Important Exercises for CrossFit Beginners to Learn

Not really sure what the key exercises are and how they work? Here are 10 important starting points for CrossFit beginners.


The overhead press is a challenging exercise that should be a foundational lift in any upper-body routine.


  • Improved core strength – your core, primarily the muscles of your abs and lower back, help keep you pushing in a straight line.
  • The shrug performed at the top of the press activates the upper portion of your trapezius muscle, which shows as a broad, diamond shape across the upper back.
  • The benefits of the overhead press reach far beyond the shoulders and arms. It builds the abdominal wall, strengthens the hips, and builds stability through the legs.
  • An indirect impact on an athlete’s ability to generate arm swing power. Proper arm swing can increase a jump’s height by roughly 30%.


Step 1: Stand under a barbell rack set at chest height and move the bar, with an overhand full grip, to your chest. Or, use control to hoist the barbell from the floor, clean-style, to rest at the front of the chest. The hands should be shoulder-distance apart and elbows pointing down toward the floor.

Step 2: Inhale and press the bar straight up. Avoid allowing it to waver too far forward or back.

Step 3: Lockout your elbow joints briefly at the top as you shrug your shoulders before slowly lowering the weight back down to your chest.

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