The Ten Skills

In CrossFit’s original and continuing quest to define fitness, three models were postulated to provide working constructs toward meaningful discussion and implementation.  The Ten General Physical Skills stood as the first of these models, and courtesy of Jim Cawley and Bruce Evans of Dynamax, we provide them here with definitions.

1.  Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance – the ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.

2.  Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.

3.  Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to produce force (We now define Strength as productive application of force along efficient lines.

  See yesterday’s post.)

4.  Flexibility – The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.

5.  Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time (We now understand Power as exacty equal to Intensity, or force x distance/time; very important term for the future…)

6.  Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.

7.  Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singlular distinct movement.

8.  Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.

9.  Balance – The ability to control the placement of the bodies center of gravity in relation to its support base.

10.  Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

CrossFit took the significance of these skills a step further in stating that an athlete is as fit as he or she is competent in each of these skills, and a fitness program is only as good as it’s ability to improve each of these skills.

It is important to note that the first four skills of Cardio/Respiratory endurance, Stamina, Strength and Flexibilty are developed through training, and produce measurable organic changes in the body.  Whereas the last four skills of Coordination, Agility, Balance and Accuracy are garnered through practice, and produce potent changes in an athletes neurological system.  Finally, the middle two skills of Power and Speed are products of both training and practice.

Most athletes new to and experienced in CrossFit will find they’re dominant in certain skills while being deficient in others.  It is absolutely to your benefit to train and practice the skills in which you’re deficient.  Post thoughts and skills to comments!



K-Ron Feiner, Zeb Pascual, and David Paradiso assessing Jessica Suver’s balance.


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