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What kind of exercises and movements can I expect to do in a CrossFit workout?

CrossFit can initially seem mysterious to newcomers due to its ever-changing workouts and unique culture. However, at its core, CrossFit is defined by simplicity. It revolves around three key elements: constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity.

Functional movements are the building blocks of CrossFit. These movements mimic everyday actions and are not limited to the gym. For example, squatting to stand up from a chair, lifting groceries off the floor (a deadlift), or placing items on a high shelf (a press) are all functional movements. They are considered "natural" and play a crucial role in maintaining independent living.

In CrossFit, functional movements are not only practical but also powerful. They can move heavy loads over long distances quickly, and this power output is a defining characteristic. By measuring force, distance, and time, we can assess the average power generated by these movements. This measurable aspect allows us to get a potent stimulus in a short amount of time and track progress accurately over time.

While power output is important, CrossFit also recognizes the value of incorporating other movements. Gymnastics movements, for instance, may not generate high power, but they contribute to core strength and body control. These additional movements enhance overall fitness and support functional capacity.

Here is a list of common CrossFit movements! This is not exhaustive.


  • Air squats

  • Front squats

  • Back squats

  • Overhead squats

  • Pistol squats (single-leg squats)


  • Deadlift

  • Sumo Deadlift

  • Snatch

  • Clean and jerk

  • Power snatch

  • Power clean

  • Strict press

  • Push press

  • Bench press

  • Split jerk


  • Pull-ups (strict, kipping, butterfly)

  • Muscle-ups

  • Handstand push-ups

  • Toes-to-bar

  • Ring dips

  • Rope climbs

  • Wall walks

Cardiovascular Conditioning:

  • Running

  • Rowing

  • Biking (stationary or outdoor)

  • Jumping rope

  • Swimming

Bodyweight Movements:

  • Push-ups

  • Burpees

  • Box jumps

  • Lunges

  • Wall balls

  • Handstand holds/walks

Kettlebell Training:

  • Kettlebell swings

  • Turkish get-ups

  • Kettlebell snatches

  • Goblet squats

  • Single-arm kettlebell presses


  • Box jumps

  • Squat jumps

  • Medicine ball throws

  • Jumping lunges

  • Broad jumps

Core and Stability:

  • Planks (regular, side, and variations)

  • Sit-ups

  • Russian twists

  • Hollow holds/rocks

  • L-sits

Strongman Movements:

  • Farmer's carries

  • Sled pushes/pulls

  • Atlas stone lifts

  • Sandbag carries

The goal of CrossFit is to create a broad, general, and inclusive fitness: fitness with a general physical capacity that lends itself well to handle anything that life throws at us. Thus, our workouts vary daily to expose you to every type of movement pattern life could demand. It also happens to make working out more entertaining that way!

In summary, CrossFit focuses on prioritizing functional movements that are both practical and powerful. However, it also incorporates other movements to develop well-rounded humans. By embracing the combination of functional movements and varied exercises, CrossFit provides a comprehensive approach to fitness that enhances strength, mobility, and overall physical performance.

Intimidated by this list but interested in CrossFit? No one starts CrossFit knowing all of these movements! Our coaches will show you how to do every movement safely and effectively for your current skill level. If you'd like to try a class at one of our three locations in Boston, click "free trial" in the top right of the screen here to get signed up for your first class.

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