Cardiovascular fitness, Fitness & Training

Everything you need to know to get started with CrossFit

If you want to learn more about the basic exercises and the principle of this cardio discipline trend, find out everything you need to know to get started with CrossFit. By learning the key movements and equipping yourself with quality equipment, you can achieve your first WOD (work out of the day) in the best conditions at home.

Try CrossFit, the cross-training trend

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CrossFit is a popular sports discipline combining fitness, weightlifting and cardio exercises in various sets of exercises. Under the licence,  cross-training  is often carried out in the gym, offering the challenging use of teamwork in a supportive environment. You can reproduce this idea at home. A complementary activity, CrossFit helps develop strength, resistance, flexibility, endurance, balance and precision and quickly improves your physical condition without ever being boring.

The basic CrossFit exercises to create your first WOD

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With CrossFit, each session consists of a WOD (workout of the day), a challenge consisting of a sequence of exercises with body weight or with accessories. There are reference WODs, called Benchmarks, and you can also create your own.

10 CrossFit exercises for beginners

To create your first WOD, learn how to do some basic CrossFit exercises:

  • The Bear Walk: Walk on all fours, without putting your knees on the ground, keeping your chest as horizontal as possible.
  • Hand Release Push Up or HRPU: Perform a push-up. In the lowered position, lie down and lift your palms from the floor for a few seconds before resuming the movement.
  • The Hollow Rock: Lie on your back and raise your legs a few centimetres, keeping them taut and tight. At the same time, place your arms outstretched behind your head, with your hands together. With your body supported, swing back and forth.
  • The V-up: Lie on your back with your arms stretched out above your head, and then touch your hands and feet.
  • The Wall Walk: Leaning on your hands, step by step, with your feet up a wall behind you, gradually bring your hands together until your body is vertical.
  • The Air Squat: Standing with your legs shoulder-width apart, fix upon a point in front of you and extend your arms forward. On the inhalation, descend by bending the legs, without the knees going beyond the tips of the feet and while keeping the back straight. Go back up while exhaling.
  • Front Squat: This weightlifting exercise consists of performing a squat by carrying a bar loaded with weights at the front of the body, at shoulder level. To keep your balance, keep your hips vertical to the bar.
  • Back Squat or Overhead Squat: This is also a squat with weights, but with the bar at the neck. If the weight is heavy, hold your breath during the descent.
  • The Push Jerk: Support a loaded bar on your shoulders, in front of your neck. Bend your knees and then quickly push the bar upwards as you stand up. Keep your knees bent and the bar above your head, slightly backwards. Straighten your legs and centre the bar.
  • Deadlift or lifting from the ground: With your feet spread apart at hip width, lean forward to lift a bar placed on the ground. At the end of the movement, you should be standing with your arms at your sides, holding the bar.

Your 21 day CrossFit programme

To create your first WOD, combine several exercises and compose a progressive programme over 21 days. Usually, a CrossFit WOD combines exercises without equipment, cardio activities and weightlifting work. If you train at home, you can choose just bodyweight exercises. Other strength-building exercises, such as burpees, jumping Jacks, lunges or mountain climbers, can enhance your sessions. Here is an example of a programme to get you started:

  • Week 1: 10 Bear Walk steps, 10 V-ups, 10 Hollow Rocks, 10 Wall Walks, 10 HRPU, 10 Air Squats, with 5 jumping Jacks between each set to boost your cardio.
  • Week 2: Increase to series of 15 movements and change the order of the exercises each day.
  • Week 3: Increase to 20 movements per exercise and add a few burpees after the jumping Jacks.

CrossFit at home: The right accessories

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To do CrossFit at home, you can equip yourself with accessories, such as a medicine ball, a swiss ball, a skipping rope, a weightlifting bar and kettlebells. A CrossFit device like NordickTrack’s Fusion CST allows you to work on resistance, strength and cardio in the best conditions. With its 4 pairs of pulleys distributed at several heights and an adjustable difficulty level automatically adjusted according to the selected iFit® programme, challenge yourself with this top-of-the-range fitness equipment, on which you can perform an infinite number of movements with performance monitoring. It is available with or without a rowing machine.

The NordicTrack® Vault Fitness Station, with its swivelling HD touch screen monitor, behind which you can store your equipment, is ideal for starting CrossFit without a misstep! Reproduce the movements of your iFit® coach in real-time without the risk of making mistakes.

NordicTrack devices are compatible with iFit® coaching solutions: Access thousands of WOD videos and join a community of passionate athletes!

Check out our Fitness & Training page for more advice.