10 CROSSFIT MOVES YOU NEED TO ADD TO YOUR WORKOUT!
A 5-Move Intro to CrossFit
Interested in taking a CrossFit class—and simultaneously scared to death? I know, right? CrossFit seems to be everywhere, and with good reason: It’s a great training style that challenges you like whoa. It’s not for everyone, but everyone is intrigued.
I have a great solution! Try these five moves to see if you like the CrossFit style! You can also use this workout for a few weeks to prep you for your first foray into a true CrossFit Open class at your local box. This will give you a sense of what to expect in a class, but it also works great as a standalone workout in your gym if you’d rather skip the full CrossFit experience. Pull up your knee socks, grab some hand chalk, and get ready to do some chinups!
The Workout:Perform one round of the following movements with no rest between sets for the repetitions noted for each movement. Keep up a good, quick pace during all sets, but don’t rush—take enough time to ensure that you are performing each movement with excellent technique. After the first round, note the time it took you. Rest for two minutes, then complete another round, trying to beat the time from your first circuit. Again, rest after the second round for two minutes, then repeat all five moves for a third round, trying once again to beat your time from the second circuit. If you want to turn this up another notch and truly get ready for the fatigue that comes with an Open class, try for four or five rounds of the circuit.
The whole point of a CrossFit-style workout is to perform as much work as possible in the least amount of time. This workout is going to teach you to move quickly under a great deal of effort. If you need to rest longer in between circuits, go for it, but try to keep moving during the circuits. And remember: Move with excellent technique—that’s the CrossFit Golden Rule. Don’t sacrifice form for anything!
Check out a summary of the workout in the pin-able graphic below. Then scroll down for how-tos for each of the exercises.
1. Barbell Front Squat
Using a 30- to 60-pound barbell, stand with your feet so that your heels are slightly wider than shoulder-width distance apart and your arms are straight with the barbell hanging in front of you. Your toes should be turned open slightly, pointing to 11:00 and 1:00 on an imaginary clock. Hold the bar with an overhand grip so that your palms are facing your thighs. Use a bit of a hop and momentum (similar to the Push Press below) and bring the barbell up to your collarbone, allowing your elbows to tuck under so that your palms are facing upward. Allow the bar to roll onto your shoulders a bit as you raise your upper arms until they are nearly parallel to the floor. Keep a long tall spine, brace your core, and keep your chin level with the floor(A). Sit your weight back into your heels and hamstrings (the back of your thighs), bend your hips and knees, and lower down into a squat until the tops of your thighs are parallel with the floor(B). Drive into your heels to stand back up. That’s one rep. Immediately drop back down into the squat without changing your hand position. Complete a total of 15 reps.
2. Barbell Push Press
Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart, holding a pre-loaded 20- to 40-pound barbell with an overhand grip. Bring the bar in front of your shoulders just below your chin so that your palms are facing outward and your elbows are directly below your wrists(A). Bend your knees and drop down into a quarter squat(B), then immediately pop back up to a fully standing position to create a little bit of momentum to push the bar up over your head. End with your arms straight, your elbows unlocked, and the bar directly over your head(C). Slowly return the bar to the starting position at your collarbone. That’s one rep. Repeat beginning with the quarter squat, and do a total of 15 reps.
3. Single-arm Kettlebell Snatch
Place a nine-pound (or less) kettlebell in between your feet. Stand with your feet hips-width distance apart, your toes pointing to 11:00 and 1:00 on an imaginary clock. Bend at your hips and knees to sit into a squat, and grab the kettlebell with your right hand and an overhand grip(A). Use your left arm for balance and to generate power during the upswing. With a slightly explosive movement, stand up and pull your right elbow high toward the ceiling(B). When the kettelbell rises to just above your chest, tuck your right elbow under to rotate your palm so that it faces outward, holding the kettlebell. The kettlebell will spiral around your wrist to land backward, resting on your right forearm. Continue driving your arm (and kettlebell) upward until your arm is fully extended toward the sky. The kettlebell should be directly above your right shoulder(C). Gently release back to the starting position with the kettlebell in between your feet. That’s one rep; switch hands and perform the same movement on the left side. Continue alternating sides for a total of 20 reps (10 reps on each arm).
4. Hanging Leg Raise
Locate a chinup bar in your gym (you’ll need it for the next exercise, as well). Jump up to grab the bar with an overhand grip that's slightly wider than your shoulders(A). Tuck your pelvis, bend your knees and hips, and pull your knees up toward your chest. Pause for a moment when your thighs are in front of your torso(B). Slowly lower down without swinging forward or backward. That’s one rep; do a total of 15.
Locate a dedicated chinup bar that is stable and high enough to keep your feet off the floor. You’ll want to start with a “supinated grip,” which means that your palms will be facing you during the movement. You may need to jump up and catch the bar to get started. Your hands should be shoulder-width distance apart. Once your hands are on the bar, look to ensure that your hands are directly above your shoulders, making a direct line from shoulders to bar—many women over- and underestimate the width of their shoulders. You can either let your legs hang straight down (a bit more advanced) or bend your knees and cross your ankles. A perfect chinup starts from the bottom of the movement, in a dead hang, with your arms fully extended and no bend at the elbows (A). From the bottom, contract your back muscles (latissimus dorsi) and pull yourself up until your chin passes the horizontal height of the bar (B). Pause for one quick second, then slowly lower back down until your arms are fully extended and you are in a dead hang. That’s one rep. It’s important to perfect your technique here before you try to do more reps. If you can only do one with great technique—awesome! If you can continue, work yourself up to a total of five perfect reps.
Video: Crossfit 101 - The Basics
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