How To Do A CrossFit Workout At Home

crossfit at home

OK….now that the holiday’s are over…and we have a few days of the New Year under our belt…it’s time to get serious about those New Year’s resolutions!  Even though I don’t normally make a big deal over resolutions, I do think that a new year can give us a mental kick start to make some changes for the better.

In an effort to help us all make those changes, I’m calling this week “New Year, New You.” For the next five days we’re going to focus on the TOP FIVE New Year’s resolutions that people make, and give you lots of great ideas on how to achieve them!

Survey’s show that the Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions are: weight loss, being more organized, breaking bad habits, budgeting, and living life to the fullest!

Today we’re focusing on weight loss and a new fitness craze that seems to be taking the world by storm….CrossFit. My daughter-in-law & assistant Kaitlyn and my son Erik are HUGE believers in this particular form of exercise, so we thought we would explore it a little further…for MY sake as well as yours.

Please welcome McCall of CrossFit Vapor…who is guest posting today and is going to tell us why she LOVES CrossFit and how to do a simple CrossFit routine at home:


mccall and jaren

McCall and her husband & CrossFit partner, Jaren


Hi Everyone….I’m McCall!

I have a confession to make. I have big knees. Not like super-sized-circus-freak knees, but I’ve always been a little jealous of the gals with narrow, sculpted knees. But 3 years ago something happened to change how I felt about my big knees…. I found CrossFit.

Now I’m sure if you haven’t tried it for yourself, you’ve probably at least HEARD of CrossFit. I’m also guessing you’ve heard the jokes like, “How do you know if someone does CrossFit? Because it’s ALL they talk about!!” I will admit, as a CrossFit affiliate owner, I can be one of those people, but my mission today is NOT to get you sold on CrossFit, it’s to help you find YOUR “fitness match”, and help you get on track to a healthier life.

I believe everyone has a “fitness match” – a form of exercise that gives you the results you want while keeping you motivated and inspired – so have you found yours? My journey to CrossFit didn’t start with an athletic or gymnastics background. I started CrossFit just after I had my 3rd baby. I was a dancer growing up and as an adult I exercised just enough to not be fat. I had tried running, spinning, gym classes… pretty much everything, and while I tolerated it all, I didn’t LOVE any of it. My husband had started CrossFit about a year before, and I had several friends who did CrossFit, and saw great results. I knew I wanted to try it and told myself that, love it or hate it, I would stick it out for 6 months before I made a decision. It only took one class and I was hooked! I had found my match!!


crossfit at home

CrossFit is my fitness match for a few reasons:

  • I am competitive – there are lots of different ways people are competitive, and I am all of them. ;-) I love competing with others, with myself, with my goals, and CrossFit feels like a healthy place to be competitive in a positive way.
  • I don’t have more than an hour TOTAL to workout. With CrossFit I can be in and out in an hour (sometimes less) and feel totally accomplished.
  • I like being told what to do – at least in THIS aspect of my life!! When it was left to me to decide what my workout would be (at a regular gym) I could talk myself out of pretty much anything. At CrossFit if you show up, you kind of don’t have a choice! If it’s on the board, you’re going to do it – in one form or another.
  • I feel accountable. To myself, my coach, my friends at the gym. If I’m not there or don’t do my best, I’m going to have to answer for it!
  • I have seen results!! Not just “lost the baby weight” results, body transformation results! They are measurable results, like increased weight in my lifting, more efficiency in my workouts (ie: faster times), learning & mastering skills I never imagined, like pull-ups, not to mention losing 30lbs. and decreasing my body fat to 13%.


crossfit at home

What IS CrossFit?

CrossFit is an effective way to get fit. Anyone can do it. It is a fitness program that combines a wide variety of functional movements into a timed or scored workout. We do pull-ups, squats, push-ups, weightlifting, gymnastics, running, rowing, and a host of other movements. Always varied, always changing, always producing results. Kids, cops, firefighters, soccer moms, Navy SEALS, and grandmas all do CrossFit. In fact, hundreds of thousands worldwide have followed CrossFit workouts and fallen in love with not only the workouts, but the results. You can find an official CrossFit affiliate near you by visiting and searching by area.

