Movement Glossary

Below you will find the major movements used in CrossFit workouts. They have been laid out in a similar order to which they are exposed to our new members completing our introductory On-Ramp program. Feel free to use this as a reference to brush up on the movements prior to attending classes!

 

Mono-structural (“cardio”)

run

Definition: bi-pedal mono-structural work

Queue: drive the knees forward and strike with the forefoot when increasing intensity

row

Definition: mono-structural work performed on a rowing machine (“erg”)

Queue: sit tall, keep a light grip on the handle, and follow the order of operations: legs -> back -> arms -> arms -> back -> legs, repeat

double-unders

Definition: allowing a jump rope to pass twice under the feet before landing when jumping rope

Queue: with the hands held close to the sides, flick the wrists and ankles and bound on the balls of the feet while keeping a relaxed body from head to toe

 

Fundamental Gymnastics (gymnastics=”bodyweight”)

air squat

Definition: a basic bodyweight squat

Queue: with a proud chest, initiate the squat by driving the hips back and down with feet flat on the floor and knees outward in the direction your toes are pointing

ab-mat sit-up

Definition: with an ab-mat under the lower back for support, this sit-up is performed by beginning with the upper back on the floor and finished in a seated position with shoulders in front of the hips

Queue: place the peak of the ab-mat in the small of your back; the “R” should appear upside down when you look back

push-up (hand release)

Definition: a full range of motion push-up going from straight/extended arms to touching the chest to the floor then back to extended arms

Queue: try keeping your hips and thighs off the floor to prevent yourself from snaking or peeling off the ground

ring row

Definition: similar to our push-up in that we’re maintaining a plank but this time pulling the body toward the rings such that the rings and hands finish near our chest/armpit crease

Queue: find an angle with respect to the floor which is challenging but such that a plank position can still be maintained from ankle to shoulder

burpee

Definition: everyone’s favorite movement! – touch the chest to the floor, return to a standing position, jump and clap overhead. and that’s it. 😉

Queue: use your hands to slow yourself down from smashing your moneymaker (i.e. your face!) on the floor but no need to control yourself down as in a push-up

 

Barbell Squats

back squat

Definition: the king of strength movements! – a weighted squat performed with a barbell placed on top of the back(/traps)

Queue: keep the hands on top of the bar and the elbows driven back as you descend back and down

front squat

Definition: a weighted squat performed with a barbell resting across the front of the shoulders

Queue: keep a loose touch on the bar with the fingers and drive the elbows up all the way through the descent as well as on the way back up

overhead squat

Definition: a weighted squat performed with a barbell held overhead with a wide grip position

Queue: find the hand spacing using a “quick and dirty” method – let the bar hang from your hands and it should rest right above your pubic bone but below your hip pointers (adjust as necessary). once the hand spacing is found, keep the bar held over the back of the head throughout the entire squat.

 

pass-through

Definition: a shoulder mobility exercise performed with a PVC pipe

Queue: starting with the hands spread wide, pass the pipe from the front of the body to the back then back to the front all the while keeping the elbows straight and both shoulders rotating at the same time

 

Shoulder-to-Overheads (S2OHs)

press

Definition: a strict upper-body movement used to move a weight from the shoulders to an overhead position

Queue: keeping the legs still, drive the elbows down and in front of the plane of the bar as it is held at the shoulders/shirt collar/clavicles before pushing the bar to a finish position over the back of the head

push press

Definition: a movement used to press a weight from the shoulders to an overhead position by utilizing a short yet powerful dip-drive through the heels and mid-foot

Queue: think about pulling your head back and out of the way of the bar as if a string attached to the back of your head was being plucked (make a big, fat face!) to allow the bar to pass directly in front of your nose

thruster

Definition: a combination of a front squat and a press but smoothed out into one continuous movement from a squat bottom into an overhead finish

Queue: this is a movement which has a lot of moving parts, so envision yourself as a piston and make every repetition smoother and more consistent than the previous by using the legs as the main driving force

(split) jerk

Definition: the most technical of the shoulder-to-overhead movements and similar to the push press except it finishes with an additional dip under the bar to receive it overhead

Queue: when all else fails, think about Molly Shannon’s Mary Katherine Gallagher character in Saturday Night Live: “Superstar!”

