What are the types of strength in Physical Education?

Every person has basic physical abilities, from a healthy perspective, being strength one of the main ones to perform some daily tasks. However, within the practice of a sport or physical education there is a classification of strength that is important to know in order to know how to develop this capacity. 

When we hear the word strength, we usually associate it with the ability to sustain a certain weight. However, within physical education the concept of strength has a more complex meaning that every individual must understand as part of his physical and mental self-knowledge. 

We will talk about this aspect in the following lines to find out about the types of forces that exist, as well as the strength exercises in physical education that you can do at home or with the guidance of a professional trainer. 

What is force?

In a simple and concise way, we can understand strength as the basic muscular capacity that allows a body to overcome resistance through muscle contraction.

In other words, strength is a quality in the human being that, through muscular tension, allows him to drag an object, lift a weight or push something. 

Now, strength, along with endurance, flexibility and speed, represent the basic physical abilities that any person must have according to their development, age, gender, among other factors, to perform different daily activities.

Within the study of Physical Education, a classification of strength is made, which we summarize below.

types of forces

Generally, the most basic classification of forces establishes three well-defined types that are resistance, speed and absolute. However, we are going to use the broader classification, which divides forces into 6 types. 

1. Static force

Also known as isometric strength, it is one in which the muscles contract without there being a variation in movement or angles. Put more simply, static force is the force exerted against immovable motion, like when you push on a wall.

Although when producing the force there is an internal muscular movement, at first glance there is no variation, therefore the force is considered static. Consequently, an internal stress is generated that cannot counteract the external resistance.

In this sense, there are isometric exercises aimed at developing maximum strength, using specialized techniques to reduce the risk of muscle and joint injuries.

2. Dynamic force

This force is what is generated through movement, because unlike the previous force, in dynamics an isotonic contraction is produced that displaces the entire muscular structure, also increasing muscle tension. 

In this case, the internal effort of the muscles overcomes the external resistance and produces a movement. Said movement can be the elongation of the fibers that results in an eccentric dynamic force , where the external resistance is greater than the internal effort of the individual.

To develop dynamic strength in physical education, it must be taken into account that there will be delayed muscle soreness, although it is beneficial due to the high intensity of the exercises using less energy. 

3. Maximum strength

It is defined as the maximum effort that the body can make during a muscular contraction, which is why it is also known as brute force. In this classification, body mass predominates, which is what determines performance in sports activities in which a certain resistance must be overcome. Examples of maximal strength include lifting weights, barbell front or back squats, or deadlifting, which involves lifting a weight from the floor to your waist. 

It is important to clarify that the maximum force exerted will be proportional to the level of resistance that must be overcome. In other words, while said resistance is less, the maximum force that is printed in the movement is also reduced.

To represent this strength, the percentage is used, with 100% being the highest level of maximum strength, which is very useful for measuring performance in some high-level sports disciplines such as the shot put, hammer throw, among others. 

4. Explosive force

Called speed strength or power, this refers to the maximum development of muscle tension in less time. To understand it in another way, it refers to the greatest amount of force that is printed in the shortest period of time. 

This force is easily exemplified when weightlifters quickly lift a large amount of weight or when tennis players manage to put so much force on the ball that it reaches up to 200 km/h on a serve. 

In turn, this force is divided into explosive elastic force and explosive-elastic reactive force, highlighting in both the importance of elasticity in muscle fibers to execute movements. 

In schools, there are explosive strength games for children such as relay games that help them develop team skills, while being easy to perform. One of them is the Leapfrog jump that is played in pairs or the kangaroo race. 

5. Strength resistance

It refers to the ability of the body to resist fatigue, an ability that is measured as short, medium or long duration, when we refer to the repetition of efforts. 

In this case, the relationship between the intensity of the load and the duration of the individual’s effort to overcome fatigue in the maximum repetition cycles is measured. For physical education, strength games such as continuous running or low intensity circuits allow identifying the individual’s resistance.

Generally, low resistance activities are applied to increase the working time. 

6. Absolute and relative strength

When we speak of absolute strength, we refer to the strength determined by body mass, understanding that the greater the individual’s body weight, the greater the force exerted on a resistance. 

For its part, relative strength is represented as the proportion of strength that any individual can have regardless of their body weight. This classification can be exemplified with the case of the elephant and the ant. The first represents the absolute strength and the second the relative strength. 

The latter is also reflected in trampoline athletes, jumpers and gymnasts, where the level of strength is proportional to the effort needed in these activities. 

In general, a physical education strength circuit is considered efficient if it includes a couple of exercises for each type of strength. But, for a good execution, you need to be in good health and wear comfortable clothes, such as a tracksuit, for example, in addition to prior preparation that includes good hydration and a balanced diet. 

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