So you’ve decided to give Crossfit a go? Great! But where should you start?
Crossfit workouts offer plenty of diversity and variation which is great for beginners and those just getting started. Each workout offers something slightly different but you can be rested assured they will all challenge you in various ways. Before you take on some of the infamous workouts and routines you are likely to see at the Crossfit Games, below is a list of 10 beginner Crossfit exercises. See how you get on with these. These Crossfit workouts can be seen as templates and depending on your fitness and current ambitions, you can adapt them as required. If you are just starting out then it’s good to stick to a workout plan so you can note down your progression. This makes monitoring your fitness a lot easier.
Crossfit can work for everyone – from professional athletes to someone who’s never stepped foot in a gym. The value the training offers is clear. Crossfit communities usually train in gyms called ‘boxes’ but there’s no reason why you can’t start these workouts at home, in your garage, at school, in the park or anywhere you find yourself.
Crossfit workouts are focused on being scalable rather than adaptable. What this means is that the same routine will benefit everyone. The only difference between an elderly person taking part and a professional athlete is the weight, distance, etc – the workout framework is the same. The reality is though, you know your body best, so you may find that some workouts work better for you than others.
So here we go, 10 of the best beginner workouts to get you started!
1) As many sets as you can of 10 squats, 10 press ups and 10 sit ups – timed for 5 Minutes.
This tests your whole body and is all about speed. It’s you against the clock so make sure you have enough energy to keep powering away for the full 5 minutes. Like any exercise you perform, make sure you don’t lose form. After a few minutes your muscles will feel tired and you’ll be out of breathe, but ensure you are still able to get real reps out. If you’re struggling, pause for a bit and then keep going.
The aim of this routine is to increase the amount of sets you can do in 5 minutes.
2) 50 Burpees
This appears very straight forward but burpees are tough and take a lot out of you very quickly. Burpees are a useful exercise to include as they test your whole body in one smooth motion.
To complete the perfect burpee make sure your feet are shoulder width apart. As you lower yourself down, you’ll be entering into a squatting position. As your hands touch the floor, you need to spring your legs back so you end up in the press up position. You now need to be doing your press up, before leaping as high as you can, ready to repeat all the movements.
The target is 50 burpees so every time you attempt this, you should hopefully be completing it quicker.
3) 20 burpees, 20 push ups, 20 sit ups, and 20 squats – repeated 4 times.
This Crossfit workout focuses on four very simple but effective exercises. The volume of reps required will ensure you are sweating and feeling sore the next day.
If you’re feeling confident with this, you can always increase it to 5 or 6 repetitions of the workout.
4) 100 Pull-ups.
Pull-ups are a necessary exercise for Crossfit so it’s best we tackle them head on. The target with this exercise is achieving 100 reps. There is no time limit so don’t rush things and really concentrate on your form.
If this seems too hard then there are a few things you can do to help you. A great tip for improving your pull-ups is using a resistance band. By placing the band around the bar and your knee/foot, it will help support you during the pull up. The band helps offer a slight spring upwards which will make the pull-up easier. This is a great tool for anyone who doesn’t feel confident with pull-ups. Similarly, if you’re working out with a friend, get them to spot you and assist you as you do the pull-up.
Pull-ups target all the pulling muscles in your upper body including your back, forearms and biceps.
5) 12 Burpees, followed by 12 pull-ups x 10 rounds.
The combination of burpees and pull-ups is going to require every muscle in your body to step up. 10 rounds is also quite tough so make sure you don’t burn out after the first couple of sets. This is good practice for when you start more advanced workouts. These workouts require you to save some energy in the tank and involve a good amount of cardio fitness.
6) In 20 minutes, complete as many sets of 5 box jumps, followed by 10 pull ups, and 15 knees to elbows as you can.
This is a great exercise for anyone who is looking for a bit of diversity. It tackles an array of muscles at different points in the workout. Find a box that is suitable based on your experience and height/abilities. Start with a lower box and once you get comfortable you can challenge yourself further by using a higher box for your jumps.
Box Jumps are particularly effective as they help develop that explosive power and muscle needed for many sports. To get the most out of your box jumps, really focus on exploding off the floor into your jump. It’s something easy to go through the motions but by making sure you are really pushing off the ground as hard as possible will help develop this explosive strength in your legs. This will also make squats and other leg exercises feel easier.
7) 4 rounds as fast as possible – 400M sprint then 50 squats
This is another time based workout but make sure you complete full squats and don’t rush things. This is a very tough workout due to the endurance and aerobic stamina needed. There’s no opportunities to get your breathe back so if you’re hoping to feel fitter then this type of workout is sure to burn fat and improve fitness.
8) 10 Burpees, 15 box jumps and 20 Kettlebell swings – repeat for 20 minutes.
Kettlebell swings offer the muscular challenge to complement the aerobic challenges of the burpees and jumps. Kettlebell swings are a great exercise when done correctly but ensure your form is maintained otherwise it could cause injury.
Kettlebell swings are an explosive exercise so you want to really push the kettlebell with as much force as you can during each rep.
9) 800m run, 50 press-ups, 100 squats, 150 sit ups, 800m run – timed.
This is a long burner so make sure you’re up for the challenge. About half way through the squats you’ll suddenly realize that this workout is going to test you to the limits. Make sure you don’t overdue the first 800m run otherwise you might find yourself struggling during the whole process. This workout requires you to understand your body and understand how to manage your energy throughout it.
10) 20 squats, 15 press ups, 25 lunges – repeat for 20 minutes
This Crossfit workout punishes your legs so get ready for sore legs the next day. The press-ups offer a slight rest for the legs but going from the lunges to the squats will require focus and determination.
To perform the best lunge, step forward and lower your hip and bend your knees. Your front knee should not extend passed your front toes. If it does, it means you’re leaning forward too much.
Getting Started with Crossfit
As you can see from this small selection of workouts, Crossfit offers plenty of diversity and variation. These workouts are a great starting point to try at home and if you enjoy them and find them useful, then get yourself down to a local Crossfit gym!