When you think of CrossFit, you probably picture people throwing around heavy barbells, swinging kettlebells all over the place, and jumping up onto impossibly high boxes. Turns out, though, you don’t need any of these things to channel CrossFit’s famously badass vibes.
In fact, let me blow your mind: You can do a CrossFit workout at home. Yep, there are plenty of daily CrossFit workouts (known as WODs, or workouts of the day) that require only your body weight. (Well, that and the desire to #werk.) “No-equipment workouts force you to master key movement patterns, which lays down a foundation for long-term success,” says CrossFit Games athlete and coach Ian Berger CF-L2, founder of Home Base Fitness.
They’re also much more accessible (and safer!) for beginners curious about—but intimidated by—CrossFit and its hardcore rep. While working out in your living room or garage might not have the same feel as a CrossFit box (read: gym), you’ll still score the same great sweat.
Need proof? Give one of these bodyweight home CrossFit workouts a go—and know that you can always up the intensity with a pullup bar, jump rope, or kettlebell if you’re feelin’ it.
For time (record how long it takes you)
1 mile run
300 air squats
1 mile run
Arguably the most famous CrossFit workout, Murph isn’t for the faint of heart. Every Memorial Day weekend, CrossFitters everywhere sweat through this workout in tribute to U.S. Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005.
If you can’t do a pullup (or don’t have access to a pullup bar), try chair-pulls instead, suggest Berger. (Check out this recent Instagram post from 2013 Fittest Woman on Earth and Reebok athlete Samantha Briggs for a demo.) And, remember, you can always drop to your knees for pushups.
20-minutes, as many rounds as possible (AMRAP)
15 air squats
No pullup bar? No problem. Try the following instead:
15 air squats
Set a timer, then cycle through as many rounds of these three exercises as you can in 20 minutes. “It’s not complicated, but it’s effective at working your upper body and lower body,” says CrossFit Games competitor and coach Brooke Ence CF-L2, founder of Naked Training.
50, 40, 30, 20, 10 double-unders
50, 40, 30, 20, 10 situps
For this one, you’ll perform 50 reps of each move, then 40, then 30, then 20, then 10. Double-unders (which involve swinging a jump rope around your body twice during every jump) are a fire way to get your heart pumping, says Ence. Can’t do ’em? That’s A-ok. Just count regular jump rope skips or hop completely rope-free.
Pro tip: Pop a pillow, towel, or yoga mat beneath your tailbone for the endless situps.
4 Death By Burpees
Minute 1: 1 burpee
Minute 2: 2 burpees
Minute 3: 3 burpees
For this WOD, start a timer and perform the designated number of burpees at the top of every minute. Continue adding a burpee each minute until you can’t burpee anymore.
“Death by burpees is one of my favorite full-body workouts,” says Ence. “It sneaks up on you. The first six to eight minutes you think the workout is easy, and then all of a sudden you’re out of breath.” Like, really out of breath.
Plus, it’s fast! The longest you’ll likely last if you’re absolutely c-r-u-s-h-i-n-g it, is 20 minutes. Hanging on ’til somewhere between 13 and 16 minutes is a good goal, though.
150 wall balls
This six- to 10-minute workout sounds simple: All you do is stand arms distance from a sturdy wall or column holding a medicine ball (opt for 6–8 pounds for beginners or 12–14 for advanced) in front of your chest, elbows bent and close to body. Then, lower into a squat, and as you rise back up, bounce the ball off of the well slightly above your head. Catch it and lower into another squat. That’s 1 rep. Simple, right?
Well, don’t be deceived: “Karen is a really great full-body burner,” says Ence. Don’t have a medicine ball to throw around? Do thrusters with a textbook, milk jug, or backpack instead. Or, churn out 150 bodyweight squats.
As many reps as possible
6 minutes of burpees
If you’re really short on time and need a short, snappy, and sweaty workout, this is it.
Berger recommends trying to hold a pace 10 to 15 burpees per minute (that’s 70 to 90 burpees total).7JT
21, 15, 9 handstand pushups
21, 15, 9 triceps dips
21, 15, 9 pushups
Need a quick upper-body burn? “JT is the perfect recipe for not being able to lift your arms up overhead tomorrow,” says Berger.
If handstand pushups aren’t your thing, swap them for pike pushups (essentially a pushup to downward-facing dog) instead, he suggests. For the dips, just make sure to plant your hands on a stable surface like a bench, table, or step.
Got a ledge, step, or super-sturdy table? That’s all you need for this WOD. “Be sure to switch your leading leg every step,” says Berger. “Don’t worry about whether or not it’s faster to lead with one leg than the other, prioritize symmetry over speed.”
To keep things interesting, feel free to alternate between side step-ups and standard ones.
5 rounds, for time
10 burpee tuck jumps
15 triceps dips
Already a master of burpees? Give burpee tuck jumps a try. This plyometric move will jack up your heart rate while working your legs, Berger says. Combine it with running and dips and you’ve got yourself a quality, all-around workout.
9 Active Rest Day
18 minutes, AMRAP
5 inchworms (demo-d here)
10 pass-throughs (a.k.a. chest openers)
30-second couch stretch per side
If you don’t have much gas in the tank, this restorative workout will get the blood flowing so you can get sweaty tomorrow. “Our bodies need time to recover in order to actually reap the benefits of all our workouts,” says Berger.
Wondering what a couch stretch is? Open up your hip flexors by standing facing away from your couch with one foot planted on the floor and the other leg bent so your knee rests on a seat cushion and the top of your foot rests on the back cushion behind it. You should feel the stretch along the front of your bent leg from hip to knee.
10 Dealer’s Choice
For time, broken up as you choose
4-minute wall sit
300 air squats
100 pistol squats (demo-d here)
For this one, break up the moves however you like until you work through all of the reps. It you can’t do pistol squats (understandable, they’re darn hard), swap in skater squats instead, Berger says.