The 9 Crossfit Basic Movements – all fundamentals needed to thrive with no injury
Crossfit.com organization publishes their LEVEL 1 TRAINER GUIDE, with special attention in the following movements (ordered by simplicity to execute, in our humble opinion)*:
- Air Squat
- Medicine-Ball Clean
- Shoulder Press
- Push Press
- Sumo Deadlift High Pull.
- Push Jerk
- Overhead Squat
- Glute-Ham Developer (GHD)
This is a ongoing, on monthly basis to be updated post, so bookmark it and check it again next month, when we will add another movement to the guidelines below with proper exercise execution guide and few WOD ‘s we suggest to use them in.
Airs quats are done with your own bodyweight (and only), it differs from other techniques exactly on the natural and accessory-less way to execute it.
A few conditions must be met for correct execution (don’t forget to warm up first, and stretch after!):
- Feet stay in shoulder width;
- Feet point straight away, or slightly open – inclination 15 to 30 degrees \o/;
- All body weight should be concentrated on the heels;
- Hips should go BACK and DOWN;
- Engage your abdominal muscles;
- Lombar curve should be maintained, and protected! Back should NEVER round up;
- Knees track (stay in line) with toes, knees should NEVER pass the toes;
- Deep enough – hips will descend lower than knees; Lower body is really the only part of the body moving.
- Chest ALWAYS UP – never let shoulders fall.
- Eyes looking diagonally UP!
- Breath in, as you go down, as you lower into the squat, and exhale as you press up (weight on heels) to standing position!
You will want to go as deep as you can safely perform, beginners can perform half of the movement, or simply not go deep, we advise to always be ON SAFE and COMFORTABLE limit!
The movement should be ALL THE TIME ON CONTROL! Don’t throw the bodyweight and do not promote IMPACT, focus on glutes, hamstring and erectors. If you have any pain on the knees, you are doing it wrong!
GREAT LINK TO LEARN MORE…
To learn from Crossfit.com, click here! Or, if you prefer to have your airsquat class directly with amazing Josh Bridges, click here! For bits more of information Healthline also has GREAT ARTICLES on squats!
Air squats are great technique for warm-up or cardio. It is the perfect exercise for beginners to start with and incorporate in your workout from home routines.
Air squats are more effective when executed as part of a workout routine. We hereby give you a few suggestions, and of course advise you to have a look in our WOD blog posts for more)
Suggested WOD ‘s with Air squats:
- running 200 meters;
- 20 push-ups;
- 20 sit-ups;
- 20 air squats.
- 20 jumping jacks (also called skibocks)
- 1 pull-up (if you have a bar)
- 20 air squats
- 20 push-ups
- 20 lunges (10 each leg)
- 20 decline push-ups, where your legs are elevated
Benefits from squatting:
Learning proper squats technique that later will help you with many other heavier movements… like front squats and overhead squats. Also it will help you not injury yourself and load more weight in these movements.
Lose weight, more coordination and stronger legs (and glutes).
Easy exercise can be incorporated into many different workouts and done pretty much everywhere.
They target your thighs, hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes in particular, helping you to add muscle mass in these areas. Because balance is necessary, air squats can also engage your core.
You can burn between 100 calories and 220 calories in a 25 minute air squat workout, depending on how vigorous is your rhythm.
Most common vicious air squat mistakes:
- Weak lower body muscles (specifically glutes and hamstrings)
- Bad coordination, bad movement,
- No mobility
- Squatting with quads, knee injury candidates
- No lumbar + lower back protection = CURVE. Dropping shoulders,
- Rolling IN knees
- Looking down…
- Heels elevated, off the ground.
- Movement incomplete
- Wrong breathing (upside down).
Recomendation: don’t try to check yourself on mirror, try to develop movement and body (auto) critics, perform and review the points above, practice until you are absolutely sure, that everything is correct! The practice will show the correct points and improve the strength, also link some mobility and strecthing sessions to your training routine.
Too easy? Try the following variations…
Dumbbell squat – easiest way to load and perform literally heavier.
Holding dumbbells (and here you can take as much as you feel safe, or as heavy as you would like your training to be), hold them parallel to each other, just in front of your shoulders.
The weight will for sure improve your muscle gain, but if you are new to this, start light.
Plié (like ballet) or Sumo squat.
Instead of the shoulder width stance, open more your feet (turned out 45 degrees), the bigger opening will slightly shift the tension to your inner thighs. You can perform either only with your body weight, or with dumbbells in order to load and make more work.
Split squat (pretty much like lunges).
Working unilaterally, one leg to the front, the knee under body can go as low as to touch the floor.
Don’t place both feet on the same line (or you will fall to the sides), place them as separated as the original squat – shoulder width, this will make the exercise much more confortable, you will be stable, equilibrated, and will be able to focus on the squat itself.
You can use kettebells to load weight, you can also set them to touch the ground.
You can either work one leg at a time (and perform for example 6 reps with right leg, then 6 repetitions with the left) or you can alternate after each squat.
We hereby reaffirm, Jump Squats are not for beginners! And for the advanced athletes, keep in mind, to add more power, always try plyometrics.
Keep in mind – Jump Squats involve force that may tax the lower joints. BUT also, they help develop explosive strength and speed that can help in different sports.
Starting position exactly as the air squat then squat down low and bring your arms behind you. Then swoop your arms forward and jump up off the ground. Your arms should be over your head and your legs extended out straight. Then simply land, and repeat!