The Best Arm Workouts for a Crossfit Routine

By
Caleb Ulffers
December 8, 2022
The Best Arm Workouts for a Crossfit Routine

The foundation of the CrossFit philosophy is the premise that your exercise movements should be very versatile rather than focusing on a specific muscle group like bodybuilding and hypertrophy training. 

To build the most strength and power from your fingers to your toes, you'll perform compound, whole-body exercises as your primary form of strength training. When you're seeking to build general fitness, endurance, and grit, CrossFit is the way to go.

While concentrating on large compound movements is an efficient approach to exercise, neglecting arm training may prevent you from reaching your fullest potential. Although having bigger arms can feel amazing, CrossFit is more concerned about your abilities than your appearance.

At Haven Athletic, we believe the best athlete is one who is organized and informed.Below, we will discuss why training your upper body is important in your CrossFit routine and different arm exercises that will help improve your strength and endurance. 

 

The Importance of Arm Exercises in CrossFit 

Your triceps brachii, AKA triceps, play a significant role in overhead stability and upper body pressing, two essential aspects of CrossFit. The ability to perform dips, handstand push-ups, muscle-ups, presses, push presses, jerks, and other exercises are aided by stronger and larger arm muscles with a fuller range of motion. 

For weightlifting with your upper body, you need strong biceps brachii, AKA biceps. Building strong arms will help you with exercises like muscle-ups, pull-ups, deadlifts, hang power cleans, kettlebell swings, and snatches. Bicep strength will also help with movements like toes-to-bar and knees-to-elbows. 

Your triceps and biceps might not be receiving enough attention during your normal WODs because they're relatively small in comparison to the other muscles in your back and legs. However, you can improve your skill, strength, and endurance level by training them directly, which will improve your total CrossFit performance.

 

What Are the Best Crossfit Arm Workouts?

Below we will break down the best upper body workouts by specific muscles in the upper body. 

 

Bicep Exercises 

Bicep curls are not typically associated with CrossFit, but that doesn't negate the value of some traditional bicep exercises for CrossFitters. The finest bicep workouts are included below to provide CrossFitters the extra arm power they require for all that hauling.

 

Chin-Ups 

Chin-ups involve only pulling, a fantastic method to keep your shoulders and arms strong, flexible, and healthy. Chin-ups simultaneously improve shoulder mobility, strict pulling strength, and bicep development. 

To perform a chin-up, start with your hands supinated while you dangle from a pull-up bar. With your arms completely extended overhead, place your hands just outside of shoulder width. Throughout the entire movement, maintain a stiff, hollow midline. You can accomplish this by contracting your glutes and tucking your pelvis beneath.

Each rep is performed by raising your chin above the bar and lowering yourself to a fully extended, hanging position. Start each pull with your lats, go on to your shoulders, then finish with your arms, starting from your core.

 

Barbell Bicep Curls / Dumbbell Curls

Start in a standing position, holding the dumbbells or the barbell in both hands. Starting position is with your arms relaxed down and the dumbbells or barbell mid-thigh level. Perform the barbell or dumbbell curl by flexing both elbows while keeping your shoulder blades retracted. 

Then raise the bar to about chest height. Keep your lower back from arching. Maintain a neutral spinal alignment. Extend your elbows as you gradually drop the bar or dumbbell back to its starting position.

 

Dumbbell Hammer Curls 

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing one another, with your arms at your sides. Flex your elbows while maintaining your hands facing each other to do a hammer curl. Throughout the workout, keep your shoulder blades retracted.

 

Tricep Exercises 

In CrossFit, you are bound to do your fair share of pushing. The triceps are used more heavily in movements like handstand push-ups, thrusters, and various forms of push-jerks. 

 

Skull Crushers 

On a flat bench, lie down. Your feet should be flat on the floor with your toes pointed straight ahead. Begin by flexing your elbows while holding the EZ bar with both hands. Straighten your arms by extending your elbows. Pause at the top. Then, with your elbows bent, slowly lower the EZ bar towards your forehead. 

 

Tricep Extensions 

The overhead triceps extension is an efficient workout for the long head of your triceps. Your upper arm's muscular mass will also increase as a result of the activity. For this exercise to be effective, the proper weight selection is crucial. This exercise can be performed while standing, lying down, or sitting up.

Hold the dumbbell in your hand and select the proper weight to perform this exercise. Place it overhead while holding it in both hands and exhaling deeply. Currently, slowly lower it behind your head. Keep your elbows unlocked while keeping an overlapping grasp. Return your forearms to their starting position as soon as they are parallel, and flex your triceps.

Perform the exercise as many times as needed. You can also try bodyweighttricep dips if your equipment is limited. 

 

Close Grip Bench Press

One of the most well-liked exercises in the fitness world is bench pressing. The close-grip version is unmatched in its capacity to develop incredibly large and strong triceps. CrossFitters will benefit in a number of ways from including this routine in their arm assistance work.

Build your triceps, shoulders, and chest at particular degree angles like that of 

the close-grip bench press to make push-ups, dips, handstand push-ups, and other overhead pressing exercises simpler.

To properly perform the close grip bench press, set your hands on a barbell about shoulder-width apart while lying back on a bench. To make sure you're at the proper distance from the rack, roll the bar to the end of the J-hooks and fix your gaze on the barbell.

Create a broad base with your upper back by tightly squeezing your shoulders together. Pull the barbell out with your wrists stacked over your elbows and shoulders as you extend your elbows. Controllably lower the barbell until it hits your sternum. Maintain a close elbow position.

 

Wrapping Up

CrossFitters can develop strength and muscle in potentially weak areas by making time specifically for their arms. By strengthening your triceps, you'll raise your pressing lockout, and by building stronger biceps and forearms, you'll boost your grip strength and pulling endurance.

So, don't ignore your arms if you want to offer yourself a competitive edge. One to two times each week, add additional arm exercises to the end of your WOD — and don't forget to have fun.

 

Sources: 

ISP: CrossFit: CrossFit Theory | in.gov

The 9 Best Arm Exercises for Definition & Strength | NASM

The 12 Best Arm Exercises for CrossFitters | BarBend

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