You can maximize your exercise efforts at home with workouts that incorporate bodyweight movements

11 CrossFit Workouts at Home You Can Do with Little or No Equipment­

When you hear the word "CrossFit," you probably think of a small group of die-hard athletes, flipping over truck tires and hoisting enormous barbells over their heads, then giving each other sweaty high-fives. But what if I told you that you, too, could do CrossFit-style workouts from the comfort of your own home, minimal to no equipment necessary?

CrossFit workouts are some of the best options for an at-home routine, because they're short, high-intensity sessions that don't require fancy equipment. Yes, you can go to your local CrossFit gym and enjoy all the (kettle)bells and whistles, but it's not a requirement for getting the most out of your workout.

After all, not everyone has the budget…or the time! Managing work, school and personal routines—including prioritizing exercise—can feel like a formidable task, especially when your schedule is booked solid. Once you understand the philosophy behind CrossFit, it's easy to see how this type of training can be done at home as often as you like (or as often as your schedule demands).

With the right exercises to guide you, you can get strong and fit from home—especially when you're crushing a few CrossFit workouts each week.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a type of high-intensity interval workout. More specifically, CrossFit is a variety of functional exercises performed at high intensity. In fact, variety, functional movements and high intensity are the three main pillars of the CrossFit workout. Since these are so important to understanding the philosophy behind CrossFit, let’s break down each of these components.

  • Variety—The goal of CrossFit is to create an all-around balanced athlete, who can succeed at any physical task, regardless of the environment, duration or load. The idea is that life is a moving target, and you want to be prepared for anything. In order to become a well-rounded athlete, however, you need to incorporate variety into your training program. Variety can mean changing either the type of equipment, the amount of weight or resistance, the duration of the workout or the volume (distance, sets, repetitions).
  • Functional exercises—Functional exercises are natural movement patterns humans use throughout their activities of daily life using their bodyweight. For example, movements like getting up from a chair require an air squat, you perform a deadlift to pick up groceries from the floor, and you even do a shoulder press when placing items on a high shelf.
  • High intensity—CrossFit equates intensity with power, which is calculated by force times distance divided by time. In other words, how quickly can you forcibly move a maximum load for a maximum distance? The faster, heavier and longer you can go, the more power you have. To reach your potential, you must train at high intensity. That being said, CrossFit understands high intensity is relative to a person's physical and psychological limits, which is what makes this workout style beginner-friendly. One person's maximum effort is not necessarily the same as someone else's. Therefore, intensity is measured and tracked on an individual basis.

What Can You Expect from CrossFit-Style Workouts?

If you go to a CrossFit gym (sometimes called a box), the workouts typically last one hour. The sessions consist of warming up, strength training, skills training and conditioning. Mobility or accessory exercises may be added at the end, along with a stretch period. There are several different ways to program a CrossFit workout. A common CrossFit format involves performing exercises as quickly as possible, or "for time."

Since variety is a key component of CrossFit, you will encounter a mix of fitness disciplines. Any given CrossFit workout may incorporate Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting exercises, calisthenics, plyometrics, gymnastic movements or cardio training through running, rowing or cycling.

When it comes to at-home CrossFit workouts, plyometrics are a major focus. That means you can expect to see a lot of burpees, mountain climbers, power push-ups and other bodyweight exercises.

Are CrossFit workouts effective?

CrossFit is not a fleeting fad or frivolous fitness challenge. In assessing the safety and benefits of CrossFit, research has found that this form of training can help increase VO2 max, support your body composition goals and promote strength, flexibility, power and balance. Best of all, the effects are seen in adults and children alike.

CrossFit offers social and behavioral benefits, as well. According to one study of 314 male and female CrossFitters, participants were more likely to report higher levels of enjoyment, challenge and affiliation compared to people who participated in personal training. These are examples of intrinsic workout motivators that may contribute to CrossFitters' long-term adherence to their WOD (aka workout of the day). Remember, an exercise routine is only effective if you stick with it!

How many days a week should I do CrossFit?

The number of days you do CrossFit entirely depends on your schedule and your fitness goals. There is no magic number. You can do short training sessions and/or low rep counts more frequently, or you can do long workouts and/or high rep counts less frequently and achieve the same strength goals provided the total volume of training is the same.

