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CrossFit combines cardio, strength training, and Olympic weightlifting to craft a variety of fitness challenges. The sport attracts some hardcore fitness enthusiasts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t adapt it for workouts in the comfort of your home.
To do CrossFit at home, select an existing workout such as Fran, or create a circuit that incorporates strength training and cardio. You can modify workouts to use equipment you already have. You can use dumbbells or resistance bands in place of a barbell or jump rope instead of rowing on a machine.
Going to a gym and joining a community is fun, but it’s more peaceful and less intimidating to exercise at home because you can go at your own pace. In this article, we’ll show you how to adapt some infamous CrossFit workouts and how to make them more enjoyable to do at home.
CrossFit can be performed without equipment. Bodyweight workouts, training that doesn't require equipment, are fundament to CrossFit, which makes this type of exercise ideal for at-home exercise. CrossFit gives you structure and challenges to make at-home bodyweight workouts more exciting.
One of the downfalls of bodyweight training is the lack of options, which can make exercise boring, so CrossFit is a fantastic option to cure workout boredom.
Take one of the most famous workouts as proof that you can do CrossFit at home with no equipment: Murph.This tough routine honors the fallen Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy.
The goal of Murph is to do this workout as quickly as possible, so make sure to time yourself.Here’s how Murph is done by experienced CrossFitters:
Sounds easy, right? While the elite CrossFitters can rush through it, the rest of us mere mortals need to modify this a bit.
There are a few ways to make this routine more accessible.
First of all, scale back the reps.It’s also important to point out that you don’t have to do all of the pull-ups or push-ups in a row. Break them up by doing 5 at a time. You can also do mini-circuits, which means 5 reps of push-ups, 5 pull-ups, then 5 squats. This gives your arms and legs a break.
And ofcourse, if you’re not a runner, try doing a 1-mile walk.
You might want to modify the exercises as well, for instance, doing one pull-up is a feat of strength, let alone 100.
You could try swapping sit-ups for pull-ups to add a core challenge to the workout. For push-ups, try doing them from the knees. If squats are too tough, try sitting down on a chair and then standing back up.
Here’s what a modified version of Murph looks like:
Sure, it's different than the actual Murph, but it will still give you a great workout.
The key is to make sure you’re challenging yourself, but not so much that you can’t complete the workout or put yourself in danger.
Murph is fantastic for the person without any equipment, or someone looking to spice up their training a bit. But with just a few simple pieces of fitness equipment like dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, or a pull-up bar, your CrossFit options open up exponentially.
Here are 2 more ways to do CrossFit at home when you have just a couple of pieces of equipment.
With only a pair of dumbbells or a barbell, you can do another infamous CrossFit workout: Fran. When you first see this challenge, you’ll probably wonder how something so simple can be so difficult. That’s the beauty of Fran and the reason why it’s so appealing as a home workout.
That's why you may need to modify it a bit to make it work for you. There are only two exercises in this routine:the barbell thruster and pull-up, let's look at ways to make each of them more approachable.
Since there are a lot of pull-ups in this workout, you'll find a couple of alternatives to make them a bit easier to do. The first approach requires a resistance band. Simply tie it around a beam or bar that’s higher than your head.Kneel on the ground and pull the handles of the band towards your chest to simulate a pull-up.
The second way you could modify pull-ups is to grab a box, bench, or stool, and place it under your pull-up bar.You should be able to stand under the bar and grip it with your arms while reaching overhead. Jump off the box or bench as you pull with your arms to give yourself some assistance.
Keep in mind that most CrossFitters don’t do standard pull-ups, they do something called a “kipping pull-up” that uses swinging of the legs to gain momentum and help lift you towards the bar.
So if you're feeling guilty about not doing a standard pull-up (which you shouldn't feel guilty about), then keep in mind that CrossFit is built on modifications.
Even if you’re good at pull-ups, you should use a modification for at-home CrossFit workouts because they can be so challenging.
The second exercise in Fran is a thruster, which is a combination of a squat into an overhead press. CrossFit recommends that women use a 65lb barbell for the thruster exercise, but that assumes you have some experience.We recommend starting with less weight. Use a bar that weighs 35lbs or dumbbells that weigh 5-10lbs each.
To do the movement, hold the bar in front of your collarbones or the dumbbells on your shoulders. Squat down, keeping the weight at shoulder height. When you stand back up, use the momentum to press the weight overhead until your elbows are straight. Then, lower the weight and repeat.
And there you have it, ways to modify Fran so it's more feasible for your fitness and goals. Now then, here's how the workout is structured.
The structure of Fran is simple. Do the following in as little time as possible:
Keep track of your time and try to beat it the next time you try this workout.Keep in mind that for each exercise you may need to pause for a break before continuing your set. That’s why you’re timing yourself! As you improve, you should be able to take fewer and fewer breaks.
Fran's not the only CrossFit workout you can do with simple equipment; Eva is just as minimalist but packs a hefty punch.
Another CrossFit workout that requires very little equipment is Eva.For this, you only need a kettlebell and a pull-up bar. Similar to Fran, you can use a resistance band to do a modified pull-up or use a bench or box to jump into the pull-up.
Here’s how CrossFit experts do Eva:
Thankfully,CrossFit provides a modified version of Eva for beginners. While it’s still not easy, it’s not nearly as grueling as the advanced version.
In the modified workout, CrossFit recommends using a 12-kilogram kettlebell for the swings, which comes out to roughly 26 pounds.That’s still a lot of weight, especially if you’ve never done swings before, so feel free to use something lighter. Kettlebell swings can be tricky, and heavy weight added to improper form is an easy way to injure yourself.
So make it easier on yourself with lighter weight until your master form.
Here’s the modified version of Eva:
Remember to use modifications for the pull-ups, similar to the ones you used for Fran.Time yourself and try to do it faster with each workout!
Fitness expert and cycling coach Jordi Sadurni uses CrossFit-style workouts for her clients who have gyms at home. She has two workouts that she recommends, the first for beginners and the second for more advanced fitness enthusiasts.
If you have access to a gym in your home or complex, then you should certainly give these a try.
The first workout is 5 rounds of bodyweight exercises:
This workout is pretty intense, but for those looking for an even more challenging workout, Sadurni made this next one for you.
If you're up for the challenge, Sadurni recommends a 10-round circuit of the following 3 exercises:
Our hats are off to you if you completed this in full! If you've tried any of the workouts in this article, whether you completed them or not, our hats are off to you as well. None of the CrossFit workouts listed here are easy, so it's important to know your limits and how many times to do them each week.
Beginners should aim for 3 days of CrossFit per week in 25-minute increments. This recommendation stems from thePAGA's guidance of 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, where CrossFit is classified as vigorous.
Since CrossFit is taxing on the body, you should take days off regularly, and this three-day plan provides enough time to recuperate each week.
One of the most impressive things about CrossFit is the variety of workouts they have. You cancheck the CrossFit website daily for new workouts, or Workout of the Day (WoD) as they're better known. You’ll notice that some of the workouts they post are dedicated rest days.
Three days isn't a set rule thoughif you mix vigorous exercise with something more moderate, such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming. Doing so can limit the strain you place on your body.
Despite the perception that CrossFit is for fitness experts, large classes, or requires a gym,you can adapt most of the workouts to be effective in your home. That might mean using different equipment from what CrossFitters normally recommend or changing the workouts to make them less grueling.
If you’re bored with your at-home routine or feel that you’ve been limiting yourself to one style of working out, try CrossFit. The mix of cardio and strength training is refreshing and challenging, and the wide variety of workouts will keep you entertained.