Exercise and fitness knowledge level 3


The level 3 syllabus has changed considerably since this material was written! If you are studying for the level 3 anatomy and physiology test as part of the personal trainer qualification, please use your providers learning material as your primary source.


  1. Functions of the skeletal system
  2. Structure of the skeleton
  3. Classification of bones
  4. Structure of skeletal tissues
  5. Structure of a long bone
  6. Ossification
  7. Adaptation of bone to exercise
  8. Mineral Essential Strain (MES)
  9. Loss of bone
  10. Exercise and bone growth
  11. Children and bones
  12. Factors that affect bone density


  1. Classification of joints
  2. Degrees of freedom of joints
  3. Sub-classification of synovial joints
  4. The structure of a synovial joint
  5. The three anatomical planes
  6. Movements in the different planes
  7. Joint movements
  8. The vertebral column
  9. Structure of a vertebra
  10. Kyphosis
  11. Lordosis
  12. Scoliosis
  13. Normal standing posture
  14. The thorax
  15. The shoulder girdle and shoulder joint
  16. The upper arm
  17. The pelvic girdle
  18. The lower limb
  19. The ankle and bones of the foot
  20. Arches of the foot

Biomechanical principles of movement:

  1. Biomechanical principles of movement
  2. Somatotypes
  3. Levers
  4. Single and multi-joint exercises
  5. Open and closed kinetic chain exercises


  1. The three main types of muscle
  2. Properties of skeletal muscle
  3. Functions of skeletal muscle
  4. The structure of skeletal muscle
  5. Sliding filament theory
  6. More sliding filament theory
  7. The nerve impulse
  8. The ‘All or None’ Law
  9. Graduation of contraction
  10. Motor nerves and units
  11. Contraction strength
  12. Activation of motor units
  13. Muscle fibres
  14. Slow twitch fibres
  15. Fast twitch fibres
  16. Muscle fibre comparison
  17. Muscle shapes
  18. The force-velocity relationship
  19. The different types of muscular contraction
  20. Connective tissue
  21. DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness)
  22. Muscle action

Muscle location and function:

  1. Upper back muscles
  2. Rotator cuff muscles
  3. Upper body muscles
  4. Abdominal muscles
  5. Lower back muscles
  6. Hip and thigh muscles
  7. Back of thigh muscles
  8. Lower leg muscles

Movement analysis

  1. The elbow joint, radioulnar joint and wrist
  2. The shoulder girdle
  3. The shoulder joint
  4. The spine and abdominal wall
  5. The hip joint
  6. The knee joint
  7. The ankle joint

Short and long-term effects of resistance training

The energy systems

Fatigue and recovery

The heart and circulatory system

The respiratory system

Short and long-term effects of aerobic training

Components of fitness

Training principles

The nervous system

The endocrine system



More coming daily ….