Whether you love Crossfit or hate it, you do have to admire it’s athleticism from afar, Crossfit has quickly become a fitness phenomenon but how about using it as a collection of training techniques and workouts? You can probably imagine the butterfly pull-ups and high-rep oly lifts but they are only a small and competition-specific part of the Crossfit portfolio.
If you have never looked at the overall training portfolio before to see what you can take from it and put into your own training then you really are missing out. I have gathered here four pretty awesome movements that could pay off big time for any lifter or gym-goer.
When you first look at the double under it seems very simple to learn, you jump once and the rope goes under your feet twice but don’t let the simplicity fool you.
Learning the skill fully is not for anyone impatient, it is a complex skill that will blast your shoulders, shred your core and jack your heart rate up while taxing your aerobic and anaerobic energy system, it is a pretty solid contender for any program.
There is a catch however, it is not as straightforward as jumping higher. The mind-muscle connection is critical for this exercise, you will need to practice it a lot to master it so approach it strategically and seriously.
Start by buying a good jump rope and as far as form is concerned, you will want to keep your elbows back and extended and think about rotating the rope from your wrists. Imagine drawing a circle on a quarter, you want short, sharp whips.
Make sure to keep your gaze up to where the ceiling meets the wall, this will help you stand tall and get a bit more height on each jump. Jump on the balls of your feet and make sure you extend your legs each time your feet leave the floor. Remember that you are in control of the rope, not the other way around, you decide how fast or slow the rotation is.
So where can you put these in your workout? They can work as a finisher but you may not have enough energy left at that point to give them the effort and attention they require, try starting your workout with them.
A lot of people have a love-hate relationship with the burpee, it gives great results sure but most people just hate doing them.
A burpee is a dynamic and fast-paced fat burner that strengthens and conditions your whole body. With every rep, you work your arms, chest, quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and core. Add 8-10 of these between lifting sets and you will feel the effects in no time, you can even add a pull-up at the top of burpee reps creating one brutal full-body move.
Burpee fundamentals are simple, drop down and get back up. Anyone who has ever done 30-50 of them in a row knows even the simplest technique becomes difficult pretty quickly, just keep your technique airtight from the beginning so you are not wasting energy.
Start by placing your hands on the ground about shoulder-width apart, next jump your feet back while bringing your chest down to the ground. From this, jump your feet back behind your hands, landing flat-footed to protect your knees. Stand up to full extension and then jump and clap your hands above your head, sounds easy, do it again and again.
Wall Ball Throw
Because Crossfit makes use of weighted medicine balls, it is a great example of how an old-school classic can be dusted off, re-implemented and remind us how effective it really is. This is a very good multijoint functional movement. It utilizes two key movements, a weighted squat and a push press and can be customized to suit strength, power or serious conditioning.
The muscles worked during this exercise include pretty much all of them; the quads, glutes, calves, hamstrings, abs, lower back, upper back, chest, front deltoids, back deltoids, biceps and triceps. It is a complete strength builder too, this is of course down to the execution.
You need to start by holding the ball in a front-squat position with your elbows in front of your body then squat deeply. Imagine putting your butt in an imaginary hot seat. Once you reach the bottom of the squat, powerfully drive up through your heels and complete a push-press to launch the ball from the front rack position to a 9 to 10 foot high target on the wall.
The higher the target on this exercise, the more explosive power you are going to need. Aiming too high however can result in poor form so no need to go higher than 10-12 feet, dependent on your height of course. If you can easily reach your highest target then that is a sign it is time for a heavier medicine ball, not a higher target.
This exercise will help improve your strength and physique and you will probably have a lot of fun doing it too, it is seldom we ever get to throw anything in a gym.
Using The Barbell Thruster Crossfit Move
This thruster is a perfect exercise to help define what a compound, multijoint exercise actually is. It is basically a front squat that goes into an overhead press and as such, you can expect this exercise to work your quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, shoulders, biceps, triceps and even your upper back to a great degree.
Using heavier loads with lower reps will improve your overall strength all over while a lighter weight for higher repetitions will be great for high-intensity interval training. Depending on whether you want to build muscle or torch fat, you can decide which way to do this exercise.
It is best to stand with your feet in the base of your regular squat position, about hip-width to shoulder-width apart. From this point, you will want to keep the barbell in the front-rack position with your elbows up, think of it like the headlights of a car, your elbows should remain high as you squat down and only when you get to the full depth of your squat should you explode up by driving your heels through the floor.
Add the thruster to your workout routine early on in the session when you are fresh and can tackle it on maximum attack. As you become more proficient, you can move it to later on in the workout and treat it more as conditioning.
Click here if you wish to learn more about crossfit in general.
Any of these Crossfit workouts can be added to your current program to make it a bit more challenging or interesting, you could even stick to a few together and make a full-body workout that will have you wondering why you don’t do this more often. For a very effective way to lose body fat fast, check this out.