In most elementary CrossFit gym classes, physical fitness is equated with strength challenges such as pull-ups and push-ups. As a matter of fact, push-ups have been one of the standards against which CrossFitters have tested their strength. There are various types of push-ups which even the most seasoned weightlifters find difficult to execute. Below are the top 4 and if you can do a set of 10 for each of these, you are a monstrous powerlifter. Superman Push-Up This push-up may also be known as LaLanne fingertip push-up after its founder Jack LaLanne. It is considered one of the hardest push-up variations in the CrossFit industry. To do it, you lie on the ground with your arms and legs fully extended. To start the push-up, press your toes and fingertips into the ground and use your toes to keep you grounded as you push through your fingertips to raise your body off the ground. To do this workout successfully, you need great chest strength, powerful shoulders, a strong core, as well as muscular arms to enable you to push your body off the ground. One-Arm Push-Up This is another challenging workout even for the most seasoned weightlifters. You start by getting yourself into the normal push-up position. After that, widen your feet so that their width surpasses that of your shoulder. With one hand pressed behind your back, gradually lower yourself to the ground. Aztec Push-Up This push-up variation utilizes the concept of plyometrics. They involve an explosive push from the floor with your chest and hands flying off the floor. If you feel you want to add an element to make this variation even more difficult, then attempt to clap before coming back down. The starting position is similar to that of other push-ups, but the difference comes as you explode up from the bottom. In the Aztec push-up, you drive your entire body straight into the air with a goal of touching your toes. After that, you straighten your hands to break your fall as you return to the standard position. Planche Push-Up This is the toughest of all push-up CrossFit workouts you will find you will find at the CrossFit gym. It requires a tremendous amount of chest strength as well as stronger forearms, hands, wrists, and shoulders. The reason why planche push-up is an incredibly difficult push-up variation to undertake is due to the need to first master the planche position. In the planche position, the center of your body gravity rests over your hands. With your arms, shoulders, and hands supporting your entire weight and your legs off the ground, you will need lots of strength to execute or perform this push-up.  When done regularly as part of your CrossFit training regime, push-ups, though challenging, will strengthen your shoulders, chest, arms, and your back. You will enjoy impressive stability, and you will always maintain a proper form. So, you can do these different types of push up in your CrossFit gym.
If you are a beginner in handstand push-ups, one of the things you will have to overcome is the fear of turning upside down. Afterwards, you will have to develop incredible control and strength on your upper body to successfully press up and down. It is crucial for you to know the muscles involved during a handstand push-up as this will help you in the course of the CrossFit exercise. The Shoulders During a handstand push-up CrossFit exercise, you are literally standing on your hands with your legs straight up in the air. This means your shoulders will be bearing the brunt of your weight. This is more noticeable as you bend your elbows and press back up. The front of the shoulder cap and other parts of the anterior deltoids are the most used in this position. These are the muscles that connect your chest to your arms and are extremely useful with swinging, pushing, and lifting actions. To work these muscles out so that they can strengthen and bear your body weight, go for overhead presses such as barbell press or dumbbell shoulder press. For effectiveness, including the presses in 2 or 3 upper body workouts each week. Continue adding the weights to allow you to maintain good form. Pectoralis Major This is the biggest chest muscle. It is shaped much like a fan and spans the entire chest wall. The handstand push-up works the clavicular or the upper region of the pectoralis major muscle. Triceps Brachii This is a 3-headed muscle found on the back portion of your upper arm. It is responsible for elbow extension. The triceps brachii engages when you press back up all the way to straight arms down from a push-up. Lateral Deltoid The anterior deltoids are made up of two components: the posterior and the lateral deltoid. When you are doing a handstand push-up, the top portion or lateral deltoid engages to balance out your bodyweight as well as facilitate the press. Trapezius This is one of the main back muscles. It is responsible for stabilizing the scapula which is also known as the shoulder blades as well as keeping your neck in extension. Including the handstand push-up in your CrossFit training schedule ensures that you utilize the upper and middle section of the trapezius. Serratus Anterior This may also be known as the boxer’s muscle. It covers the uppermost ribs, wrapping around from your chest to your back. The main role of the serratus anterior is to stabilize the shoulder blades when doing the handstand push-up. The Importance of Stability in Handstand Push-Up Contrary to what some people may think or imagine, a handstand push-up is more than just muscle contraction. During the move, several muscles come together to stabilize your body. Some of these muscles include the core and all those muscles of the erector spinae and abdomen that run alongside your spine. The engagement of these muscles prevents your body from collapsing at the torso or hips. Your biceps especially the shortest head and the long head of your triceps keep your elbow straight while you are at the top of your handstand. Always remember to start modestly and your CrossFit exercise should be supported by the appropriate CrossFit diet.  
