and position in order to overpower his/her opponent. They will better dynamic balance than static balance as they will need to maintain on their feet while also changing their body position frequently to try and get the edge over the opponent.

Balance almost goes hand in hand with the co-ordination they will need; as they will be trying to move around the arena in order to try and push their opposition to the ground or out of the arena as well as trying to predetermine what their opponent might do next in order to get the advantage. They must try to do all of this while staying on their feet. Sumo wrestlers also will need relatively good reaction times, in order to react to the opposition’s attacks, so they can turn them into a winning opportunity for them selves.

Sumo wrestling also involves a lot of health related fitness components, one of the main ones being a high percentage of body fat in their body composition. They need a lot of fat because when it comes to a wrestling match the lighter fighter is going to have a tough job in over coming a heavier opponent even if they have superior strength and power. Obviously having such a high percentage of body composition as fat is bad for them, in particularly their hearts; as the fat will store as cholesterol in the heart and arteries, and may eventually cause a heart attack or stroke.

This large amount of fat will mean their cardio vascular system will be very weak, as the fat they put on will to a certain extent be stored in their heart and arteries, which will have similar side effects to smoking, i.e. finding it hard to get blood through the body effectively due to clogging in heart and arteries, and eventually causing heart diseases or heart attacks. Despite this sumo wrestlers still need a lot of specific types of strength which they will need to combine with speed to make them powerful.

Sumo wrestlers will primarily need large gross/maximum strength, as if the fighters are evenly matched they will need to use the greatest force that they possibly can in order to push the other fighter out of the arena, i.e. their 1 rep max. They will also need good elastic/power strength due to the nature of the starts of the fight, as at the beginning they will run towards their opponent as fast as possible and try to overcome the resistance of the other opponent very quickly, so some bouts only last a very short time.

The strength training the sumo wrestlers do is quite intense and so can counter for the massive amount of fats they load on, as if they exercise hard enough and often enough, the cholesterol that could potentially be stored in the arteries will be used as an energy source during exercise. When sumo wrestlers retire, they must be careful not to stop training too rapidly as the fat which was being used as energy source will just be left in their heart and arteries and their body would not be able to adjust to the changes quickly enough so their fats would soon be starting to clog their arteries. To lose all the fat they gained during wrestling, they must do a lot of anaerobic training in long low intensity periods as aerobic training is the best way to burn fat. But they must also do some aerobic training in order to keep their heart and arteries healthy.

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