CrossFit is an incredible sport. It has allowed me to run healthy and injury -free for the past 10 years, and has helped me to recognize my own strength. As much as I LOVE CrossFit, I have to admit there are some truly silly things we only do in CrossFit workouts.
CrossFit is built on the foundation of functional fitness. Workouts are randomized so that the athlete gains strength that will allow them to be a stronger contender across multiple sports and domains. It builds endurance, strength, and explosiveness. But there are a few movements that just leave me scratching my head. Wondering. Why on Gods green Earth do I actually need to know how to do this absurd movement?
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Never the less, it is a sport I love. But I’m a complicated human being, and I show my affection in unusual ways. The more I like something, the more I challenge and poke fun at it. Call it a character flaw. So to stay true to brand, today I’m talking about the seriously rediculous and silly things that we only do in CrossFit. The movements that will get us nowhere in real life, but because we’re competitive masochists, we want to be able to do anyways.
Without further delay, here are my top five dumb things I only do in CrossFit workouts:
Ridiculous Things We Only Do In CrossFit Workouts
If you’ve never watched the CrossFit Games on ESPN, or had a friend con you into spectating a local CrossFit comp, you probably don’t realize that handstand walks are a thing in CrossFit. That’s because outside of gymnastics, most grown adults don’t spend a whole lot of time ambulating upside down. Most of us have two legs attached to two feet that serve that very purpose, after all.
But leave it to CrossFitters to decide that walking around right side up just isn’t extreme enough. Nope. We need to do it inverted. Upside down. Risking crash and concussion. Now, I actually have a dance and gymnastics background, so spending some time upside down isn’t all that strange for me. But when I really sit back and reflect, handstand walking is a truly useless skill. Don’t get me wrong. It takes a whole lot of strength and coordination. And it’s a great party trick (until you drunkenly kick someone in the face on your way down).
But is it useful for life outside the box? I think not. It’s still kinda fun though, so I don’t really mind all that much if I’m being completely honest.
Bar Muscle Ups
Not sure what a bar muscle up is? Well, head over to the YouTubes, do a quick search on “muscle ups,” and kiss 15 minutes good-bye as you laugh like a lunatic watching some of the best “fail” footage available. If you don’t have that kind of time to spare, essentially a muscle up is where you use momentum to swing yourself from a pull-up to a position where your arms are fully extended, and you are above the pull-up bar.
It’s another movement that was inexplicably stolen from the gymnastics world. Once again, it requires a whole lot of strength, timing, body awareness, and coordination. If you can pull your chin up over the bar, you are probably fairly strong. If you can pull your entire upper body up over the bar, well you’re even stronger.
It’s a movement that I spent YEARS trying to nail. I’ve been able to get myself over that damn bar a few times here and there, but it hurts. And it’s not something I can do consistently. So I guess you can call me a little salty about it. But really, I can’t think of a single time in my adult life where I have had any reason to need to pull myself up and over something from a hanging position. And I have to just say for context that I jumped my fair share of fences in high school trying to escape busted parties. That’s a completely different movement. Have I ever muscled up over something in the real world? Not once.
But if you’re stubborn like me, and really want to get this movement for the first time, WodPrep has a great blog post on bar muscle up progressions.
Ahhhhh, the jump rope. The form of cardio boxers have made socially acceptable for people over the age of 15. Hop up and down repeatedly for an extended period of time and it burns some calories and makes you a little more agile, I suppose. I don’t hate the fact that it probably makes my calves and ankles a little stronger.
But the double under is a whole different story. Because once again, we CrossFitters can’t just settle for a regular, acceptable movement. No, we need it to be more difficult and complicated. So we program double-unders instead. A movement where we whip that angry little rope around two times for ever one jump. It requires more speed and coordination than the standard single under.
Know what else it’s known for in the CrossFit world? Causing CrossFitters everywhere to lash themselves. Jumping is fine. There’s value in being able to hop over things. But jumping over a rope twice that’s actively trying to slash your calf in the process? Just silly.
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HandStand Push Ups
CrossFitters just love finding ways to make basic fitness moves more difficult, don’t we. Push-ups in general are not the easiest movement to execute correctly. It takes some arm and core strength to be able to push your entire body up off the ground. It also takes a good amount of coordination and agility to get upside down.
But let’s just make all of that a little bit harder, shall we? Instead of a regular push-up, let’s make you get upside down and do a handstand push-up. Because life is more fun when you have to push your entire body weight up and down, inverted with just the strength of your arms. Sure, you can kip, which helps with giving you some momentum. But you gotta make sure you figure out how to not fall off the wall and roll onto the middle of the floor. Or fart loudly. Lots of ways to embarrass yourself you in a handstand push-up situation.
Burpee Box JumpOvers
And the final ridiculous movement that CrossFitters only do inside in the box; burpee box jumpovers. General consensous is that burpees suck. A whole lot. Box jumps are also not a ton of fun. Both movements are cardio. Both movements make you breath hard. So why not toss both terrible movements together into one horrific movement?
Now, I get it. Cardio is cardio. As much as I love running, I don’t love cardio. It’s not a good time. But it’s useful. It gets the heart pumping, the blood flowing, and it keeps people in decent shape. So what I don’t get is why we need to do both a burpee and a box jump back to back? Couldn’t we just do one and call it good? I don’t know about you, but significant amounts of ups and downs kinda makes me nauseous.
Also, never in my 32 years have I actually needed to throw myself down onto the floor, jump up as fast I can, and then jump again up on top of something. The burpee box jumpover is the stop, drop, and roll of CrossFit. It seems reasonable, but you probably won’t ever really need to use it. But unlike the fire protocol, one miscalculation during a burpee box jumpover might cost you half your shin. So jump carefully, friends.
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All of these movements take a whole lot of strength, skill, and coordination. And I guess that’s probably the point. While the movements are NOT fun, they do make you stronger. Do you need to know how to whip a jump rope around twice or flip upside down and walk on your hands? Nope. It’s not gonna change your life.
But knowing that you set out to do a thing that’s as hard as a bar muscle up, and you FINALLY FREAKING GOT IT, that just might. So while I hate actually doing these movements, and as silly as I might think they are when it comes to everyday real life, I guess they are making me a stronger athlete. So they’re not completely stupid. They just really suck.