CrossFit is booming these days, but you don’t have to be a constant presence at the box to reap the fitness benefits. Walking lunges, deadlifts, and other favorite moves can be used in any workout routine — not just CrossFit.
Here are eight exercises that will add just a hint of CrossFit to your workout regimen. We guarantee you’ll get a good workout.
1. Box jumps
Muscle & Fitness says it best: Box jumps aren’t just for the CrossFit crowd. “The biggest benefit of the box jump is that it improves the reaction of the fast-twitch muscle fibers throughout the body,” the article explains. “This exercise requires your leg and core muscles to contract very quickly so you can generate maximum force with each leap.” Basically, this is a great addition to any lower body workout regimen. The article recommends using a plyometric box, which stands 12 to 36 inches tall. To achieve the jump, start with feet planted about should-width apart, and go down into a demi-squat to prepare your leg muscles for the jump. Swing your arms to help propel our body up onto the box.
2. Walking lunges
Although they concentrate on two sets of muscles — the hip extensors and the knee extensors — walking lunges work all the muscles in your lower body. The movement of the lunge is similar to squats, except lunges use a wider range of motion. Stationary and walking lunges are both great exercises, but the walking lunge does come with its own set of benefits. Walking lunges are a functional exercise and ensure you tone both legs equally. Walking lunges also help better your balance, strengthen your core, and increase hip flexibility. If you feel like they are too easy, try holding dumbbells overhead while performing this move.
The deadlift is a quintessential weight lifting exercise and an important part of CrossFit. Functionally, deadlifts develop the muscles and the movements that are involved in many forms of physical labor. This exercise essentially works more muscles than any other exercise, including the squat. When performed correctly, Lean It UP explains, deadlifts build your upper and lower body. It’s even an effective exercise to develop your core strength, training the central muscles of your body. Just remember to warm up thoroughly before lifting heavier weights.
4. Ball slams
Don’t be fooled by the coy name of this CrossFit staple. Ball slams are a full-body workout that targets everything from your triceps down to your calves. It is also a great exercise for someone who doesn’t have time for a lengthy workout.
Side note: There are different sizes of medicine balls that you can use for this exercise. They are both a beneficial and inexpensive purchase, although you should be familiar with what size you need before buying one.
Although burpees are mostly associated with CrossFit, they can also be found in HIIT workouts, boot camps, and the training programs of professional athletes. They’re the move we love to hate, but will do regardless — because they work. Adding them to a HIIT routine is especially smart because researchers from the International Journal of Obesity found that HIIT is one of the most effective ways to burn fat. Instead of hitting one target area, burpees help you to improve the overall strength of your body. The move uses the upper body throughout the push-up element and hits the core and lower body during the up/down movement and jump. That means with every rep, you’ll work your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and abs.
6. Kettlebell passes
In need of a new workout to whittle your midsection? This kettlebell exercise is for you. Patrick Dale of Chron.com educates: “This good waist exercise is easy to learn. Its simplicity means it is an ideal exercise to use as a warmup before moving on to more demanding kettlebell exercises.” We think, however, this is a good warm-up for any exercise plan. Kettlebell passes are as straight-forward as the sound: Swing the kettlebell in front of you with one hand and catch it with your other hand. Continue the rep by swinging the kettlebell behind your back, and catching with the opposite hand. For proper form, check out this video.
7. Mountain climbers
Ever notice that mountain climbers are integrated into just about every fitness plan out there? That’s because this CrossFit favorite is a full-body exercise that tackles any and all problem areas. Want to work on your waist? Looking to change up your lower body workout? Need to switch up your cardio regimen? Mountain climbers can do all of the above. The key to making this exercise the most effective is to keep a constant rhythm. Having a proper base is also good for getting the most work for your muscles. Check out this demo to get an idea of proper form.
Yes, the pull-up is part of the CrossFit family. And yes, it should be part of your regular exercise plan whether you do CrossFit or not. Of course, pull-ups are also known as an incredibly difficult exercise. If you are just beginning to implement them into your workout, start with a low number of reps and work your way up. There are also key exercises that help improve your pull-ups, which Breaking Muscle explains in several easy-to-follow steps.