15 CrossFit Body-Weight Exercises You Can Do at Home

Yes, you can do CrossFit exercises at home! Here are the best bodyweight moves to try. (Image: Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com)

The human body is capable of incredible feats. We can jump, lift, run, walk, carry children, pick up groceries — and the list goes on and on. But in order to complete those feats safely, you need to learn to move and train more functionally.

When it comes to functional fitness, all you need is your own body to complete tasks in your everyday life and in your personal fitness journey. These 15 CrossFit moves — that require only your body weight — can help. And as an added benefit, they can be done from the comfort of your own home.

1. Air Squat

The air squat exercise is a CrossFit move that doesn't require any equipment (Image: Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com)
  1. Start with your feet a little more than hip-width apart.
  2. With your core tight and your weight focused on your heels, lower your glutes back and down as you raise your arms out in front of you.
  3. If your mobility allows, you can go deeper than thighs parallel to the floor.
  4. Drive your knees out the entire time and try to think of screwing your feet into the ground to activate your glutes.
  5. Stand up to achieve full hip extension while keeping your chest lifted and repeat.

2. Jump Squat

The CrossFit jump squat exercise is great for glutes, hamstrings, calves, quads and core. (Image: Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com)
  1. Similar to air squats, start with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart.
  2. With your core tight and weight in your heels, lower your glutes back and down as you raise your arms behind you.
  3. When you hit the bottom of your squat, drive your arms up and explode up into the air.
  4. Land with your knees bent, to protect your joints and prepare yourself for the next rep.
  5. Keep your knees out and do not let them cave in.

3. Pistol Squat

The CrossFit pistol squat exercise is an advanced variation on a regular squat. (Image: Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com)

This exercise works your balance, mobility and stabilizer muscles. You can modify by either stopping your squat when parallel to the ground or holding a chair for balance. This is a big challenge for the glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves; just make sure to do it on both legs.

  1. With your weight in your left heel, raise your right leg up in the air (you can hold on to your right foot for more balance).
  2. Slowly lower down, driving your butt back and down.
  3. On an exhale, use stable leg to bring your body back up.

4. Front Plank

A stationary plank exercise has a place in any workout, even CrossFit (Image: Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com)
  1. Place your forearms on the ground, palms facing down.
  2. Hold the rest of your body in a push-up position in a straight line.
  3. Contract your abs while activating your lats (the muscles across your upper back) and driving your elbows into the ground for full muscle activation.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute.

5. Side Plank

The side plank exercise is a variation on the front plank that targets the obliques. (Image: Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com)
  1. Place your right forearm on the ground at a 90-degree angle to your body.
  2. Turn to the right so that your entire right side faces the ground and your left is pointed toward the ceiling.
  3. Stack your feet on top of one another and raise your hips up to the sky.
  4. Push your forearm into the ground to activate your lats and continue to lift your hips, engaging your obliques.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute.

6. Lunge

Lunges target your quads, hamstrings and calves and can be done in countless variations, as well as during CrossFit workouts. (Image: Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com)
  1. Start standing up straight, then step forward with one leg so that your back knee touches the floor and your front shin is perpendicular to the floor.
  2. Your front knee should be directly over your ankle and never track over your foot.
  3. Bring your leg back to standing and repeat on the other side.

Tip

You can alternate lunges in place, walk forward while doing lunges, walk backwards while doing lunges or do side lunges. Each lunge direction hits a different part of your glutes, so for constant improvement, change it up. Your muscles will thank you.

7. Lunge Jump

The lunge jump CrossFit exercise is a more intense variation of the standard lunge. (Image: Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com)
  1. This movement starts in the bottom of the lunge position — your front leg creating a 90-degree angle, knee stacked over your ankle, back knee touching the ground.
  2. Using your arms, drive your body up, jump and switch feet in the air.
  3. Land back in the lunge position with your opposite leg in front.
  4. Continue alternating for 30 seconds to a minute.

Tip

To make this even more challenging, place your hands on your hips or on your head so that you don’t have the extra momentum from your arms.

8. Speed Skater

The speed skater CrossFit exercise activates all the muscles in your lower body. (Image: Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com)
  1. Start standing with your feet facing forward underneath your hips.
  2. Using your left leg, push to the right side and jump off, landing on your right foot. As you land, your knees should be slightly bent, but keep your right knee stacked and avoid caving in.
  3. If you are very flexible, touch the ground with your left hand.
  4. Push off your right leg and jump to the left.
  5. Repeat the movement back and forth.

