September 1, 2013
By Betty Murray
CrossFit is a form of exercise developed by Coach Greg Glassman and is defined as “that which optimizes fitness (constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity).” (www.crossfit.com) CrossFit is a sport that has no specialty, but rather brings together elements of every other sport and form of workout to create one workout designed to optimize results.
Across the nation, CrossFit gyms are full of individuals hooked on the concept — a focus on strength training designed to make the athlete fitter and more toned than any other workout. A membership to a CrossFit gym will set you back around $150 per month. If you can afford it, it is worth it to take at least an “Elements” class at a gym near you to learn the basics of CrossFit.
But if you can’t afford a gym membership, or there isn’t a CrossFit gym near you, the great thing about the workout is that there are plenty of moves you can do at home.
At-Home CrossFit Workout
What you’ll need: A pair of 5-15lb dumbbells or kettlebells and a box, bench or step that is high enough to challenge you, but low enough you are able to clear it jumping over it.
Perform each of the exercises below for eight to 16 reps as quickly as you can two to three times a week. Each time you perform the exercises, try to complete them quicker than the last time.
- Dumbbell/Kettlebell Snatch — Begin with your feet wide, and your weight on the floor between your feet. Squat low to the ground, keeping your weight on your heels, and pick up the weight with your right hand. As you grab the weight, your palm should be facing toward you. Quickly straighten your legs, pulling your elbow back to the side. Bend your knees and flip the weight so that your palm is now facing away from you and reach your arm overhead. Squat to starting position and repeat. Do this exercise on both arms. For a video demonstration from crossfit.com, click here.
- Burpee – Start in the standing position, simultaneously bend over, placing your hands on the ground in the pushup position and jump your feet behind you until your body is in the plank position. Do a single pushup, jump your feet back underneath you and jump straight up, clapping your hands overhead. Do this full motion as quickly as possible. For a video demonstration from crossfit.com, click here.
- Dumbell/Kettlebell Swing — Standing with your legs wide and your toes pointed slightly out, hold the weight with both hands in front of your hips. Squat and bring the weight down between your legs, then quickly stand up, lifting your arms overhead. For a video demonstration from crossfit.com, click here.
- Bear Crawl — Kneel on the ground on all fours, then lift your knees, so you are on your hands and toes. Walk forward by moving your left hand and foot forward, then your right hand and foot. Take 30 “steps” forward.
- Box Jump — (There are two variations of the box jump.) First, facing your box or step, squat and then quickly jump over the box or step. Turn around and repeat. The second variation is to jump onto the box or step and back down. For this exercise, be sure your box or step is sturdy enough to hold your weight. For a video demonstration from crossfit.com, click here.
There are dozens of CrossFit exercises and variations, each with a modification based on your skill level. To learn all the moves, consider joining a CrossFit gym for at least a few months before workout out at home. For more video demonstrations from CrossFit, click here.
Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.