And although training more days a week will produce the best strength gains, research has shown training once per week can still produce decent results. When it comes down to it, choose the frequency of workouts that works best with your lifestyle.

Remember though, this guidance applies specifically to CrossFit workouts. While it's okay to only do CrossFit once a week, it's important to follow the guidance of major health authorities like WHO and the Department of Health and Human Services when it comes to overall frequency of exercise. They suggest strength training for all major muscle groups at least two times a week along with at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week.

What do I need for CrossFit home workouts?

Since CrossFit focuses on functional movements at high intensity, you can have an effective workout using exclusively bodyweight exercises. However, those who want more of a challenge and more possible options for scaling up or down might consider investing in specialized equipment.

Kettlebells, dumbbells, a jump rope and slam balls are a good starting point, because they're affordable and don't take up much space in your home. Once you feel confident in your form, add an Olympic barbell to the mix. The bar itself weighs 45 lbs., but you can buy additional weight plates. Just be sure to get clips, as these will help keep the weight plates secure on the barbell. 

Explore Our Best Active Lifestyle & Fitness Supplements

Shop Now

11 CrossFit workouts you can do on your own

Ready to try CrossFit with little to no equipment needed? Here are nearly a dozen home CrossFit workouts (with their official CrossFit names) to get your heart rate pumping and muscles burning.

Pro tip: We've put some suggested weights in parentheses next to some of these exercises. The first number is the suggested weight for men and the second number is the suggested weight for women. Remember, though, to work within your own limits and adjust the weight as necessary.

1. Angie

You need a pull-up bar to perform the "Angie" exercise. If you don't have a bar, substitute the pull-ups with a dumbbell high row or banded lateral pulldown. This WOD is meant to be completed as fast as possible. Keep in mind, it's a high-volume workout, so pace yourself or break up the reps.

For time:

  • 100 pull-ups
  • 100 push-ups
  • 100 sit-ups
  • 100 air squats

2. Death by…

This is an AMRAP-style (as many reps/as many rounds as possible) workout combined with an EMOM (a new exercise or round every minute on the minute). You will perform one exercise in one minute, building up to the maximum number of reps you can complete in one minute. Here's an example:

  • Minute 1: burpee x 1 rep
  • Minute 2: burpee x 2 reps
  • Minute 3: burpee x 3 reps
  • Minute 4: burpee x 4 reps

Every minute, add one rep. Start the new rep count at the top of every minute. Repeat this pattern until you cannot complete the required reps in one minute.

The first few rounds will feel easy, but don't be fooled. The intensity picks up as you try to maximize your reps in 60 seconds.

3. Kelly

Complete 5 rounds for time:

  • 400-meter run
  • 30 box jumps (24/20 inches)
  • 30 wall ball shots (20/14 lbs.)

4. Cindy

Perform as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes. If you don't have access to a pull-up bar, you can substitute the pull-ups for dumbbell low rows. The push-ups can also be scaled by performing on the knees or elevating off a bench/box.

AMRAP x 20 minutes:

  • 5 pull-ups
  • 10 push-ups
  • 15 air squats

5. Grace

This WOD includes one compound exercise: the clean-and-jerk. This exercise involves lifting a barbell from the floor to the shoulders (clean) followed by moving the bar from the shoulders to overhead (jerk). If you don't have access to a barbell, then dumbbells can work in a pinch.

You can pause after the clean and reset before the jerk. However, you will improve time and efficiency if you can move fluidly from one movement to the other.

For time:

  • 30 clean-and-jerks (135/95 lbs.)

6. Cindy Full of Grace

This is a combination of the "Cindy" and "Grace" workouts. The WOD is also for time. Note: you will do a total of 9 rounds of "Cindy."

Complete 3 cycles:

  • 3 rounds of "Cindy"
  • 10 clean-and-jerks (135/95 lbs.)

7. The Ladder

The concept behind a ladder-style workout is to "climb the ladder" (increase reps each round) and/or descend the ladder (decrease reps each round). This can be set up a few different ways. You can choose one or more exercises and start at 10 reps and subtract 1 rep each round. Or you can choose multiple exercises and increase reps on one exercise, while decreasing reps on the other.

