CrossFit-Style Beginner Workouts

Maybe someday my back muscles will look like this…

A few folks have asked me if I have any beginner workouts I would recommend that they can try on their own at home.

First of all, let me make it very very clear that I am NOT a CrossFit trainer, I do not have any coaching or training credentials, and I would not recommend doing any of these movements without professional instruction because it is very easy to get injured if you do even the simplest movement the wrong way.

That being said, most of these moves are pretty basic, and if you are willing to risk it, here are a few CrossFit-esque workouts I would recommend for beginners to do at home. Most of these are bodyweight movements, meaning you need no special equipment whatsoever, and for a few of these you might need a dumbbell, a bar, or a plate. Most people have at least some workout equipment laying around the house, but you can also substitute heavy everyday objects like one of the snow tires you have sitting in your garage or a large bag of flour or soil. Lastly, If you don’t recognize the name of a movement, I would recommend looking it up on YouTube.

Beginner WOD #1: The Ladder
Equipment needed: None

Warm Up:
3 Rounds (go at your own pace, but try not to rest more than 5 or 10 seconds between movements, and only 20 or 30 seconds between rounds):
50 jumping jacks
10 push-ups
10 air squats

30 second each side lunge stretch
60 seconds butterfly stretch
30 seconds Michael Phelps-style arm swings
30 seconds wide arm circles forward
30 seconds wide arm circles backward

For time (AKA, as fast as you can!):
50 push-ups
40 lunges (count each leg)
30 sit-ups
20 air squats
10 burpees
60 second plank hold
10 burpees
20 air squats
30 sit-ups
40 lunges (count each leg)
50 push-ups

Beginner WOD #2: Butt Blaster
Equipment Needed: Super lightweight bar for warm-up, like a broom. 15-pound plate, or equivalent weight that can be held over your head

Run 400 meters (1/4 mile–use to measure a run you can do from your house)
15 slow-ish deep lunges, to stretch the hips and groin (walking or in-place)
20 supermans
60 seconds butterfly stretch
30 seconds each leg pigeon stretch
15 shoulder pass throughs (this is where the broom comes in)
30 seconds each arm shoulder stretch across chest

12 minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible–so, work as hard as you can for 12 minutes and do as many rounds as possible of the following):
10 lunges with 25# plate/other heavy object overhead (count each leg, arms locked out, core tight)
15 air squats
20 speed skaters (count each side)
10 tuck jumps

Beginner WOD #3: Upper Body
Equipment Needed: Two sturdy chairs, a hand-weight that is moderate for you (probably 10-15 lbs for women, 20-25 lbs for men) or the equivalent household object (a gallon of water weighs a little over 8 lbs, for example).

Warm Up:
3 rounds:
15 jumping jacks
10 supermans
7 push-ups

10 Michael Phelps-style shoulder swings
15 each small, medium, and wide arm circles forward
15 each small, medium, and wide arm circles backwards
30 seconds each side shoulder stretch across chest
30 seconds each side tricep stretch
60 seconds this stretch (minus the child’s pose bit at the end)
60 seconds downward facing dog
60 seconds upward facing dog

21-15-9 (1st round 21 reps, 2nd round 15 reps, 3rd round 9 reps each of):
One-arm shoulder press with your weight, alternating arms and counting each arm
Chair dips with feet elevated
After each round: Crab walk to the other side of the room and back

Don’t forget to cool down, stretch, and drink a LOT of water before and after each workout!


12 thoughts on “CrossFit-Style Beginner Workouts

      • Ah.. okay.. well, still.. you have good taste in back muscle 😉
        That is one of my goals, to have a back that looks that awesome! I asked the BF if I look anything like that.. he said that girl has 10lbs on me. So… is that a no? 😛
        I have some work to do.

        Great post, anyway! 🙂 It’s good to have bodyweight WODs for people, especially those that give the excuse about not being able to get to a gym or have proper equipment to work out!

  1. I’ve googled, you-tubed and searched for an example/demonstration and i cant find it… what is a “Michael Phelps-style shoulder swing”?? I know who he is, but i dont have TV or watch it (No time!!) … is there another name for it?

    • Oh you know how Michael Phelps kind of flaps his arms around himself like a hug to stretch his shoulders? That’s what I mean 🙂 So basically you swing your arms wide open then clap them back around like you are hugging yourself, and then swing them back open and repeat that, moving fairly quickly.

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