Components of Physical Fitness

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Balance – Balance is the ability to retain the centre of mass of the body above the base of support. Balance is vital in ice dance as every thing you do is on a piece of steel about 5mm thick, and you have a rocker on the blade which you have to use differently in all exercises, for example ‘twizzles’ which you rock from the front to the back continuously. You need static balance to be able to hold certain positions, for example a spiral, where you glide on one foot with the other leg extended behind as high as possible and your back arched.

You also need dynamic balance for staying over your weight when performing fast intricate movements such as spins. Everything done in ice dance is a test of balance, but for an alternate test you could walk the beam, or stand on a wobble board, or use the standing balance test. Co-ordination – This is the interaction of the motor and nervous systems and is the ability to perform smooth, accurate and effective motor tasks. You need good Co-ordination as all dances and elements involve using the whole body doing different movements at the same time, so you need to counterbalance and extend everything using co-ordination.

Co-Ordination can be tested by seeing how well someone can pick up a skill involving lots of co-ordination, such as juggling. Agility -This is the ability to change body position or direction of the body rapidly. This ability is measured with running tests that require the subject to turn or start and stop. Agility is also influenced by balance, coordination, position of center of gravity, running speed and skill. This is definitely needed in ice dance so you can perform elements with flow and control giving them a better quality.

This can be tested using the following tests; Illinois agility run test, ziz zag test and hexagon test. Flexibility – is defined as the range of movement possible at a joint. Flexibility is very helpful in ice dance as the more flexible you are the bigger the movements you can make and the more intricate and innovative moves and lifts you can produce. The only way to test how flexible a person is, is to see how far they can stretch, the sit and reach test is most often used. Muscular Strength – this is defined as the maximum force that can be developed in a muscle or group of muscles during a single maximal contraction.

You need a lot of strength to perform elements that are physically demanding, such as a lift for a male dancer, or maybe a female dancer. There are lots of strength tests such as 1-RM test, Isokinetic strength test, Handgrip strength test and abdominal strength test. Muscular Endurance – is defined as the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to sustain repeated contractions against a resistance for an extended period of time. You need a lot of muscular endurance for ice dance as you are constantly working the muscles with out breaking up the exercises.

This can be tested using various methods, like the abdominal endurance test or the squat test. Cardiovascular Endurance – is the ability to exercise continuously for extended periods without tiring. This is an important component to ice dance, you need a lot of cardiovascular endurance to produce good quality programmes and training sessions. If you have little endurance your training sessions are poor and hard to do, and your programmes are weak and poor. There are a variety of tests that can be taken to find out the cardiovascular endurance rate of an athlete.

These tests are also split up to suit different sports. Maximal tests and submaximal tests. Maximal tests stress the body to exhaustion and a re therefore inappropriate for some activities. Submaximal tests are less demanding, but usually less accurate. Examples of the maximal tests are; 20 Meter shuttle run test (beep test), Maximal Oxygen Consumption Test (VO2MAX), run tests for set times or distances. Submaximal tests are split between cycle tests, step tests and walking tests. Examples of these are the; Harvard Step test, Rockport walk test, Astrand Bicycle Ergometer test and the Tri-level aerobic test.

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