If you’ve had your ear to the ground in the health and fitness community over the past five years, CrossFit has been among the most talked about fitness methodologies there is.
Not only are international competitions like the CrossFit Games attracting droves of fans to San Jose, California every year, but also major media outlets like ESPN in the US actually broadcast the Games as they happen.
For those of you unfamiliar with CrossFit, its definition is:
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“High intensity functional movements executed at high intensity.” How do I know this? Well, I’m a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, and have been personally ‘CrossFitting’ for about four years. The results on my physique, athleticism and health have been astounding!
CrossFit is a combination of Bodyweight/Gymnastics-based movements, Olympic Weightlifting exercises and Endurance-based movement. Commonly tied together neatly into a WOD (or ‘Workout of the Day’), these workouts can kick your ass in as little as three minutes.
That’s right, THREE minutes. Ever hear of the CrossFit workout ‘Fran?’ God, is that awful! Now, the one problem with CrossFit is that the workouts often contain a great myriad of equipment.
As a result, unless you’re willing to shell out upwards of $200/month to go to a Box (CrossFit Gym) or thousands of dollars to have a fully equipped gym in your home, you’re probably out of luck if you’re looking to successfully try CrossFit out.
Fortunately, CrossFit has many benchmark workouts; some of them strictly bodyweight movements. Some of the most popular and best CrossFit bodyweight workouts are Cindy, Barbara, Angie and Chelsea.
CrossFit founder Greg Glassman names many of his best CrossFit bodyweight workouts after women, joking that only a woman can make you feel the same way these workouts do upon their completion.
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While very challenging,
I’ve selected one of the best CrossFit bodyweight workouts there is that’s doable for beginners AND veterans
Cindy is among the most popular and best CrossFit bodyweight workouts there is. She will not only kick your butt in a very short span of time, but give you a great full-body workout in the process.
Cindy is definitely one of the most hands-off CrossFit bodyweight workouts there is, which is why I selected it. The only pieces of equipment you need to perform her are a timer and a pull-up bar. The workout is as follows:
Perform AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) in 20 Minutes of:
Pull-Ups – With an overhand grip on a pull-up bar, begin with arms at full extension while hanging in the air. Keeping your core tight, simultaneously squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull until your chin is over the bar. Lower yourself back down to the start position, and perform for reps.
Pull-Up Modification 1: If you can’t do a regular pull-up, a jumping pull-up is an effective way of building the necessary upper body strength, while also keeping your heart rate up. Start standing up tall facing a pull-up bar. When you begin, jump up towards the bar, using the momentum from your jump to perform a pull-up. Lower yourself back to the ground, and perform for reps.
Pull-Up Modification 2: If you have bad knees and will have trouble jumping up towards the pull-up bar in Pull-Up Modification 1, you can find an Assisted Pull-Up Machine at your local gym.
These machines take as much as 200 pounds off your bodyweight off while performing pull-ups, and can be a great starting point towards building the necessary strength to perform a regular, full bodyweight pull-up.
Pushup – Begin in a pushup plank position, with your body flat, head up and hands angled straight ahead. Bend at the elbows and lower your body until your chest touches the floor, keeping your abs and butt tight. Push through your hands and raise your body back up to the start position. Perform for reps.
Pushup Modification: If you can’t perform a regular pushup, begin on your hands and knees, ankles cross in the back. Keeping your back flat, chest up, head up and handles angled forward, lower yourself until your chest touches the ground, and come back up. Perform for reps. A great visual of this exercise can be found here on my YouTube channel.
Squats – Begin standing up tall, feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at the hips, and lower yourself until your hips fall below your thighs.
Make sure on your descent that your heels remain on the ground at all times, and that your knees point outward while you lower your body. Push through your heels and continue to an upright position. Perform for reps.
Squat Modification: If you’re having trouble maintaining form or going low enough when performing a squat, position use a chair in your kitchen or living room to assist you. Lower yourself until your butt just touches the chair, and then stand up the tall.
The chair will give you the support you need while you correct any movement impairments and build strength. A good example can be found on my YouTube channel playlist here regarding How to Fix Your Squat.
I hope you enjoy performing Cindy, as she’s one of the best CrossFit bodyweight workouts there is. Here’s to you taking back your life!