We can all get a little confused by the CrossFit lingo at some time.

So we created a video to show you the movements and have a list which explains the CrossFit terminology.

CrossFit: A Glossary of Terms


Air Squat/Bodyweight: Standing straight up, an athlete squats down until their hips are below their knees, then stands back up until the hips are once again fully extended.

Band-Assisted Pull-Up: CrossFitters who can’t quite get all the way up loop stretch bands over the bar and use them as a low-tech alternative to assisted pull-ups.

Box Jump: No running starts allowed. Athletes jump up onto a box of a given height from a two-footed stance.

BP – Bench Press: The bench press is an upper body strength training exercise that consists of pressing a weight upwards from a supine position.

BS – Back Squat: A weightlifting exercise in which a person squats and then returns to an erect position while holding a barbell at the back of the shoulders.

Burpees: Starting from standing, athletes bend down and plant their hands, kick back into a plank position, and perform a push-up. The legs are then brought back in, and the movement culminates with a slight jump up and hands clapped overhead.

CLN – The Clean: is a movement we frequently use in everyday life where we pull an object off the floor and onto our shoulders.

C&J – Clean and Jerk: A movement where an object (barbell) is pulled from the floor and received in a front squat position with the object resting on one’s shoulders. After a brief pause, athletes take a shallow dip and then drive upward to propel the bar overhead, often landing in a split position and then bringing their feet back in line, with arms locked out.

DL – Deadlift: A weight training exercise in which a loaded barbell is lifted off the ground to the hips, then lowered back to the ground. It is one of the three powerlifting exercises, along with the squat and bench press.

DU’s – Double Unders: When jumping rope the rope passes under your feet 2 times between each jump.

FS – Front Squat: Weight (usually a barbell) is held in front of the body across the clavicles and deltoids in either a clean grip, as is used in weightlifting, or with the arms crossed and hands placed on top of the barbell.

GHD Sit-Up: Glute Ham Developer, athletes reach back until their hands graze the ground, then explosively extend their legs and sit up.

HC – Hang Clean: A weightlifting exercise involving the use of a barbell to do a compound series of strength-building movements.

HSPU – Handstand Pushup: The handstand push-up (press-up) – also called the vertical push-up (press-up) or the inverted push-up (press-up) – is a type of push-up exercise where the body is positioned in a handstand. For a true handstand, the exercise is performed free-standing, held in the air.

HSQ – Hang Squat: (clean or snatch). Start with bar “at the hang,” about knee height and initiate pull. As the bar rises drop into a full squat and catch the bar in the racked position. From there, rise to a standing position.

Kipping Pull-Up: Allowing rhythm to the swinging lets athletes transfer horizontal motion to vertical force and allowing for more/quicker) pull-ups.

KBS – Kettlebell Swing: Move the kettlebell overhead while the kettlebell swings to eye or shoulder height.

KTE – Knees to elbows (K2E): In this movement, athletes hang from a pull-up bar and then shoot their knees up toward the torso until the elbows and knees touch. For a harder version, try bringing the toes all the way to the bar.

MP – Military Press: The press, overhead press or shoulder press is a weight training exercise, typically performed while standing, in which a weight is pressed straight upwards from the shoulders until the arms are locked out overhead.

MU – Muscle Ups: Hanging from rings you do a combination pull-up and dip so you end in an upright support. Athletes hang from gymnastic rings and explosively pull their chest above the rings to the bottom of a dip position. From there they push up until the arms are fully.

OHS – Overhead Squat: Full-depth squat performed while arms are locked out in a wide grip press position above (and usually behind) the head.

PC – Power Clean: A weight training exercise not used in competition, refers to any variant of the clean in which the lifter does not catch the bar in a full squat position (commonly accepted as thighs parallel to the floor or below). A weight is raised from the floor to shoulder height, held there briefly, and then pushed overhead in a rapid motion of the arms, typically accompanied by a spring or lunge from the legs.

Pistol: Also known as single leg squats, pistols require half the legs, but twice the effort.

PJ – Push Jerk: A progression of the push press in which a forceful hip drive coupled with a drop under the bar catch is used to aid in getting the load overhead. When done properly, the bar moves in a perfectly vertical plane only, which is the most efficient path.

