9 Terrific Exercises for CrossFit Beginners

There’s a reason why so many people are trying CrossFit—there are many CrossFit benefits. This workout combines everything; participants build strength while losing weight, so everyone gets an all-over workout. 

But since some consider CrossFit an extreme fitness sport, this workout can be intense for beginners. Fortunately, most CrossFit trainers can accommodate beginners by offering easy workouts. These exercises aren’t strenuous and simple to do. Plus, you’ll still lose weight and accomplish other fitness goals.

Here are 9 effective exercises for CrossFit beginners. This way, you can add them to your fitness routine and keep up in a CrossFit class without over-exerting yourself.

1. Shoulder Press

A shoulder press is a fundamental move in an upper body workout. As the name suggests, this workout strengthens your shoulders, specifically the anterior and lateral deltoid muscles. To do a shoulder press, take the bar or hold a dumbbell in each hand. Start with her hands at your collarbone, holding the weight in front of you. Slowly move your arms in an upward position, reaching overhead. Bring the weight back down to the starting position.

2. Squat

The squat is one of the most important fitness moves. Squats not only strengthen all leg muscles but also work your lower back and core. This is why everyone should do squats, especially as you grow older.

There are different squat variations, though the classic squat is one of the easiest moves. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Tighten your core, and don’t round your back. Bend your legs and squat down, stopping when your knees are in line with your toes. Stand back up to the starting position.

3. Pushups

Pushups target many muscles throughout the upper body, mainly chest muscles, triceps, and core muscles. Place your hands on the floor, keeping them in front of your shoulders. Keep your arms and legs outstretched, with your toes pressed onto the floor. Lower yourself down to the ground. When you reach the bottom, push yourself up to the starting position.

If you can’t do a full pushup or this move irritates your hands or wrists, don’t place your knees on the floor. Instead, use a platform or try a different hand position.

4. Burpee

While burpees are one of the most intense CrossFit exercises, they’re easy enough for beginners to complete. Burpees are a full-body movement that works nearly every muscle in your arms and legs. Plus, burpees are also considered a cardio move, so you also get heart and breathing benefits.

To do a burpee, go from a standing position to a squat. Lower yourself to the ground until your hands touch the floor. Kick your legs back to do a pushup. Bring your legs back to a squat position, and jump up in the air.

Remember that burpees may not be ideal for everyone. For example, this exercise may be too much for those with knee and back problems. If you suffer from any of these issues, inform your CrossFit trainer.

5. Box Jump

This is a popular squat variety for people who want to take a classic squat to the next level while getting in shape. As the name suggests, you jump up on a box but squat down when you land on top of the box. It’s considered an explosive exercise, meaning it works all major leg muscle groups.

Instead of a box, some CrossFit trainers may ask you to jump on a platform. This offers more stability and comfort. Since you’re jumping up and down, your trainer may require you to use certain arm movements for stability and balance.

6. Kettlebell Swing

If you have bad knees, one of the best tips for working out is to find variations of the squat. For example, the kettlebell squat is a great squat variation for those with bad knees. Keep your knees unlocked during this exercise, which will increase your range of movement. While it’s easier to swing a kettlebell, you can also use a dumbbell for this exercise.

Start in a typical squat position, standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down; as you do so, swing the kettlebell between your legs and forward. Stand up and repeat the movement.

7. The Clean

The clean is one of the most recognizable moves at the gym. It’s a full-body workout that involves squatting and lifting with a bar. If you can’t lift heavy, you can start with an empty bar.

Grab the bar with both hands and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Squat down, bringing the bar down to your shins. Stand back up and lift the bar as high as you can. Your trainer may also instruct you to stand up and catch the bar, but not likely while you’re still a beginner. Another variation of the clean ends in a second squat after raising the bar. Again, listen to your trainer and only do the variations that make you comfortable.

8. Lunges

A lunge is a movement where one leg is positioned above another, with one knee bent and the foot flat on the floor. You can either do lunges with one leg at a time or do walking lunges and challenge yourself. Always listen to your trainer before completing a new variation of a lunge.

Remember that lunges aren’t the best workout for those with knee pain. If you suffer from knee pain, inform your trainer. You can bend halfway to put less pressure on your knees. There are also reverse lunges, where you bend the leg backward as opposed to forward.

9. Rows

Rows are a type of workout that builds back muscle. There are row machines, but users can also do this movement with cables and dumbbells.

To do a dumbbell row, bend over a bench with your hand on the bench, holding you up. Many people put their knee on the bench, but that will put you in a less-than-ideal position and increases the likelihood of an injury.

Keep your feet, hips, and shoulders squared, contract your abs, and keep your neck down. Grab the dumbbell and hold it at your side.  Lift the dumbbell up beyond your back, keeping your elbows pointing upward. Bring the weight back down and repeat the movement.

Our Classes Are Perfect for Crossfit Beginners

CrossFit beginners may feel intimidated during their first class, but you don’t have to worry when you join our gym. You can talk to any of our trainers about any workouts you want to try and any other concerns you have. If you want to join our gym, click here to learn about our memberships.