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9 CrossFit® Workouts You Can Do Pretty Much Anywhere

CrossFit® exploded onto the fitness scene in 2000, and it’s been nothing short of a phenomenon ever since. But just because you might not have a local CrossFit® box (a.k.a. gym)—or don’t want to shell out the often-expensive membership—doesn’t mean you can’t make its fast-paced, functional workouts a part of your routine.

“CrossFit® workouts are scalable so exercisers of all fitness levels, technical abilities, and strength, can benefit from them,” says Liz Adams, head coach at ICE NYC Tribeca and three-time regional CrossFit athlete. And there are plenty of WODs (‘workout of the day’) that require just your body weight and only basic equipment. The cardinal rule of these workouts (whether you’re at a box or on your own): Technique first, consistency second, and intensity last, she says.

These do-anywhere CrossFit® WODs are quick and dirty, require little or no equipment, and don’t cost a dime:

WOD #1: 20 Minutes Alternate EMOM (every minute, on the minute)

  1. 40 double-unders, or 80 rotations with a jump rope
  2. 30 kettlebell swings
  3. 20 pushups
  4. 10 V-ups

What you do: Set a timer for 20 minutes or watch the clock. You have one minute to perform the prescribed reps of each exercise, using any leftover time to rest before starting the next exercise at the top of the next minute. Repeat until the 20 minutes are up. You’ll cycle through all four exercises five times each.

Equipment needed: jump rope, kettlebell

Why it works: “My favorite two pieces of equipment that you can pick up anywhere are a kettlebell and a jump rope,” says Kenny Santucci, Reebok ONE Master trainer and Solace New York coach. “When I’m short on time or haven’t worked out in a few days, I love to do this full-body assault on my roof.” This WOD spikes your heart rate and engages your legs, upper body, and core. “Five rounds of this will light up your day,” he says.

WOD #2: ‘Cindy’ – 20 Min AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)

  1. 5 pullups
  2. 10 pushups
  3. 15 squats

Equipment needed: pullup bar (or rings or TRX band)

What you do: Set a timer for 20 minutes or watch the clock. Cycle through the three exercises as many times as possible in those 20 minutes, resting only as needed.

Why it works: “Cindy is one of the classic CrossFit® workouts, and requires a combination of muscular endurance, aerobic capacity, and strength,” says Adams. This well-rounded workout challenges the upper-body with both pushing and pulling movements, and the lower-body with the squats. You can expect your heart rate to climb steadily as you go, Adams says. (Top scores for the ‘Cindy’ WOD are 20-plus rounds in the 20 minutes.)

Related: Three Ways To Improve Your Squat

WOD #3: 4 Rounds, For Time

  1. 400 meter run or lap around block
  2. 25 push ups

Equipment needed: None

What you do: Start your timer and cycle through the run and pushups four times, as quickly as possible. Record your time.

Why it works: This simple workout requires both endurance and upper-body strength. “I focus on making sure my push-ups are PERFECT,” says Deanna Gibaldi CrossFit® Coach at ICE NYC, CrossFit Queens, and CrossFit Greenpoint. This ensures the workout is as upper-body-focused as it’s intended to be.

WOD #4: 20 Minutes AMRAP

  1. One field-length of walking lunges (or handstand walk, if you have a gymnastics or CrossFit® background)
  2. 20 burpees
  3. 20 situps

Equipment needed: None.

What you do: Set your timer for 20 minutes or watch the clock. Cycle through the three exercises as many times as possible in those 20 minutes, resting only as needed.

Why it works: This workout is perfect for an outdoor sweat and can be easily adjusted for any environment. This workout really challenges your endurance, says Gibaldi. If you don’t have 100-yards-worth of outdoor space or are working out in the gym, pace your lunges back and forth in whatever space you have.

WOD #5: 5 Rounds, For Time

  1. 10 burpees
  2. 20 squats
  3. 30 situps
  4. 400-meter run (or 500-meter row)

Equipment needed: None (unless subbing a row for the run).

What you do: Start your timer and cycle through the burpees, squats, situps, and runs four times, as quickly as possible. Record your time.

Why it works: This WOD is super scalable: burpees can be modified by not dropping your torso all the way to the floor, air squats can be adjusted to sitting and standing back up from a chair, and situps can be scaled to crunches, says Nikki Berger, coach at CrossFit Union Square NYC. You can even cut the reps in half, or perform three rounds instead of five, she adds.

Related: The Effective Cardio Machine You’re Not Using

WOD #6: ‘Murph’

  1. 1-mile run
  2. 100 pullups
  3. 200 pushups
  4. 300 squats
  5. 1-mile run

Equipment needed: pullup bar

What you do: This doozy is less about time than it is about survival. Move through the run, pullups, pushups, squats, and final run, resting as needed.

Why it works: Arguably one of the most famous CrossFit® workouts out there, ‘Murph’ requires just a pullup bar and somewhere to run. To make the seemingly-endless reps of bodyweight exercises easier to swallow, you can break them up, says Berger. “Instead of going straight through the 100 pullups and so on, you can partition the movements by doing 20 rounds of five pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 squats,” she says.

WOD #7: Death By…Anything (EMOM)

Minute 1: one rep of chosen exercise
Minute 2: two reps of chosen exercise
Minute 3: three reps of chosen exercise

Equipment needed: None

What you do: You can use a number of exercises to complete this workout. Start your timer or watch the clock. At the top of every minute, you’ll perform your chosen exercise, starting with just one rep the first minute and adding an additional rep with every minute that passes. When you finish your reps, the rest of each minute is your recovery time. Continue until you can’t get through all of the reps before the minute runs out. Record how many minutes you’re able to complete.

Why it works: “These workouts are sneaky little guys,” says CJ Maldonado CrossFit® and CrossFit® foundations coach at ICE NYC. “They start out seeming very innocent, but before you know it you’re running out of time and trying to play catch up.” This endurance-testing workout ends whenever you can no longer keep up—see how long you can last!

WOD #8: 400-Meters Of Walking Lunges, For Time

Equipment needed: None

What you do: Perform walking lunges around the track, on the treadmill, in the backyard, or at the gym, for 400 meters total, resting as needed.

Why it works: “This WOD is simple and surprisingly brutal,” says Madonado. “It’s all quadriceps muscles. All. The. Time.” It’s the perfect quick burn when you’re crunched on time or without a gym—or can be added to the end of your go-to ‘leg day’ exercises to guarantee you’ll be feeling it tomorrow.

WOD #9: For Time

  1. 150 burpees
  2. 1-mile run

Equipment needed: None

What you do: If a mile run isn’t intimidating on its own, it sure will be after 150 burpees. Start your timer and perform the burpees, resting or breaking them up as needed. When you finish the burpees, move quickly to the mile run. Record your total working time.

Why it works: Taxing your aerobic capacity with burpees before you start a mile run changes everything about that run, says Maldonado. “The goal for this workout is to maintain your normal “fast-run” pace after taxing your central nervous system with all of those burpees,” he says. Whether your usual one-mile pace is six minutes or twelve, try to hit that in the mile you run after the burpees. It’ll be tough.


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