Can’t make it to the gym or CrossFit box? Not a problem. You don’t need dumbbells and barbells to make a workout effective. Bodyweight workouts are a great option when you’re limited on space and equipment. Don’t let a minimalist approach fool you, some bodyweight workouts can be brutal. Give some of these workouts a try when you can’t get to the gym or you haven't got a dumbbell set at home. Most of the WODs in this list are also suitable for keeping fit on the road. Next time you need a travel WOD, check this list.
WOD 1: “Cooper”
10 Rounds for Time:
- 10 Burpees
- 10 Air Squats
- 10 Push Ups
- 10 Sit Ups
Time Cap: 30 Minutes
“Cooper” is one of CrossFit’s classic bodyweight chipper workouts. You’ll be working through 10 rounds of 10 burpees, 10 air squats, 10 push ups, and 10 sit ups. It’s best to find a pace you can maintain for the full 10 rounds rather than coming out hot. Think of your pacing strategy like a 5km run. You wouldn’t sprint the first 400m because then you’d be exhausted before you’ve made any real ground. And that's 100 sit ups total – it's going to hurt.
Start out comfortably, then if you feel good, pick up the pace in the final few rounds. 10 rounds can be quite monotonous. To make the time fly, separate the workout into smaller milestones. Focus on each repetition rather than feeling overwhelmed by the total amount of repetitions.
WOD 2: “On the Run”
- 10-20-30-40-50-60-70-80-90-100 Alternating Lunges
- 200 Meter Run (After Each Set)
It's going to be a long, hard training session. This workout wille push your legs, lungs, and mind to their limits. Ascending reps are a real mental battle. Knowing you’ll have to do more lunges each round can really play with your mind. It is crucial to stay focused and anticipate longer rounds. Try to maintain a consistent pace throughout the lunges and the run. Going out too hot in a leg-dominant workout is a fatal mistake.
WOD 3: “JT”
21-15-9 Reps For Time:
- Handstand Push Ups
- Ring Dips
- Push Ups
“JT” is the first CrossFit hero WOD. Each movement concentrates on upper body pushing strength, so your arms won't get much time to rest.
While the workout might look easy at first glance, when you imagine it as 135 reps of upper body pushing, it’s a totally different story. This is really important when it comes to your workout strategy. Don’t go to failure, stop a few reps before failure. If you burn out early, the rest of the workout is going to be much harder than it needs to be.
You'll need some kind of rings for home but these training tools are inexpensive and a great investment as they will last a long time. The hard part is finding somewhere secure to attach them so that you get the maximum training effect. Try Rogue's Gymastic Wood Rings.
WOD 4: “Core Tabata”
20 Seconds Work / 10 Seconds Rest (8 Rounds):
- Hollow Rocks
- Arch Hold
- Hollow Hold
- Arch Rocks
Tabata is a type of HIIT workout that takes just 4 minutes. Tabata consists of 8 rounds of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest. It’s great for accessory work at the end of your session.
The focus of this workout is your core. Specifically, your arch and hollow core positioning. Good arch and hollow hold control is a key part of performing clean kipping movements like kipping pull-ups, toes to bar, and muscle-ups. To generate momentum we move our body through the two positions (arch and hollow).
During this workout, the emphasis on quality over quantity is essential. It’s not a competition of who can get the most reps. This is about training our body to control those positions so we can improve our overall CrossFit performance.
If you find this workout a bit intense, reduce it to 5 rounds for time.
WOD 5: “Cindy”
AMRAP 20 Minutes:
- 5 Pull Ups
- 10 Push Ups
- 15 Air Squats
“Cindy” is one of the CrossFit “Girl” benchmark WODs. “Cindy” takes three basic bodyweight exercises and puts them into a pretty tough, but effective, workout. In 20 minutes, you’ll work through as many rounds as possible. Take the first 5 minutes of this workout to get a feel for your pace. Find a pace per round you can sustain for 20 minutes.
Many athletes of all abilities have a tendency to fly through the first half of the workout and burn out in the second. You’ll get a much better workout (and score) if you pace it smartly. If your score is a top priority, pay attention to your transitions.
