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25 Important CrossFit Exercises (and How to RX them All)

Learn how to master these 25 fundamental CrossFit exercises and take your performance to the next level. Important for all beginner and scaled athletes.

The important CrossFit exercises are fundamental for the sport and should be mastered by all athletes practicing it. These tips will help you to improve your technique, stay safe and have fun with every single one.

Go through the full list of important CrossFit exercises or skip to the specific one yu want to improve on. Have fun and keep training hard!

Snatch
Clean
Front Squat
Back Squat
Overhead Squat
Overhead Press
Bench Press
Push Press
Sumo Deadlift High Pull
Deadlift
Squat Jerk
Split Jerk
Barbell Row
Thruster
Pull Up
Ring Muscle Up
Bar Muscle Up
Wall Walk
Handstand Walk
Double Unders
Wall Balls
Box Jumps
Burpees
Rope Climbing
Kettlebell Swing

Important CrossFit Exercises

Snatch

Learning the Snatch technique is one of the hardest skills to master. It contrasts with the clean and jerk in that it favours the athleticism attributed to a gymnastic body-type over the ‘gym-bro’, who may be struggling to learn the snatch after years spent believing that parallel squats were the lowest one could possibly go, and the overhead squat was a mere fairy tale.

A big snatch requires all the elements of flexibility, strength, power and technique, without one of these your snatch will eventually suffer. This article is here to help prevent the frustration that the snatch can inevitably bring.

Click to improve your Snatch technique now


Clean

The Clean is a lift that requires power, posture, skill and strength. Here is how to do it properly, break through plateaus, and raise your lifts to the next level.

Click to master Clean technique

squat cleanSource: Stevie D Photography

Front Squat

The Front Squat has always been a staple exercise in Olympic weightlifting programs, as it serves as the base for the catch position in the clean.

However, given that most people tend to lift more weight with Back Squats and may find keeping the rack position of the bar difficult, front squats are often neglected.

When done correctly, Front Squats will:

  • Increase the depth of the movement
  • Improve core strength
  • Activate glutes
  • Improve related exercises such as Thrusters or Squat Cleans
  • Build Strength

Click to perfect your Front Squat technique

Important CrossFit exercises include the front squatSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc

Back Squat

Full back squats are a complex movement but part of the important CrossFit exercises you should master. The back squat is known as a fundamental exercise for increasing functional strength and building the muscles of the legs, buttocks and core, all the while improving balance, coordination and overall body skeletal health.

Click here to improve your Back Squat

back squatSource: Stevie D Photography

Overhead Squat

The overhead squat is the ultimate core exercise, the heart of the snatch, and peerless in developing effective athletic movement. This demanding exercise reveals every lack of mobility without mercy.

Click to improve your Overhead Squat technique


Overhead Press

The Overhead Press (also known as the Strict Press or Shoulder Press) is a compound exercise that involves lifting a weighted barbell overhead to a fully locked out position with the strict use of the shoulders and arms.

Pressing the bar overhead is still one of the most useful upper body exercises you can do. This highly effective exercise involves the entire body. Your feet, legs, glutes, core, abs, hips, ankles and wrists help to stabilise the body whilst your shoulders, upper chest, back and arms press the bar overhead.

Click to perfect you Overhead Press technique

Bench Press

The bench press is not very common in CrossFit training, yet it can be a great way to build power and improve lock out strength and overhead press movements for other lifts.

Click to nail your Bench Press technique

male athlete bench press

Push Press

The Push Press isn’t just another shoulder exercise, it’s a move that builds strength and power throughout the entire body and core. If you want strong, healthy shoulders you should be working the press hard at least once a week. That alone will make a huge difference to your performances.

Click to master the Push Press technique


Sumo Deadlift High Pull

The Sumo Deadlift High Pull is an explosive hinge movement that creates great momentum in the barbell and makes it easier to pull. The exercise is invaluable for learning to transfer power from the hips and legs, through the upper body, and into the object being lifted with maximal efficiency.

Click to learn how to master the Sumo Deadlift High Pull

Source: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

Deadlift

“There is no reason to be alive if you can’t deadlift.” – John Pall Sigmarsson: 4x winner of the World’s Strongest Man Competition.

While this might be a tiny exaggeration, Deadlifts are one of the most important CrossFit exercises and are invaluable in functional life.

Click to improve your Deadlift technique

pregnant athlete performs deadlift back workoutsSource: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

Squat Jerk

The Squat Jerk is an impressive and technically difficult lift, but if you aren’t scared to challenge yourself and love to learn new things, then read on.

Click to improve your Squat Jerk technique


Split Jerk

The Split Jerk is a movement that requires immense amounts of power and technique and in contrast with the push or power jerk, is used to lift the most weight.

If you want to push your Clean and Jerk PR through the roof, perfect this technique.

Click to get your Split Jerk technique on point

male crossfitter clean and jerk crossfit affiliateSource: Sonia Ariz / BOXROX

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