PP –Push Press: A weight training exercise for the anterior head of the deltoid (shoulder). The push press is similar to the military press; however, the movement is started by a ‘push’ from the legs. This begins the momentum of the movement and the weight is then slowly lowered back to the shoulders. It can also be used from behind the neck, after a squat.

PSN -Power Snatch: The objective of the snatch is to lift the barbell from the ground to overhead in one continuous motion. There are four main styles of snatch used: squat snatch (or full snatch), split snatch, power snatch, and muscle snatch.

PU – Push-ups: The athlete moves from a plank postion, touches their chest to the floor and returns to plank 

Ring Dip: It’s just like a conventional bodyweight dip, only on gymnastic rings. The rings are unstable, making it harder to keep the hands close to the body.

SC – Squat Clean: A clean which drops to below parallel during the catch.

SDHP – Sumo Deadlift High Pull: In this movement, athletes take a wide stance over a barbell and explosively pull from the ground upward until the bar comes up to shoulder height— no 400-pound wrestlers required.

SN – Snatch: One of two Olympic lifts where athletes explosively lift a weighted barbell from ground to overhead in one movement, often squatting under the bar and then standing up— or “recovering”— to allow for heavier weights.

SQ –Squat: Crouch or sit with one’s knees bent and one’s heels close to or touching one’s buttocks or the back of one’s thighs.

T2B – Toes to Bar: Hang from bar. Bending only at waist raise your toes to touch the bar, slowly lower them and repeat.

Thruster: A front squat straight into a push press.

Walking Lunge: Using bodyweight, a barbell on the shoulders, or a weight plate held directly overhead, athletes step forward with one foot and bend both legs until their back knee taps the ground.

Wallball: Holding a 20-pound (for men) or 14-pound (for ladies) medicine ball, athletes squat down and explosively stand up, throwing the ball toward an eight- or 10-foot target above their heads.


Abmat: A contoured foam wedge placed behind the back during sit-ups which allows for a greater range of motion while providing some padding against the hard ground.

Bumper Plates: Rubberized barbell plates

KB – Kettlebell (or girya) is a cast-iron or cast steel weight resembling a cannonball with a handle used to perform ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training.

Paralettes: Portable parallel bars around eight inches high.

Barbell: a long metal bar to which discs of varying weights are attached at each end, used for weightlifting.

Rig: A large metal frame which allows for gymnastic and weight lifting exercises

Rings: Gymnastic rings are used for a wide range of movements including dips, rows and muscle-ups.

General Terminology

3,2,1, GO – A Count down used at the start of many CrossFit WODs

10 General Physical Skills of Fitness: CrossFit workouts are designed to improve this list of skills, believed to encompass the full spectrum of fitness:
Cardiovascular endurance

Affiliate: A gym or “box,” that’s officially affiliated with the CrossFit brand. In order to become an affiliate, gyms must have CrossFit-certified trainers on staff.

AMRAP – As Many Reps/Rounds As Possible: AMRAP workouts challenge athletes to complete as many rounds of a series of movements in the allotted time.

Ass to Grass: (or ATG for short, also called Ass to Ankles) this term denotes a full-depth squat.

Beast: An athlete with exceptionally good work capacity or work ethic.

Beast Mode: The state of performing like a “beast”. An athlete of any level can enter “beast mode” if they want to. Beast mode is both a state of mind and physical performance.

Box: CrossFit gyms are typically referred to as a ‘box’ because they are traditionally located in industrial type warehouses.

CFT – CrossFit Total: Consisting of max squat, press, and deadlift. (A best of three attempts at a 1RM of (Press/DL/BS).

Chipper: A Workout/Training session consisting of a series of exercises and their repetitions performed one time through as quickly as possible. There are no structured rest periods, you rest when you need to in order to avoid muscle failure and keep the rest periods brief.

Complex: A series of three or more exercises focusing on the same muscle group.

DNF – Did Not Finish: For WODs with a fixed amount of work and a time cap, it is possible to not finish the prescribed amount of work in the given time. In such cases, the score will be appended with “DNF”.

