crossfit bodyweight exercises

CrossFit Body Weight Exercises – Workout Without The Weight

When we think of the gym we often think about throwing weight around, but what if I told you it’s possible to get a tough CrossFit workout in with no weight at all? All you need is your own body and you can create a workout that will leave your muscles burning, no barbell or dumbbell required.

Bodyweight exercises are an invaluable tool in your exercise arson, they help improve your fitness with minimal equipment and can be performed almost anywhere. Incorporate these exercises into your workout of the day (WOD), or give ours a try.

CrossFit Body Weight Exercises

Exercise 1: Ab Mat Sit Ups

Ab mat sit ups fire up the core by placing your abs at full extension at the start of the sit up. You will use your abdominals, back, and obliques to lift your torso off the floor for a full core exercise burner. A strong core is fundamental in CrossFit training, therefore is an essential part of your training.

How to perform:

  • Place the ab mat under the curve of your lower back while lying face up.
  • Bring the soles of your feet together, then lift your torso off the floor to an upright position.
  • Use as little momentum as possible to really work the core.
  • Try the following core-focused workout:

5 Rounds For Time:

  • 10 Ab Mat Sit Ups
  • 10 Leg Raises
  • 10 V-Ups

Exercise 2: Air Squats

Air squats utilize all the muscles in the lower body including the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. You’ll need your legs for almost all CrossFit workouts.

How to perform:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Send your hips back, then lower your hips below your knees.
  • Return to full extension by pushing through your heels, while simultaneously pushing your knees out and keeping your back straight.
  • Give this quick squat workout a go:

21-15-9 Reps:

  • Air Squats
  • Burpees

Exercise 3: Push Ups

Push ups are a staple exercise in bodyweight workouts, they help develop a strong chest for various pressing movements.

How to perform:

  • Support your weight on your hands and knees, with hands shoulder-width apart and feet together.
  • Bend the elbows, lowering your chest and hips to the floor.
  • Push through your palms to return to the start position.
Related Post:  12 Awesome Crossfit Ab Exercises to Get a Shredded Body

As many reps for time (20 minutes):

  • 5 Pull Ups
  • 10 Push Ups
  • 15 Air Squats
  • 20 Ring Rows

Exercise 4: Pull Ups

In CrossFit, pull ups can be performed strict or kipping. Use strict to develop your shoulder strength, then use kipping in CrossFit workouts to maximize time and efficiency. For the pull up you’ll need a pull-up bar.

How to perform:

  • Grip the bar with hands shoulder-width apart, and arms fully extended.
  • Bend at the elbows to pull your chin over the bar.
  • Think about pulling your shoulder blades together and down, while keeping your core tight throughout the movement.
  • If you’re looking for a long workout, try this hero WOD ‘Murph’:

For time:

  • 1 Mile Run
  • 100 Pull Ups
  • 200 Press Ups
  • 300 Air Squats
  • 1 Mile Run

Exercise 5: Handstand Push Ups

The handstand push up is an advanced take on the regular push up. They both work similar muscles, but the handstand push up puts more load on the shoulders. The handstand push up requires you to be upside down against a wall.

How to perform:

  • Place your hands slightly outside shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend at the elbows to slowly lower the crown of your head to the floor, then push through the palms to return to extension.
  • Keep your core braced throughout to make the movement more efficient.
  • Try this upper body workout a go:

5 Rounds For Time:

  • 5 Handstand Push Ups
  • 10 Ring Dips
  • 15 Sit Ups

Exercise 6: Ring Dips

Rings in CrossFit are tough on the shoulder joints, but help build the smaller muscles around the joint to help reduce injury while maximizing performance. Ring dips specifically target the triceps which transfer to the push portion of muscle up.

How to perform:

  • Set the rings shoulder-width apart.
  • Use a false grip to hold yourself over the rings, with arms fully extended.
  • Bend at the elbows to lower your chest to the rings.
  • Keep your arms close to push yourself back up to full extension.
  • Perform this workout for a serious arm pump:

10 Rounds:

  • 10 Push Ups
  • 15 Ring Dips
Related Post:  10 Easy CrossFit Back Exercises for Strength and Endurance

Exercise 7: Pistol Squat

The pistol squat requires skill, strength, and mobility. They are an advanced version of the squat, targeting the same lower body muscles with a greater load.

