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Thursday, December 8, 2016

By Emily Abbate, rodalewellness.com (TNS)

To say that watching the 2015 CrossFit Games may have been intimidating, well, that’s an understatement. Completing a total of 13 events that included everything from paddleboarding to wearning a 20-pound weight vest to run one mile, do 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 air squats and then run another mile is no easy task.

But for beginners, watching a competition with that sort of intensity can make the sport as a whole majorly unattractive.

“The biggest thing is separating CrossFit as a sport, and CrossFit as a form of fitness,” said Liz Adams, coach at CrossFit Fifth Avenue in New York City. “(In reality) CrossFit as a form of fitness is what the other 95 percent of people are doing in their local gyms everyday. Functional movements practiced at a high intensity that can be universally scalable. You don’t have to have any athletic background to be able to do CrossFit. There’s a big misconception that you have to be this elite athlete and it couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, a large percentage of my members don’t have any athletic background at all. Everything we do in CrossFit can be scaled and modified to any skill level.”

Adams recommends this beginner CrossFit workout to get you started. Do three rounds, 1 minute per station.

Bodyweight Squat
Begin standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width and your toes turned out slightly. Your hands are by your sides with your palms facing inward. Pull the shoulders down your back toward your hips. Engage your abdominal/core muscles to stabilize your spine. Keep your chest lifted and your chin parallel to the floor. Shift your weight back into your heels as your hips begin to push toward the wall behind you. Begin hinging at the hips, shifting them back and down. As you lower your hips the knees bend and will start to shift forward slowly.

Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel or almost parallel to the floor. Keep the knees aligned with the second toe and body weight evenly distributed between the balls and heels of both feet. While maintaining the position of your back, chest and head and with the abdominals engaged, exhale and return to start position by pushing your feet into the floor through your heels. The hips and torso should rise together. Keep the heels flat on the floor and knees aligned with the second toe.

Lunges
Stand with your feet together. Pull your shoulder blades toward your hips. Slowly lift one foot off the floor and find your balance on the standing leg. Hold this position briefly before stepping forward. Slowly shift your body weight onto the lead foot, placing it firmly on the floor, landing with heel first.

Continue lowering your body to a comfortable position or until your front thigh becomes parallel with the floor and your shinbone is in a slight forward lean. During the movement, slightly bend forward at your hips. Keep the back straight. Firmly push off with the front leg, activating both your thighs and butt muscles to return to your upright, starting position.

Burpees
Start by standing up straight. Bend over at the hips, pushing the hips back and reaching down to touch the floor with your hands while keeping your whole foot on the floor (your knees can bend, but you want to make sure you’re loading your hamstrings while you do this). From there, jump back with your feet into a push-up plank position.

Your chest should then touch the floor. You don’t necessarily need to do a true push-up, but you can let your knees go to the floor and then roll down to your chest without compromising back position. Return to plank position by pushing up with your hands (again keeping the core pretty tight).

Pop up using the power from your hips to bring your legs in toward your hands. Try to land on the whole foot in the same position as you passed on the way down, then stand up from there. Explosively jump upward, most people add a clap or throw their hands up into the air for the final hoorah.

Butterfly sit-ups
Lie faceup on the floor with a folded towel under your lower back, soles of your feet together knees open to the sides, and arms overhead on the floor. Brace your core and sit up, reaching your fingers toward or past your toes. Slowly return to start.

Rest.

(Note: This story originally appeared on Rodale News, formerly known as fitbie.com.)

(c)2015 Fitbie.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Photo: Amber Karnes