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. hardknock's Avatar
        hardknock -
        Originally Posted by superbeast668 View Post
        Any of you guys look like this at 5'7" 190? http://www.professionalmuscle.com/fo...-crossfit.html

        Some of the exercises like overhead squat and thrusters are pretty legit.
        Of course they are, no one can deny that overhead squats are a legit exercise or thrusters. It is just that most people have no concept of Olympic style lifting because some of the lifts involve a bit more coordination and varying strength vs deadlifts, squats, and bench presses which require a different type of skill set and strength albeit, strong none the less.
      1. hardknock's Avatar
        hardknock -
        Originally Posted by Tomahawk88 View Post
        So y'all are just better than everyone just not the best at anything haha.
        THawk, that really isn't a fair statement to be honest. I have pulled 550 for reps and squatted 550 for reps; for my size that is a significant amount of weight. I do CF six months out of the year and I am not "weak" by any means. Also, I do this with a herniated disk at L5. To say that CF has no benefit is purely irresponsible and full of buffoonery.
      1. hardknock's Avatar
        hardknock -
        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...
        Your last statement basically makes you a hypocrite somewhat. If CF is a hodgepodge of traditional exercises (which I agree it is) and most people "GET BIG" from doing the traditional exercises, then why cannot one get "BIG" from using a mixture of CF and strength training? You cannot lift 135 for reps and get huge, you correct in that regard. But, if you use the methods which I have used, CF for x months, strength training for x months and power lifting for x months, then it all works out perfectly. And, best of all, I stay joint pain free and injury free AND I keep my conditioning at a supreme level..

        No one can deny that it has worked for me because I have done this for 10 years before these moves were "labeled" as crossfit.
      1. hardknock's Avatar
        hardknock -
        Originally Posted by MANotaur View Post
        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
        There are people in all walks of life teaching things which they have no idea to teach properly including bodybuilding, power lifting, conditioning, etc. I agree, the guy that taught me my "CF" moves knew exactly what he was doing because if he had not, I would have been injured after 10 years of doing them. And, he never called it "CF" because "CF" did not readily exist 10+ years ago.
      1. PalmFist's Avatar
        PalmFist -
        Originally Posted by hardknock View Post
        And, he never called it "CF" because "CF" did not readily exist 10+ years ago.
        Truth
      1. MANotaur's Avatar
        MANotaur -
        Originally Posted by hardknock View Post

        There are people in all walks of life teaching things which they have no idea to teach properly including bodybuilding, power lifting, conditioning, etc. I agree, the guy that taught me my "CF" moves knew exactly what he was doing because if he had not, I would have been injured after 10 years of doing them. And, he never called it "CF" because "CF" did not readily exist 10+ years ago.
        That's true. There is all sorts of bad info and misinformation in all athletic communities not just crossfit. Im not knocking crossfit, I feel it got to big for its britches too quick and now it has to deal with a bunch of idiots going around giving it a bad name..

        It also doesn't help that a large portion of the population that does crossfit/advocates crossfit hates on anybody that doesnt do it because they feel it reigns supreme for health/fitness/well being/athletisism. The inverse is true too of BBs and strength/powerlifters that knock crossfitters.
      1. huggy77's Avatar
        huggy77 -
        Originally Posted by MANotaur View Post
        Michael phelps doesn't do laps at a water park for a reason
        awesome....
      1. Tomahawk88's Avatar
        Tomahawk88 -
        Originally Posted by hardknock View Post

        THawk, that really isn't a fair statement to be honest. I have pulled 550 for reps and squatted 550 for reps; for my size that is a significant amount of weight. I do CF six months out of the year and I am not "weak" by any means. Also, I do this with a herniated disk at L5. To say that CF has no benefit is purely irresponsible and full of buffoonery.
        Read my other comments and you can tell I was being sarcastic. But to be fair that really is the crossfit mantra if you think about it. If comparing a crossfitter to someone's strong suit they don't match up. So crossfitters like to compare themselves to the other peoples' weak link. Therefore in their mind they are better than them yet are the best at nothing(except maybe crossfit but who counts that?).

