8 Crossfit Exercise's for All-Around Fitness
Squat for strength, power and endurance
Probably the most well known and recognisable exercise, the Squat is the foundation of many Crossfit and power lifting workouts. A full body compound movement when performed correctly, the squat will work almost every muscle in the body forming strong Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings and core muscles. The Squat has many different variations including the standard Barbell Back Squat, Barbell Front Squat, Hack Squat, Sumo Squat and the infamously difficult Overhead Squat. Good form is vitally important when performing weight laden Squat exercise's so beginners starting out are advised to perfect form using Air Squats or low weight back squats before moving on to more advanced or heavier squat movements. Watch the video below for tips on using correct Squat form.
The best all rounder
Barbell Thrusters are a great all round exercise for building strength, speed and stamina. Lifters begin in the Front Rack position lowering themselves into the lower position of a Front Squat before exploding up into the standing position whilst thrusting the bar above their head. The exercise focuses on Leg and Shoulder muscles but like the Squat also works various other muscle groups. As the exercise involves holding a weight at the front of your body it's great at working core strength. The exercise is usually performed with a low to medium weight and at high intensity, usually incorporated into a workout routine meaning the heart rate is kept high for great cardiovascular benefits. Again there are different variations of this exercise including the Dumbell Thruster, Medicine Ball Thruster and Body Weight Thrusters.
Now were getting serious
The Clean is possibly the most effective exercise on this list for improving Speed, Balance, Power, Coordination, Strength and Flexibility. It's reputation amongst the Crossfit community is rivalled only by The Snatch and it's effectiveness must not be understated. There are four main variations of The Clean.
The Clean - The bar starts on the ground before being exploded upwards into the front rack position landing in a full squat.
The Power Clean - The bar starts on the ground before being exploded upwards into the front rack position landing in a partial squat.
The Hang Clean - The bar starts hanging at the thighs (in the upper deadlift position) and is exploded up into the rack position, landing in a full squat.
The Hang Power Clean - As the Hang Clean but landing in a partial squat.
There are also different variations for the hang clean (low, mid, high) depending on what position between the knee and the crease of the hips the bar starts from.
The Clean is an advanced exercise and should be approached carefully. Seeking professional guidance is recommended but if you do give it a go start of very light and concentrate on form first.
The best with no equipment
The Burpee, also known as a Squat Thrust was developed in the 1940's and was used by the US Army as a means of testing recruits fitness levels. Since then it's become a staple in Crossfit WOD's (workout of the day) and is an excellent exercise for developing strength and aerobic fitness. A standard Burpee begins from the standing position, dropping to the squat position with hands on the floor, you then move your feet out behind you into the plank position before jumping back up into the squat position and finally up into the standing position again.
there are many variations to the standard Burpee including the common Jump Up Burpee, Box Jump Burpee, Dumbell Burpee, One Arm Burpee and many more.
The foundation exercise
The Deadlift is another fundamental compound exercise used frequently in Crossfit workouts. Essentially the exercise involves lifting a weight laden bar from the floor into the hang position in line with the hips and then lowering back down to the floor. It may seem like a simple exercise but is very effective for building all round back and leg strength and also core stability and power. Correct form is essential when performing The Deadlift, back injury is common where lifters use too much weight with poor form. There are also many variations to The Deadlift including the Sumo Deadlift, Romanian Deadlift and the Stiff Legged Deadlift.
The Holy grail
Without a doubt The Snatch is crossfits holy grail of exercise movements. It's regarded as the ultimate test of speed, strength, technique, balance, agility and flexibility and is an extremely difficult exercise to master. The Snatch is the movement of lifting a weight from the floor to overhead in one continuous motion and is considered an advanced technique. Variations include The Hang Snatch, The Power Snatch and The Full Squat Snatch all of which require bundles of flexibility and technique. Lifters are advised to master The Overhead Squat and practise with Dumbell Snatches before moving on to The Barbell Snatch.
Another all rounder
Wall Ball is another staple of any Crossfit workout. A combination of Squat and Thrust it requires the lifter to hold a weighted ball in front of them, perform a squat before projecting the ball upwards to a required height in an explosive movement. It Is a great exercise for developing core strength and is very scalable to various ability's and is easy to teach, which is why you'll find plenty of Wall Ball in every box.
The Pull Up
Back to basics
The Pull Up is an excellent exercise for measuring overall strength and fitness and is cheap and easy to perform. Quite simply it's the act of pulling your own body weight up to a bar from a hanging position. Sounds easy right....wrong. Pull Ups are notoriously hard work and if your new to them they can be hell incarnate. However they are essential for building a strong back and arms and are used extensively in Crossfit boxes across the world. The are many variations to the Pull Up mainly involving different hand positions such as palms forward, palms back, wide arm, close grip and weighted pull ups. The Crossfit community also use a variation called Chest To Bar where a swinging momentum is used to perform many reps of pull ups where your chest is brought right up to the bar.