Whether or not you are a fitness enthusiast, you would have heard of CrossFit exercises. CrossFit gyms, also known as ‘boxes’, can be seen in many cities and towns in the US.
You may think that CrossFit is simply another type of typical workout. However, CrossFits are more than a simple workout.
Let’s learn more about “what is CrossFit”, the types of CrossFit exercises, its benefits, and more.
What Is Crossfit?
CrossFit is a type of high-intensity power fitness (HIPT). It consists of Olympic weightlifting, plyometric jumping, explosive bodyweight movements, and kettlebells.
People who do CrossFit exercises have made it a lifestyle. CrossFit workouts work on improving your strength and conditioning your body.
Are Crossfit Exercises For Everyone?
CrossFit Exercises are designed irrespective of age, gender, injuries, and current fitness levels. It is a safe way for anyone to become fit and healthy.
If you are obese or out of shape, CrossFit exercises are an excellent way to start the journey to stay in shape.
From a grandparent to an Olympian, anyone can do CrossFit exercises. However, when you are fitter, you can do more challenging CrossFit workouts.
Beginner Crossfit Exercises
If you’re new to CrossFit exercises, you can start with the below workouts to get more used to the concept.
Young, old, fit, and unfit all can try CrossFit exercises, and here’s a list of activities to try as a beginner.
The shoulder press exercise is an essential CrossFit exercise that creates an overhead position for a more advanced CrossFit.
Here’s how you do this workout:
- Hold an empty barbell on the shoulders and press the bar up, right overhead.
- Return to the starting point.
If you can’t do an ordinary pushup, then don’t use your knees for CrossFit pushups. If so, use a platform to raise your hands off floor level, which requires much less strength.
Here’s how to do CrossFit pushups:
- Place your hand directly under your shoulders and lower yourself to the floor.
- Go right to the bottom and immediately push back to the starting point.
Pushup With Hand Release
Pushup with hand release is a great way to begin your journey towards more advanced and challenging CrossFit exercises.
Here’s how you can do this exercise:
- Get into a pushup position.
- Lower yourself, letting your chest touch the floor.
- Next, release your hand momentarily.
- Afterwards, place your hand back on the floor and push up to the starting point.
According to the former CrossFit Games champion Jason Khalipa, the box jump CrossFit exercise is one of the purest forms of explosive training.
Here’s how to do the CrossFit box jump exercise:
- Stand upright on a stable platform, with your heels shoulder-width apart.
- Move downward into a squatting position.
- When you’re at the bottom, propel yourself upwards and use your arm for momentum.
- Land, squatting or standing, with both feet on the box.
- Step off the box.
Remember to keep your knees unlocked when you do a kettlebell swing. It will avoid driving your knees forward during the exercise.
- Stand over the kettlebell with your back straight, chest up, and feet apart.
- Squat down and grab the kettlebell with your palm facing towards your body.
- Bend your knees slightly and move into a standing position. Swing the kettlebell through, between your legs.
- Next, swing the kettlebell forward, bringing it just below shoulder height.
Ensure your feet are on the ground right through this exercise.
Here are the steps to follow when doing an air squat:
- Keep a braced position in the spine and tighten your core.
- Bend at the hips and knees, tracking knees inline with your toes.
- Drop your hips below the knees and push back to a standing position.
What Are The Gears Required To Do Crossfit Exercises?
Here is a list of things that you need when doing CrossFit exercises.
- Water bottle
- Speed rope
Athletes and those who engage in more challenging CrossFit workouts will also require the following.
- Weightlifting shoes
- Massage ball
- Foam roller
- Wrist wraps
- Weightlifting belt
- Lifting straps
- Heart-rate tracker
- Barbell pad
- Supplements (creatine, cod liver oil etc.)
Benefits Of Crossfit Exercises
There’s so much you can gain by doing CrossFit exercises. Here are the benefits of doing these workouts.
- It helps you gain muscle strength and stamina.
- It improves physical strength.
- It improves your balance, agility, and flexibility.
- It helps you burn calories and manage weight.
- Improves heart health.
