Crossfit Moves You Should Do - AnabolicMinds.com
    • Crossfit Moves You Should Do


      By Jeremey DuVall Men's Fitness

      CrossFit - even the word can stir up conversation and arguments at the smoothie bar. Regardless of whether you like to crush WODs for your workouts or stick with old school strength training plans, there’s no doubt that CrossFit exercises are both hard and effective. By pairing difficult exercises together, often times in a race against the clock, CrossFit has a way of leaving athletes completely gassed and zapped of strength. The exercises themselves aren’t new to the strength and conditioning field. In many cases, they have simply become popular since tied alongside workout names like Fran and Linda. Almost all work your entire body at once and build skill, coordination, and flexibility at the same time.

      To get those same benefits in your workout, we picked five popular CrossFit exercises that every lifter should have in their own routine and talked with Micah Macbeth, head coach at Crossfit 215, to find out how you can improve on each movement.

      1. Overhead squat

      So, you’ve mastered the back squat and perhaps you’ve even tinkered with the front squat. The overhead squat (OHS), popularized by benchmark WODs like Nancy, provides an added challenge in comparison to your typical squatting staples. By forcing you to lock the bar out overhead, your upper body and midsection have to work overtime to provide stability as you descend down into the movement. Just getting into proper position requires a decent amount of flexibility from your upper body.

      Macbeth acknowledges that upper body flexibility is going to be a limiting factor for the majority of guys. The fix? A whole lot of soft tissue work like foam rolling and tons of practice with lighter weight. “I think people miss the fact that sometimes the best mobility for a movement is just doing the movement over and over. With some of my athletes who lack OHS ability, I just make sure they do the movement every time they are in but with a PVC pipe or an empty barbell.”

      To get the best of flexibility and strength with the overhead squat, implement the movement into your warm-up while you practice and master form. After you have the move down, you can begin adding weight for a complete workout.

      2. Muscle-up

      If you thought pull-ups were a way to impress your lifting buds, think again. Muscle-ups may be the king of upper body exercises combining both the pulling motion of a pull-up and the pressing motion of a dip to bring the lifter up and over the bar in one movement. Often times, this exercises is performed on rings increasing the demand for stability at the shoulder joint.

      Macbeth acknowledges several limiting factors preventing most guys from being able to get themselves up and over the bar. First, lifters should develop baseline strength levels. “We make sure that people can complete 3-4 dips to end range of motion, and then they need to be able to perform a strict chest to bar pull-up.” Outside of strength standards, Macbeth indicates that shoulder flexibility is a huge component to avoid getting injured at the bottom of the dip. “You are thrusting yourself up and then down into the bottom of an extreme range of motion. This can be a compromising position if you do not have extensive time spent under tension in this position.”

      Outside of building baseline strength and flexibility, work on what may be the hardest part of the exercise - the grip. “A lot of people forgo the turn-over portion of the muscle-up. Do drills just to practice that turnover from the pull-up to the dip like jumping into the bottom position of the dip to work on technique,” says Macbeth. Familiarity with the equipment certainly plays a role as well. While focusing on building strength in the two exercise components, work on the rings for bodyweight rows and dips to become comfortable with the equipment and build shoulder stability.

      3. Thruster

      Anyone that has attempted to complete the most popular CrossFit WOD of all-time, Fran, certainly is familiar with thrusters. The combination of a front squat straight into a press overhead is the epitome of a total body exercise. After a string of several in a row, you’ll find that it’s not simply a strength exercise either; it will blast your cardiovascular system as well. Macbeth indicates that the reason this exercise is so taxing is primarily due to the distance the bar travels. Since lifters are dropping down into a squat and then pressing the bar all the way overhead, the weight is traveling an incredible distance therefore increasing the work that needs to be done.

      The main issue limiting the performance of most guys on the thruster is front rack mobility. According to Macbeth, “An athlete must be able to keep their elbows up all the way through the movement for safety reasons.” Due to limitations in the upper body, the elbows of most athletes fall as they descend into the movement making it much tougher to keep the bar in place.

