CrossFit Arm Workouts to Build Strength and Muscle (Scaled and Beginner Options Included)

These arm workouts will strengthen and improve your body within a CrossFit context. Each workout is designed to test your arm strength, find your weaknesses and help you to destroy them. 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 are useful to add into your training as well.

Try adding these workouts into your training and let us know how you get on. Enjoy!


  • 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.

arm workoutsSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc


  • 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.

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)


7 Rounds For Time

  • 7 Handstand Push-Ups
  • 7 Thrusters (135/95 lb)
  • 7 Knees-to-Elbows
  • 7 Deadlifts (245/165 lb)
  • 7 Bicep Curls
  • 7 Kettlebell Swings (2/1.5 pood)
  • 7 Chin-Ups

Complete 7 rounds of the movements in the order written. Each round is made up of 49 repetitions: 7 Handstand Push-Ups, 7 Thrusters, 7 Knees-to-Elbows, 7 Deadlifts, 7 Bicep Curls, 7 Kettlebell Swings, and 7 Chin-Ups.

CrossFit-Thrusters-Workouts CROSSFIT OPEN WORKOUT 19.5Source: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc

Score is the time it takes to complete all 7 rounds.

Good Times for “The Seven” (estimated)
– Beginner: 40-49 minutes
– Intermediate: 33-39 minutes
– Advanced: 25-32 minutes
– Elite: <24 minutes

Arm Workouts – Scaling Options 

This workout is meant to be relatively long—30+ minutes for most athletes. The load should feel moderate—not maximal. Scale the volume, the load, and/or the skill level so you can complete this workout in under an hour.

The rest in this WOD is during the transitions—when you move, for instance, from the thrusters to the knees-to-elbows. If you have to break up the sets of 7 reps into smaller bits, then either the load is too heavy and/or the skill level is too high.

Arm Workouts – Intermediate

5 Rounds 
7 Push-Ups
7 Thrusters (95/65lb)
7 Knees-to-Elbows
7 Deadlifts (155/105 lb)
7 Bicep Curls
7 Kettlebell Swings (53/35lb)
7 Chin-Ups

Arm Workouts – Beginner 

5 Rounds 
Box/Bench Push-Ups
7 Thrusters (45/35lb) 
Hanging Knee Raises
7 Deadlifts (95/65lb) 
7 Bicep Curls
7 Kettlebell Swings (35/26lb) 
Ring Rows

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