The Best Known CrossFit Exercises Explained: Part 2

The Best Known CrossFit Exercises Explained: Part 2

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Maybe you have our previous article about the best known CrossFit exercises already read.

In this second part we will continue where we left off. We explain a number of well-known CrossFit exercises for you, so that you know exactly where you stand in the box.

In this second article we discuss:

  • Clean & jerk;
  • Deadlift;
  • Double unders;
  • Front squat;
  • Push press;
  • Push-up;
  • Rope climb;
  • Snatch.

The best-known CrossFit exercises, part II

The exercises below are either common or simply well-known within CrossFit. Also this time the exercises are in alphabetical order.

Clean & jerk

Clean and jerk

The clean & jerk is a well-known exercise within CrossFit. You may recognize this exercise as part of the Olympic weightlifting. This exercise actually consists of two different exercises that are combined with each other: the clean and the jerk.

You start with the barbell on the floor. Your feet are shoulder width and you bend through your knees, so that you can hold the barbell slightly wider than shoulder width with both hands. Now you start with the clean. You lift the barbell off the ground in an explosive movement. At the same time you make a deep squat, so that you can catch the barbell at the front on your shoulders (front rack position). Then stretch your legs and stand up straight.

For the jerk, you lower your knees slightly while keeping your back straight up. Then you push yourself off the ground. This movement produces an explosivity that allows you to lift the barbell over the head in one go and hold it with stretched arms. While raising the barbell, jump with one forward and the other back.

When you have the barbell well above your head with your arms outstretched, get back in and stand with your feet shoulder width again. From this position you hold the barbell above the head for a moment before you lower it again.



The deadlift has many variants, but here we are talking about the conventional deadlift. With this exercise you mainly train the muscles in the lower back, the quadriceps, buttocks and the hamstrings. You also use the calves during this exercise. They ensure that you can stabilize your legs and do not wobble when you perform the exercise.

To start, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart at the barbell. Make sure the barbell is above the center of your feet. Next, bend your knees so that you can grasp the barbell with both hands. You hold the barbell slightly wider than shoulder width.

Then tighten your core and lift the barbell by stretching your legs. Is the barbell aware of your knees? Then also raise your upper body by pushing your hips forward.

When you are fully stretched, hold the posture for a moment and then slowly lower the barbell to the ground again.

Double unders

Jumping rope

Double unders is an exercise that comes with a jump rope is being carried out. Jumping rope has been used for a long time as an exercise to maintain or maintain fitness. At CrossFit it has become a popular part of various WODs in recent years and is often used during the CrossFit Games.

With double unders it is all about having the rope go under your feet twice during one jump. This means that you have to jump higher than you normally would, and that you also have to spin faster with the rope.

To be able to quickly turn with the skipping rope it is advisable to turn from the wrist and not from the entire forearm. From the wrist you can make smaller movements that ensure that you can turn faster.

Front squat

Front squat

The squat is a popular exercise with CrossFitten. This front squat is indispensable from the various WODs and training courses.

When performing it, it is handy to use a squat rack.

First of all, make sure you place the correct weight on the barball. When you have done this, place the barbell just below shoulder height under your chin, and place your feet shoulder width. You place your hands either shoulder-width with the palms facing up, or crossed over the barbell with the palms facing down.

When the weight is right, take a step back so that you are free from the rack with the barbell high on your chest. It is important that you wear the barbell on your shoulders and not on your breastbone. Then you go down in a squat and you come up again.

Tip: dThe most common mistake during squatting is the curving of the back. A straight back is extremely important if you don't want to get injured. Continue to look straight ahead during the exercise to reduce the risk of incorrect posture.

Push press

Push press

In terms of movement, the push press can be compared to the jerk we discussed at the clean & jerk.

For this exercise it is useful to use a barbell rack that makes it easier to get to the starting position. Also with the push press you start, just like with the jerk, with the barbell resting on your chest.

Then you sink lightly through your knees. Make sure you do this in such a way that the upper body stays straight. Then come up again with an explosive force and push the barbell from the shoulders above the head. Now hold the barbell with your arms outstretched.

In contrast to the jerk, the feet stay here side by side for the entire exercise and shoulder width. Then come back to the shoulders with the barbell. You can do the push press again from this position.

Push up

Push up

You will encounter a push-up in many different sports and it is a well-known exercise. You will also regularly come across this exercise within CrossFit.

The push-up often occurs in WODs and can also be carried out in many different ways. That's how we got it best known CrossFit exercises part 1 already talked about the handstand push-up. The push-up is actually quite simple: with a stretched body you lean on your hands and toes and bend and stretch your arms, so that you push yourself up and down and lower again.

Be a handy tool for this exercise PushUp Stands. These are a kind of brackets for on the ground where you can put your hands on while doing push-ups. Push-up stands reduce the pressure on the wrists and forearms. And that is very handy when you are asked to perform 100 push-ups in succession in the WOD.

Rope climb

Rope climbingRope climbing is an exercise where you use your own weight. Although rope climbing is a well-known CrossFit exercise, many shrink from it. This exercise not only challenges you physically, but also psychologically. For most of us, it's a challenge to climb a rope and overcome the fear of altitude.

To start rope climbing, it is always good to first become familiar with the rope if you are not. You can gain this confidence by hanging on the rope or by lifting yourself on the rope a few times.

When you are confident that you can hold the rope properly, it is time to practice the climbing movement. The easiest is to use the so-called skipper's stroke. Grasp the rope above your head. Lift your left leg. The rope is on the inside of your knee, but your foot is positioned so that the rope runs on the outside of your shoe. You cross the rope with your leg. Now you also lift your right foot. With this foot you lift the rope, and you clamp it between your feet. You do that by standing with your right foot on your left foot, with the rope in between. Now you can lift yourself and place your hands higher on the rope. This way you always repeat this movement until you reach the top.

When you have mastered rope climbing and can easily go up and down, you can of course always make it more difficult. How about climbing only with your arms up while stretching your legs straight in front of you?



The snatch is perhaps one of the most difficult exercises with a barbell there is. You do different movements at the same time, and also with a heavy weight above your head. In addition to the clean & jerk, the snatch is also part of the Olympic weightlifting.

To begin this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. You place the barbell on the floor in front of you and you ensure that your toes are under the bar.

Lower your knees, keep your back straight and grasp the barbell with your hands a lot further apart than shoulder width. Your hands should be so far apart that the barbell is exactly on your hips when you stand upright. The palms of your hands must point downwards. This is the position from which you will really start.

Now you start the exercise. The idea is to lift the barbell from the ground to above your head in one smooth motion.

  1. From the aforementioned position you press your feet against the floor and you slowly rise while you also lift the barbell.
  2. When the barbell is about to be in the middle of your thighs, you move slightly off the floor and fully stretch your body. This movement must be an explosive movement.
  3. When you are up, throw your shoulders back and lift the barbell even further. When lifting, ensure that your elbows stay over the barbell as long as possible and point outwards. This movement is also explosive.
  4. At the turning point, where the barbell 'floats' in the air for a moment, you sink into a deep squat and throw your body under the barbell in a smooth motion. You fully extend your arms so that you hold the barbell with your arms outstretched above your head.
  5. Then you come out of the squat again, still with the barbell above your head.

Finally, lower the barbell again and place it on the floor. It is important this entire exercise if one smooth motion is performed.

Tip: the snatch requires a lot of practice, so don't try it out with heavy weights.

Do you have difficulty with one of these exercises, or can you do them very well?

Are there any more exercises that you would like to see in the articles?

Let us know in a response!

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