      Working on the individual aspects of each exercise - the front squat and overhead press - will certainly help alongside building flexibility. Start by using this exercise as a warm-up with a light bar to master the bar path before incorporating it as a strength exercise with heavier weight.

      4. Kettlebell swing

      If you’re looking for an exercise to build up your back side while also feeling like you just spent 10 minutes on the treadmill, look no further. The kettlebell swing combines power with cardio while emphasizing one of the most important, yet rarely practiced, movements - the hip hinge. While this certainly isn’t a CrossFit-only exercise, it came to the forefront of the fitness industry with WODs like Helen.

      The kettlebell swing, although powerful, is actually rather simple to teach according to Macbeth. “I can get someone churning some pretty high intensity sets with rather minimal direction. You can get most people doing a safe KB swing in a few minutes,” he says. The foundation of the movement lies in the hip hinge pattern, much like a deadlift. To prevent injury, athletes should master the deadlift form first before attempting sets of this powerful exercise. Reinforcing form with lighter kettlebells is also important as repetition helps to build proper movement patterns.

      5. Rowing

      If you’re looking for a strictly cardio-based exercise to get your sweat on, look no further. Although rarely utilized, the rower offers an intense workout in just a few minutes. This exercise combines elements of power with coordination from the upper and lower body making it a little tougher than your typical elliptical workout.

      Perhaps the most downplayed aspect of rowing is the form. According to Macbeth, “Rowing and running are two movement that people just do not practice enough. They think that as long they pull on the handle or pick their feet up and down as fast as they can the two movements will be effective.” In fact, both movements have some very common form errors. Macbeth encourages lifters to learn from someone very familiar with rowing technique rather than trying to teach themselves. Sequencing is perhaps the most important area where people go wrong. Macbeth indicates, “The most important aspect is understanding the sequence of events which must happen in order to have an efficient stroke. Too many people fire them in the wrong order.”

      To start, find someone that’s familiar with rowing technique and has a good amount of experience to help you learn the form. Incorporate rowing as a warm-up exercise before your lifting session focusing on form rather than cranking as hard as possible. After a few sessions of technique, you can begin implementing faster sprints for an intense cardiovascular challenge.

      Source: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/...on-the-regular
      Comments 74 Comments
      1. MANotaur's Avatar
        MANotaur -
        Xf in itself isn't a bad idea...its just the idea behind it has rubbed lots of people the wrong way.

        They take classic OLs, attach a new name to them, do a ridiculously high number of them in succession, slap a label on them like "crossfit" and you have literally a multi million dollar idea. Add a "professional competition" into the mix and its a business mans dream.

        I really do think crossfit has its role if done correctly, its just unfortunate how its come to be because now you have a bunch of Joe's straight out of highschool going to get "Xf coach creditionaled" or whatever the Hell its called and they don't teach proper form or mechanics and ppl get hurt or worse yet spread even more bad form and advice.

        That's the problem i have with crossfit. Its not necessarily the lifts, its the idea in general. Combine that with a bunch of fanboys and its a bbs or strength guys worst nightmare.

        But to each their own. I like the idea of HIT and HIIT but Xf isn't the way to go about doin.g it IMO. Can you benefit from a WOD? Sure! But if its not done properly in conjunction with a proper diet, schedule, or training/coaching- your asking for issues to arise
      1. PalmFist's Avatar
        PalmFist -
        Originally Posted by MANotaur View Post
        Joe's straight out of highschool going to get "Xf coach creditionaled" or whatever the Hell its called and they don't teach proper form or mechanics and ppl get hurt or worse yet spread even more bad form and advice. Combine that with a bunch of fanboys and its a bbs or strength guys worst nightmare.
        It is the uneducated trainers. Its the idiotic fanboys. It's the trendiness of the whole thing. It's hipsters with fedoras and ray-bans all over again. It's the completely ridiculous elevation masks (wow how I despise those things and the people that wear them). It's the attitude these the mincy shytheads bring to my weightlifting gym. It's the space they take up and the equipment they attempt to control for extended periods of time...
      1. MANotaur's Avatar
        MANotaur -
        Originally Posted by PalmFist View Post