If you have been keen on CrossFit athletes, most of them have muscular forearms. This is great because the grip strength they typify is vital if you are into lifting. A stronger grip strength gives you an advantage in lifting more weight in the CrossFit gym as you do powerful moves such as deadlift and pull-ups. This is why anyone wanting to build muscle all over must start with a stronger grip. That said, not everyone visiting the CrossFit box has stronger grip strength. This is because some athletes are masking their weaknesses while others rely solely on machine-based workouts which more often than not neglect challenging the forearm. If this is you and you want some tips to build your grip strength, read along. Do not Encourage Weakness Tools such as grip aids and wrist straps are only effective in putting a band-aid on your weak grip. Instead of challenging your grip to become stronger, these tools will encourage your body to become dependent and this weakens your forearms. The best approach is to lift slightly less weight so that you can hold it without the need for assistance. When you develop your grip strength, your ability to lift more will increase, and this will stimulate your body to grow. Regularly Train Your Grip Your grip should be trained daily. Every time you are in the box lifting and pulling, remember to train your grip. When you incorporate grip in your CrossFit WOD, the repetitive stress will make your grip strength to experience a quick jump, and this will further develop your forearms. Try to include core exercises such as farmer’s walks to help you in your grip. This workout is also great as a forearm and midsection finisher. Lift Heavy Instead of training with light wrist curls for lots of sets, consolidate your workout and train the rest of your body together with your grip. Incorporating body weight rows, pull-ups, and heavy deadlifts, your entire arm will develop including your grip. Add weight to rack deadlifts to help you challenge your grip. Other exercises such as walking lunges must not be neglected, and you can combine them with dumbbells to give you an opportunity to build a stronger grip. Go for Grip Builders There are lots of grip building tools in the CrossFit industry which can stimulate your body. The beauty with grip builders is that they help in amplifying your results through an increase in active demand. An easier way to enhance the thickness of handhold is to wrap a towel around the bar or handle when doing any CrossFit exercise. Another simple, but powerful tool for building your grip strength is squeezing the bar. When you press the bar during a set, you will activate higher grip, and this gives you more gains in grip strength. Instead of allowing the bar to slide towards your fingers, lock it firmly in the palm of your hands so that you can hold it in place. When you engage your grip more, your strength numbers will gradually spiral upwards.
