7 Essential Strength Building Exercises for CrossFit Beginners

7 Essential Strength Building Exercises for CrossFit Beginners Profile Picture

Building Strength for CrossFit Beginners

CrossFit is a demanding and rewarding fitness regimen that requires a solid foundation of strength to excel. For beginners entering this challenging world, knowing where to start with strength-building exercises can be overwhelming. To help you kickstart your journey in CrossFit, here are seven essential exercises that will elevate your strength and performance:


Squats are a fundamental exercise in CrossFit that target key muscle groups in the lower body such as the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. They also engage the core, providing a strong base for various CrossFit movements. Starting with bodyweight squats and progressing to weighted squats will help you develop proper form and technique while minimizing the risk of injury.


Deadlifts are a powerhouse exercise that strengthens the posterior chain, including the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. Focusing on form and gradually increasing weight will build overall strength effectively. Starting with lighter weights like kettlebells or dumbbells before transitioning to barbell deadlifts is recommended for novices.


Push-ups are a versatile bodyweight exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles. Beginning with modified variations and progressing to full push-ups will enhance your upper body strength and stability, vital for various CrossFit movements.

Strict Press

The strict press, or military press, is a key exercise for strengthening the shoulders, triceps, and upper back. Regularly incorporating this movement into your routine will improve your ability to lift weights overhead, crucial for many CrossFit exercises like snatches and handstand push-ups.

Ring Rows

Ring rows are excellent for targeting the muscles of the upper body, specifically the back, biceps, and rear deltoids. Mastering this exercise will enhance your pulling strength, essential for moves like pull-ups and muscle-ups commonly found in CrossFit workouts.


Planks are a core-strengthening exercise that improves overall stability, balance, and posture. By engaging the abs, obliques, and lower back, planks play a vital role in enhancing your performance across various CrossFit exercises.

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings are dynamic exercises that target the posterior chain muscles, promoting strength and power. Focusing on explosive hip drive and proper form while gradually increasing intensity will boost your muscular endurance and explosiveness – valuable assets in CrossFit workouts.

Remember, as you embark on your CrossFit journey, it’s essential to prioritize proper form, gradual progression, and seeking guidance from qualified coaches or trainers. Building a strong foundation of strength will not only enhance your performance but also reduce the risk of injuries, ensuring a fulfilling and sustainable fitness journey in the world of CrossFit.