The Movements

CrossFit training or WODs (workout of the day) are executed using any or all of the following modalities: mono-structural, weight-lifting, and gymnastics in order to elicit as broad an adaptational response as possible in a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of ten recognized general physical skills.

Mono-structural movements are those that build capacity in each of three metabolic pathways, beginning with aerobic, then lactic acid, and then phosphocreatine pathways.  These include running, biking, swimming, rowing, et al.  In CrossFit, we typically perform these exercises over short distances and brief times in order to keep the intensity high and promote speed training.  However, we are no strangers to performing mono-structural movements for increased distance and time in order to target the cardiorespiratory system and promote endurance and stamina.  We even carry dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, yokes, sandbags, or wear a weighted vest while running to promote balance and coordination, and because it’s just harder!

Weightlifting movements are those that develop the ability to control external objects and produce power.  These exercises include any functional movement executed using an external load.  We concentrate on the following:

Olympic lifts (snatch and clean & jerk)
Power lifts (back squat, deadlift, and chest press)
Additional barbell movements (press, push press, front squat, overhead squat, thrusters, et al)
Kettlebell movements (swing, snatch, press, push press, front squat, et al)
Dumbbell movements (press, push press, snatch, front squat, et al)
Medicine ball movements (clean, wall ball, et al.)
Additional movements (sled drives, ball slams)

Gymnastic movements are those that establish functional capacity for body control and range of motion.  These exercises include any functional movement executed using bodyweight alone.  We concentrate on the following:

Push-ups (standard, elevated, decline, clapping, hand-release, and handstand)
Pull-ups (strict, kipping, butterfly, and with load)
Dips (on bars and on rings, and with load)
Muscle-ups (on rings and on a pull-up bar)
Knees-to-elbows (on rings and on a pull-up bar)
Toes-to-bar (on rings and on a pull-up bar)
Squats (air, one-legged {pistols}, and jumping)
Lunges (standard, jumping, and with load)
Jumping (onto/over an elevated surface and broad jumps)
Burpees (standard, onto/over an elevated surface, into a pull-up, into a muscle-up)
Sit-ups (standard, GHD {glute-ham developer}, and wall ball)
Back extensions (GHD)
Hip extensions (GHD)
Reverse-hyper extensions
Rope climbs
Jump roping (singles and double-unders)

Sport skills (throwing, catching, changes of direction, speed work, monkey-bar traversing, climbing, et al)

For additional information, please see The Movements at