Tip

If you have issues with lateral movement, you can modify this movement by taking the jump out of it, instead stepping side to side.

9. Burpee

The burpee is a CrossFit exercise many people love to hate. (Image: Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com)
  1. Start with your feet underneath your hips.
  2. In one movement, place your hands on the ground and jump your feet back to a push-up position. Your chest should touch the deck.
  3. Push up with your hips still on the ground. Then, using your hips, pop your feet up behind your hands and stand up.
  4. Finish with a clap over head and jump off of the ground.

Tip

To modify, step down and up from the ground instead of jumping.

10. Sprinting

Add sprinting to your at-home CrossFit workout for a blast of cardio exercise. (Image: Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com)

There is no better cardiovascular exercise for efficient fat-burning and muscle-building than sprints. You'll use your entire body at a high intensity, but not to worry — you don't have to do it for long!

As this is such a high-intensity, anaerobic movement, take time in between intervals to allow your heart rate to drop. Sprints can range from 20-meter explosions to 400-meter longer sprints. To make things more difficult, add a hill into the mix.

  1. As you begin to run, drive your arms forward (because your knees will follow anything your arms do in a run) and drive your knees up.
  2. Inhale and exhale frequently, and continue to drive your arms and knees forward to increase speed.
  3. Continue at high speed for 60 seconds before you ease to a walk. Take at least 30 seconds in between sets.

11. Hand-Release Push-Up

Hand-release push-ups work your upper-body strength and overall fitness as part of CrossFit workouts. (Image: Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com)
  1. Start with your hands on the ground underneath your shoulders and your legs straight back in a plank position. Your body should be in one straight line with your core locked.
  2. Slowly lower yourself down until your chest rests on the ground. Then, lift your hands off the ground.
  3. Place your hands back down and push yourself up to the starting position without collapsing your lower back.

12. Handstand Push-Up

The handstand push-up is a challenging CrossFit exercise you'll need to build up to. (Image: Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com)

Before you attempt this move for the first time, try it with a spotter that can catch you if you lose your balance.

  1. Start by kicking up into a handstand against a wall.
  2. Lower your body to the ground so that your head touches the ground (or mat) below. Keep your elbows pointing forward instead of out to the side.
  3. Engaging your core, push yourself away from the ground into a handstand.

Tip

To make this move easier, you can kip, which helps drive the body up. Bend your knees to your chest while you lower your head toward the ground, then kick up as you push off of the ground with your hands.

13. Mountain Climber

The mountain climber CrossFit move offers another chance to squeeze cardio into your workout. (Image: Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com)
  1. Start in a push-up position with your abs tight and hands pressing into the ground.
  2. Contracting your core, bring one knee up to your chest in between your hands and tap the toe on the ground.
  3. Bring it back down to the starting position and quickly switch to the next foot.
  4. Alternate your feet quickly, maintaining good form.

14. Double Under

Double unders are a CrossFit favorite performed with a jump rope. (Image: Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com)
  1. Start with a jump rope in your hands, feet at hips distance apart.
  2. Begin with standard jump rope form and hold the rope close to your body.
  3. While jumping into the air, quickly flick the rope around so that it passes under you twice per jump.

Tip

This move is all about the wrists! Keep your hands as close to your hips as possible. For a modified version, you can complete a single under — a standard jump with the rope passing under you once — but double the amount of total jumps.

15. Handstand Walk

The handstand walk is a CrossFit exercise derived from gymnastics that will seriously challenge your balance. (Image: Travis McCoy/travismccoy.com)
  1. Kick up into a handstand on a wall for support.
  2. Slowly move your feet away from the wall to feel your core engaging for balance.
  3. Spread your fingers and press your hands into the ground so that your lats are fully activated and your shoulders are in a stable position.
  4. When you feel balanced, move away from the wall as you kick up and take several steps forward.

Tip

Play around with rocking back and forth while against a wall. For extra help, have a partner hold your legs in the air. Once you’re strong enough, try “walking” around on your hands. You can go forward or backward — but it'll always challenge your shoulders, back and core.

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