The 7 Most Underrated CrossFit Exercises

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The 7 Most Underrated CrossFit Exercises
Coach Ken (CJ) Crowder of CrossFit 77 in North Carolina previously laid out his thoughts on the 7 most overrated CrossFit exercises. Now he is back with his thoughts on the 7 most underrated CrossFit exercises/movements. (Yes, queue up the Goldilocks jokes here … drop a note in the comments with your thoughts on the 7 CrossFit exercises that are just right …).

1. Turkish Get Up

Coach Crowder doesn’t mince words. “NOT FOR TIME, because a ‘for time’ Turkish Get Up is STUPID.”
Turkish Get Ups are a phenomenal exercise for building a strong core and mobile shoulders. A pretty awesome feat is being able to do a Turkish Get Up with 100lbs. An example workout would be 50 Turkish Get Ups at 1.5 pood (men)/1 pood (women), focusing on quality of movement.

2. Strict weighted pullups

Strict weighted pull-ups
Per Coach Crowder:

At [CrossFit] 77, our athletes do lots and lots of both weighted and strict pull ups. Why? Because strict pull ups are a tremendously useful way to build pulling strength by developing the lats, upper back, and shoulders.

We encourage our males to shoot for a 1RM weighted pull up at 33% of their bodyweight and our females to shoot for a 1RM weighted pull up at 20% of their bodyweight (via OPT Assessment Level 3 Upper Body Pulling). This is a lofty goal for most people (especially females) but the pursuit of this goal guarantees many, many benefits.

An example workout to do every Monday and Friday would be 2 sets x 6-8 weighted pullups with 2 minutes rest between sets.

For more on this topic, read How To Improve Your Pullups.

3. Heavy sled (prowler) pushes/drags

If you aren’t sold on sleds, go drag/push one a little while and you’ll understand.
Sleds are a great tool for training full body strength/power and conditioning.

Per Coach Crowder, “one of the reasons we love using them is because you can go bananas on them without much soreness or lasting negative effects (lack of eccentric loading). This makes them a great tool for ‘in-season’ athletes or for active recovery sessions.”

An example workout would be for time: 6 laps (25 yards down & 25 yards back) pushing a sled with 90 pounds (men)/50 pounds (women).

4. Shoulder health exercises

Shoulder health is key
There are a number of these to choose from, and make sure to focus first on your weaker side. Try dumbbell external rotations, Powell raises, prone trap 3 raises, face pulls, scapula pushups, wall slides, and scapula pullups.

For more, check out our shoulder article series: Ask The Doc: Shoulder Rehab Part I, Shoulder Rehab Part II and Shoulder Savers: Training Smart and Preventing Injury.

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