It’s that time of year again. When days seem to fly by faster than Usain Bolt and fitting in a workout feels nearly impossible. Except you can squeeze in some sweat. Enter: CrossFit.
The fitness philosophy is simple: “constantly varied functional movements done at a high intensity,” explains Blair Jost, a CrossFit Level I coach at Solace in New York City. That means each WOD (or workout of the day) will help make everyday tasks easier. Plus, because you’re pushing your limits, you maximize your strength and power gains quicker than a less-intense gym workout.
No box? No problem. Thanks to the bodyweight moves coaches often use during CrossFit, you can do the calorie-blasting, muscle-building exercises right at home. In fact, you can start with just five no-equipment moves, Jost says, and incorporate them into the three totally different workouts detailed below. Bonus: Each one is quick enough to bang out between holiday shopping and, yes, pie eating.
“When you’re constantly doing different reps for various time domains, your body will never get use to one type of workout and the gains will keep on coming,” Jost says. “Record your times and reps and always strive to get faster and better.”
Here, your five moves, three workouts — and zero reason not to get up and get strong!
5 Killer CrossFit Exercises You Can Do at Home
1. Jump Squats
How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart (a). Push your hips back and drop your butt toward the floor for a low squat (b). Push off your feet and explode up for the jump (c). Land softly back on your heels, with knees bent (d). Repeat.
Tone it down: Not ready to add height? Perform regular squats instead, sans the jump.
2. Modified Handstand Push-Up
How to: Get into a downward-facing dog position (a). Stay on your toes, engage your abs and bend your elbows until the top of your head lightly taps the floor (b). Push yourself back up, returning to the downward-facing dog position (c). Try to stay as inverted as possible throughout the entire move.
Rev it up: If you can comfortably do 15 reps, it’s time to step up your game by putting your feet on a box. When that gets easy, go full-on handstand with feet against a wall and do your push-ups from there. If you’re stable enough to freely balance on two hands, get after it from that position.
3. Broad Jump Burpee
How to: Start standing, feet hip-width apart (a). Place your hands on the ground, drop your chest to the floor and jump your feet back. Hands should be under your shoulders (b). Push back up, engaging your core so your body stays in a straight line (c). When you jump back up, keep your knees bent and your hips back so you’re in a shallow squat. Then quickly push off of your toes to propel yourself forward for the broad jump (d). Try to land as far in front of you as possible and softly back on your heels, knees bent (e). Turn around and repeat.
Tone it down: To make this exercise a little easier, eliminate the broad jump. Instead perform a regular squat at the top of your burpee.
4. Alt Leg V-Up
How to: Lay on your back, legs out straight and arms up by your ears (a). Keeping your arms straight overhead, lift your chest and back off the ground (b). At the same time, life one leg so your hands and feet meet in the middle, right above your hips (c). Return back to the floor and repeat with the other leg. Continue alternating.
Rev it up: Intensify the burn in your core by keeping your feet off the floor the entire time. You should maintain a hollow hold through the entire move — don’t let your back arch.
5. Pistol Squat
How to: Start standing on your left leg, with your right leg held straight out in front of you, a few inches off the floor. Keep your arms on a diagonal in front of you. Make sure a chair, bench or couch is behind you (a). Keep your right leg lifted as you push your hips back to descend into a squat on your left leg. Lower down until your butt reaches the seat. (b). Push back up to stand and repeat. Then switch sides.
Rev it up: The more you do this, the higher you can lift your foot and even grab it with your hands. When your glutes get really strong, remove the seat behind you to intensify the stability challenge.
3 CrossFit Workouts to Get You Strong
AMRAP means as many rounds as you can, without sacrificing form. Push hard through these five moves and their designated reps until your 15 minutes of sweatiness is up.
Do each move in order for 30 seconds, resting 10 seconds between each exercise. Perform three rounds and at the end of each round, rest for one minute. You’ll get your heart pumping and muscles screaming.
Start with two reps of each move and build up to eight, adding one rep on each round. Time how long it takes you to reach the eight reps of each exercise. Then, go back down the ladder, reducing the number of reps per move by one each round. Try to beat the time it took you to build up.
Want more CrossFit combos? Try these 6 killer workouts that are under 12 minutes.