Lower-body ladder:

Complete the following exercises at 10 reps each, 9 reps each, 8 reps each, and so on until you get to 1 rep of each exercise. The goal is to complete the 10 rounds as quickly as possible. Be sure to track your overall time. You can repeat this WOD and try to match or beat your finish time at a later date.

  • Deadlift (225/155 lbs.)
  • Alternating dumbbell snatch (50/35 lbs.)
  • Goblet squat (50/35 lbs.)

Upper-body ladder:

  • Push-ups x 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 reps
  • Bent-over rows x 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 reps

8. Heidi

This is a hero WOD, a workout created and named in honor of CrossFit service members (soldier, firefighter, police officer, etc.) who died in the line of duty. This workout was named in honor of Heidi Stevenson. All you need is a kettlebell, a box for jumping and 23 minutes.

AMRAP in 23 minutes:

  • 23 air squats
  • 23 push-ups
  • 23 kettlebell swings (52/35 lbs.)
  • 23 jumping lunges
  • 23 sit-ups
  • 23 box jumps (24/20 in.)

9. Fat Amy

This WOD has a 50-40-30-20-10 pyramid rep scheme. You will start with 50 reps of air squats and work down the rep count with four other exercises before going back up to 50 air squats. In between each exercise is an anchor exercise: burpees.

  • 50 air squats
  • 10 burpees
  • 40 sit-ups
  • 10 burpees
  • 30 alternating lunges
  • 10 burpees
  • 20 kettlebell swings (52/35 lbs.)
  • 10 burpees
  • 10-meter bear crawl
  • 10 burpees
  • 20 kettlebell swings
  • 10 burpees
  • 30 alternating lunges
  • 10 burpees
  • 40 sit-ups
  • 10 burpees
  • 50 air squats

10. Murph

This is the most popular hero WOD, which honors Navy Seal Lieutenant Michael Murphy. Every CrossFitter does this workout over Memorial Day weekend. While the workout is intended to do the reps unbroken, meaning back-to-back, many athletes will need to break up the reps or modify the exercises.

  • 1-mile run
  • 100 pull-ups
  • 200 push-ups
  • 300 air squats
  • 1-mile run

11. Fran

"Fran" uses a 21-15-9 rep scheme and involves thrusters (a combination of a front squat and an overhead press) and pull-ups. You can use this same rep count with other exercises of your choosing.

For time:

  • 21 thrusters (95/65 lbs.)
  • 21 pull-ups
  • 15 thrusters
  • 15 pull-ups
  • 9 thrusters
  • 9 pull-ups

What supplements can you take to support your CrossFit workouts?

The high intensity of CrossFit workouts can take a lot out of you. To help you recover your muscles quickly and make gains in the process, there are a few key nutrients you might want to add to your routine.

Creatine—Creatine is particularly beneficial for CrossFit athletes working at their maximum effort, because this amino acid derivative supports your muscles' high demand for cellular energy. By replenishing cellular energy, creatine helps your muscles perform at peak levels.

That's not all, though. When you're pairing creatine with resistance training, creatine supplementation can support all-around muscle strength and endurance. 

HMB (beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate monohydrate)—HMB is a byproduct created when the body breaks down the amino acid leucine. While it sounds like something you don't need, HMB is quite the opposite. Supplementing with HMB has been shown to increase lean muscle mass, particularly in older adults.

Vitamin D—A vitamin D deficiency can impact an athlete's performance, strength and even their immune health. To tamper these effects, it's imperative CrossFit athletes get adequate vitamin D from their diet and/or supplements. This helps ensure your immune system stays strong and you stay on point with your workout routine. 

This is just a snapshot of supplements that support your CrossFit workouts. To learn more about your individual health needs, take our fitness quiz today.

About the Author: Liz Lotts is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified personal trainer. She has a passion for helping people achieve their health goals through personalized nutrition and effective fitness programs. In her free time, Liz enjoys running, lifting weights, watching live sports with her husband and traveling to new places.

Credentials/Degrees: RDN; NASM-CPT; Certified Orangetheory Fitness Coach; TRX Qualified Coach; Bachelor’s in Advertising, Marketing & Communications; Master of Science in Dietetics.


Scientifically Reviewed By: Michael A. Smith, MD