Every athlete stepping into the CrossFit gym has their goal in check. For some, their goals could be athletic while others physique. Whichever you go for, your back strength, glute, and hamstring play a crucial role. One of the most loved workouts in CrossFit is the classic barbell lifts. The reason being they are effective and do not need as much special equipment which means anyone can do them at any place. The barbell lifts are the bread and butter exercises and should form the center of your program. However, this doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice the time for other specialized work. Anyone seeing the glute-ham raise for the first time may be led to believe that it is difficult. This is expected and understandable because the glute-ham raise scotches your lower body like no other exercise. Lifters who have tried this workout have ended up experiencing an unexpected boost in their squat and deadlift. Other beneficiaries of the glute-ham raise have been sprinters and other athletes. It Focuses on Posterior Muscles Lots of weightlifting programs concentrate on the anterior muscles at the expense of the posterior or back muscles. The posterior chain consists of all the muscles you can’t possibly see in a mirror. They include the spinal erectors, rotator cuff muscles, or glutes, hamstrings, as well as rhomboids and lats. If you neglect these muscles and instead prioritize arms, chest, and quads, you will be a lot less stronger than you look which certainly is not a good thing. Imagine having a 6 pack and suffering from epic arms and back pain. The solution is to emphasize more on the muscles of the posterior chain, and nothing does this better than the glute-ham raise CrossFit workout. It’s Different from Deadlifts and Squats It is common to hear athletes commenting that the deadlifts and squats they are doing are sufficient for the posterior chain. However, the glute-ham raise if performed correctly is a different movement pattern from any of the above. It allows you to maintain a straight body down from the knees all the way up to the neck. It is one of the few known workouts that train your hip extension and knee flexion at the same time. To do this movement, you will be required to generate significant muscular tension as well as control which makes it a great athletic movement. It Doesn’t Require a Bench One of the common reasons athletes give for not including the glute-ham raise in their CrossFit training schedule is their lack of access to the right equipment. While this may be a legitimate problem, it has a simple solution. There is a version of the workout known as natural glute-ham raise which can be done virtually anywhere. For instance, you can have your training partner hold your ankles while seated on the floor. You can also use an ab bench for the workout. However, one thing you must acknowledge is that simply because it is a natural workout doesn’t mean that it is easy to do. The level of difficulty remains the same. If you have been looking for a workout to add to your program, the glute-ham raise is one of those you cannot afford to leave behind.
Exercises can be divided mainly into two categories: compound and isolation. While isolation CrossFit exercises involve the movement around a single joint, compound exercises involve movement around more joints than just one. Also, isolation exercises regarding target aim at a small number of muscles while compound exercises target at a large number of muscles. The thruster is one of the most effective compound exercises which allow you to perform a high volume of workout within a short time. Compared to other movements, the thruster has the greatest carry over into physical and sports performance. What is a Thruster? In simplicity, a thruster refers to a combination of two compound weight training exercises: overhead press and the front squat. For this reason, the thruster can also be referred to as complexes. When performing the thruster, CrossFit athletes use kettlebells, dumbbells, medicine balls, barbells, and many more. Well, any heavy object can be used in this exercise. The performance methodology involves standing with your feet at a distance apart equivalent to shoulder width. Your chosen weight should be in front of your shoulder, and your elbows should be positioned below your hands. Then, lift your chest, push back your hips, and gradually bend your knees. After that, you have to slowly squat down until the thighs are parallel to the floor. Then, drive up explosively and maintain the momentum of the bar by extending your arms and pushing the weight overhead at arm's length. Lower the bar back to your shoulders as you bend your arms and then squat down before doing a repeat. The Anatomy of the Thruster Adding the thruster to your CrossFit workout of the day will benefit your major muscles including the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps.  The part of the thruster that works out your legs muscles is squatting. Your legs generate some force which is transmitted to your upper body through the lower back and abdominal muscles. The powerful push that drives the weight overhead originates from the triceps and upper back. The Benefits Thrusters are usually done using a variety of repetition and set schemes which target different elements of your fitness. High rep, light-weight sets dramatically elevate your heart rate and enhance your cardiovascular fitness because they are metabolically demanding. On the other hand, low-rep, heavyweight sets develop muscular power and strength. When you perform thrusters using an unstable object such as a sandbag or water-filled barrel, your core strength will be significantly improved. If you want to enhance your balance, try using dumbbells as your weights in the thruster. It is not advisable to include thrusters in a beginner CrossFit training programme. This is because of the high-risk nature of this exercise characterized by the heavyweight lifting and complex, coordinated movements. Argued in another way, thrusters place a potentially injurious and significant load on the lumbar spine which requires perfect technique else the lower back can become rounded.
