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CrossFit home workouts: a strength, gymnastics and cardio workout to do from your living room

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Think CrossFit is too scary to do from home? Think again with this expertly-planned WOD. 

CrossFit is a very divisive workout. Those who do it love the multi-skill training style and the baptism into the huge, passionate community. The rest of us find it terrifying. 

This is because the CrossFit we see online is often professional athletes competing in intense competitions, flipping tyres like they’re feathers and pulling their bodies up and around bars higher than treetops. It doesn’t feel like the kind of thing the average exerciser could get involved in – and it definitely doesn’t feel like a training style that can be translated into the home. 

However, it goes without saying that CrossFitters haven’t simply given up on their workouts now that they don’t have access to their boxes. When I ask Jess Rossat, head trainer at CrossFit gym WIT Training, how she’s managing without all of the kit and heavy weights she laughs. “I’ve been training from home for so long now that I forgot that that is people’s impression of the sport. I haven’t even seen a gym with a tyre in so long,” she says. 

Instead, she and her clients have been training at home with very minimal weights – often just one dumbbell or kettlebell – but fulfilling the sport’s three main training principles: weight lifting, gymnastics and metabolic condition (or cardio-based activities). The idea is that you perform exercises across these disciplines for a “constantly varied, functional, high-intensity session,” says Jess. You now see how it’s easier to do CrossFit at home than you previously thought. 

“You won’t be able to do pull-ups without a pull-up bar, but you can still have that same stimulus by doing rows. You can still do cardio without a machine [such as an air bike] by doing runs, jumps and burpees. And you can learn to kick up to handstand from home,” says Jess.

In fact, for those who are new to the sport, home CrossFit sessions are a great way to start. “You see these people from the CrossFit Games on your TV or on social media and people get really intimidated about stepping into a gym because they aren’t that fit and strong. But doing it from home gives you some extra comfort,” says Jess. 

Home CrossFit workouts: you only need one or two weights
Home CrossFit workouts: you only need one or two weights

How do you do CrossFit at home?

A CrossFit workout is made up of four key sections, each helping you to get stronger, fitter and more flexible. Jess has mapped out how it works so that you can programme your own session. She’s also shared exercise ideas anyone of any experience can follow if you want to be guided through the workout step-by-step. 

Mobility warm-up

“This will be a full-body mobilising session but will also focus on specific muscles and joints depending on what the session will be. For example, if we’ll be doing a lot of squats, we’ll focus on the hips and ankles,” says Jess. 

Skill or strength session

“This could be focusing on building strength using your dumbbell or kettlebells, or a floor practice. So it could be bent over rows, deadlifts, squats or some kind of handstand work.”

Jess suggests doing this superset (meaning perform one after the other without a break in between) to help you with your handstands. It’s perfect for any level of CrossFitter too.

30-second handstand hold 

  1. If you can, hold a handstand for the allotted time, simply readjusting when you fall down. 
  2. If you’re not there yet, kick up against a wall to hold the position, making sure that your tailbone is tucked and your shoulders are away from your ears. 
  3. Alternatively, do a pike plank, “which is a downward dog but leaning forward to put more weight through your hands and shoulders as you would in a handstand.”

30-second hollow body hold 

  1. Lie on your back and tuck your tailbone by squeezing your belly button to your spine and pushing your pubic bone towards the sky. Your spine should be imprinted on the floor.
  2. Take your arms overhead and hold your hands off the floor. At the same time, squeeze your feet together and lift your legs so they are hovering a couple of inches above the floor. 
  3. If that is too intense, bend the knees so they are at a right angle and your calves are parallel with the floor. Your arms can also come down your sides, squeezing the elbows into your ribs. 

WOD (Workout Of The Day) 

“This could be a short and gentle pace, or slightly harder. I love doing exercises that front rack your weight to get the midline and shoulders working, such as a front racked squat or a press.” 

Jess suggests trying this circuit for a full-body strength and cardio workout. 

16 x butterfly sit-ups 

  1. Lie on the floor with the soles of your feet together and legs open so your knees are close to the ground. 
  2. Take your arms overhead and then squeeze through your core to lift yourself to sitting, bringing your arms up and over to touch your toes. 
  3. Slowly lower back down. 

16 front rack lunges

  1. Hold one or two dumbbells at shoulder height with your elbows lifted up. 
  2. Keeping your back flat, take a big step forward with your right foot and bend both knees to come into a lunge position. 
  3. Press through your right foot to step back to the starting position, then repeat on your left side. 

12 push-presses 

  1. Hold the weights back at shoulder height. 
  2. Bend the knees a little and press through your feet to lift onto the ball of your toes. As you do that, press your arms overhead so that the weights come towards the ceiling.
  3. Bring the weights back to shoulder height as you bend the knees again, ready to press back up.

Complete five rounds as fast as you can with as little rest as possible. 


Cooldown 

“We always re-group at the end to stretch and talk about how the session went for everyone.” 

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Images: Getty 

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Chloe Gray

Chloe Gray is the senior writer for stylist.co.uk's fitness brand Strong Women. When she's not writing or lifting weights, she's most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).

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