CrossFit demands you work on your weaknesses, sticking points and most importantly mobility. Surprisingly, you can learn from a bodybuilding workout to get out of your comfort zone for better results in your Crossfit WODs. Author : John Hayes is an athletic trainer and owner of JHPT Performance Training.
Increase your CrossFit strength and power by strengthening your glutes
One of the most common CrossFit weakness is not being able to activate your glutes during squats, cleans and snatches. This combined with a weakness in the knees, causing them to moving in during lifts. The following moves will help strengthen the key areas that can be the cause of these problems. Do them 1-2 times per week.
1. Barbell glute bridge (3x 8-10 reps)
Why? This exercise will help with your squat, clean, snatch, wall balls and thrusters where you pop the hip in the final part.
A. Rest a barbell on your hips with your upper body supported on a bench and feet shoulder width apart.
B) Lower your glutes to the floor then explode your hips back to the start.
2. Bulgarian split squat (3x 10-12 reps)
Why? This gets you used to putting all your weight on one leg, improving balance you need to progress towards pistol squats.
A) Place one foot 2-3 feet in front of the other with your back foot placed firmly on top of a bench or 30cm box.
B) Making sure your front heel stays on the floor, bend the front leg’s knee and hip to lower yourself as far as possible then return to the start.
Upper body bodybuilding workout to increase your Crossfit output
3. Strict pull-ups (3x 8-12 reps)
Why? Focusing on our strict movements help when you move onto the gymnastic side of CrossFit – gymnastic rings, kipping pull-ups and any pulling movements. This will improve your upper back and bicep strength.
A) Grab the pull-up bar with an overhand grip that’s shoulder-width apart. Hang at arm’s length so your elbows are completely extended.
B) Bend your elbows to pull yourself up until your chin crosses the plane of the bar. Pause then slowly lower yourself to the starting position without allowing your body to sway.
4. Dumbbell bent over row (3x 8-10 reps)
Why? It’s excellent at helping your hold the shoulders in position while the dumbbell prevent imbalances, benefiting you in the clean, the deadlift, kipping pull ups and rings.
A) Stand holding a pair of dumbbells, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back flat, bend forward at the hips until your back is almost parallel to the floor. Your legs should be straight but unlocked; your arms straight under your shoulders and your palms facing each other.
B) Slowly draw the weights up toward your sides at belly button height. Pause, then slowly lower the weights.
5. Seated dumb-bell shoulder press (3x 8-10 reps)
Why? CrossFit has a lot of overhead movements and this move will improve the stability in your shoulders.
A) Sit on the edge of a bench with the back pad set to vertical. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and hoist them up so they’re on either side of your head.
B) Straighten your arms to push the weights above your head. Do not lock your elbows at the top of the movement then slowly lower them to the start position.
6. Hammer curls (3x 8-10 reps)
Why? Strong forearms equal strong levers throughout your body that helps you hit all your reps without your arms fatiguing.
A) Stand with your feet hip-width apart while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Your palms should be facing each other.
B) Bend your elbows to curl the weights to a point that’s just below your shoulders. Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement then slowly lower them to the start.
Mobility means power
You can be super strong, but if your mobility is lacking, you’ll struggle with the perfect positioning in lifts. The shoulders are the number one muscle group to keep flexible as they help you with the positioning in key moves such as the overhead squat, snatch and the clean and jerk. Here’s what you need to do at least twice a week performing three sets of 12 reps on each move.
1. Resistance band/PVC pipe/broomstick pass-overs
Hold a wide overhand grip on the band/pipe/stick, with arms straight. Take the pipe back over your head and back as far as you can towards your lower back. Opening up the shoulders and upper back. Return back to the start, rotating through the shoulders and keeping your arms straight.
2. Face pulls
Fix a rope attachment to the cable-crossover machine so it’s inline with your upper chest. Pull the rope toward your face and finish in a double biceps pose.
3. Flat against a wall
Stand against a wall keeping your lower back, upper back, shoulders, elbows and hands all against the wall. Slowly raise your arms above your head, trying to keep your arms and hands against the wall. Return to the start.