Chest to bar pull-ups is one of the common CrossFit movements athletes should familiarize themselves with. To do them, you need some strength in place as well as technique. If you have been struggling to do chest to bar pull-ups or you want to add them to your CrossFit workout routine, here are some tips to help you improve. Explore Different Options Previously, these pull-ups have been paired with thrusters. Whether you are training for the competition or just for your personal fitness, it is good to try out different options on the chest to bar pull-ups. There are two main options worth trying, the first being palm facing towards and the other palm facing away. The first option is called regular pull-ups while the second is chin ups. Both of these options are legitimate and highly recommended in CrossFit training. Other options you may explore include kipping, butterfly, and strict. In between these options, you should know when to drop off the bar so that your energy is not wasted in failed reps. Developing Your Kipping/ Butterfly Technique Compared to the kipping chest to bar pull-ups, butterfly chest to bar pull-ups are much quicker and efficient. Try as much as you can to keep tight through your legs and torso. If you want to do butterfly chest to bar pull-ups in a more efficient way, try remaining tight throughout your torso instead of doing big circles or cycling backward. Get Enough Strength If for some reason you cannot successfully do chest to bar pull-ups CrossFit exercises, you may need to start with eccentric pull-ups. Begin practicing eccentric pull-ups on a box and gradually lower yourself to the bottom. After that, pull up back to the starting position and stick to about 5 sets. This will help you get sufficient strength to execute chest to bar pull-ups with much ease. Toes Up or Pointed If you are working out from a purist point of view, you may prefer to keep your toes pointed. However, from a physio viewpoint, people require different strategies. For instance, if your back strength is better than your abdominal strength, toes up will give you better results because it will tension your anterior muscles. On the other hand, pointed toes activate your posterior muscles which are important for CrossFitters who have stronger abs and relatively weaker back muscles. The bottom line is to find out what exactly works for you and stick with that. All through your chest to bar CrossFit training program, ensure you engage your coach to enable you to identify and rectify areas of weaknesses. Most coaches won’t have a problem to tell you what to concentrate on and the additional exercises to undertake following your workouts. For beginners, one on one coaching sessions is invaluable because they help you realize what you are doing wrong and do it right.
It is commonplace to see gym goers using weighted balls to CrossFit exercises. These balls are versatile and often used to target certain fitness aspects such as explosive power, strength, and conditioning. Exercise balls come in 3 categories which include medicine balls, slam balls, and wall balls. For a person who regularly uses them in the CrossFit gym, telling them apart is a no-brainer. However, for a newbie, it can be quite a challenge differentiating them. If you have been wondering how each ball is suitable for your unique workout situation, read along. Wall Balls As the name suggests, wall balls are used in exercises which is some way incorporates walls. These balls have been designed in such a manner as to absorb the impact of the collision with a rigid surface. Wall balls are often larger and made of vinyl with a padded outer layer thereby making them visible and convenient to catch while exercising. Some of the activities that incorporate a wall ball include wall squats, wall throws, and wall sit-ups. The ball is often thrown at a wall, bounces back into the hands of the person exercising, and then thrown back repeatedly. The main reason why wall balls are used is to enhance the experience and effects of the particular workout. Regarding weight, the ball ranges from 2 to 50 pounds and regarding size, it varies from anything to the size of a beach ball. Wall balls can also be used to improve the result of CrossFit exercises using bodyweight by only holding the ball. If you want to increase the difficulty level of core exercises such as lunges, sit-ups, and squats, use these balls. Slam Balls Of all the balls mentioned, slam balls are considered the heaviest and the most durable. The outer layer of these balls is made of tough rubber, thereby enabling them to withstand constant throwing on all manner of ground surfaces. Being solid balls, slam balls have little if any rebound, therefore, making them efficient for workouts. The most popular workout which utilizes a slam ball is the ball slam. Here, the person exercising throws the ball to the ground while simultaneously doing a squat and after that picking it up and repeating the cycle. The reason why slam balls are included in CrossFit exercises is for the improvement of the cardiovascular fitness and the overall strength of the athlete. In numerous exercises such as lunges and squats, slam balls can also be used as free weights. However, when used in throwing exercises, they are most effective. Which is Better of the Two? Having seen what the slam ball and wall ball are designed to do and their unique features, the question remains, which is preferable to the other? When looking for a ball that is heavy-duty and which can withstand hard throws and different surfaces, then the slam ball carries the day. They are durable and best suited for activities involving ball throwing on hard surfaces. However, when it comes to workouts that require partner work or rebounding, the wall ball is the best. When enrolling in CrossFit training, the wall ball is often preferred because most of the exercises here are throwing exercises.