CrossFit®

What Is CrossFit®?

CrossFit® is often referred to and known as “the sport of fitness”, but originally got its roots as a fitness regimen developed around functional exercises and high-intensity workouts. CrossFit® is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc.; more information can be found at their website, CrossFit.com.

This fitness methodology numerous movement staples, including:

  • Box Jumps
  • Thrusters
  • Weighted Carries
  • Squats
  • Snatches
  • Clean & Jerks
  • Handstands
  • Pull-Ups

These are a few of the movements an athlete can perform in any given CrossFit® workout. In order to excel in this sport, an athlete must be well-rounded and carefully curate programs that improve strength, mobility, power, and much more.

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The thruster, or squat press/clean into press, is a staple in functional fitness workouts and comes in multiple forms. This movements can be performed with a barbell or dumbbells, and can be trained heavy or light depending on one’s training adaptation goals. 

In many functional fitness workouts, the thruster will be programmed in a style that either has ascending or descending reps, which are to be performed for time. Whether you’re a functional fitness athlete, or recreational lifter, the thruster is a great movement to learn and conquer. 

The thruster can be used to improve strength, power, and endurance. Need a little inspiration? Here are five major reasons you should perform heavy thrusters. 

Pull-ups could arguably be one of the kings of upper body exercises. The pull-up offers a multitude of benefits and can have carryover to other lifts and sports as well.

In respects to CrossFit® specifically, pull-ups are great to train because they’re often used in workouts, competition, and can serve as major fitness milestones for a variety of athletes at different fitness levels. 

Benefits of Pull-Ups

  1. Improve upper body size, power, and strength
  2. Great for targeting the lats, biceps, trapezius minor, erector spinae, and much more
  3. Can provide improvements to muscle-up, kipping, and chest-to-bar pull-ups

The handstand push-up is another functional fitness staple and is one of the toughest movements to accomplish. This movement requires one to have ample strength, coordination, and balance, and this is especially true when stringing reps together. 

Yes, the handstand push-up is one of the toughest movements to accomplish in functional fitness, but it’s certainly not impossible. In fact, this movement is great to use as a fitness milestone and as an end-goal. 

Benefits of Handstand Push-Ups

  1. Improve coordination, gymnastic skills, and upper body strength
  2. Great for improving overhead strength and stability

Wall balls are another functional fitness training staple and are used in both competitive (see Open Workout 19.1) and recreational workout settings. This movement is useful for beginner and veterans, as it can help build muscular endurance and be used for conditioning. 

The wall ball combines a squat and a throw, which makes them great for training squat movement patterning while improving triple extension during the throw. 

Benefits of Wall Balls

  1. Great for improving metabolic and upper body conditioning
  2. Easy to program and use at any level of fitness
  3. Can help improve squat mechanics and midline stability

If you’ve ever done a functional fitness or class-style workout, then there’s a good chance you’ve done a box jump before. Box jumps are fantastic tools for building coordination, lower body strength, and improving conditioning. 

In functional fitness, you’ll often see box jumps performed for multiple reps in a timed workout fashion, and in some cases, burpees are added. The best part of box jumps? Pretty much every athlete can benefit using them. 

Benefits of Box Jumps

  1. Great for improving metabolic and lower body conditioning 
  2. Awesome movement to ease athletes into more advanced plyometrics
  3. Useful for improving coordination and basic jumping mechanics