        It is the uneducated trainers. Its the idiotic fanboys. It's the trendiness of the whole thing. It's hipsters with fedoras and ray-bans all over again. It's the completely ridiculous elevation masks (wow how I despise those things and the people that wear them). It's the attitude these the mincy shytheads bring to my weightlifting gym. It's the space they take up and the equipment they attempt to control for extended periods of time...
        You leave raybans out of this!! Everybody lives raybans! Aviators are classic! Just like the mustache! They Will never be out of style! Lol

        But i get it! If you wanna do crossfit..go to a box and do ot. Don't go to a strength a BB gym to do it. Michael phelps doesn't do laps at a water park for a reason
      1. PalmFist's Avatar
        PalmFist -
        Originally Posted by MANotaur View Post

        You leave raybans out of this!! Everybody lives raybans! Aviators are classic! Just like the mustache! They Will never be out of style! Lol

        But i get it! If you wanna do crossfit..go to a box and do ot. Don't go to a strength a BB gym to do it. Michael phelps doesn't do laps at a water park for a reason
        Lol. Yeah. I actually run/hike in a fedora! Wtf? And I own a pair of ray-bans (not the wayfarer version...)

        Yes. Stay in the XF gyms and I have absolutely no problem with it
      1. easye7's Avatar
        easye7 -
        Originally Posted by chedapalooza View Post
        To quote a a professional athlete RE the cross fit games (lol @ that) I forget who... "I'm not trying to be the best at exercise, I play real sports"
        That's from Eastbound and Down I believe...
      1. ryane87's Avatar
        ryane87 -
        Originally Posted by Othello1276 View Post
        I guess I just don't understand all the hate coming from people. I bet if the article was "Moves you should do" there wouldn't half the comments. I agree that Crossfit has its negatives, like it being pretty cultish and boastful, but it does have its positive aspects. More people are working out these days which is good especially in a country leading the world in obesity. Does it need to be monitored better so hacks aren't teaching people to hurt themselves? Hell yeah! Should it be dismissed as a legitimate workout system? No.
        I do not necessarily hate as much as I think it is an abomination of many different forms of exercise. I think sparingly, good cardio training. My problem are the dummies who firmly refuse to acknowledge that most of their CF heroes had a firm background in weight training. "Can I bulk doing CF?" No, you f*cking can't. You can put on SOME muscle. Believe me, I would not have put on 30+ lbs on my body with CF. Most of the exercises in and of themselves there is no problem with. HIIT is an outstanding way to get your cardio more efficiently. As for the hacks teaching, have you seen some of the PTs at big box gyms? haha
      1. ryane87's Avatar
        ryane87 -
        Originally Posted by Schyluer View Post
        I have trained at elite mma gyms, Strength and conditioning schools and clubs that work with NFL athletes, Strongman gyms, Power lifting, and Body building gyms. Crossfit athletes are by far the FUNCTIONALLY strongest athletes i have ever trained with. The reason people get hurt is poor coaching. Thats just like any Golds Gym. Any football S&C coach, any MMA trainer, etc. Some trainers are idiots. But there are some that are very good. Crossfit Football is by far my favorite exercise program i have ever done. Tons of Heavy HEAVY Olympic lifting with sled drags rope climbs etc, with a huge emphasis on explosion. Which of you in here could do a do a King Kong wod. Look that up. I dont know why so many men hate on Crossfit. As a man I like to lift heavy things, I like to build for performance, and I like to be a beast. The Crossfit gym i used to train at is one of the top in the nation and it made me a beast.
        Functionally strongest huh? Which of my two friends would I rather have help me move? My friend that deadlifts 500+ or the guy Overhead Snatching 135lbs for 20 reps? Who do you think develops more power? CF makes you good at CFitting, nothing more, nothing less. Oh yeah, improves your cardio vascular system at the expense of your back. Hey, I'll let my buddy that CF take all my light sh*t and run it back and forth to the moving truck for his WOD.
      1. Callejul's Avatar
        Callejul -
        Crossfit.... Don't like it. Crossfit FOOTBALL on the other hand is much better. Problem with saying Crossfit to certain people is that it can mean different things.
        Never heard powerlifting or Oly weight lifting have that problem.
        All in all. What are your goals? Better Fran time? Ok, sure you do that. 600 squat? Powerlifting would be a "better" option. Be safe with what ever you choose, and be happy.