        Also I said crossfit is fine but it has to be programmed right. Year round metcons without a strength phase is stupid. Which is what crossfit started out as or projected itself to be. Don't know whose idea or when strength started becoming a key component but that is when it started to gain some legitimacy.

        If it gets some couch potato doing something great. But to me there are better options out there.

        And like others said if you want to do crossfit go to a box.
      1. Wrivest's Avatar
        Wrivest -
        I want to know where all these CFers are that compare themselves and say they are better than people? I've been to quite a few CF gyms and comps and everyone I have run into is very humble and hasn't claimed to be better than anyone. My guess is you ran into a d-bag or two and then just decided that all CFers were arrogant. That is about as accurate as saying all bodybuilders are meat heads
        I also think a lot of people here are not exactly aware of the average CFers goal. For the most part from what I've seen it's not to look like a body builder, or to lift like a power lifter. The goal is just to get fit, and improve yourself from where you were before.
        I guess I'm just sick of all the generalizations.
      1. Tomahawk88's Avatar
        Tomahawk88 -
        Originally Posted by Wrivest View Post
        I want to know where all these CFers are that compare themselves and say they are better than people? I've been to quite a few CF gyms and comps and everyone I have run into is very humble and hasn't claimed to be better than anyone. My guess is you ran into a d-bag or two and then just decided that all CFers were arrogant. That is about as accurate as saying all bodybuilders are meat heads
        I also think a lot of people here are not exactly aware of the average CFers goal. For the most part from what I've seen it's not to look like a body builder, or to lift like a power lifter. The goal is just to get fit, and improve yourself from where you were before.
        I guess I'm just sick of all the generalizations.
        So you have never heard the comparison of being able to run further than a powerlifter or stronger than an endurance athlete?

        Fittest athlete on the planet?

        I guess I am just tired of seeing crossfit articles haha.
      1. Wrivest's Avatar
        Wrivest -
        Originally Posted by Tomahawk88 View Post

        So you have never heard the comparison of being able to run further than a powerlifter or stronger than an endurance athlete?

        Fittest athlete on the planet?

        I guess I am just tired of seeing crossfit articles haha.
        I think you may be taking that out of context. The point of that is to say that CF doesn't think people should specialize in only 1 aspect of fitness and having no real weak points being the goal.
        As far as the fittest on the planet.....lame marketing by Reebok, I got nothin! Haha
      1. Tomahawk88's Avatar
        Tomahawk88 -
        Originally Posted by Wrivest View Post

        I think you may be taking that out of context. The point of that is to say that CF doesn't think people should specialize in only 1 aspect of fitness and having no real weak points being the goal.
        As far as the fittest on the planet.....lame marketing by Reebok, I got nothin! Haha
        You still get my point. And that is the feel of the message.

        Haha I am sure ole glassman had a hand in that too.
      1. Wrivest's Avatar
        Wrivest -
        Originally Posted by Tomahawk88 View Post

        You still get my point. And that is the feel of the message.

        Haha I am sure ole glassman had a hand in that too.
        I hear ya man! I just hope people out there realize that there are quite a large number of us that just like the type of workouts that a GOOD CF gym provides!! There are a sh+load of crappy gyms making CF look really bad!
        And Glassman can eat my a$$! Fat old sh*tbag!!!
      1. Tomahawk88's Avatar
        Tomahawk88 -
        Originally Posted by Wrivest View Post

        I hear ya man! I just hope people out there realize that there are quite a large number of us that just like the type of workouts that a GOOD CF gym provides!! There are a sh+load of crappy gyms making CF look really bad!
        And Glassman can eat my a$$! Fat old sh*tbag!!!
        Ya just sucks that there are not enough of them and they are not always affordable.

        To be honest I was asked to help start a cf box haha. At the time I considered it. You know try to be one of the good ones. Communications broke down and I am not sure what happened.

        Ok everyone just hate on glassman and I will be happy haha.

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