 

pull-up

Definition: a gymnastic movement using the upper body to pull yourself vertically until the chin passes over the bar height-wise

Queue: when using bands: 1. load the foot which is nearest the bands into them 2. set the hands wider than shoulder width 3. drive the foot down to a straight leg 4. load the rest of your bodyweight into the band while setting the other foot on top of the banded-foot outside of the bands while allowing the bands to pass down the center of the body. once you are finished, reverse the process to get out of the bands.

 

Hip-Hinge

kettlebell swing

(Russian – to shoulder/eye level, American – to a position directly overhead)

Definition: a two-handed conditioning movement performed with a kettlebell, where power is generated by a hip-hinge

Queue: keep your chest up (in relation to your spine) and eyes on the horizon as you let the kettlebell pass between your thighs (not your knees or below!) before you powerfully return to an open hip/standing position

deadlift

Definition: a movement performed by standing up with a weight which was once resting on the ground

Queue: above everything, maintain the natural S-curvature of your spine! pull the knees out of the way FIRST as you stand up then push your hips way back to keep your knees out of the way as you descend toward the floor.

knees-to-elbows/toes-to-bar

Definition: two similar gymnastic movements performed while hanging from a bar – with straight arms, touch the knees to the elbows and toes (or any part of the feet) to the bar, respectively

Queue: to make steady progress, try to get the indicated body part as close to the target as possible on each attempt while lifting the hips/rotating the pelvis on the way up

 

Other Conditioning

wall balls

Definition: a conditioning movement performed by descending in to a full-depth squat while holding a medicine ball before powerfully driving upwards to propel the ball up against the wall

Queue: make it a goal to hit the target (10′ for men, 9′ for ladies) on each repetition by performing steady, consistent repetitions with a powerful leg-drive from the bottom of the squat

box jumps

Definition: a plyometric movement which can be used for conditioning, involving a jump on top of a box or other similarly supportive object

Queue: open up the hips above the plane of the top of the box by either standing up upon landing or bounding off the top immediately after landing

 

Weightlifting

clean

Definition: an explosive movement which brings a weight from the floor to the shoulders

Queue: with loose, straight arms, stand up with the weight until it touches the mid-thigh before violently extending the hips to receive it on the shoulders

snatch

Definition: a smooth and powerful movement which brings a weight from the floor to an overhead position

Queue: find your grip-width such that the barbell sits in the hip pocket (right above the pubic bone) when standing with slightly bent knees and hips and feet directly under the hips

snatch and clean modifiers

hang

Definition: modifies both the snatch and clean such that the movement is initiated with the weight off the floor

Queue: hanging from the hands/hanging off the ground

power

Definition: modifies both the snatch and clean such that the weight is received in a high quarter-squat

Queue: more “power” is needed to be generated to get the same amount of weight to shoulder height in a quarter-squat rather than a full-depth squat

 

Other Skill Movements

handstand push-up

Definition: an inverted gymnastic movement performed with hands on the floor or a platform and heels on a wall by lowering the body until the top of the head touches the designated depth

Queue: set the hands just outside of the shoulders with the fingers turned slightly out to control the descent before quickly reversing direction upon making contact with the head

pistol

Definition: a single-leg squat performed with the other leg extended out in front of the body

Queue: reach the hands directly out in front of the body as the hips are driven back while pinning the inner thighs together for balance

muscle-up

Definition: a gymnastic movement involving a pull-up transitioning into a dip typically performed on rings or a bar

Queue: on the rings, keep the knuckles close as the hands are pulled aggressively toward the sternum before separating and turning over quickly (think: Clark Kent ripping open his button-down then “putting your hood on”). on the bar, perform a deep chest-to-bar pull-up before quickly turning the elbows AND wrists over and on top of the bar.