        ~ Bryan C.
      1. PalmFist's Avatar
        PalmFist -
        Originally Posted by ryane87 View Post
        Hey, I'll let my buddy that CF take all my light sh*t and run it back and forth to the moving truck for his WOD.
        Hahahahahahaha
      1. PaulYankowski's Avatar
        PaulYankowski -
        As everyone has pretty much stated, it's a love/hate relationship. Is it a good conditioning tool? I think it is especially for someone like me who uses it for an athletic training purpose.

        These movements are an awesome set because they're all full body lifts. Discovering the active shoulder in the overhead squat is a great feeling. Kettle bell swings are great with a proper hip thrust and work the lower back well. A lot of OLY lifts are overlooked in the strength gym, but I think a lot of that has to do with "globogym rules" where they forbid bumpers or weight dropping because average Joe and Sally look down upon the grunting "Lunk"
      1. cloyd's Avatar
        cloyd -
        Originally Posted by PalmFist View Post

        You must be new here...
        Dumb indeed. Trust me the gentlemen you speak of did not get "big" performing "crossfit" exercises. They did so the old school way, then transitioned.

        Please just stop with your venomous and uninformed comments

        Btw crossfit is just a hodgepodge of traditional exercises mixed together. Period...
        Idk what your qualifications are and how educated/experienced you truly are in the sport of bodybuilding, but by your proof of being closed minded, I'm guessing not more than I. Read any articles or watch any documentary of the great bodybuilders. Kai Greene, Jay Cutler, Ronnie Coleman, and Dorian Yates all supplement different dynamic movements into their workouts. Some do very high reps, and off the top of my head I can remember Jay Cutler saying he supplemented Kettle Bells into his workouts ( that thing many have dissed on this thread). However, the key word is supplement. I agree crossfit alone does not get you bigger ( for bodybuilding) and stronger ( for strongman comps). What I argue is if you are saying crossfit sucks and has no purpose in your workouts, I'd say you're missing out. You have to switch it up.
      1. PalmFist's Avatar
        PalmFist -
        Originally Posted by cloyd View Post
        Idk what your qualifications are and how educated/experienced you truly are in the sport of bodybuilding, but by your proof of being closed minded, I'm guessing not more than I. Read any articles or watch any documentary of the great bodybuilders. Kai Greene, Jay Cutler, Ronnie Coleman, and Dorian Yates all supplement different dynamic movements into their workouts. Some do very high reps, and off the top of my head I can remember Jay Cutler saying he supplemented Kettle Bells into his workouts ( that thing many have dissed on this thread). However, the key word is supplement. I agree crossfit alone does not get you bigger ( for bodybuilding) and stronger ( for strongman comps). What I argue is if you are saying crossfit sucks and has no purpose in your workouts, I'd say you're missing out. You have to switch it up.
        My qualifications include being an athlete most of my life since the age of lets say 8 yrs old. I am also a cpt and close to finishing my bs in nutrition and dietetics. I have incorporated an entire cornucopia of exercises and workouts in the 12 years or so that I have been lifting weights. The dynamic movements you speak of have been in my training programs off and on throughout those 12 years. I have tried much, but there is always a new exercise or training program to try and I am very open to them all. Crossfit on the other hand is a marketing scheme that has done well, nothing more. It is a trendy fitness program and has done well but I personally could care less for it. When I think of crossfit I imagine it as akin to Phoenix AZ and the yoga scene out there; everyone is a follower, not independent thinkers or a leader. While I do have do give xfit props for getting people off the couch (as one of my lessons in training is the best type of exercise is the one you will do), I do not buy into the scene. Tabata interval training is much more beneficial in my humble opinion.

