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The CrossFit stimulus—constantly varied high-intensity functional movement coupled with meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar—prepares you for the demands of a healthy, functional, independent life and provides a hedge against chronic disease and incapacity. This stimulus is elegant in the mathematical sense of being marked by simplicity and efficacy. The proven elements of this broad, general, and inclusive fitness, in terms of both movement and nutrition, are what we term our CrossFit Essentials.

Learning any variation of the press to handstand will develop balance, coordination, and full-body control. The straddle press is more technically forgiving than press-variations with extended legs, because; the straddle position allows the feet to remain very close to the athlete’s center of gravity.

WatchThe Straddle Press to Handstand

The chest-to-wall handstand push-up encourages the athlete to maintain a hollow position throughout the movement. Arching during the press in this handstand push-up variation will result in the athlete falling away from the wall. As a result, mastering the strict chest-to-wall handstand push-up brings the athlete one step closer to performing a strict, freestanding handstand push-up.

Watch The Chest-to-Wall Handstand Push-Up

The swing to backward roll to support is challenging and should only be attempted if an athlete is prepared for its unique positional and strength demands. The recommended prerequisites and scaling options include deep and confident ring dips, a strict muscle-up, a pull-over on the bar, and a strict backward roll to support. The keys to the movement lie in elevating the hips above the plane of the hands and keeping the rings close to the body.

Watch Swing to Backward Roll to Support

The Sots press (named after Viktor Sots) is often incorporated as a skill-transfer exercise to build confidence and positional awareness in the receiving position of the Olympic lifts. The movement demands a high degree of mobility and coordination. It is traditionally performed from the front rack but can also use the back rack as shown. Start with very light loads and strive for flawless positions before increasing the weight.

WatchThe Sots Press

After mastering the basics of the handstand push-up, the range of motion can be increased by elevating the hands and allowing the head to pass below them. This can and should be approached incrementally until the athlete has developed the capacity to lower and return from a position where the shoulders are in line with the hands.

Watch The Kipping Deficit Handstand Push-Up

A dumbbell clean with a moderate load is one of the most metabolically demanding movements. The large range of motion, number of major muscle groups involved, and quick cycle time create the potential for very high power output. The dumbbell clean is less technical but paradoxically can feel more difficult than its barbell counterpart. This is due to the coordination needed to control both dumbbells independently, a staple benefit of dumbbell training.

Watch The Dumbbell Clean

The burpee is a versatile movement. In its simplest form, it requires little skill, space, or equipment. However, the framework of the basic movement lends itself to many creative variations, such as burpee box jump-overs, which have the potential for greater intensity and challenge coordination, agility, and balance. 

WatchThe Burpee Box Jump-Over