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Strategy for CrossFit Open Workout 21.1 for Beginner and Intermediate Athletes

Open Workout 21.1 kicked off this week with an unusual combination of Wall Walks and Double-Unders with a 15-minute time cap. Both of these skills require some preparation but overall, everyone should be able to complete this workout.

Make sure you check out the Scaling Options and Movement Standards for the workout. This will help you plan a successful workout at the level that will challenge you the most.

Shortly after the relase of Open Workout 21.1, CrossFit Invictus’ Bern K. Prince and Justin Wright broke down some strategies for RXing this working out as a beginner or intermediate CrossFitter.

If you’re a beginner or intimate athlete, there’s a lot to keep in mind before tackling this one. If you’re planning to RX, here are some things to keep in mind before you dive in.

CrossFit Workout 21.1


For time:

  • 1 wall walk
  • 10 double-unders
  • 3 wall walks
  • 30 double-unders
  • 6 wall walks
  • 60 double-unders
  • 9 wall walks
  • 90 double-unders
  • 15 wall walks
  • 150 double-unders
  • 21 wall walks
  • 210 double-unders

Time cap: 15 min.

Strategies For Completing Open Workout 21.1

Warm-Up: This one is as much about cardio/endurance as it is about shoulder strength. Take the time to warm-up more than you think you should.

One and Done: This is a workout you want to get out the way only once and will be tough to repeat, so make sure everything is set to give it your all on the first try.

Pacing: This workout increases in reps for 6 rounds, meaning that if you start off strong, you might start to struggle towards the end. Control your energy and control your shoulder fatigue, because it will come. Don’t try to push to failure until the last minute of the workout.


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Footwear: Prince and Wright recommend comfortable shoes, perhaps runners over trainers, or even stable compression socks. If you are wearing running shoes, make sure you tie your laces as tight as possible! You don’t want to waste any time dealing with shoe issues with such an aggressive time cap.

Take time to practise: These movements might be a little different than what you’re used to, so take the time to practise a little to get the form right and test out what feels good.

Strategy For Wall Walks

Test your tape lines: When setting up for 21.1 test your lines and make sure they’re in the best position for you before you begin the clock.

Hips, feet, arms: Keep this in mind as you begin your wall walks. Start by raising your hips, then placing your feet on the wall as high as they’ll do, and then moving your hands backwards while moving up the wall.


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Big steps: When coming down from the wall, take huge steps to the floor. As soon as your hands reach the tape line, drop your legs back down. You don’t need to come out as far as you normally would on a wall climb.

Relax: This one if a shoulder pump so relax your shoulders and arms as much as you can between reps. Reach them to the front or side to take them out of that prone position for a moment. 

Strategy For Double-Unders

Jump rope placement: Make sure you place your jump rope on the floor carefully between reps. This will mean you won’t lose time setting yourself up for your next set.

Read More: CrossFit Open Technique Tips: Double Unders

Know your capacity: When performing the double-under, keep your arms long, hands just ahead of your body, and lower than your waist. Rotate from the wrist to give your shoulders a break between wall-walks.

Know when to take breaks: The timecap might be aggressive but efficiency is key — even if that means catching a beat between reps or feel your upper body tensing during the double-unders.

Image Sources

  • double-under: Depositphotos

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