If you haven’t found your fitness match, or if your resolution is to try something new, I would encourage you to give CrossFit a try. While you won’t get the same effect doing an “at home” CrossFit workout, it’s absolutely better than nothing. There are dozens of websites that offer “CrossFit at Home” style workouts that can be done in 20 minutes or less – just make sure you warm up & cool down properly.

Here is one you can try at home!

Many CrossFit workouts have names, so we’ll call it “Vapor 10”:

  • 10 minute AMRAP (AMRAP means as many reps or rounds as possible, in the allotted time)
  • 10 kettlebell or dumbell swings
  • 10 push ups
  • 10 air squats
  • 10 burpees
  • 10 sit ups

Part of what makes CrossFit so effective is the intensity. “Vapor 10” doesn’t seem too bad, right? But if you push yourself to work at your FULL capacity, it’s going to be much harder than say 60% effort. Another aspect that gets results is the full range of motion in all of your movements, so lets break them down a little….


crossfit at home

dumbbell or kettlebell swings:

Start with your knees slightly bent, chest up & butt out. Think about “popping” your hips as you straighten your knees – this will create momentum and the weight will move upward. As your arms extend, think about pushing your armpits to the ceiling, in CrossFit we call it active shoulders. Use your strength to stop the weight when it has reached all the way above your head. Push the weight back down & repeat.


crossfit at home


ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS find full range of motion when you do pushups. Whether they are on your knees or full plank, your chest should touch the floor on the way down and your arms should fully lock out at the top. EVERY TIME!! Start on your knees and work toward plank push ups.


crossfit at home

air squats:

When you squat your weight should be in your heels, meaning no matter what point in your squat you are, you should be able to wiggle your toes. Make sure you squat all the way down so that your hips are below your knees. Stand up all the way to full hip extension at the top. If it’s helpful, find something to squat to so you know you are getting full depth.


crossfit at home


Did you know burpees don’t like you either?! Hehe!! That’s my favorite burpee joke!! There is no special way to do burpees, just get town to the floor, make sure you touch your chest & stand back up. There is NO NEED to do a pushup. Flop if you need to. Just down & up.


crossfit at home

sit ups:

full range of motion sit ups are SO much more effective than crunches. You can use your arms as tomahawks to get momentum to sit up. Just make sure your shoulders touch the floor on the way down & your hands touch your toes on the way up.


Set a timer & go! Leave your result in the comments!! Each time your complete all of the exercises, that is 1 round – how many full rounds can you get? How many reps? Your score should look something like 4+16. That’s 4 full rounds + 16 more reps. Grab you hubby & kids. Have a competition. It’ll be fun!!

My advice to anyone who wants to make “being fit” one of their New Years Resolutions is to search out and find your fitness match. Don’t run because your friends run, or do Zumba because you were a dancer in high school; find something that allows you to LOVE what you’re doing. It should motivate you to eat well, get lots of rest & feel proud of your body. On my journey to improved health, I have learned to love my big knees because they allow me to accomplish things I never imagined, like squatting over 200 lbs., running without discomfort & pushing myself physically like I never imagined. To me, that’s what health and fitness is, becoming the best version of you!
ogt line


Thank you McCall!  So inspiring!  I am definitely going to be giving CrossFit a try. I love that it’s basic body movements and no fancy dance steps to learn! I also love that it focuses on strength and fitness rather than just simply losing weight. After all….STRONG is the new SKINNY!  :-)



Be sure to come back tomorrow for Day Two of New Year, New You when we’ll be taking about great ideas FROM YOU for getting organized in the new year! Plus, a giveaway you’ll want to get in on!



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  1. says

    Hey everyone, it’s McCall from CrossFit Vapor!

    I’m loving reading your questions, concerns as well as interest in CrossFit. Let me touch on a few things….

    1. Here is a GREAT article from a highly reputable source on the value of squats – especially pertaining to knee injuries or issues.