        But while we're at it, your comments about Celorza or EatMoar, or whoever you were talking shyt to were completely uncalled for. You simply cannot come onto this forum with no reputation at all and call out respected members and think you will not be attacked in kind. Unless you are a guru of well respected member of some athletic organization somewhere you have no clout and no leg to stand on...

        I also have serious qualms about the teenagers and early 20 somethings I see at my gym nowadays wearing elevation masks and throwing weights around in a manner that will surely land them laid up in bed for days. Making a ton of ridiculous noise. Taking up multiple areas at a time. Drinking Monsters and Red Bulls during workouts. Its all flashiness nowadays. No real sense of the basics involved in fitness or nutrition...
      1. cloyd's Avatar
        cloyd -
        Originally Posted by PalmFist View Post

        My qualifications include being an athlete most of my life since the age of lets say 8 yrs old. I am also a cpt and close to finishing my bs in nutrition and dietetics. I have incorporated an entire cornucopia of exercises and workouts in the 12 years or so that I have been lifting weights. The dynamic movements you speak of have been in my training programs off and on throughout those 12 years. I have tried much, but there is always a new exercise or training program to try and I am very open to them all. Crossfit on the other hand is a marketing scheme that has done well, nothing more. It is a trendy fitness program and has done well but I personally could care less for it. When I think of crossfit I imagine it as akin to Phoenix AZ and the yoga scene out there; everyone is a follower, not independent thinkers or a leader. While I do have do give xfit props for getting people off the couch (as one of my lessons in training is the best type of exercise is the one you will do), I do not buy into the scene. Tabata interval training is much more beneficial in my humble opinion.

        But while we're at it, your comments about Celorza or EatMoar, or whoever you were talking shyt to were completely uncalled for. You simply cannot come onto this forum with no reputation at all and call out respected members and think you will not be attacked in kind. Unless you are a guru of well respected member of some athletic organization somewhere you have no clout and no leg to stand on...

        I also have serious qualms about the teenagers and early 20 somethings I see at my gym nowadays wearing elevation masks and throwing weights around in a manner that will surely land them laid up in bed for days. Making a ton of ridiculous noise. Taking up multiple areas at a time. Drinking Monsters and Red Bulls during workouts. Its all flashiness nowadays. No real sense of the basics involved in fitness or nutrition...
        I applaud you for getting a degree in a health discipline. I agree experience in the weight room speaks very loud, but if you can get a degree to go with it, that is saying something. I am currently obtaining a degree my self and have personal training for a couple years now. Certified by ACE of course. Also, I have been a college athlete and in the weight room for quite sometime (making many mistakes myself).

        However, to call crossfit a fad, is an opinion. I understand it, but crossfit athletes themselves are nothing to joke about. Visually you can see how big and strong they are. Yes, tons of reps of one movement can damage joints, so does raw powerlifting. Which evil will you pick?

        Now, I don't care how much rep people have on here. I have read profiles of people here who have "rep power" but none of them know anything. Just because you comment on here doesn't mean you know something, just means you have an opinion. Saying something is crap, with no sources, ignorance at its best. Most people on here are younger guys who read magazines and have no other education thatn high school. Yet, they have "rep power"? Give me a break.
      1. PalmFist's Avatar
        PalmFist -
        Originally Posted by cloyd View Post

        I applaud you for getting a degree in a health discipline.

        Now, I don't care how much rep people have on here. I have read profiles of people here who have "rep power" but none of them know anything. Just because you comment on here doesn't mean you know something, just means you have an opinion. Saying something is crap, with no sources, ignorance at its best. Most people on here are younger guys who read magazines and have no other education thatn high school. Yet, they have "rep power"? Give me a break.
        I look at it as a necessity not a hobby. I live for fitness, literally and figuratively. I also believe in a whole body approach to fitness: body/mind/spirit and try to teach this to others. So thank you and right back at you

        Now as far as rep goes I was not referring to rep points, rather reputation in a general sense as well as respectability

        And as far as xfit, no thanks... Ever...
      1. cloyd's Avatar
        cloyd -
        Originally Posted by PalmFist View Post

        I look at it as a necessity not a hobby. I live for fitness, literally and figuratively. I also believe in a whole body approach to fitness: body/mind/spirit and try to teach this to others. So thank you and right back at you

