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-   -   How to train the "softer" aspects of fitness (http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=67767)

Edwin Burlton 06-08-2011 10:22 AM

How to train the "softer" aspects of fitness
 
Basically I mean co-ordination, accuracy, reactions and that sort of thing - where fitness becomes more skill based than just doing various amounts of work with your muscles (strength/endurance type stuff).

One thing I've thought of so far to develop this is juggling, which requires very complex and precise movements, body awareness as well as developing throwing and catching skills that are relevant to lots of sports. Maybe a bit of kettlebell juggling (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNPehE4c0Fc WFS) if you're really hardcore.

Any other ideas for how to train in a non-sport specific way for this sort of fitness?

Summer Evert 06-08-2011 11:33 AM

Re: How to train the "softer" aspects of fitness
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Edwin Burlton (Post 945776)
Basically I mean co-ordination, accuracy, reactions and that sort of thing - where fitness becomes more skill based than just doing various amounts of work with your muscles (strength/endurance type stuff).

One thing I've thought of so far to develop this is juggling, which requires very complex and precise movements, body awareness as well as developing throwing and catching skills that are relevant to lots of sports. Maybe a bit of kettlebell juggling (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNPehE4c0Fc WFS) if you're really hardcore.

Any other ideas for how to train in a non-sport specific way for this sort of fitness?

I haven't totally been following it, but maybe Carl Paoli's gymnastics wods would help? It's not always "gymnasticky," but does focus on other skills other than strength:
http://gymnasticswod.com/

Geoff Archibald 06-08-2011 12:32 PM

Re: How to train the "softer" aspects of fitness
 
Any of the juggling or balance hobbies would be a start but the skills are pretty activity specific.

hacky sack, balance boards, slack lining, unicycling, soccer ball juggling, etc.

Katherine Derbyshire 06-08-2011 02:32 PM

Re: How to train the "softer" aspects of fitness
 
"Regularly learn and play new sports."

Katherine

Edwin Burlton 06-08-2011 03:22 PM

Re: How to train the "softer" aspects of fitness
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire (Post 945917)
"Regularly learn and play new sports."

Katherine

Yes I have read that before, and I was expecting someone to bring it up at some point, but it doesn't really help me. I'm just training at home with my kettlebell, pull-up branch and whatever other things I can find to exercise with so I don't have the equipment or coaching available to regularly teach me new sports. That's why I'm looking for exercises which will generally build these skills in a non-sport specific way.

Shane Skowron 06-08-2011 03:34 PM

Re: How to train the "softer" aspects of fitness
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Edwin Burlton (Post 945929)
That's why I'm looking for exercises which will generally build these skills in a non-sport specific way.

IMO, you can't. All skills are specific to something. So just pick whichever ones you enjoy the most...

Katherine Derbyshire 06-08-2011 03:52 PM

Re: How to train the "softer" aspects of fitness
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Edwin Burlton (Post 945929)
Yes I have read that before, and I was expecting someone to bring it up at some point, but it doesn't really help me. I'm just training at home with my kettlebell, pull-up branch and whatever other things I can find to exercise with so I don't have the equipment or coaching available to regularly teach me new sports. That's why I'm looking for exercises which will generally build these skills in a non-sport specific way.

Do you mean to tell me that one of the great cities of the world has no neighborhood recreational sports leagues? No informal skateboarding/rollerblading/parkour groups? No pickup games in the park on weekends?

Katherine

Yahya Kohgadai 06-08-2011 05:34 PM

Re: How to train the "softer" aspects of fitness
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Summer Evert (Post 945800)
I haven't totally been following it, but maybe Carl Paoli's gymnastics wods would help? It's not always "gymnasticky," but does focus on other skills other than strength:
http://gymnasticswod.com/

Carl's coaching is pretty cool. I used to go to SF Crossfit for a while and he'd coach Wednesdays and it would be "gymnastiky" as you call it. lol. We did this progression for muscle ups that really helped me get a grasp of what exactly I was supposed to do and how I was supposed to maneuver my body. Before that I was just kinda guessing. lol

David Meverden 06-08-2011 05:50 PM

Re: How to train the "softer" aspects of fitness
 
Some time ago I thought about this for a while in the context of Balance. What is the best activity to test balance? What does it mean to say someone has excellent balance? How does one build a broadly applicable balance skill?

*WARNING: This gets a little tangled up. You can skip to the end if you want, that's fine*

The problem comes in separating the test from the method of improving. If you select any balance related task--say, slack lining--and decide that it is the best test of balance, then practicing slack lining will pretty much automatically become the best way to build balance, since it will lead to the most rapid improvement in your tested skill. Except things besides slack lining demand balance also. How do you know slack lining will improve those performances? Maybe your improvement in slack lining is specific JUST to slack lining, so your overall sense of balance isn't better.

Well, you could decide to test several balance related skills--slack lining, moving across kung fu poles, stand on one foot, moving on a balance beam, using a balance board--then practice JUST slack lining, and see if the others improve. If you improved at all of them you would know that slack lining improved your overall balance. But is it the BEST way to improve balance? If those other tests are valid, then those tasks will also be worth practicing, too. But if you practice those specific tasks, then you invalidate the test because you might be teaching JUST to the test!

It's sort of a catch-22: The best test to see if you have good overall balance is to see how you fare at something you've never practiced, but if that task is a good test of balance then why haven't you been practicing it?

CONCLUSION: Suffice it to say that, without massive numbers and a lot of rigor, I can't think of any way to tell if a specific task is efficiently giving you broadly applicable balance skills or just a narrowly applicable balance skill. Maybe there is no such thing as a broadly applicable balance skill, in which case you just need to find the skills that you think will be most useful and practice those. I think other skills are similar. Did being a good juggler make me a better floor hockey goalie (because I was pretty good at catching things)? I think so. But not nearly as much as practicing goalie skills would have.

Mauricio Leal 06-08-2011 06:27 PM

Re: How to train the "softer" aspects of fitness
 
Parkour/Free Running.


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