CrossFit mixes gymnastics with weightlifting, and conditioning from a wide variety of disciplines (from military training to strongman).
What does this mean for your training? Simple: you need to master movement, build mobility and protect yourself from injury. This isn’t an easy sport to take part in, but this article will take you through 7 CrossFit bodyweight exercises you can do at home to prepare yourself for better performance and competition in CrossFit.
Bodyweight training is a great method of improving a wide variety of athletic characteristics. You’re going to gain unrivalled body-awareness, core strength and flexibility if you focus on gymnastic strength training.
Gymnastic and bodyweight training also develop areas of your training you might have missed: joint strength, grip, wrist health, flexibility and core stability. These are essential if you want to do well in CrossFit or any other sport – especially over a long career!
CrossFit: Where Gymnastics meets Strength and Conditioning
Clearly, CrossFit is developed with the amazing benefits of Gymnastics in mind. It’s one of the key tenets of the original CrossFit ethos, as the two main areas of training in CrossFit are Gymnastics and Weightlifting, shortly followed by endurance skills (like rowing, running and skipping).
Gymnastics and bodyweight training isn’t just for “getting your pull ups” or any other one goal. It’s a way of rounding out your training to include less glamorous areas, keep yourself safe and make sure that the effects of weightlifting/running/WODing are balanced out.
So, now you know why bodyweight training is important, stick with us and we’ll take you through 7 CrossFit bodyweight Exercises you can do at home!
The hollow holdis one of the most important positions/exercises in gymnastics. It’s an amazing way of training the core and has transfer to everything from handstands to muscle-ups.
Mastering the hollow hold will make you better at almost everything in gymnastics and, thus, CrossFit. You can perform these scaled by tucking your legs, or you can add weight to your feet/hands if you’re getting too good for regular hollow holds.
Push Ups (and Beyond)
The push up isn’t just for Rocky Balboa – it’s a great way of developing proper mechanics in the scapula and strengthening the “push” muscles of the upper body.
You can really develop these muscles/positions if you follow a progression from the regular push up to some of the more specialised, challenging variations we see gymnasts use in their training:
- Push Up
- Decline Push Up
- Maltese Push Up
- Diamond Push Up
These have different training effects. For example, the diamond push up will challenge the triceps more, while the Maltese push up (or pseudo-planche) shifts the focus to the chest and the pec minor in particular (a great way to prepare the shoulders for dips and muscle-ups).
Handstands push-ups and walks are cool to look at.
However, they’re not for beginners. Handstand work begins with mastering the lines and positions, without any pressing or walking. You can practice this at home – simply perform your handstand against/near a wall(depending on how good you are at it).
The handstand is a tough isometric exercise that will develop the shoulders and upper back. However, it’s slow to learn and practice is the best way to get better – just like everything else. Put the time in at home and your HSPU/walks will follow.
Animal Strength: Dead Bugs and Bird Dogs
These core exercises are anti-rotational. They train you in movements you’re probably not training at the box.
The ability to rotate powerfully, and resist rotation, is key to keeping your spine healthy and remaining balanced. These patterns are secondary players in everything from running to throwing, so you need to put some work into them.
Squats (But not Like You Know Them)
Well you should be squatting at home too. Deck squats and pistol squats, to be precise.
Thedeck squat is a great method that gymnasts use to condition the ankles, improve strength and build mobility. If you’ve got a sloppy squat, these are a must.
When you get good, try them into a pistol squat – a great way to combine two awesome exercises.
Straddle for Strength
The straddle is a key part of gymnastics that never made it to CrossFit (…yet).
You might think this means you don’t need to worry about it, but it’s one of the most important exercises you can do to keep your hips healthy. The hips are the powerhouse of the entire body and the straddle builds amazing control and isometric strength in the smaller muscles of the hip like the TFL and glute Medius.
These aren’t well-trained, but they contribute to the strength and stability of your heavy squats and deadlifts. Training the straddle from the floor is a tough but rewarding way of boosting performance.
Want healthy shoulders?
Try swimmer’s holds. Thisis an amazing exercise for the scapula and trains the full range of motion while keeping the core tight and engaged. With all the overhead support CrossFit requires (from Weightlifting to HSPU), this is an awesome exercise for keeping healthy.
Try these out and let us know what you think! Bodyweight training is an awesome tool that can add serious depth to your training and make those quiet days at home a little more athletic, and more active!
Article Submitted By Community Writer