The 5 Best CrossFit Exercises for High School Athletes

December 16, 2013

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CrossFit training has become more common among high school athletes, upping everyone's strength routine in the process. But no one can train all day and recover. So you must nail down a CrossFit program you can stick with without going overboard.

Here are five great CrossFit exercises to get you started on the right path.

Front Squats

Sets/Reps: 3x8

The Squat—specifically, the Front Squat—is the king of all leg exercises. If you have a strong upper body, you have a strong upper body, but if you have strong legs, you are all-over strong. Improvement in running, jumping and explosiveness all happen as a result of performing Front Squats. Very few CrossFit exercises neglect leg strength, and it is the athlete with strong legs who ends up a champion on the field.

The Front Squat demands mid-line stability, posterior strength and anterior strength. Anyone who has done a few sets of heavy Front Squats can attest that it is a whole-body exercise.

But what is most important about the Front Squat is its transferability to other movements. If you focus on Front Squats, you'll see immediate improvements in Clean and Jerks, Thrusters, Hang Cleans and Wall Ball Shots.

Deadlifts

Sets/Reps: 3x8

Second in command to the Squat is the Deadlift. What is more badass than a ridiculously strong posterior chain and the ability to pick up a ton of weight? Besides packing on leg and back strength, you'll also build grip strength like you would not believe.

Barbell Overhead Walking Lunges

Sets/Reps: 3x8 each leg

CrossFit places great emphasis on double-legged movements like the Squat, Box Jump and Thruster. But you must not forget the value of unilateral, or single-leg, movements. Strengthening your legs separately will skyrocket your double-legged movements immediately. The Barbell Overhead Walking Lunge is a great exercise because it places the weight on your legs individually. Holding the barbell overhead while walking is another way of demanding more mid-line stability, shoulder strength and grip strength.

Burpee Pull-Ups

Sets/Reps: 3x8

Bodyweight exercises are simple, effective and a foundational part of CrossFit. Burpees incorporate power, strength and anaerobic capacity. The Pull-Up improves back and grip strength, and will advance you into more technical bar movements. Combine the two and you'll create a monster!

Airdyne and Rowing Sprint Intervals

Sets/Duration: 8 rounds of 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest

You can lift a great deal of weight, but if you don't have endurance, you will not be very good. You have to be sufficient across all fitness domains to be a hard core CrossFitter and a super athlete. That means jumping on an Airdyne bike or a Concept 2 rower and getting after some sprints. All high school athletic competitions demand anaerobic capacity, and performing sprints frequently helps tremendously. Almost half of all CrossFit WODs include an Airdyne bike or a Concept 2 rower, so why not become proficient on them today? Anaerobic sprints will also help with the recovery process and refine your breathing technique.

Topics: CROSSFIT
Scott Abramouski
- Scott Abramouski is a personal trainer at State of Fitness (Lansing, Mich.) He is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Scott Abramouski
- Scott Abramouski is a personal trainer at State of Fitness (Lansing, Mich.) He is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
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