The association between motor skill competence and physical fitness in young adults

Res Q Exerc Sport. 2009 Jun;80(2):223-9. doi: 10.1080/02701367.2009.10599556.


We examined the relationship between competence in three fundamental motor skills (throwing kicking, and jumping) and six measures of health-related physical fitness in young adults (ages 18-25). We assessed motor skill competence using product scores of maximum kicking and throwing speed and maximum jumping distance. A factor analysis indicated the 12-min run/walk, percent body fat, curl-ups, grip strength, and maximum leg press strength all loaded on one factor defining the construct of "overall fitness. "Multiple regression analyses indicated that the product scores for jumping (74%), kicking (58%), and throwing (59%) predicted 79% of the variance in overall fitness. Gender was not a significant predictor of fitness. Results suggest that developing motor skill competence may be fundamental in developing and maintaining adequate physical fitness into adulthood. These data represent the strongest to date on the relationship between motor skill competence and physical fitness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Athletic Performance / standards
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Young Adult