What is skill related fitness?


Traditionally, skill related fitness was only achieved by practicing one's sport or activity. Traditional training methods focused on the five components of fitness (muscular strength & endurance - cardiovascular fitness - flexibility - body comp) and left the skilling activities to be accomplished while at practice. 

Functional training strategies now take advantage of integrating skilling activities within training sessions. The difference from skilling activities in training programs versus on the field skills is that on the field skills work very precise moves and have narrow scopes. This can leave athletes vulnerable to injury when they are put in an odd and unpredictable position/action on the field. Whereas, functional training looks to also work within the scope of the sport, but to increase one's thresholds past the perceived need on the field. Skilling fundamentals can include balance, jumping, hopping, pivoting, lunging. When these fundamental skills are enhanced an individual can improve speed, agility, coordination, endurance, mobility, strength & power. Most importantly, properly progressed skilling activities can keep an athlete on the field - not in the training room.

Skill related fitness, is fitness that conditions the body or specific muscles for a primary goal of improving a skill. For example, High Knees is useful for building the strength and endurance of hipflexors, quadriceps, and glutes and can considered to be skill related fitness for an athlete requiring strength and endurance in those muscles.
John Andrew

Great Question! Years ago I used to compete in triathlons, which required skills in three separate sports, swimming, cycling, and running. Each sport has its own technical components or set of skills specific to that sport. For example a time trial for cycling involves a different skill set than hill climbing. So even though cardio and endurance training is necessary for overall fitness, specific skills like agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction time, and speed also come into play.  

If you have a specific sport or combination of sports that you are interested in improving, then look for a training program that is sport specific to that sport. You will need to go beyond your general fitness training to make further improvements in your performance.  As you speed, agility, and coordination improve in one sport you will find that it will help you in other sports as well. You will find that there is a cross over between skilled sports, so enjoy your cross training and have fun.

Skill related fitness includes training to improve speed, agility, balance, coordination, power, and reaction time.  These are usually used to help athletes improve performance for their particular sport or activity.  However, these components are great to incorporate into everyones fitness program to support their everyday activities.

For example, if your job includes moving boxes, a fitness program can be designed to include exercises that mimic the repetitive motions in that job to help strengthen muscles to improve the bodies efficiency.  Skills to include in this type of fitness program are power, coordination, and balance.  This type of training can help in preventing common injuries related to specific types of activities.

As a coach it is important to design fitness programs that improve overall fitness as well as include exercises that support a clients daily activities.

Mark Levine

Skill related fitness is defined as working out with a goal of improving a specific skill. For example, if you're a wide receiver on a football team you might want to improve your quickness and speed in order to beat the defenders who are covering you. In order to do this, you would work in some explosive plyometric exercises such as box jumps or squat jumps. Either of these exercises would help improve the muscles to give you that explosive speed.

Now how would skill related fitness pertain to the everyday person who is not an athlete. I have clients who are gardeners, and there is a skill set associated with gardening. In this case, I would have the client do squats as squatting is a big part of gardening. In addition, I would also have them do lunges with a rotation to help them with the movement of flowers to plant.

So depending on what you do in your everyday life, there are certain skills involved where your fitness training can assist in making you better.

Focusing on skill related fitness means your workout program puts emphasis on training variables that go beyond the components of general fitness. These six variables are:
- Balance: pertains to your ability to maintain equilibrium statically or dynamically
- Coordination: this is your ability to control muscle movements in certain patterns
- Power: applying maximal strength in minimal time
- Agility: your ability to change the direction of your movements as quickly and accurately as possible
- Speed: movement of the body through space as fast as possible
- Reaction time: the amount of time it takes your body to react to an external stimulus
These components of fitness are highly important in athletic and sportsmanship events of all types. Many of these skills are related to and dependent upon one another. 

Skill related fitness consists of fitness components that are important to success in skillful activities and athletic events, and may not be as crucial to improved health. These components include agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction time, and speed.
There are additional aspects of fitness that go beyond the general five components of fitness.  These factors include agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction time, and speed. There are additional aspects of fitness that go beyond the general five components of fitness. These factors include agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction time, and speed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.