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.


The overhead squat (OH squat) is, for many CrossFitters—one of the most vexing movements in the CrossFit repertoire. It exposes weaknesses in flexibility, balance, strength and coordination.


  • Teaches your body to learn how to extend properly
  • Engages the muscles in the lower body, namely the glutes, hamstrings, quads, core
  • The OHS force shoulders to stay in the correct position to support the weight
  • Teaches body awareness
  • Improves flexibility and mobility
  • The overhead squat develops core control by punishing any forward wobble of the load with an enormous and instant increase in the moment about the hip and back



  • Review the air squat for the basic squat mechanics
  • Grip the bar such that when placed overhead, it is 6-8″ above the top of your head
  • Push your shoulders and the bar up as high as you can (“active shoulders”)
  • The bar should be perfectly aligned with your heels
  • Maintain a tight core through the entire movement


  • Pull your hips back and down while keeping your weight on your heels
  • Pull the bar back deliberately as you squat to keep it directly over your heels
  • DO NOT let the bar move forward of or behind your heels at any point of the movement
  • Make sure your hips reach a point below the top of your knee (below parallel)
  • Keeping your weight on your heels, stand to full extension


This exercise will take a lot of practice to get good at!

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