Accessory exercises are a great compliment to any workout, and can be a powerful aid towards improving the more common lifts and exercises within the sport of fitness. Crossfit mainly consists of connected, full body movements, but there is nothing wrong with working on isolated exercises in order to improve your overall performances. Most Accessory Work at Okie CrossFit is performed at a tempo. We’ll do a thesis (LOL) on Time Under Tension one day, but know that tempo lifts make you crazy strong through entire ranges of motion and improve what you see in the mirror.
Just because you won’t see any of these movements in the Crossfit Open or any Competition, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be doing them. Out of many useful exercises, we picked 5 that will help you to drastically improve your fitness.
1. Single Arm Half Kneeling Press
Think about all the movements that demand pressing overhead with a strong stable core. There are a lot! Therefore, we at Okie use Single Arm Half Kneeling Presses to balance out our overhead pressing strength between arms while also shoring up a tight core. Performed at a tempo with a tight core (ribs down) and watch your shoulders turn into boulders.
2. Bent Over Barbell Row
A strong back is a healthy back. Show us a “strong” person and we’ll show you a strong back. Want to increase your snatch? Want to get muscle ups? Want to protect your family? Fall in love with the Bent Over Barbell Row. Again, perform these at a tempo and watch you body composition improve while you get stronger.
3. Glute Bridge
110% of people polled for this article (we literally took thousands of surveys) said they “wouldn’t mind a firmer backside”. Everyone outside of CrossFit knows that we build beautiful backsides in CrossFit. Want a way to build it faster while also getting stronger and more explosive in all of your lifts? We give you the Glute Bridge. As an added benefit, the Glute Bridge says goodbye to almost all back pain. Just what the Dr ordered…
4. AIR SQUATS WITH RESISTANCE BANDS
A common fault with the air squat is when the knees “cave in”. This can be fixed by distributing the weight on the outside edges of the feet and pushing the knees outward. Driving the knees outward should be done by everyone but sometimes we need to exaggerate the outward driving of the knees with the aid of bands. Grab a few bands before or after class and knock out 4-5 sets of 12 reps 3-4 days a week.
5. Goblet Lunge
This exercise has been around for ages, and for a good reason. You can build tons of strength and even flexibility in the hip flexors and quads without stressing the low back too much. We sit a lot, and the goblet lunge can “wake up” our glutes. By carrying the weight in front of our chest, we are also engaging our core to strengthen both our abs and our lower back. By getting good at these and loading up with weight over time, this exercise is used at Okie CrossFit quite a bit to improve overall lower-body strength and muscle growth.