Movement Prerequisites

Reminders on what to accomplish first

Generally, athletes here progress at their own pace and never really jump into "too much too soon".  It's rare that we even recommend people go heavier when they need it.
Either way, we wanted to throw our some of our Prerequisites for different movements.

Think of it like Karate. Even if you have never done it, I'm sure you are aware there are Belts you earn as you progress your abilities.
A bit more challenging in the CrossFit world with so many different areas of focus, but here are some of the things we see the most often.

Bodyweight/Gymnastics Movements


  • Sprawls until you can complete 3 strict push ups on your toes.

Handstand PushUps

  • should not kip until you can do 5 strict HSPU with full range of motion (ROM)

Pistols (single leg squats)

  • should not have limited ankle mobility
  • should not have limited hamstring mobility

Box Jumps

  • should be able to Backsquat your Bodyweight (limit box height and step down until this can happen)
  • should have full ankle ROM

Pull Ups

  • 3 strict in a row before kipping
  • 10 strict in a row before Butterfly
  • Must have full shoulder ROM before kipping

Muscle Ups

  • 10 strict Pull Ups and 1 strict Muscle Up before kipping

Barbell Movements


  • Should have perfect Air Squat before adding weight
  • Should have full ROM before adding weight

Front Squat

  • all Back Squat prerequisites plus
  • full shoulder flexion ROM (can get elbows up for front rack position)
  • should have full wrist ROM

Overhead Squat

  • all Back Squat prerequisites plus
  • zero shoulder ROM issues


  • must be able to touch ground with knees completely locked
  • must be able to set back in starting position


  • must be able to OHS full ROM before snatching


  • all Front Squat prerequisites
  • all Deadlift prerequisites
  • should have full wrist ROM

Shoulder to Overhead (Strict, Push Press, Split Jerk)

  • all = full Overhead ROM
  • Push Press and Split Jerk = Must be able to maintain full grip in front rack position.
  • should have full wrist ROM

Standard Mobility

Toe touch test = should be able to touch the floor with your knees locked out. Can bend back as needed.

  • If limited = no Deadlifting, Cleans, or Snatching from the ground.

Ankle Dorsiflexion = should be able to touch your knee cap directly forward, 4.5" (F) or 5.5" (M) in front of your toes.

  • If limited = no squatting below parallel, no box jumps on or off, limited jumping rope

Prone Heel to Butt = while laying on stomach, should be able to, with minimal assistance, should be able to touch your heel to your butt

  • Test quad and hip flexor mobility
  • Varies by location of possible pain. If low back = no Toes to Bar/Knees to elbows. If Quads = nothing with knees too far forward over toes (landing box jumps in toes, pistols, some squatting below parallel).

Wrist Extension = should be able to touch your top of shoulder directly forward, 4.5" (F) or 5.5" (M) in front of your fingers, with your elbow locked.

  • should be very careful with: thrusters, front squats, overhead squats, cleans, snatching, shoulder to overhead, and push ups.

Shoulder Abduction (out and around to overhead) and Flexion (from hanging, straight out front to overhead) = should be become completely vertical from side and from front or back, with less than 10 degrees of error

  • if missing more than 10 degrees after warm up = should not kip anything, snatch, overhead squat, push/split jerk

This list has a lot of "should's" on it. We are here to keep you moving safely for the rest of your life. Going against this will only make things worse.

If you are thinking "but Ryan, aren't your shoulders messed up?" then you would be correct. I never had anyone to stop me from doing many of the things on the list above. I have had to work backward for almost a full year now, no kipping, no snatching, strength training....and its still barely to the point of no pain with very limited improvements in my ROM. Do not be stubborn like me!

It's our job to teach you (and remind you) of these things, it's your job to stick to them! Keep it safe!

Coach Ryan

Movement Prerequisites

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