    2. A good warm-up is 5min of light cardio ie: walking or jogging, using the elliptical or stationary bike, jump rope, etc. Really anything that gets your heart rate up a little and allows you to stretch without discomfort.

    3. Dumbell weight is up to you and is one of the beauties of CrossFit. If I was doing this workout, I would use a #35 dumbell, but for a beginner I would suggest at #10 or #15 dumbell.

    4. Karen answered the question about how to do the workout perfectly. Thanks Karen!!

    5. Lena, CrossFit ABSOLUTELY helped my knees. They are slimmer and tighter. In addition, my calves have developed nicely so they appear more balanced as well.

    6. Gram, don’t underestimate yourself!! Go slow. Modify your movements. Use lighter weight. You will surprise yourself!!

    Good work guys! I’ll try to check back to answer any other questions :)

    • Tab says

      I just wanted to ask about how you lost the baby weight – Did you do crossfit along with paleo? I know so many crossfitters who do paleo or was just about getting active and food diary and just watching what you eat. I’m in the midst of losing 30 lbs of baby weight (seriously – 3 kids in 4 years took it’s toll :) ) – – oh and that’s a parentheses around a smiley – not my depiction of a double chin ; )

  2. Lena says

    HELP! Your story caught my eye (as soon as I read about your knees), because I have HUGE knees! Please tell me if this has helped your knees! (I looked and yours look wonderful) I’m wondering if this helped, or have your knees always looked like that lol.

  3. Marsha says

    I’m doing the Bikini Body Mommy Challenge. Day one today and it’s awesome there are modifications to the exercises as well as meal plans and a diet bet for extra motivation.

    • Amanda R says

      Thank you for posting about the BBMC! I saw your comment here on OGT on day 1 of BBM and I decided on a whim to do it. I’m glad I did! It is Day 25 and I feel awesome. I haven’t skipped any days, and my body has changed for the better. For anyone who needs a relatable instructor, visit Bikini Body Mommy Challenge on fb. you don’t have to be a mommy or even a woman to do it. Briana, the founder/instructor is amazing. You can start on Day 1 and go from there. :)

    • Amanda R says

      I’m back! It is Day 3 of BBMC 2.0 and I have an accountability group (International Bikini Babes) set up on fb to support women (some moms, some not) from all over the world. We are checking in daily with the our nutrition and workouts. Thank you again for posting about BBM way back in January. I’ve lost weight and inches, and I feel amazing!

  4. Diane W. says

    How much weight with the dumbbell swings? My son is into cross fit and I would like to tell him that his 60 year old mom is doing cross fit :)

  5. Angela McAvoy-Belote says

    This seems like a great workout, but for someone with horribly bad knees half of these are impossible without throwing a knee out. This is my biggest problem with workouts…I can never find any that are low impact on my knees so I can do them without falling over or injuring myself. :(

    • Rachel says

      My aunt has really bad knees and she found that taking a swimming class helps a lot with pain and stiffness. She said that if she didn’t do her class every week, she probably wouldn’t be able to walk. It helps so much that she does it 3x a week.

    • Kaitlyn Nystul says

      Hi Angela! My husband (Jillee’s son Erik) has horrible knees and ankles and has LOVED doing CrossFit! He was really worried when we started because he’s broken both ankles and had knee injuries in high school. But the more that he works out the better his knees and ankles feel. He avoids a few really high impact exercises like box jumps but he would definitely do everything in this workout. He especially loves squats and says they’ve really strengthened his knees. But that’s definitely just my opinion! Consult your doctor before trying anything knew. You could even find a local CrossFit affiliate and talk to the coaches there about modifications.

      • Gwyn says

        Hi Kaitlyn,
        Hope your holidays were great. So CrossFit does then have modifications for people with specific issues?

      • Kaitlyn Nystul says

        It definitely does Gwyn! That’s probably my favorite part about it. At our gym we have people of all ages and abilities and everyone modifies the workouts to their own level. For example, my husband with the bad knees can’t do an exercise called box jumps where you basically jump from the ground onto a 20″ high box. So he does step-ups that still work the same muscles but don’t put as much impact on his knees. He also has a really hard time running since it’s so high impact, so generally when we have a workout that includes a run he uses the rowing machine.

