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The most popular exercises in CrossFit

CrossFit is a growing sport and one of the most pointed reasons for its practice is the variability of stimuli and the lack of monotony.

One of the characteristics of this sport is the variety.

As such, it is expected that, on the basis of this sport, there is a very wide range of movements, ranging from weightlifting movements to gymnastics and metabolic conditioning exercises.

The metabolic conditioning training framed in CrossFit involves a high intensity and contributes to the improvement of cardiovascular resistance, strength and speed.

According to Greg Glassman (the great mentor of CrossFit) the metabolic conditioning:

“(…) refers to conditioning exercises intended to increase the storage and delivery of energy for any activity.”

Although CrossFit conjugate other sports, he still “created” new moves, picked up others and returned to bring them into the limelight and added a “twist” in some.

Do you know what are some of the most popular exercises in CrossFit?  

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The most popular exercises in CrossFit

In the CrossFit, the exercises involving various muscle groups are dominant.

The mechanics (translated into technique) is always the determining factor in the execution of the exercises.

It is important that before you increase the intensity, you understand if your technique is the most efficient.

It is difficult to elect the most popular exercises of such a complete sport.


Probably the most famous, this exercise was reborn with the emergence of CrossFit.


In the CrossFit, to perform a burpee, we start from the standing position with the arms to the side of the body and the feet with shoulder-width apart. The body is lowered to the plank position and it touches with the thighs and the chest on the floor, it returns to the initial position with the extension of the hip and the knees and with a jump at the same time.

Attention! It is necessary to extend the arms over the head.



This exercise is probably a creation of CrossFit. It’s one of the most intense exercises.

It is a movement that mixes a frontal squat with a push press above the head.


Holding the bar above the front deltoids, do a squat (feet a little farther apart than the width of the shoulders, pointed forward and with the back stable. Inhale and lower the hip backwards until the knees are fleeted – without exceeding the tip of the foot – and keep the body slightly tilted forward.

Climb the body and the bar towards the ceiling. The final position is the one in which the arms are in full extension holding the bar and keeping the legs stretched.

Box Jump

box jump

The jumps to the box are also very popular among fitness lovers.

They require power and endurance.


The box jump consists of jumping into a box with 60 cm (height), for men, and 50 cm for women.

The jump has to be run with both feet at the same time. It ends up with the hip extension at the end of the movement.

Rope Climb

rope climb

It is a very common movement in the military world and much used in CrossFit as well. It is a very intense exercise, because the muscles are constantly in tension so that it is possible to keep on the rope.


It consists of climbing a rope at a certain height in the most efficient way possible.

There are many variations to the realization of this exercise. The most common are the climbs to the rope with help of the feet and the ones without help of the feet, only using the strength of the torso to do so.

Double unders

One of the exercises that needs more coordination.


They are similar to the jumps to rope of childhood with the slight difference that the rope has to pass twice under the practitioner every time he jumps.

Currently, there are already competitions that ask for the execution of triple unders (triple jumps).

The trick here is on the ability to drive and learn how to control the rope.



The squat is a fundamental movement in the practice of this sport as it is for our life.

The only difference is that, in this sport, the squat is standardized, it means that it is the same for everyone.


Standing, feet away a little beyond the width of the shoulders, push the hip back and bend the knees without exceeding the tip of the foot and the torso slightly tilted forward.

The rules require that a squat, to be valid, has to break the parallel and end with the extension of the hip – the alignment with the ground exceeds the parallel line.

The deep squat (as is the case of the one I suggest) is a complex movement.

However, it is something that should be trained progressively in order to maintain the health of the knee joint. Studies suggest that the squat below the parallel has a positive impact on the stabilization of the knee joint.

The deep squat is also an excellent way to train with greater amplitude the muscles involved in the movement.

In the literature there is nothing that points to the need to decrease the amplitude of the movement in the squat, because this is something common in our daily life.

In conclusion…

There is a wide variety of exercises at CrossFit and there are still several variants for each of them.

It is this variety that makes Crossfit title as the sport of fitness, because the goal is not to be expert in anything and be prepared for the unexpected.

The better the level of fitness of each person, the more easily they will find strategies for problem solving.

The goal is to train outside the comfort zone by challenging the body to evolve with each workout, avoiding the inherent stagnation of repetitive training.

Variety of stimuli to different intensities are fundamental to generate better results.

Try some of these exercises now and see more about CrossFit in this article.


The information included in this article concerns the authors opinion only.

About Tiago Sousa

Tiago Sousa
Tiago Sousa has a degree in Sports & Physical Education, he is a Personal Trainer and also a Crossfit L1 Trainer. He is a former competition swimmer with his own outdoor training business. He aims to bring more science to his area, helping people to achieve their goals in a safe way.

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