- It enhances mobility over time.
- It creates mental toughness.
Downside Of Doing Crossfit Exercises
CrossFit exercises are high-intensity workouts. So there is an increased risk of injuring yourself. Common CrossFit injuries include:
- Knee injuries
- Lower back pain
- Tennis elbow
- Rotator cuff tendonitis
- Achilles tendonitis
A 4-year study found that 30% of CrossFit performers suffered an injury within 12 months.
CrossFit workouts pose a risk mainly to the back, shoulders, elbows, and knees.
CrossFit exercises could also result in inflammation which further increases your risk of injuries.
How To Reduce Risk Of Injury
Here’s how you can reduce the risk of injury by doing CrossFit exercises.
- Warm-up before working out.
- Choose an excellent trainer to support you.
- Practice good form when doing CrossFit. Giving unnecessary load to your back, shoulders etc., could cause injuries if you’re not in form.
- Maintain body awareness by listening to your body and identifying its limits.
- Perform post-workout recovery by gradually easing down your workout intensity.
Apart from the above, you must be well-hydrated and have the required nutrients to stay fit and active to reduce the risk of injury while doing CrossFit exercises.
Your diet is vital in preventing and recovering from injuries you’ve sustained from working out. Use meal replacement shakes recommended by ShakesLab, before working out to get the best results from your workout sessions.
How Long Will It Take To Lose Weight Doing Crossfit Exercises?
Fitness trainers and professionals in the field say you can lose a significant amount of weight in a short time by doing CrossFit exercises. In addition, weight loss happens faster when doing CrossFit workouts than in many other activities.
CrossFit exercises for just over 5 hours could burn approximately 3000 calories a week. It can be achieved by combining various elements of CrossFit exercises such as strength training, high-intensity interval training, and aerobics.
Can You Do Crossfit Exercises At Home?
CrossFit exercises don’t need expensive gear. So you can do it at home if you know the technique. These exercises are based on functional movements similar to what you do in your daily life.
Here are a few types of CrossFit exercises you can do at home.
- Interval running
- Overhead presses
- Bent-over rows
- Air squats
- Single-leg squats
- Double unders
- wall-ball shots
- Kettlebell swings
- Dumbbell thrusters
- Dumbbell snatchers
- Box step-ups
As you can see, there are so many CrossFit exercises you can try doing in the comfort of your home if you don’t have time to hit the gym.
Crossfit Vs. Gym
Here are the differences between CrossFit exercises and conventional gym exercises.
- Conventional gym exercises emphasize burning fat through weight training. CrossFit workouts focus on meeting general goals that can improve your fitness level.
- People who work out in the gym don’t usually require a personal trainer, whereas CrossFit exercises need the assistance of a personal trainer.
- CrossFit movements are more intense than conventional gym workouts.
- CrossFit exercises require minimal gear, while traditional gym workouts require additional and more advanced equipment.
Here is some CrossFit terminology that you should be familiar with. You might hear a few of these words in a class.
- EMOM: Every Minute on the Minute
- WOD: Workout of the Day
- Box: A CrossFit gym
- AMRAP: As Many Reps as Possible
- Zone Diet: A diet based on macronutrients for CrossFit performers
- PR: Personal Record or your personal best performance
- SQ: Squat
- Ladder: A series of CrossFit exercises with an increasing number of reps
CrossFit exercises are high-intense workouts requiring minimal gear and a personal trainer’s assistance. CrossFit is more of a lifestyle and focuses on an individual’s fitness level.
Individuals with varying fitness levels can do CrossFit. The more fit and athletic you are, the more challenging workouts you will be able to do. Therefore, CrossFits are for everyone to stay fit and healthy.
CrossFit exercises are beginner-friendly, and you can try a combination of pull-ups, push-ups, air squats, sit-ups, thrusters, and wall balls.
CrossFit exercises help you lose weight by combining high-intensity interval training, strength training, and aerobic exercises.
CrossFit exercises help build muscle because they consist of high-intense workouts.
It is best to do CrossFit exercises five days a week, leaving two days for resting.