I’ll be the first to admit that leaving bias out of a workout program is a major difficulty. I think most coaches, and even athletes that write their own programs, can relate to this. We all have favorite go-to exercises and we hate leaving them out. On the other end of the spectrum, many of us have exercises – or styles of exercise – that we just don’t agree with. For me, it’s Crossfit. Today, I’ve replaced exercises in three Crossfit WODs and provided explanations for each of the changes. Enjoy!
WOD #1:3 rounds for time
15 Power Snatch
20 Ring Dips
Core – 50 Good Mornings
NEW WOD #1:3 rounds for time15 Thrusters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KYPZ-Jzo3w
Have you ever seen a power snatch? It’s an explosive movement, and highly technical. Here, I’ve replaced it with good old-fashioned thrusters, a combination squat and press. Thrusters give you the option of how explosive to make the movement, while ramping your heart rate up at the same time. Power snatches are great, but are more effective when performed outside of a tough circuit.
20 TRX Triceps Extensions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddq8ECSkm-w
Toss the ring dips for TRX triceps extensions. Dips – of all types – can be unforgiving on the shoulder complex. This is especially true for ring dips, as they require an added level of balance and coordination. TRX extensions, on the other hand, offer more shoulder protection while still effectively building triceps strength.
Core – 8/side Single Leg Hip Thrust: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKyySQT_070
Similar to the next WOD, I’ve tossed the good mornings. I’ll assume they’re here to build lower back and glute strength. Staying true to these goals, I’ve replaced them with single leg hip thrusts. This movement challenges both mobility and stability across a variety of areas, and builds major strength in the glutes. When you perform these, remember two things: squeeze your glutes; and don’t let your hips tilt or drop.
WOD #2:5 rounds for time
15 Overhead Squats
Core – 30 Good Mornings
NEW WOD #2: 5 rounds for time400M Run:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AitzijAoWqs
I like the 400M run. It’s a total gasser – perhaps the most difficult sprint to run well. I’m perfectly happy to see this, and sprinting as a whole, in a workout. And that’s exactly why it’s not changing! During the 400M, be careful not to go out too fast – you’ll suffer miserably during the last 100-150M if you do. Keep it comfortably hard during the first 250-300M and kick HARD during the last stretch.
25 Prisoner Squats: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CThBYWS5IWc
Here, prisoner squats replace the overhead squats. Overhead squats are a great movement for assessment – the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) loves them. Unfortunately, they’re also fairly technical. Prisoner squats train similar qualities – lower body and core strength – while requiring a lower level of technical ability. You’ll appreciate this at the end of your third or fourth set, when your technique begins to suffer. Additionally, prisoner squats teach you to stay upright during the squat, one of the more difficult aspects of the movement.
Core – 10 TRX Body Saw + Pike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQX3iBy6Ba8
I’m assuming the good morning was part of the original WOD as a core exercise to build lower back strength – good mornings are great for that. However, they’re also heavily fatiguing. A small drop in quality can easily result in injury. I’ve replaced them with the TRX body saw and pike combo, another movement that really stresses lower back strength. When doing these, be careful not to let your lower back hyper extend – don’t let your hips drop too close to the floor. Shoot for a straight line during the saw portion of the movement.
WOD #3: AMRAP in 10 minutes
15 Unanchored Situps
10 Handstand Pushups
NEW WOD #3: AMRAP in 12 minutes250M Row: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0r_ZPXJLtg
Similar to the 400M run from the previous workout, the row here hasn’t changed. In fact, I’ve actually added another 100M to the movement. I’ve also accounted for this by adding two additional movement to the workout time. People spend a great deal of time rowing for strength in the gym, but not nearly enough time rowing for endurance. It’s time to change that!
15 Straight Arm Crunches: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg7lL9yxa7Y
As with many movements in Crossfit, unanchored situps allow you to take advantage of momentum. I’ve replaced them with a movement that somewhat relies on momentum, but also allows for a good increase in load and the training of another quality of core strength. Perform a straight arm crunch by laying on the floor with knees bent. Extend your hands behind your head and hold a light dumbbell. Now, push the flat of your back into the floor – this is called posterior hip tilt. Keeping you back flat on the floor and elbows locked out, raise the weight until it’s directly over your face. Finally, perform a modified crunch movement by reaching towards the sky.
8 Push Press/side:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhSkCaVO-KE
I’ve subbed push presses in for handstand pushups for major reason: a less compromising position. Handstand pushups pile loads of stress on your shoulders. This is great in an isolated situation, but when mixed into an AMRAP workout it may be too rough for some people. Push presses allow you to train both strength and muscular endurance on a similar level, as well as explosiveness.