Sara Sigmundsdottir and Brent Fikowski at CrossFit Games
Source: CrossFit Inc

10 Important Exercises for CrossFit Beginners to Learn

Not really sure what the key exercises are and how they work? Here are 10 important starting points for CrossFit beginners.

CLEAN AND JERK

One of the most common Olympic lifts is the clean and jerk — a complex movement that combines the clean and the jerk into one exercise. The clean and jerk is a very dynamic multi-joint compound exercise that incorporates a wide range of muscles and really engages the entire body.

BENEFITS:

  • Improves anaerobic endurance
  • Requires more overall strength than the snatch
  • It teaches various muscle groups to move together and it helps the body move as a unit
  • It targets the hamstrings, gluteus maximus, quadriceps, calves, back, deltoids, chest, biceps, triceps and even works the core muscles

TECHNIQUE:

Clean

1.  Position your feet in a shoulder width. Grab the bar just past the shoulder width. Keep your back straight.

2. Align the bar over the balls of your toes. Drop your hips so your shoulders are directly above the barbell. Engage core. Pull your head up, look straight ahead and keep your arms straight.

3. Start lifting the barbell. Push the feet against the floor. Keep your core engaged. As the barbell passes the knees, pull it back towards your legs. Stay connected to it, keep it close to the body. Keep your arms straight and midline tight.

4. Lift starts slowly and accelerates (after it passes the knees) into a quick, explosive movement and full-body extension.

5. When you lift the barbell to the mid/upper tight, explosively extend your hips. Shrug your shoulders, elbows should be bend outward. Aim to keep the bar close to the body as much as possible. Your goal should be a full hip extension.

6. Shrug your shoulders, pull your body underneath into the front squat position to receive the bar on your shoulders. Lift your elbows up, push your shoulder forwards and slightly up. Stand up.

Jerk

7. After standing up from the front squat, adjust the barbell into the jerk rack position. Recover, breathe and align your balance towards the heels. Bend in your knees and hips, keep your torso straight. Explosively extend and drive from the ground to thrust the bar upwards above the head.

8. Feet split, elbows are locked, core is engaged and the bar is received overhead. Recover to a full standing position.

 

Try the tips above and learn from a former Olympic Champion.

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