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- American Council on Exercise: What is CrossFit Training and Is It Appropriate for the Average Person?
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CrossFit Exercises for Intermediates
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The CrossFit program is one of intense, dynamic and functional exercises that its founder, Greg Glassman, promotes as readily accomplished by any adult regardless of his starting fitness level. The premise of CrossFit is that you do not need to spend oodles of cash to get supremely fit. You just need to train in multiple areas, using your body, simple weight configurations or safe, makeshift equipment. According to the CrossFit.com website, improved endurance, musculature and strength, and weight loss are inevitable when following the program. Intermediates take the basic skills learned to the next level, using increased power, added weight and repetitions.
Proper form and technique allow you to achieve maximum fitness results without harmful injury. A core intermediate exercise in CrossFit is the kipping pullup, which by most accounts appears like a wild pullup without solidarity of form or technique. As a beginner of CrossFit, you learn consistency, mechanics and intensity of each exercise. Intermediate kipping promotes more repetitions with each pullup set plus a more powerful reversal of hip direction to offer an intense training of the core, arms and back. Performing intermediate kipping pullups will advance you to the parallel bars, rings or the high bar.
Scaling, or pacing, the intensity of motion paired with weight and reps is your friend during CrossFit training. As an intermediate, you learn to put together several scaled exercises to form a solid snatch movement. The snatch is an Olympic-worthy lifting move. It involves lifting a weighted straight bar overhead after starting from a low squat position. The major muscles of your body are fully engaged during a snatch. As the name implies, you snatch the bar up and lift it over your head as your legs straighten into a standing position while your arms fully extend. The full snatch requires skill, concentration, coordination and flexibility as well as accurate timing to prevent injury.
The kettlebell, a ball-shaped cast iron weight, is a favorite lifting tool in the fitness industry. As a CrossFit accessory, it offers an easy-to-maneuver piece of equipment to train the arms, shoulders, back and lower body. Kettlebell swings for intermediates take the squat and arm thrust motion to an intense level by upping the weight and repetitions. As your strength improves, so does the power in the lift of the kettlebell. The exercise also involves your use of precision in controlling the movement so you do not thrust the bell in an over-extension.
Additional intermediate skills include the incorporation of gymnastic-type motions, such as handstands, with added pushups or explosive jump movements paired with squats and short-distance running. For safety, initiate a CrossFit program after full education from a trained professional, rather than self-education. Many of the movements can lead to injury when performed haphazardly. The American Council on Exercise suggests working with a personal trainer to develop the proper basic skills used in CrossFit before advancing to higher levels of exercise. As with any fitness program, it is also a good idea to consult your physician before training begins.
Andrea Boldt has been in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. A personal trainer, run coach, group fitness instructor and master yoga teacher, she also holds certifications in holistic and fitness nutrition.