CrossFit Shoulder Workouts for Explosive Strength and Power (RX, Scaled, Beginner)


  • 2 Rounds for Time
  • 20 Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift High Pulls (24/16 kg)
  • 20 Double-Unders
  • 20 Single-Arm Overhead Walking Lunges (24/16 kg)
  • 20 Double-Unders
  • 20 Alternating Kettlebell Snatches (24/16)
  • 20 Double-Unders
  • 20 Kettlebell Clean-and-Presses (24/16 kg)
  • 20 Double-Unders
  • 20 Kettlebell Swings (24/16 kg)
  • 20 Double-Unders

Use a single kettlebell throughout the workout. For the snatches, alternate arms each rep. For the lunges and clean-and-presses complete 10 per arm per round.


Your scapulae (scaps for short) are the foundation of your shoulder joint and these flat wing like bones help to anchor your shoulder to your torso. Any exercise where you move your upper arm utilises your scapulae in some way and any weakness in the 17 different muscles that connect to it will translate into weakness in the movement. They are an incredibly mobile bone, tilting and rotating to accommodate the wide range of movement of the shoulder joint.

shoulder workouts

Shoulder Workouts – FIRING SHOULDERS

  • 6-5-4-3-2-1 Reps for Time
  • Strict Presses (165/105 lb)
  • Push Presses (165/105 lb)
  • Push Jerks (165/106 lb)

Perform the given set of exercises starting with a volume of 6 and decreasing at a rate of 1 until done, in the shortest time possible.

female crossfit athlete overhead pressSource: RX'd Photography

Score in this workout is based on the amount of time taken to complete the prescribed amount of work.


Here’s a quick test for you: grab a small straight object like a pen or toothbrush, one in each hand and stand up straight, shoulders relaxed. Are your objects pointing straight ahead or inwards? If they’re pointing in towards your body, I’m sorry to say you probably have far from optimal scapular function.

Our modern lives of sitting in chairs and hunching over keyboards has weakened the muscles in this area causing poor shoulder mobility and stability, which can spell disaster if you’re an active CrossFitter. But not to worry because in this article we are going to show you how you can strengthen the surrounding muscles so you can hit new PRs and stay injury free.

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