You’ll be moving around a lot so save time by performing all the movements in one spot. Of course, the best option is to perform all the movements under the pull-up bar.
WOD 6: “Death By…”
EMOM For as Long as Possible:
- 1 Rep in the first minute
- 2 Reps in the second minute
- 3 Reps in the third minute
Naming a workout “Death by… ”, probably isn’t the best way to sell a workout. But, trust me, it can be pretty fun in a sadistic kind of way. You can choose whatever movement you want (air squat, burpee, push up, pull up, etc.) and between 0:00-1:00, you’ll perform one rep, then rest for the remainder of the minute. From 1:00-2:00, you’ll perform two reps, then rest. You’ll keep increasing the reps by one every minute on the minute (EMOM) until you can no longer complete the prescribed number of reps within that minute.
The reason I say this workout is fun is that it’s a lot about your approach to the workout as well as your fitness levels. During the first few minutes, you’re going to have a lot of time to rest and think. It’s easy to go out fast and take a longer rest. However, it’s better to do the movements slowly and keep your heart rate down. Going out fast and jacking up your heart rate for a few more seconds of rest isn’t worth it. That said, there’s going to come a time when you have no choice but to go faster. That’s where the workout gets interesting. When time starts getting tight you’re just going to have to suck up the pain and go full blast in the hope you’ll make the round.
WOD 7: “Mary”
AMRAP 20 Minutes:
- 5 Handstand Push-Ups
- 10 Pistol Squats
- 15 Pull Ups
“Mary” is another one of the CrossFit “Girl” benchmark WODs. It’s a high-volume, high-skill gymnastic-style workout requiring total body strength and endurance. Within a 20 minute window, you’ll work through as many rounds as possible of 5 handstand push ups, 10 pistol squats, and 15 pull ups.
Try to go unbroken throughout and take longer rest between exercises if needed. “Mary” is broken up nicely into push, lower, and pull movements. Therefore, each of these areas has a bit of time to recover between rounds.
Working out at home is tricky without a pull-up station but you can improvise with sturdy wooden poles in hallways. A better option is to get a dedicated pull-up bar or a jammer bar for above a doorway.
WOD 8: “Flight Simulator”
- 5-10-15-20-25-30-35-40-45-50-45-40-35-30-25-20-15-10-5 Unbroken Double Unders
“Flight simulator” is based on a pyramid rep scheme. You'll perform 19 sets of double unders for time. Start with 5 double unders, then ascend by 5 per set up to 50. You’ll then descend by 5 per set back down to 5. If you break a set, you must start that set again until it is performed unbroken. This is where your rest periods become important. During the bigger sets, ensure you’ve taken enough rest to perform an unbroken set. The last thing you want is to be doing more double unders than you need to.
WOD 9: HIIT
- 100 Meter Run
- 2 Minutes Rest (After Each Set)
A simple but effective workout based on the HIIT training method. This should be an all-out sprint for each set. You’ll have plenty of rest in between sets to recover so you can keep pushing each round. The aim of this workout is to train our anaerobic system. In CrossFit, we use our anaerobic system for short work periods that require a huge power output. Think about max weight barbell lifts. They last a few seconds but take all our energy. Performing 10 rounds helps us maintain a higher power output over time which is key in a WOD.
WOD 10: “Murph”
- 1 Mile Run
- 100 Pull Ups
- 200 Push Ups
- 300 Air Squats
“Murph” is one of the most popular bodyweight WODs. It’s a long grueling battle both physically and mentally. In CrossFit, workouts rarely last longer than 20 minutes. “Murph” is an exception. Most people will complete this workout in around an hour. We must train these longer workouts to ensure we’re evolving as an all-round athlete.
You can choose whether to perform the workout as written or with partitioned reps. One of the most common ways to split up the reps is to perform 20 rounds of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats. This is the most efficient way to complete the workout. Breaking up the movements gives you a bit of rest between each exercise so you can perform bigger sets.
If you want to scale this workout and running is just not your thing, a 400 metre run at the start and finish is a good way to make this tough bodyweight WOD a bit easier.
Which is your favorite CrossFit bodyweight WOD? Which one do you try to avoid? How often do you train at home? Let us know in the comments or on social media.