How to perform:

  • Start by lifting your left leg in front of your body.
  • Send your right hip back, then down until your hip is lower than your knees.
  • Push through your right foot to return to extension.
  • Keep your chest upright and knees in line with your toes throughout.
  • Complete the movement on both legs.
  • If you find your balance is off, try grabbing your non-working toes while completing the squat to help with balance.
  • Give the hero WOD ‘Mary’ a shot:

As many reps for time (20 minutes):

  • 5 Handstand Push Ups
  • 10 Alternating Pistol Squats
  • 15 Pull Ups

Exercise 8: Burpees

Burpees are a cardio-focused exercise, used in many CrossFit workouts. This movement will work your full body, burpees are the king of body weight exercises.

How to perform:

  • You’ll start in an upright position before lowering your hands to the floor, just outside shoulder width.
  • Jump your feet back before lowering your chest and hips to the floor.
  • Reverse the movement before performing a jump to complete the exercise.
  • The following workout is one of the longest bodyweight CrossFit workouts that is as mental as it is physical:

For Time:

  • 100 Push Ups
  • 100 Sit Ups
  • 100 Pull Ups
  • 100 Burpees
  • 50 Push Ups
  • 50 Sit Ups
  • 50 Pull Ups
  • 50 Burpees

Exercise 9: Double Unders

Double unders are an advanced movement that requires skill as well as fitness. Double unders will blow up your calves and shoulders. Skipping is considered a youthful movement, but there is nothing childish about double unders. Practice this movement regularly to get to grips with the timing of the rope.

How to perform:

  • Start with your elbows and rope handles pinned to your side.
  • Jump off the floor, then pass the jump rope under your feet twice for each jump.
  • Stay controlled throughout the movement, don’t attempt to spin the rope too fast, it will just cause you to trip.
  • Try this skill and fitness-focused workout:
Related Post:  10 CrossFit Barbell Exercises You Need To Know About

10 Rounds:

  • 50 Double Unders
  • 5 Muscle Ups

Exercise 10: Running

Running is a full-body exercise targeting your muscles and cardiovascular system. Running is a simple movement, we all know how to run. However, most people don’t know how to run efficiently. You can conserve a lot of energy by making simple changes to your running technique. Keep your torso upright, relax your shoulders, and control your breathing throughout. Here’s a CrossFit running workout for you to try:

10 Rounds

  • 1 Rope Climb
  • 60m Sprint

Interested about running? Check out this article that compares Running vs HIIT in terms of weight loss and endurance training. 


Barbells and dumbbells come in handy, but your body weight can be just as effective when it comes to building fitness. CrossFit bodyweight exercises can be performed as a stand-alone exercise, or as part of a CrossFit bodyweight workout. Contrary to popular belief, you can get in a good workout with little to no equipment. If you don’t believe me, try them in your workout routine for some spicy workouts.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can you get ripped with just bodyweight exercises?

Yes, in order to grow muscle you must first damage the muscle fibers. During the healing process, your body creates additional muscle, producing that ‘jacked’ image. Bodyweight exercises performed at the right intensity are enough stimulus to grow muscle.

How can I practice CrossFit at home?

There are many CrossFit movements that don’t require any equipment, therefore you can practise CrossFit at home. All you need is a bit of room and your own body.

What is the hardest CrossFit workout?

When you’re giving 100%, all CrossFit workouts are hard. However, one workout annually puts CrossFitters into the pain cave; the hero WOD ‘Murph’. ‘Murph’ consists of a 1 mile run, followed by 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 air squats, and finished off with another 1 mile run.

Michaela Summers

Michaela Summers is a health and fitness content creator. She holds a BSc in Exercise and Sport Sciences and a Master of Research in Health and Wellbeing from the University of Exeter. She is on a mission to help people live a fulfilling, impactful life through fitness and lifestyle. When she's not writing, she can be found in the gym, playing tennis, or exploring the great outdoors.

You may also like...