When working out, it’s important to try varying exercises to challenge your mind and body and to target more muscles. Having a variety of workouts keeps your muscles active and guessing while stimulating your brain with different movements. One of the best workouts to incorporate in your daily regimen is a WOD (workout of the day), which will have you moving in more planes of motion, growing more robust, and honestly knowing your body better. Let’s check out the benefits of WODs, beginner Crossfit workouts, and the ultimate Crossfit WODs list for strength training.
Benefits of Crossfit WODs
Although Crossfit WODs can be challenging, there are several physical and mental benefits. Many of these WODs focus on strength training, balance, and flexibility. The physical benefits include cardiovascular endurance, increased stamina, weight loss, and toning. In addition, the mental benefits include better sleep, stress relief, an increase in endorphins, and more. Doing these WODs can help you experience these benefits and achieve your fitness goals.
Crossfit WODs are for anyone who wants to increase their strength and overall mobility. It’s always a smart idea to work with a professional or trained fitness specialist to ensure that you’re doing the exercises correctly, especially if you’re new to strength training. And if you’ve been struggling with an injury, make sure your doctor clears you before you dive in, but at the same time, don’t be deterred from trying something new. In addition, keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a male or female workout. Crossfit WODs encourage everyone to participate. While men are stereotypically thought to be lifters, there are just as many strength training benefits for women and others.
Participating in Crossfit WODs with a partner or group is a purposeful and powerful way to build a community and surround yourself with others looking to become stronger inside and outside the gym. Finding an accountability partner is extremely vital and can help you see how far you can go when you have someone to push you and encourage you, rather than trying to do it on your own.
Beginner Crossfit Workouts
These beginner Crossfit workouts will help immerse you in strength training and help you learn what’s comfortable for you. You can try just one strength training exercise or multiple from this list if you feel like you can do more.
For air squats, having the correct hip and knee movements is essential. When doing air squats, keep the following in mind:
- Find and maintain a neutral position that supports your spine. Tighten your core and watch to make sure that you don’t arch or round your back.
- When you lower your body, bend at the knees and hips, keeping your knees in line with your toes.
- Drop your hips below your knees.
- Get back into a standing position by pushing up through your heels.
The shoulder press is a cardinal move for beginners. It’s important to add this into your routine because it sets the tone for creating a stronger overhead position, preparing you for advanced Crossfit WODs when you’re ready. When doing the shoulder press, follow these steps:
- Grab an empty barbell and hold it on your shoulders. Your grip should be only slightly wider than shoulder-width.
- Push the bar up. This should be done directly overhead.
- Once done, return to your starting position.
- Do this for as many sets as you can, and add weight little by little when ready.
Push Ups (and Push Up With Hand Release)
Push-ups work many vital muscles in the body at once (i.e., chest, shoulders, triceps, core, back, legs) It’s such a dynamic exercise that everyone should include it in their routine, especially if you’re working on building strength.
- To get started, adjust your hands directly under your shoulders.
- Lower yourself to the floor, keeping your core intact and your back straight.
- Once at the bottom, push up to your starting position and make sure that your body is still in a straight line.
If you’re unable to do a regular push-up, try using a platform to raise your hands off the ground. This will help, as it doesn’t require as much strength but helps you keep your form and build up the power to do more push-ups.
There is also another variation that you can try, known as the “push with hand release.” Very similar to a regular push-up, position yourself in your starting push-up form. As you lower yourself to the floor, make sure your chest touches the floor and briefly release your hands. Once you’ve done this, place your hands back on the floor and return to your starting position.
The Ultimate CrossFit WODs List for Strength Training
Hero WODs Without Equipment
A hero WOD is a tribute to a fallen first responder or someone who served in the military who died while in the line of duty and gave the ultimate sacrifice. There are hundreds of hero WODs, but here are a few:
- The Seven
- Lumberjack 20
- Mogadishu Mile
The Linda, also known as the “three bars of death,” is a benchmark workout done for time. This strength training exercise encourages you to engage in movements that challenge your strength by making three classic barbell moves:
- Deadlift at 1.5x bodyweight
- Bench press at bodyweight
- Clean at 0.75x bodyweight
Doing these exercises, for time (10–9–8–7–6–5–4–3–2–1 reps), is guaranteed to get your heart rate up.
EMOM (every minute on the minute) workouts mean you complete a certain amount of reps of an exercise in less than 60 seconds. EMOMs are highly effective and efficient in building your endurance, explosive power, and work capacity. Try this snatch EMOM to target your form while also testing your strength:
- One snatch at 85% of your one-rep-max
Squats and Sprints
This WOD is known to push you and your strength to the limit. This combination is excellent, as it focuses on speed movement. When you squat heavy, this enforces a high-force/low-speed movement, while sprinting focuses on a high-force/high-speed movement. Try to do five rounds:
- Five back squats
- Sprint 100m on a track, or if you have one available to you, use the rower and complete 20 calories
- Rest for 2 minutes
When performing the strict Lynne, you’ll be focusing on pushing and pulling strength. There is no time limit, and you can go at your own pace until you can’t do it anymore. Strict Lynne consists of doing max reps for five rounds of bench press, decked with your body weight. Bench press targets many muscle groups, such as the chest, shoulders, and triceps, so you’ll feel the burn during this workout. In addition, you will be doing max reps for five rounds of strict pull-ups to target your back and biceps for your pull strength.
Now that you have a list of Crossfit WODs, try them out alone or ask a friend to go with you. Don’t be afraid to start something new or challenge your mind and body. Your body will thank you for it!
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