10 Best Crossfit Leg Workouts (Brutal WODs For Strength)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: March 29, 2024
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Do you want to elevate your leg strength to match the intensity of CrossFit champions?

Drawing from my expertise as a fitness trainer, I've curated a list of the top 10 CrossFit leg workouts that you can  integrate into your routine. These workouts are specifically programmed to optimize your performance and results.

CrossFit leg workouts rank among the most challenging exercises you'll encounter.

Find out how to carefully plan each sequence to transform your performance.

Quick Summary

  • The best CrossFit leg workouts include Canine Rex, Manion, Super Legs, Jumping Jack Flash, November Rain, Jenny, Buzzkill, Fat Army, Barbell Barbarian, and Suarkraut Balls.
  • Some of the best CrossFit leg exercises include back squats, deadlifts, cleans and jerks, front squats, split squats, walking lunges, and more.
  • Training your legs is essentially to holistically develop your entire body, avoid injury, build agonist-antagonist muscle pairs, and gain power and strength.
  • Having put most of these workouts to the test myself, I can vouch for their ability to push limits and deliver remarkable results in terms of leg development.

10 Best Crossfit Leg Exercises

A person in front of a barbell doing CrossFit leg exercises

Our testing team which included myself, a colleague, and a CrossFit coach tried all workouts. We ensured our workouts were safe and made clear guidelines for everyone to follow.

Note that while all these exercises are designed for maximum impact, it's important to be aware of common leg injuries in CrossFit.

Incorporating flexibility exercises, warming up before a workout, and ensuring proper form can significantly reduce the risk of sprains, strains, and injuries in general.

"Generally speaking, if you consider yourself a CrossFitter, your legs endure a lot of hammering from your regularly-scheduled WODs. But if you want to get better at your sport, you might want to consider giving your legs a little extra love. The name of the game in CrossFit is endurance." - Alex Polish, Certified Personal Trainer

1. Canine Rex

I remember the first time I tried the Canine Rex workout. It was named after an accident involving the Michigan State policeman, Officer Rex, who tragically lost his life to a drunk driver. The intensity of the workout somehow felt like a tribute to his memory.

It is advised to perform a bodyweight dynamic warm-up before the workout to get the lower body prepared minimize the chance of injury and increase performance [1].

Here is the entire workout (7 rounds):

  • Running - 500 meter
  • Air squats - 14 reps
  • Lunges - 14 reps
  • Sit-ups - 14 reps
  • Squat jumps - 14 reps
  • Burpees - 25 reps
  • Running - 1 mile

2. Manion

A person doing the CrossFit workout Manion challenge

I personally tried the Manion workout. I found it easier than the Canine Leg workout as it only contains running and back squats.

You should complete 7 rounds in total.

Here is the entire Manion workout:

  • Running - 400 meter
  • Back squats (135/95 lb) - 29 reps

3. Super Legs

According to my colleague who tried Super Legs, this won't be an easy workout if you have bad lower leg endurance.

The entire lower body workout should be performed for 5 rounds. Here is the entire workout:

  • Air squats - 20 reps
  • Alternativ lunges - 20 reps
  • Alternating split squat jumps - 20 reps
  • Squat jumps - 10 reps

4. Jumping Jack Flash

A person doing the Jumping Jack Flash CrossFit challenge workout

In my opinion, Jumping Jack Flash is more challenging than the previous super leg workout, but that will mainly depend on your type of conditioning.

Consider using a foam roller or perform a dynamic warm-up before the workout to get your body ready.

Here is the entire Jumping Jack Flash workout:

  • Air squats - 50 reps
  • Jumping jacks - 50 reps
  • Push-ups - 50 reps
  • Jumping jacks - 50 reps
  • Lunges - 50 reps - 50 reps
  • Jumping jacks - 50 reps
  • Burpees - 50 reps
  • Jumping jacks - 50 reps
  • Mountain climbers (L+R=1) - 50 reps
  • Jumping jacks - 50 reps
  • Mountain climbers (L+R=1) - 50 reps
  • Jumping jacks - 50 reps
  • Burpees - 50 reps
  • Jumping jacks - 50 reps
  • Lunges - 50 reps
  • Jumping jacks - 50 reps
  • Push-ups - 50 reps
  • Jumping jacks - 50 reps
  • Air Squats - 50 reps
  • Jumping jacks - 50 reps

5. November Rain

A CrossFit person doing the November Rain workout challenge

The November Rain leg workout is a high-intensity workout that burns fat and revs your heart rate. I remember doing it on a cold morning. It felt like I had burned a truckload of calories.

It doesn't include any upper body exercises like the last one, and it has some exercises you will perform with your body weight, making it easier.

Try it on your leg day, but avoid lifting a heavy weight before it like kettlebells or dumbbells.

Here is the entire workout:

  • Jumping jacks - 100 reps
  • Lunges - 40 reps
  • Jump squats - 40 reps
  • High knees - 100 reps
  • Butt kicks - 40 reps
  • Side lunges - 20 reps
  • Bicycle crunches - 100 reps
  • Running - 1.5 miles

6. Jenny

Jenny is the type of workout that has its basis in the AMRAP technique. AMRAP means as many reps as possible in a given set of times [2].

The lack of breaks completely exhausted me when I tried it for the first time. But that's what makes this workout effective.

Make sure to hydrate properly before it, and never complete this workout if you didn't have proper nutrients before since that may cause serious side effects.

