Crossfit is a high-intensity workout designed to build your strength, power, muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Crossfit is used by many different people, including the police and military, general fitness enthusiasts and professional Cross-fitters alike. Whether you're looking to get super fit and compete in Crossfit competitions, or just lose a few pounds and sculpt your abs and thighs or those tricky arm muscles, a daily Crossfit workout can help.
Workouts of the Day
Every day, the official Crossfit website publishes a workout of the day, or WOD. While the main WOD is targeted at males, there is always a female version, which recommends using slightly lighter loads or reduced timescales. This may be your best bet for training every day, rather than repeating the same exercises day in, day out, which can lead to fatigue and injury. The WODs are often very different from one day to the next and can include any number of different exercises.
While high-intensity or particularly complex lower-body Crossfit moves such as front squats or power cleans shouldn't be performed on a daily basis, there are some exercises that lend themselves well to being performed more regularly. The kettlebell swing works your glutes, hamstrings, core and lower back and is a staple Crossfit move. Trainer Lisa Schaffer of "Kettlebell Inc. Magazine" recommends challenging yourself to perform 10,000 swings in 30 days. You can break these up as you see fit, but be sure to err on the side of caution when choosing your kettlebell -- lighter is definitely better to start with. Crossfit also includes many squat variations, so you may also wish to perform body-weight squats every day to help refine your technique without over-stressing your muscles and joints.
Crossfit is different to traditional weight training, in that you won't see staple bodybuilding moves like bench presses and dumbbell rows when it comes to training your upper body. There are lots of pushups, however. Pushups are a must-have in any woman's upper-body training arsenal, according to trainer Shannon Clark of Bodybuilding.com. If you can't perform full pushups yet, practice with your knees on the floor. Provided you don't go to muscular failure on every set, a few sets of pushups each day will go a long way to boosting your upper-body strength. Other body-weight moves such as dips and chinups, along with barbell overhead presses and medicine ball throws and slams, are commonplace in Crossfit, and while these may be more demanding, you can alternate between them on a daily basis.
The emergence of Crossfit has certainly had a positive influence on women's strength training, claims Sally Moss, strength coach at Ultimate Performance in London. However, the training techniques are extremely intense, so you do need to exercise caution when training. Rather than performing the same exercises every day, try to rotate between different ones. Always check with your doctor before starting a Crossfit program and ask a qualified trainer or Crossfit coach to check your form on all of your lifts.
Mike Samuels started writing for his own fitness website and local publications in 2008. He graduated from Peter Symonds College in the UK with A Levels in law, business and sports science, and is a fully qualified personal trainer, sports massage therapist and corrective exercise specialist with accreditations from Premier Global International.