How to Be Better at CrossFit

How to Be Better at CrossFit

Are you giving your 100% during your WODs ? Of course you are! You’re a CrossFit machine! Are you always satisfied with your score? Not Always? No worries, this post will provide you with some simple tips that will transform you into an efficient WODer!

You know that feeling when you finish an excruciating twelve minute AMRAP of 7 box jumps, 7 chest to bars and 7 squat cleans and you’re sure that no other human being could’ve possibly done more reps than you? Like… it would be impossible, you didn’t take any breaks and you were feeling like an unstoppable machine the entire workout. Oh but wait… did someone make a mistake on today’s leaderboard or…? Damn, she’s fast! Yes, for 99% of us there will be someone with a faster and better score than ours on the gym’s leaderboard.

So let me share with you some tips that will surely improve your speed and execution during your next WOD!

How to be better at CrossFit

1.Butterfly Pull-Ups

These tricky ones cut down your swing cycle by half and require less energy than normal pull-ups!

  •  Pro Tip 1 : Don’t pull your chin to the bar. Your head should rotate in a circle so focus solely on pulling your body up instead of forward. Having your chin right above that bar will kill your momentum!
  • Pro Tip 2 : Speaking of momentum…. The Butterfly rhythm is very difficult to understand and maintain at first but the best way to really get the hang of it is to keep going! The best advice I’ve gotten from a coach was to do as many reps in one set even if my rhythm was completely off from the start! Yes, you will look like a flopping fish in the air and your Butterfly Pull-Ups won’t be graceful just yet. But remember, keep flopping around even if it feels very awkward. At some point, your floppy fish will magically turn into a graceful butterfly. The extent of my knowledge on animal metamorphosis is somewhat limited as you can see…
How to be better at CrossFit

2. Kipping Handstand Push-Up

This skill looks kind of impossible at first and if you’re not quite there yet, use your scaling options! You’ll get there in no time. Adding ab-mats under your head, practicing handstand holds and doing push-ups with your feet on a box with your butt high in the air (your body should form an inverted L) are great scaling options. Once you get the hang of it and want to start increasing your efficiency, consider this!

  • Pro Tip 3 : Leave around 20 to 30 centimeters between your hands and the wall and place you head close to the wall.
  • Pro Tip 4 : Turn your hands outwards slightly so your thumbs are closer to the wall than your pinkies. This will place your upper body in a more powerful pushing position.
  • Pro Tip 5 : Shoot your legs upwards and forwards (slightly) while arching your back a bit. The best way I can describe this is to set up in your base position with your head on the floor and your knees bent by your sides ready to launch. Then, picture a small beach ball right above your bum. Visualize that you have to kick your legs up and forward so that your body can go around that ball and finish in a handstand position.
How to be better at CrossFit

3. Hook Grip

This is something I learned in gymnastics and it saved me from flying off the bar a few times. Having a good hook grip will help you stay on the bar during your toes to bar, pull-ups and muscle ups.  When we’re kipping, re-griping our hands and swinging around like crazy, it’s easy to start slipping off.

  • Pro Tip 6 : Hook your hand around the bar so the top of your hand is parallel with the ceiling and your knuckles are pointing to the wall in front of you (as much as possible).  This sounds like common sense but you would be surprised to see the amount of people who hang from their fingertips! Also, think about getting back into your hook grip every time you re-grasp the bar.
How to be better at CrossFit

4. Box Jump Overs

Box Jump Overs require a great deal of agility to begin with so asking you to jump up and down sideways might seem like a lot to ask. But, it’s a lot easier once you get the hang of it and you will never get dizzy! If you’re doing your Box Jump Overs facing the box and are doing a half turn at some point before you touch the floor on the other side, you might notice that after a few Box Jumps Overs, stars and unicorns start to circle around your head. It’s also not very time efficient!

  • Pro Tip 7 : Jump sideways. Fix a spot on the floor and practice jumping from one side onto the middle of the box and then do the same on the other side. Your hips should be facing the same wall the entire time.
  • Pro Tip 8 :  ‘Rest’ on the box. This one is more of a mental trick. Start on the box, then jump down on one side and rebound back up immediately, then do the same on the other side. When you’re on top of the box, having to jump down and rebounding up will make it mentally easier than if you pause on the floor and jump up onto the box. The rebounding opportunity of the first option is also time efficient!
  • Pro Tip 9 : Use your arms. I will post a video of this someday but essentially your arms should be extended to the ceiling (beside your ears) when you do your rebounding off the floor. Your arms should slowly start to fall by your sides as your body goes up! This will spring your body back up real quick!
How to be better at CrossFit

5. Breaks

Sometimes when we drop that barbell, it takes a convincing internal pep-talk to pick it back up. Adrenaline starts decreasing more and more as time passes and picking up that barbell becomes an increasingly daunting task.

  • Pro Tip 10 : Make your walk become your break. If you need to walk from the pull-ups station to your barbell, make that walk become your break! You can walk slowly or you can even take a longer detour to get to your barbell if you need more time. But, having something (arriving at your next station) indicating that your break is over will optimize your breaks. With this strategy, you won’t need to pep-talk yourself as much since your mind will know that once you reach your barbell, it’s show time! If you have 15 thrusters to complete and you want to take a break after five, take a few steps backwards then walk back to your barbell and get back to it. Stopping completely is mentally difficult during a WOD, try to avoid it!

Now, you’re all set to go! We all work differently and some of these tips might not be efficient for you, so play around with your strategy. However, you should see an increase in your efficiency by simply applying some of these in your next WOD. Happy WODing!



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