        Now as far as rep goes I was not referring to rep points, rather reputation in a general sense as well as respectability

        And as far as xfit, no thanks... Ever...
        Agreed to disagree. Thanks for the conversation.
      1. WarriorMp's Avatar
        WarriorMp -
        Well, I've been training pretty hard in the gym for last 6 years, and this is what I'll say about this crossfit business... Yes it is effective (if used correctly in conjunction with time tested lifts and good old fashion workout routines), but bear in mind, the essence of crossfit is cutting and recomp (I'm sorry, you are not gunna get more massive using crossfit than using routines set down by Bill Pearl, just saying).

        Crossfit is effective in many of its exercises (which had led to the US Army adopting a good portion of them). But they are moves designed more for athleticism than pure strength and size. If your looking for an all out bulk or strength gain, than this may not be for you. But if you want to keep your athleticism up, your in an infantry unit, or you want to get pretty cut, then utilize crossfit (but I don't recommend making it an inclusive).

        Side note, if you want to be a beast when it comes to strength, I'd suggest you look into routines used by the Russians (I've seen Spentsnaz soldiers lift more weight than many of our competition lifters here in the US)
      1. cloyd's Avatar
        cloyd -
        Originally Posted by WarriorMp View Post
        Well, I've been training pretty hard in the gym for last 6 years, and this is what I'll say about this crossfit business... Yes it is effective (if used correctly in conjunction with time tested lifts and good old fashion workout routines), but bear in mind, the essence of crossfit is cutting and recomp (I'm sorry, you are not gunna get more massive using crossfit than using routines set down by Bill Pearl, just saying).

        Crossfit is effective in many of its exercises (which had led to the US Army adopting a good portion of them). But they are moves designed more for athleticism than pure strength and size. If your looking for an all out bulk or strength gain, than this may not be for you. But if you want to keep your athleticism up, your in an infantry unit, or you want to get pretty cut, then utilize crossfit (but I don't recommend making it an inclusive).

        Side note, if you want to be a beast when it comes to strength, I'd suggest you look into routines used by the Russians (I've seen Spentsnaz soldiers lift more weight than many of our competition lifters here in the US)
        I agree many of the articles on Russian weight lifting are hard to refute. I have found many benefits.
      1. hardknock's Avatar
        hardknock -
        Originally Posted by Moose45 View Post
        Hell no!!! I have seen plenty of clowns get hurt at our gym!! CFr's always defend these movements as a real show of athleticism!!! What a JOKE!!!!!
        Most of these moves have been around for 40+ years. Some people have just now begin to notice them due to the crossfit phase. We did most of this when I was in Jr high back in 1987. It is nothing "NEW"; it is just renamed so if it was accepted then it should be now.
      1. hardknock's Avatar
        hardknock -
        Originally Posted by cloyd View Post
        I agree many of the articles on Russian weight lifting are hard to refute. I have found many benefits.
        Russian routines are supreme when it comes to strength.

        I have used crossfit style moves since 1987 when I was in Jr high. It wasn't CF then, it was just some **** we made up. My goal has always been to stay as quick and athletic as possible while being relatively strong vs my body size. Being 5'11 @ 235 has never been a goal of mine though I have tipped the scales at 218 before @ 15 BF.

        I always do 3 months of CF then 6 weeks of power, 3 months of strength. This has worked for me the best especially with a bad back.
      1. hardknock's Avatar
        hardknock -
        Originally Posted by EatMoar View Post
        You're a jealous human being. Whats the matter cross fit didn't give you the body you were promised? Whats surprise! Lifting high reps and no weight and you didn't gain muscle?! You also didn't eatalot either.... Ohemgee what could've caused you NOT to get yoked?!
        Contrary to popular belief, not everyone lifts weights to be 235@12% BF or to pull 600+ on the DL or squat 600+ for reps. Some people lift for quality of life, mental stability, athleticism, relative strength and conditioning, etc.

        Also, you mentioned "he didn't gain muscle". In what world does the amount of muscle you gain determine your maximum health and strength levels?

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