Whether you’ve been to a CrossFit box (a.k.a. gym) or not, chances are you’ve had a taste of the workout’s AMRAP (as many reps as possible) formula in your high-intensity classes. There’s good reason why many studios crib from CrossFit—its mix of functional moves and HIIT is truly body-changing. “In any given CrossFit workout, you’ll do gymnastics, weight lifting, and explosive exercises that will make you strong for life, and you’ll do them either as heavy or as quickly as you can,” says Jared Stein, the co-founder and head coach at WillyB CrossFit.
If you’ve been too intimidated to try it, you should know that you don’t have to belong to a box or work out with a spotter to do CrossFit. What makes a workout CrossFit is the programming. A traditional WOD (workout of the day) includes three elements: a warm-up, strength or skill work, and a metabolic conditioning (or metcon) portion.
Stein created a classic CrossFit-style workout you can do at home—all you need is a kettlebell (or a dumbbell). The warm-up moves, like wide climbers, will work your core as they engage muscles such as your shoulder girdle to prep you to hoist weight in a safe way. The strength portion consists of a single supermove: a kettlebell snatch (moving the weight from the floor to overhead in a fluid motion) into a squat.
How it works: Start with the warm-up. You’ll do three rounds for quality, meaning that you’ll move slowly and with exceptional form. Next, do the strength portion of the workout. Lastly, finish with the metabolic conditioning part, where you’ll do four rounds of the circuit as quickly as you can and without rest. Stein recommends 12 pounds for beginners and 24 for more advanced exercisers.
Total Time: up to 45 minutes
1. Jumping Jacks
3. Squat Jump
4. Wide Climbers
Repeat this circuit twice.
5. Kettlebell Complex
Mistakes and Tips:Scale down: After the second snatch, bring the kettlebell to your chest and hold it with both hands. Do 5 squats. Switch sides, repeat.
Scale up: Use a heavier weight.
6. Kettlebell Swing
A.Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and about a foot behind a kettlebell, arms by sides. With soft knees, hinge flat torso forward from hips reaching to grab kettlebell by handle with both hands with an overhand grip.
Mistakes and Tips:Scale down: Use a lighter kettlebell.
Scale up: Do American swings, swinging the kettlebell overhead each time.
Mistakes and Tips:Scale down: Crouch, plant hands on floor, then step feet back to plank position and immediately lower chest and thighs to floor. Push body up to plank, step feet toward hands, then stand.
Scale up: Do your burpees next to the kettlebell and instead of jumping up, jump laterally over the weight each time.
8. Goblet Squat
Mistakes and Tips:Scale down: Do air squats.
Scale up: Go heavier and move faster.
Repeat this circuit 3 times as quickly as you can.