    • Andrea says

      Have you ever tried Classical Stretch. by Maria Esmonde White. I quite like this full body workout in only twenty minutes and virtually no equipment. You might search for her website. She is canadian.

  6. Patti G says

    So do you do each exercise as many times as you can within 10 minutes then move on to the next one?

    I don’t understand the scoring method. How did you get the example 4+ 16? Thank you.

    • says

      Hi Patti,
      You set a timer for 10 minutes and as soon as you start it you do, with as much strength and effort/energy as you can possibly put into it;
      10 kettlebell or dumbell swings
      When you finish those you immediately do
      10 push ups (hand release)
      And then as fast as you can go into doing
      10 air squats
      Then nice quickly into
      10 burpees
      And then move as fast as possible into
      10 sit ups

      When you finish this round if exercises, you can count 1round completed.
      If your timer has not gone off, move right back without a break right to the beginning and start over again. Keep up as much as possible the effort and energy, do the exercises with as much vigor as you can give them, until your 10 minutes are done.

      The 4 + 16 means that you completed 4 rounds of the whole set of exercises and 16 repetitions into the 5 the round.
      Hope this helps clear it up.
      Good luck!!

    • Maleia says

      I am confused to:
      Many CrossFit workouts have names, so we’ll call it “Vapor 10”:

      10 minute AMRAP (AMRAP means as many reps or rounds as possible, in the allotted time)
      10 kettlebell or dumbell swings
      10 push ups
      10 air squats
      10 burpees
      10 sit ups

      Do I set the timer for 10 minutes and do 10 kettleball, 10 push ups, 10 air squats, 10 burpees, and 10 sit ups and start them over until my 10 mins is over? Or do I do each one for 10 minutes?

      • says

        Maleia and Gwyn–

        I’ve been to CF before, so I’ll do my best to answer :)

        This workout gives us TEN MINUTES to do ALL FIVE of the exercises TEN TIMES EACH.

        Here’s how:
        1) Set your timer for 10 minutes.
        2) Immediately do 10 Kettlebell Swings (DO NOT RESET YOUR TIMER!)
        after you’ve completed ALL 10 swings,
        3) do 10 pushups (DO NOT RESET YOUR TIMER!)
        after you’ve completed ALL 10 pushups,
        4) do 10 squats (DO NOT RESET YOUR TIMER!)
        after you’ve completed ALL 10 squats,
        5) do 10 burpees (DO NOT RESET YOUR TIMER!)
        after you’ve complete ALL 10 burpees,
        6) do 10 situps (DO NOT RESET TIMER!)

        Your timer will probably go off sometime while you are in the middle of a set. After your timer goes off, IMMEDIATELY reset it and start back from the beginning. You can do this as many times as you’d like.

        I hope I answered your questions, okay. Let me know if I didn’t explain it very well. (I have a tendency to do that sometimes! lol)

      • Carrie says

        Do not reset your timer AT ALL!
        You are NOT repeating sets. You are doing ALL 10 of your Burpees, moving on to Situps WITHOUT resetting the timer UNLESS it goes off.

        Hope this helped! :)

      • Kaitlyn Nystul says

        Hi Maleia!

        I thought I would clarify a bit as well – the entire workout would be 10 minutes long. The beauty of CrossFit is that you can get a great workout in that short amount of time. I guess if you really wanted to reset your timer at the end of 10 minutes and do it again you could – but if you put in as much effort as possible for 10 minutes you’ll get a great workout. So for this workout you would set the timer for 10 minutes and do 10 kettleball, 10 push ups, 10 air squats, 10 burpees, and 10 sit ups and start them over until the 10 mins is over.

    • Robin says

      You do ten reps of ALL the exercises, then start over again. Doing ten reps of ALL the exercises is one round. So the 4 is four full rounds of ten reps of ALL the exercises and the 16 is the reps that would have counted toward the next round.