Here is the entire workout (20-min AMRAP):

  • Overhead Squats - 20 reps with 45 lb
  • Back Squat - 20 reps with 45 lb
  • Running - 400 meters

7. Buzzkill

A person doing the buzzkill crossfit workout challenge

I've done the Buzzkill workout a couple of times and even recommended it to some of my clients. It helps you build strong legs and sculpt your upper body too.

You should use about 50% of your 1RM (repetition maximum) for the entire workout for each exercise.

Make sure to warm up your upper and lower body before the workout since these exercises activate numerous muscle groups.

Here is the whole workout:

  • Hang Power Clean - 30 reps
  • Box Jumps High - 25 reps
  • Deadlift - 20 reps
  • Squat Clean - 15 reps
  • Pull-ups - 10 reps
  • Front Squat - 5 reps

8. Fat Amy

Fat Amy is one of my go-to workouts when training my clients for upper-body and lower-body strength and endurance

It contains kettlebell swings meant to build leg power, but that is out of the equation since there are more than 15 exercises, meaning the only thing you can improve here is endurance.

Here is the entire workout:

  • Air squats - 50 reps
  • Burpees - 10 reps
  • Sit-ups - 40 reps
  • Burpees - 10 reps
  • Lunges (alternating legs) - 30 reps
  • Burpees - 10 reps
  • Kettlebell swings (1.5/1 pood) - 20 reps
  • Burpees - 10 reps
  • Bear crawl - 10 meters
  • Burpees - 10 reps
  • Kettlebell swings (1.5/1 pood) - 20 reps
  • Burpees - 10 reps
  • Lunges (alternating legs) - 30 reps
  • Burpees - 10 reps
  • Sit-ups - 40 reps
  • Burpees - 10 reps
  • Air squats - 50 reps

9. Barbell Barbarian

A person doing the barbell barbarian CrossFit workout challenge

Although not as challenging as other on this list, I still found the Barbell Barbarian a wholesome workout. It is based on the EMOM technique or training method.

EMOM means every minute on the minute, meaning you will complete the desired number of reps in a single minute and rest for the time until the following minute begins.

Here is the entire EMOM Barbell Barbarian workout:

  • Deadlift (60% of 1RM) - 1 repetition
  • Hang clean (60% of 1RM) - 1 repetition
  • Front squat (60% of 1RM) - 1 repetition

10. Suarkraut Balls

Suarkraut Balls is the last workout on our list, based on the AMRAP technique. It's not the toughest I've tried, but it sure put my lower body to the test.

You will perform as many rounds as possible in the 10 minutes for the following exercises:

  • Mountain climbers - 25 reps
  • Squat cleans (40/60 kg) - 5 reps
  • Wall Balls - 10 reps

Related: CrossFit Bodyweight Workouts to Transform Your Fitness Levels

Why Should Crossfitters Train Their Legs?

A man in the gym doing CrossFit training for legs

Training legs is crucial for a well-rounded, injury-free body. As CrossFit has grown, leg workouts have become key for top-notch performance.

It's a no-brainer: whether you're into sports or just for fun, working out both upper and lower body is vital for staying healthy and avoiding injuries.

Take it from a pro trainer: focusing only on certain body parts is a recipe for disaster. Muscle imbalances, joint issues, and injuries? No, thank you. You've got to train all around.

In your workouts, make sure to balance pushing and pulling. According to a study in the National Library of Medicine, this builds both agonist and antagonist muscles equally [3].

Leg Exercises for Crossfitters

A man with muscular calves

Here is the list of leg exercises for CrossFitters that I recommend adding for variety in your CrossFit training:

  • Front squat
  • Back squat
  • Overhead squat
  • Thruster
  • Pistol squat
  • Deadlift
  • Wall ball
  • Walking lunges
  • Single-leg deadlift
  • Rear foot elevated split squat
  • Sumo squat
  • Nordic hamstring

FAQs

What Crossfit Workout Targets Your Legs?

CrossFit workouts targeting your legs include Canine Rex, Manion, Super Legs, Jumping Jack Flash, November Rain, Jenny, Buzzkill, Fat Army, Barbell Barbarian, and Suarkraut balls.

Is Crossfit Good for Your Legs?

Yes, CrossFit is good for your legs. However, you must allow your body to recover after each workout to avoid overtraining and negative side effects caused by little to no rest between workout sessions.

How Do I Make My Legs Stronger for Crossfit?

You make your legs stronger for CrossFit by doing CrossFit exercises and workouts. The best CrossFit leg exercises to strengthen them include back squats, rear foot elevated split squats, and front squats.

What Should I Supplement for a Crossfit Leg Workout?

You should incorporate a pre-workout for CrossFit leg workouts.

Pre-workouts are essential for preparing your body for hard leg days and ensuring you return stronger for the next WOD.

Check the following guide to find the most popular CrossFit pre-workouts that will boost your workout and build more muscle.

Let me know which CrossFit leg workout is your favorite and why.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18027995/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8624389/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3625793/
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Senior Coach
Christiana Mikesch, CPT is a personal trainer and author with contributions to publications like the Chicago Tribune and Yahoo. She emphasizes a holistic approach to weight loss, combining an energy-fueling diet, goal-oriented workouts, and daily habits. Her approach avoids short-term goals and fosters a lifelong commitment to health and well-being.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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