Typically, exercises for Crossfit training can generally be classified into distance movements, body-weight movements and free-weight movements. Affiliate gyms and their members create routines from the exercises that are known as Workouts of the Day, or WODs. They combine a WOD with other activities to form a complete exercise session, also known as a box.


The specific goal of these exercises is to improve overall physical fitness for a range of activities. CrossFit exercises generally have a high intensity and consist of functional movements that constantly vary. These individual movements are then combined in specific ways to provide a WOD with a variety of exercise types. The duration of a WOD should be no more than 20 minutes and require a maximum effort. Some movements require only a flat surface, while others require specific pieces of equipment.

A box typically requires an hour to complete, and usually includes a WOD along with other activities such as a warm-up, stretching and a segment for developing a particular skill. Each WOD has a scoring procedure that allows individuals to track their progress and encourages competition between individuals. The core activity in a box may be a specific activity such as weightlifting, rather than a WOD.

Distance Movements

The primary distance movements in CrossFit training are running and rowing. Running distances are usually between 100 meters and one mile. Running movements may also include shuttle runs, which are back-and-forth runs with a distance of 10 meters on each leg. Participants typically perform rowing movements on a machine for a distance ranging from 500 meters to 2,000 meters. The objective of a rowing session may also be the expenditure of a certain number of calories.

Body-Weight Movements

Body-weight movements rely on your own body weight to provide resistance. They can generally be classified into movements that require only a level surface, and movements that require some type of equipment.

Movements that require a level surface, include a burpee in which you drop to the floor from a standing position and touch your chest to the floor. Pull your legs forward to land in a squat. An air squat requires you to lower yourself into a squatting position while keeping your trunk upright. Reverse this movement to achieve a standing position.

A pull-up is a common type of CrossFit movement that requires equipment. Grasp a horizontal bar overhead and pull your body up so that your chin is above the bar. A ring pull involves supporting your body weight by grabbing a gymnastics ring in each hand. Hold your arms in a straight, vertical position and bend your elbows until your shoulders drop below the horizontal level. Extend your elbow to straighten your arms back to a vertical position.

Free-Weight Movements

Some CrossFit movements also rely on free weights to provide resistance. A strict press involves grabbing a barbell with both hands, and lifting it off the rack into an overhead position. A press has several variations, including a push press, push jerk and a split jerk.

A squat consists of supporting the bar with your upper back and extending your knees into a standing position. Bend your knees until your thighs drop below the horizontal level, then extend your needs back to a standing position.