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10 Skills You Might Be Missing In Your Exercise Routine

April 30, 2010

If you flip through a bodybuilding or fitness magazine you will notice that the pages boast men and women with bulging muscular figures, super-tanned bodies, and not a trace of fat on them.  At first glance, you might say “wow, they are incredibly fit!” But, they might just be fooling you.  While bodybuilders and fitness models are most certainly adept at doing isolation exercises like bicep curls in a gym, they can actually be far from being fit and functional.  There are certainly benefits to your typical isolation and machine exercises, but if your goal is to maximize your ability to perform everyday tasks and challenges there are some important things to consider.

By contrast, functional movements use what are called universal motor recruitment patterns, which gets your body moving in symphony efficiently, effectively and quickly from one place to another. These movements are universal in that they are found everywhere, in everything you do from homemaking to sports and recreation.  Jumping, pushing, pulling, throwing, running, climbing: Movements that mimic what you do in life as opposed to calf-raises, pec-flies or leg curls -which are non-functional and artificial.  Universal motor recruitment patterns are safe, in fact the safest kinds of movements you can do. Adduction/abduction machines, lateral raises and flies are not natural and thus are not inherently safe movements.

According to, if your goal is optimum physical competence then there are 10 general physical skills that need to be considered:

  1. Cardio-vascular and cardio respiratory endurance: This is your body’s ability to use and deliver oxygen to your body.
  2. Stamina (muscular endurance): This is your body’s ability to store, process, and use energy.
  3. Strength: This is the ability of your muscles or a muscular unit to apply force.
  4. Flexibility: The ability to maximize the range of motion of a joint.
  5. Power: The ability of your muscles to maximize their force in a minimum amount of time.
  6. Speed: The ability to minimize the amount of time it takes you to accomplish a task or movement.
  7. Coordination: The ability to combine several different movement patterns in a single distinct movement
  8. Accuracy: The ability to control a movement in a given direction or intensity.
  9. Agility: The ability to minimize the time going from one movement to another.
  10. Balance: The ability to control the center of gravity of your body in relation to your supportive base.

The first four (Cardio, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility) are organic and are developed through exercise/training. Improvements in each can actually be visibly observed under a microscope as you improve your training.  The last four (Coordination, Accuracy, Agility, Balance) are neuromuscular and developed through practice and repetition. These are improvements that we see with specific challenges and tests. Those that are a combination of both (Power, Speed) are improved with both exercise/training and practice/repetition.

The Bonfire Health exercise programming and Crossfit will help you build all 10 facets of fitness no matter who you are or your walk of life.  All of the workouts are tailored to any fitness level and are composed of movements that will help you build outstanding results in your health and fitness.  We were all meant to be healthy and successful and we were built to move. Follow the Bonfire or crossfit programming and unleash your potential to be strong, functional, and ready for anything.

Now Get Moving!

Your health Coach,

Dr. Ryan Hewitt

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