Essential CrossFit Movements Every Athlete Should Master

When it comes to fitness training, it becomes difficult to class out one movement or group of movements over another. However, Crossfit movements can be applied to just about every fitness routine which makes them unique. High-intensity training like weightlifting, cardio, and resistance training is all incorporated into CrossFit programming.

In addition, the movements that you do during your workouts in CrossFit target more than one muscle group at a time. Whether you’re an endurance athlete or a sprinter, CrossFit improves your strength from head to toe. Plus, you can boost strength, size, and agility, and even shed unwanted body fat. 

Nevertheless, before you dive into the advanced Crossfit movements you see fitness pros doing on social media, it’s crucial to master the fundamental moves first. In this article, we will discuss top functional bodybuilding moves to help you in this regard. In addition, understanding these movements will help you form the future of your training methods and workouts. 

Essential Movements For Every CrossFitter 

Below given are the 5 most important functional bodybuilding exercises that will benefit competitors and athletes in all aspects of CrossFit. 

  1. Banded Deficit Romanian Deadlift
  2. Dumbbell or Kettlebell Prone Rows
  3. Cyclist Front Squats 
  4. Rower Slide Board Pike Up
  5. Side Plank Powell Raise 
  1. Banded Deficit Romanian Deadlift

Movements like deadlifts, power cleans, and kettlebell swings are all common in any CrossFit gym or competition. One of the unique applications of these hinging exercises in CrossFit is the way that they show up at higher repetitions than other training methods available. However,  It has long been scrutinized as unsafe and has often been criticized due to its fast-paced deadlifts in a row. 

But In actuality, if you want to become more resilient to high rep hinging, this exercise might be for you. This exercise helps in extending your range of motion with the deficit as it strengthens you at the end range where athletes are often the most vulnerable. In addition, the component of the Romanian deadlift is going to ensure that you don’t cheat this exercise and overuse your quads. 

It also helps to build stronger glutes, and hamstrings to bulletproof you when performing fatigued deadlifts and power cleaning. The cherry on the top, in this movement bands or, banded loading is used which makes sure that you don’t overload the lengthened range of motion. By using a band, you overload the targeted muscle at its shortest range, where you are strongest. 

Furthermore, the length in the range is where your vulnerability is greatest, so at the bottom of the RDL, you deal with the lightest weight, and at the top, you can easily deal with the heaviest. This allows you to get training volume without requiring long recovery periods between your sessions as you are not overloading that more vulnerable and weak position at the bottom.

  1. Dumbbell 0r Kettlebell Prone Rows 

The Dumbbell or Kettlebell prone row is designed to help you with your horizontal pull to improve Chest to bar pull-ups and capacity within that movement. Chest-to-bar bar pull-ups are the common movements that show up in the sport of CrossFit and the practice of it in any gym requires a different range of motion and also a slightly different direction of force production than a traditional pull-up. 

Many athletes find this movement difficult to master even when they have a strong chin over the barbell pull-up. It might be since to make contact with your chest to the bar, the standard for the movement is you must retract your shoulder blades considerably and push your chest forward into the bar. 

Doing so is usually not very natural in a natural position for many athletes when they are trying to pull themselves up and over the bar at the same time. So, therefore, building strength with the kettlebell prone row in the horizontal pull direction is going to aid your chest-to-bar strength efficiency. However, you mustn’t overload this exercise as it’s going to steer you in the wrong direction.

  1. Cyclist Front Squats

This is an upright torso squatting technique that will be highly beneficial to your Olympic lifts. Crossfit is full of Olympic weightlifting so you have to be great at cleans and snatches to be successful in CrossFit. Additionally, you will also see front squats and overhead squats programs very often as compared to forward-style back squats as people usually perform in powerlifting. 

So the foremost task here is to master the skill of doing vertical squats mainly. Therefore, to perform, the vertical squat position, the knees should go way over the toes. One way to exaggerate this position is with the cyclist’s front squat.  For this movement, athletes are taken to extreme positions and vertical torso positions so that their strength and core capacity can be built to the maximum. 

It is suggested to keep your torso as upright as possible, your elbows very high, above your knees, and let your knees drift out over your toes. now that you’re loading on the bar will be significantly less than your maximal front squat and that is completely okay. Remember that when we train to improve an exercise we don’t have to match our load in the accessory movement to have carry-over don’t push your loads on the cyclist front squat if you can’t yet. 

  1. Rower Or Slide Board Pike Up 

It is the big core flexion movement that helps lend itself to toe to bar flexibility as well as closed-chain handstand stability and strength. This move brings together several important characteristics of fitness all into one that each lends itself well to various movements of CrossFit. Toes to bar, handstand pushups, handstand walking, and burpees are all movements that have crossover with this pattern. 

For flexion movements like toes to bar, sit-ups, and burpees in CrossFit, the ability to bring your legs toward the torso with strength and flexibility is essential. Rower or slide board pike-up specifically focuses on that strength component while also helping in developing the flexibility to get the thighs closer to the chest. Also, in this move, the shoulders support the body weight in different angles with the arms helping in forging better-closed chain shoulder positions

However, one thing that should be kept in mind is when you move up into the pike position, bring your head as close to the rower as you can. Plus, at the top of the rep, this is going to mimic proper overhead positions for handstands so try and stare through your arms at the rowers as opposed to looking down at the floor when you are in the pike position. 

Side Plank Powell Raise 

Side Plank Powell Raise is one of the great moves that help you fight internal rotations and improve scapular retraction strength. It is an isometric core movement that’s going to get combined with another rotator cuff-specific exercise. Besides, it helps to train the frontal plane since so much of CrossFit is sagittal plane focused. 

Performing side planks bulletproof your low back against injury. CrossFit athletes have had their fair share of back injuries and a lot of it comes down to lateral stability imbalances. The side plank alone is a simple but very worthwhile drill to incorporate into training for Crossfitters to help overcome and balance out these lateral stability imbalances. 

Moreover,  giving you lateral core strength also makes your rhomboid muscles stronger to support better chest-to-bar pull-ups and upper-body gymnastics altogether. To perform this appropriately, get into the proper position and make sure your body is not rotating all over the place trying to overcome some weight that’s too heavy. 

The Bottom Line

The moves that we discussed in this article have great crossover potential with CrossFit. Whether you like to compete in sports or just like to attend a few CrossFit exercises a week at your local box these movements can help you move better, produce more power, and increase your efficiency in the sport. Most importantly, adding these moves into your fitness regimen will make you more resilient as per the demands of high-intensity fitness training i.e. CrossFit.  So, learn and add each one to your training program and send your gains to the next level.