Common CrossFit Movements

CrossFit can be its own little world — which is one of the things that makes CrossFit great — its sense of community. However, when you first enter new worlds, you have no clue what language CrossFitters are speaking. Well, you won’t have to worry anymore because CrossFit Pleasanton, the best CrossFit gym in Pleasanton, has got you covered in this blog post with the names and descriptions of some of the best-known CrossFit exercises. Contact us today to get started!


Olympic lifting
One component of CrossFit is Olympic lifting. In Olympic lifting, there are only two moves: the clean and jerk and the snatch. Seems simple, right? Hardly as anyone who snatches can tell you.

The clean and jerk
Like the name implies, the clean and jerk are two movements combined into one: the clean and the jerk, both performed with a barbell. The clean is when the barbell is taken from the floor into the front rack position across the deltoids but without resting (and preferably not banging) your clavicles. The jerk is a dip and drive where the barbell is raised overhead, finishing with locked arms and elbows and the feet in line with the barbell. There are several variations of the clean and jerk, mainly involving where you start and/or end the movement. For instance, in a power clean, the barbell starts from the floor, but you must catch the barbell above parallel.

The snatch
Easily the most technical and the most difficult movement you will perform with a barbell in CrossFit, the snatch is the second OIympic weightlifting movement. The snatch is where you lift the barbell from the ground to the overhead position, finishing with locked arms and elbows and the barbell over your feet in a standing position. The snatch is the most explosive and powerful movement you can execute with a barbell in CrossFit. It takes lots of practice to master the technique, which is crucial if you want to lift heavier weight. The snatch is known as a sexy movement in CrossFit because when executed correctly, it’s beautiful to watch. It’s also many CrossFitters favorite movement because of this and because of its difficulty. Like the clean and jerk, there are different types of snatches, such as the power snatch and the squat snatch.

Another popular component of CrossFit is the gymnastics component. This is popular for the same reasons the snatch is popular — gymnastics moves are difficult to master and are beautiful to watch.

Handstand pushups
Handstand pushups (HSPU) are where you are in an inverted position, and you push off the ground straight up until your arms lock. This CrossFit movement requires a good amount of strength in order to push your body up, as well as being comfortable upside down. Plus, handstand pushups are just plain fun to do.

Muscle ups
Muscles ups are the snatch of the gymnastics world. Extremely difficult to do, requiring a lot of strength and coordination, muscle ups are advanced moves. There are two varieties: the bar muscle up and the ring muscle up, and their names tell you where they are are executed. A bar muscle up is executed on a rig (a pullup machine bolted into the ground) where the CrossFit athlete pulls himself or herself up and over the top of bar into a locked out position. A ring muscle up is the same concept except on gymnastic rings. Both are extremely challenging to learn and execute with correct form and technique, but are the goals of many CrossFitters.

CrossFit also focuses on improving your cardiovascular response. This involves activities that get your heart rate elevated.

Running, Rowing, and Assault bike

Running promotes endurance, helps with weight loss and increasing your metabolism, and promotes heart health. Rowing is one of the best full-body workouts you can do and burns a ton of calories. An assault bike in CrossFit is known as a stationary bike with a twist. In essence, the Assault bike automatically adjusts to you as you workout, providing the right resistance to give you an insane workout.

There are many other CrossFit movements that if you are interested in learning them, you’ll just have to visit CrossFit Pleasanton to discover them. Some of these include double unders, box jumps, wall balls, and kettlebell swings.

CrossFit works to achieve amazing results in weight loss, strength, endurance, flexibility, coordination, and much more because it uses functional movements constantly varied at high intensity over different time modalites and domains. Many people think you have to be in amazing shape and look like the CrossFit Games athletes in order to do CrossFit, which is simply not the case at all. In fact, the CrossFit Games athletes are less than one percent of the CrossFit population. The vast majority of CrossFit athletes who attend CrossFit gyms every day are normal people who are looking for a great workout, love the community CrossFit creates, and love the feeling of being healthy and working towards goals.

CrossFit can be as challenging as you want it to be. There’s always something to work on — even the Games athletes have their weaknesses. Or CrossFit can be just a place to get moving. CrossFit Pleasanton wants to emphasize that CrossFit is just one way to achieve health and wellness. That’s why we offer additional classes for those who are looking for something different. We offer BootCamp classes, which takes out the component of heavy lifting and focuses more on endurance training and HIIT periodization. We offer our signature Trident Endurance class, which focuses on improving three areas of your fitness: power, speed, and endurance. We offer CrossFit Kids classes, which introduces kids to the sport of CrossFit at their level. We offer Yoga classes for improved mobility, balance, and coordination. And we offer a Barbell Club for those who just want to focus on Olympic lifting technique.

CrossFit Pleasanton’s mission is to make your life better, whatever that may look like to you. Maybe you just want to improve your 5k time, or you want to lose 10 pounds. Maybe you want to become more toned, or maybe you want to compete in triathlons. Or maybe you just want to get moving with a few of your friends in a fun, supportive atmosphere. Here at CrossFit Pleasanton we believe anything is possible, and with our amazing, experienced, and talented coaching staff, we’ll help you move safely and help you reach your goals, whatever those may be. Visit us today, and sign up for a free class!