‘I can’t do Crossfit’ are words I hear daily at my gym, Thrill Athletics in El Segundo. No matter who walks in the door and utters that phrase, my response is always the same, “Yes, you can. Everyone can.” Crossfit is not necessarily what you see on ESPN; It is all about functional movement, i.e. squatting and pressing, so when we age, our bodies don’t deteriorate as quickly. If you are at all interested in giving it a try, the first step is finding a credited gym with great instructors who care more about your mobility and form than how much weight you can lift. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, so they can help you attain your goals. Any Crossfit movement can be scaled down by using props or less weight. Here are a few movements that you can do at home or at the gym.
How to: Start with your feet firmly planted underneath your hips and drop into a modified push-up position, placing your chest on the floor. Peel your chest up using your hands, (it’s not a full push-up–don’t make it harder on yourself!), and jump your feet as close to your hands as possible with a lifted chest. Then, spring up from that position, jumping a couple inches off the floor, landing in your starting position. Rinse and repeat! Try doing 20 seconds of burpees and taking 10 seconds of rest for 3-5 minutes.
Benefit: Burpees are a great way to get your heart rate up, build stamina, and blast calories.
How to: Start by using a 10lb weight and if you can go up from there, amazing! If not, right where you are is just fine. Grab onto the dumbbells and place yourself in a push-up position. Keeping your core tight, lift the right weight up to your armpit and then place it back down. Then, leading with the chest, do a push-up, still keeping the elbows tight against your body. Lift the left weight as you did on the right and repeat the push-up. Tip: Keep the core tight and neck long–this will protect your delicate vertebrae. Do 10 per side, take a 2-minute rest, and then repeat.
Benefit: These are a wonderful way to target your biceps, triceps, lats, as well as your core.
How to: Use 10lb dumbbells to start and then add weight when you feel comfortable. Begin with your feet placed comfortably under your hips. Hold the dumbbells on either side of you. Then keeping your core tight, lower your body as you push your hips back. Slowly bring the weights to your shoulders and gradually stand up as you lift the weights towards the sky. Do 20 reps, take a 1-minute rest, and repeat twice.
Benefit: If you’re looking for toned hamstrings and glutes, these are the way to go!
How to: I like to use a 10-15lb dumbbell for this exercise, but if the weight is too much you can always do this without any weight at all. Start by lying on your back with the weight above your head and press your belly button into your spine, so you can feel your lower back on the floor (if you can’t achieve this with the weight—lose it!). With your core muscles engaged, bring the weight forward and try to simultaneously lift your feet to your hands and your hands to your feet with straight legs and arms. Lay back down on the floor, bringing the weight back through the same path you brought it up. Do a set of 15 and then rest 30 seconds. Repeat that process 3 times.
Benefit: This is a lovely core blaster because it targets not only your upper abs, but also gets into those pesky lower abs.
Lauren Anthony , Fabletics Master