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7 CrossFit Arm Workouts to Forge Strength, Size and Muscle (Scaled and Beginner Options Included)

Functional arm workouts will build muscle and test and improve your biceps, triceps, forearm and grip strength, as well as strengthen your shoulders for CF.

These CrossFit arm workouts will strengthen and improve your upper body. Each workout is designed to test your arm strength, identify your weaknesses and help overcome them, pushing yourself above and beyond your limits.

Stronger arms will have a significant impact on your gymnastic and weightlifting skills, as well as help with improving pull ups and dumbbell work. Each workout comes with tips to help you scale.

You will also find specific isolation arm exercises that will also be useful to add into your training. Try adding these workouts into your next training session.

1. Arm Workouts – Bad Karma

For Time

  • 50-40-30-20-10 reps of Barbell Curls (45/35 lb)
  • 10-20-30-40-50 reps of Kettlebell Swings (1.5/1 pood)

Alternate movements. Start with 50 reps of Barbell Curls, then move to the 10 Kettlebell Swings, then 40 Barbell Curls and 20 Kettlebell Swings, and so on.

Drop the weight of the curls and Kettlebell swings if you need to in order to complete the WOD.

2. Hero WOD DT

5 Rounds For Time

  • 12 Deadlifts (155/105 lb)
  • 9 Hang Power Cleans (155/105 lb)
  • 6 Push Jerks (155/105 lb)

Complete 5 rounds of the work in the order written.

Score is the time it takes you to complete 5 rounds.

Good Times for “DT”
– Beginner: 15-19 minutes
– Intermediate: 10-14 minutes
– Advanced: 6-9 minutes
– Elite: <5 minutes

Movement Standards

Hang Power Clean: This variation of The Clean starts with the barbell in the “hang” position (anywhere above the knee). The landing position is a quarter or a half squat rather than a full-depth, below-parallel squat (like in a Squat Clean). Like any version of The Clean, you must reach full hip/knee extension at the top before you lower the bar back down to the starting position—which in this case is the “hang” position.

Push Jerk: In this variation of The Jerk, you’ll receive the bar in a partial squat. Like any version of The Jerk, you must reach full hip/knee extension at the top before you lower the bar back down to the starting position—which in this case is the “front rack” position.

Sara Sigmundsdottir’s Favourite Moment of Her CrossFit CareerSource: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.
Push Jerk

Scaling Options

The volume in this workout isn’t supremely high (there are only 135 total repetitions) so the place to scale “DT” is (1) the load, and/or (2) the movement(s). Keep the same number of rounds and reps, but lessen the load of the barbell or lower the skill level of the movement(s) so you can perform these movements with virtuosity.

Beginner A
12 Deadlifts (75/55 lb)
9 Hang Power Cleans (75/55 lb)
6 Push Jerks (75/55 lb)

Beginner B
12 Deadlifts (45/35 lb)
Muscle Cleans (45/35 lb)
Strict Shoulder Presses (45/35 lb)

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