What is the most popular and most useful equipment for CrossFit®? The exercise program nicknamed the Sport of Fitness is taking the country and beyond by storm. Where does the effectiveness of the program seem to come from? Intensity and Variation.
Ingenuity and creativity in putting foundational, grass roots equipment to use is what brings variety and interest to your training. And that variety combined with intensity is proving to be the key to a successful program that keeps us interested and motivated to keep showing up at the gym.
What are the best equipment choices for CrossFit®? Here are the 10 pieces that dominate the programming. Outfitted even with just a few of these pieces, you can build a highly effective and varied exercise program. Much of what makes them so successful is the vast number of ways that they can be used.
- Barbells -
- No Center Knurling - for those long workouts of cleans, front squats, and thrusters, the absence of center knurling in the barbell is a must - especially for ladies wearing scoop neck tops or tanks. Knurling in the center of the barbell can bite, scuff and scratch. A barbell absent of center knurling is essential.
- Strength - to ensure the barbells are up to task, high grade steel [140,000PSI or more] that retains its straight length even when put under heavy loads is mandatory. Movements like the deadlift and clean can put high stress on the barbell and it needs to be strong.
- Great Bushings - While performing Olympic movements such as the clean and jerk and snatch, your hand position will change from palms facing your ankles to palms facing the sky. And your hands need to do all that rotation without releasing your grip on the bar. That means the barbell sleeves and the shaft need to rotate freely from one another. That all happens smoothly when the barbell is constructed with bushings in the sleeves. The higher the quality in the bushings, the more smoothly the shaft will spin. What does that mean? With a well constructed bar that spins freely, your wrists are protected from torque
- Shaft Diameter - the Hook Grip, essential to those Olympic Lifts mentioned above puts your hand in the best position to rotate as the bar moves from the ground to the shoulders or even overhead. That hook grip is most comfortable with the right shaft diameters. 28mm-28.5mm has proven to be the most comfortable for Men and 25mm for ladies.
- Bumper Plates -
- Pull Up Bar - tips on how high to mount the pull up bar and different ways you can incorporate it into your training.
- Gymnastic Rings - gymnastic ring hanger. Rings are portable too so they can travel with you easily. Think rings are beyond your skill level? We wrote a quick guide on gymnastics rings exercises for beginners.
- Medicine Balls - great ideas to use medicine balls in your training program.
- Kettlebells -different ways you can use the kettlebell to keep your training varied and effective. Not sure what sizes right for you. We've got some tips on how to select the right size kettlebell right here.
- The Abmat -
- Jump Ropes -
- Gym Timer - video tutorials make it a snap.
- Resistance Bands - a neat way to use resistance bands and a squat rack to conquer the muscle up once and for all.
So whether you are starting your own commercial facility or outfitting your garage gym at home, these ten pieces are not only essential to building a great gym, but their uses are so varied you can keep changing things up to stay varied and intense.
Need some more info on how to outfit your facility with the most effective and useful equipment? We've put together a free Equipment Buyer's Guide that is an easy read and is filled with tips and advice on how to start things off right. Choosing the right sizes of kettlebells and medicine balls can be a challenge but we've got you covered with some great ideas.
And we recognize that every gym is different, too. Want to talk to us about getting your gym started? Let's do this.