The Concepts Behind CrossFit Exercises – Pure Strength
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The Concepts Behind CrossFit Exercises

Posted by Zach Brown on

As you certainly know, the best way to make the most of the Summer is to be physically fit. And what better workout program can you possibly adopt than CrossFit? Specifically developed to provide excellent levels of fitness to its practitioners, CrossFit is a physical training program practiced in thousands of affiliated clubs. Even firefighters, law enforcement agencies and military organizations, including the Canadian forces, SWAT and the mariners practice CrossFit workouts due to its proven effectiveness. Naturally, you can also practice. Below you will be given an insight into the physical workout principles and a list of common CrossFit exercises.


CrossFit's workout philosophy encompasses three main concepts.

1 - The first concept is based on 10 primary physical qualities that can be improved through neurological and physiological adaptations. They are the following: coordination, muscular endurance, strength, power, cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, balance, flexibility, speed, accuracy and agility. The more proficient in each of these domains you are, the fitter you become, which means that a good training program should include exercises that develop each and all of these aspects of physical conditioning.


2 - The second concept refers to the performance of any physical activity in a 'random' manner. This is, essentially, an emphasis on one's ability to perform and succeed at any kind of task that life throws at us. In this light, the CrossFit exercises are based on functional, compound and constantly varied movements because the excessive repetition in standard training programs - any type of exercise where specific movement patterns are exclusively repeated for long periods of time - typically leads individuals to develop a sort of restrictive physiological adaptation that goes completely against CrossFit's foundational principle of 'total fitness'.

Thus, CrossFit workout programs draw from many disciplines: running, rowing, jump rope, weightlifting, climbing, cardio, calisthenics and much more. Naturally, the equipments used derive from these disciplines as well. Pull-up bars, dumbbells, kettlebells or medicine balls, for example, are common sights in CrossFit gyms. Intensity is essential to obtain results. Ideally, training intensity should be very high during short periods of time.


3 - Finally, the third concept is about promoting the three metabolic pathways responsible for fueling the body with energy: namely, the phosphagen, glycolytic and oxidative systems. This means that proper physical conditioning should be developed through workouts that appropriately exercise each of the three energy systems, seeking the best possible balance between them.


Common Exercises

CrossFit's physical preparation always seeks to develop the broadest possible physical aptitude, in contrast to restrictive adaptation that focuses on just one aspect of fitness. It is, therefore, easy to understand why compound and functional movements are preferred. Now that you understand the main premises behind CrossFit exercises, you are more than ready be introduced to a list of common CrossFit workouts with brief descriptions:

Box jump - From a standing position, jump with both feet (at the same time) on top of a box or step and fully extend your legs while standing on it before returning to the ground.

Burpee - From a standing position, drop on to push-up position and do one. Pull both legs forward, and return to standing position with a small jump.

Jump rope - The most common variation in CrossFit is the double under.

Knees to elbows - Hanging in a bar, from an extended position, raise your knees until they make contact with the elbows.

Pull-up - From a hanging position with arms straight, pull up until your chin is over the bar. The variations include: Strict, in which swinging is not allowed; kipping, wherein the leg impulse is used to help complete the movement; weighted, wherein an additional weight is hung; breast bar, wherein the end point of the movement is higher and the chest makes contact with the bar and the legs are used to help propel upward; assisted, in which an elastic band allows the movement to be completed with less than the total body weight.

Rope climbing - Start climbing the rope from the ground until you reach a predesignated height. Variations include any feet and L-sit, in which the feet are kept above hip level, during the ascent.


Bottom Line

There are, in fact, hundreds of exercises included in CrossFit workout regimes; the ones presented above, simply rank among the most popular. One great thing about CrossFit is that its emphasis on non-specialization allows virtually anyone to practice it, regardless of age, fitness or experience. Training sessions can be identical for elderly people with heart problems and professional wrestlers, for example. Naturally, load and intensity are adapted. CrossFit is an incredibly versatile fitness program that offers health for everyone.

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