DNS – Did Not Start: If for some reason and athlete is an able to start a WOD, they Forfeit their efforts and receive a “DNS”

EMOM – Every Minute On the Minute: So for instance on the whiteboard one day it is written; 10 Push-ups EMOM for 10 minutes. This means that you must do 10 Push ups at the top or beginning of every minute for 10 minutes.

Filthy Fifty: 50 Box Jumps, 50 Jumping Pull-ups, 50 Kettlebell Swings (35 lbs), 50 Walking Lunges, 50 Knees to Elbows, 50 Push Press (45 lbs), 50 Back Extensions, 50 Wallballs, 50 Burpees, 50 Double Unders.

Fire Breather: An elite-level CrossFit athlete.

For Time: Though not all CrossFit workouts have a timed component, the protocol is famous for pushing athletes to race against each other and the clock.

Girls: Several classic CrossFit benchmark workouts that are given female names e.g. Fran: Perhaps CrossFit’s most famous workout, Fran is a 21-15-9 rep scheme of thrusters (95 pounds for men, 65 for women) and pull-ups. For those keeping track at home, that’s 21 thrusters and 21 pull-ups, followed by 15 thrusters and 15 pull-ups, and so on.

GPP – General Physical Preparedness: aka “fitness.”

Gymnastics: Exercises that involve controlling body movement, typically with no weight other than body weight such as; sit-ups, push-ups, air squats, ring-rows, box jumps, etc.

Heroes : Several CrossFit Benchmark Workouts are named after actual military, law enforcement and firefighters that have died in the line of duty.

Ladder: Performing one or more exercises with an ascending or descending rep range (usually with a set time domain).

ME – Maximum Effort: For example if on the board it is written: 2 min ME rowing. That means you will row as hard as you possibly can for 2 full minutes therefore putting forth a maximum effort.

MetCon – This is an abbreviation of ‘metabolic conditioning.’ i.e. training with the intent to enhance performance in the three metabolic pathways that provide energy for all human action. These metabolic pathways are known as the phosphagen pathway (10 seconds or less), the glycolytic pathway (last up to several minutes) and the oxidative pathway (last in excess of several minutes). The term “metcon” is often misunderstood and incorrectly used by CrossFitters as a synonym for longer-duration cardio vascular training.

Murph: One of CrossFit’s toughest WODs, this workout consists of a one-mile run followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 bodyweight squats. Oh, and then another one-mile run.

Paleo: A term coined by Dr. Loren Cordain in his book “The Paleo Diet”. A theory of nutrition that humans are best suited to eat only foods that have been available in nature and eaten by hominids (including humans) for millions of years. Paleo nutrition excludes refined sweeteners, grain and grain based foods, alcohol, legumes (beans, peas and peanuts), dairy and other processed or artificial ingredients.

PD – Pood: A Russian weight measurement for kettlebells.
PR – Personal Record: One’s own best time/achievement

Rep/Repetition: One performance of an exercise.

RM – Repetition Maximum: Your 1RM is your max lift for one rep. Your 10 RM is the most you can lift 10 times.

Rx – Prescribed: Every WOD and movement has standards. Performing a WOD or movement according to the standards is referred to as doing it “Rx’d”; aka as prescribed. If you modify or “scale” a WOD or movement, it is not Rx. Performing a movement with a partial range of motion or with assistance is also not Rx.

Score: The total number of reps completed during a given workout.

Set: A number of repetitions. For example; 3 sets of 10 reps, often seen as 3×10, means do 10 reps, rest, repeat, rest, repeat.

Tabata Interval (or Tabata): A workout of 8 intervals alternating 20 seconds of max rep work with 10 seconds of rest. Total is 4 minutes per exercise. Score the lowest interval rep count unless otherwise stated.

WOD – Workout of the Day: The common splits are a) as posted, which is 3 days on/1 off, and b) 5 days on, two off.

Want more? Check out our other blogs on training:

How to avoid shin splints
Loosen your hips to help you squat
10 minute full body workout at home!

And some of our blogs on CrossFit

Strong is the new Skinny
What is CrossFit?
Find out why 60% of CrossFitters are women!

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About the Author

Elle has a passion for women's fitness and helping girls improve their self-image through fitness. Her vision is to create a CrossFit gym, which allows women to learn how to move, build their strength, learn to be healthy and gain respect for their bodies showing them how amazing they really are! Find out more