CrossFit Jackie is one of “The Girls” – which I have talked about before – and that means she is a benchmark WOD (workout of the day) that will help you measure the progress you’ve made in your fitness journey.
Jackie was originally posted on the CrossFit main site on March 6, 2009, and she can be done Rx (as prescribed) or scaled down to meet your fitness level. There are also a few variations: Running Jackie, Angry Jackie, and Backwards Jackie (AKA Eikcaj).
Table of Contents
What is “Jackie”?
Jackie wants things done quickly, so she is a WOD done for time. Jackie has three exercises that you need to do as fast as possible:
- 1,000 Meter Row
- 50 Thrusters (45/35)
- 30 Pull-Ups
The 1,000 meter row will obviously done on a rowing machine, and I will give you tips and strategies in the next section. I will do the same with the pull-ups. Instead, I want to focus on the thrusters and how to do them properly.
How To Do a Perfect Thruster
Thrusters are a full-body movement that you perform with a 45-pound bar (35-pound bar for females), and it will work your quads, glutes, and shoulders.
- Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and grip the barbell with an overhand grip.
- Your grip should be also be shoulder-width apart, and you want to make sure to draw your shoulders back and down, while keeping your spine in alignment.
- Always keep your knees slightly bent, and never lock them.
- At this point, your feet should be under the bar, and you want to bring the barbell up to your shoulders into the rack position, bringing your elbows underneath and facing forward.
- Next, engage your core, expand your chest, and lower into a deep squat.
- If you have the flexibility, drop your glutes lower than parallel to the ground. Remember to keep your core engaged, and turn your knees out slightly for some stability. (Having good shoes helps too)
- Press your heals and the outside of your feet into the floor, and in one fluid motion powerfully explode back to the standing position and straighten your arms overhead.
- Bring the bar back down to your shoulders and repeat the movement in one continuous motion as fast as you can while keeping proper form.
CrossFit Jackie Times
When you are doing Jackie as prescribed, these are your goal times:
- Beginners – 9:31+
- Average – 8:01 to 9:30
- Advanced Athlete – 6:31 to 8:00
- Elite Athlete – 6:30 or less
When you are first starting out, 11 minutes is an acceptable Jackie time for a beginner. And, if you want to be a champion at the Crossfit Games, you will need to finish around the five minute mark.
— Grace Alfar (@Grace_Alfar) May 13, 2017
Proven CrossFit Jackie Strategy
To make sure you get the best time possible during the row, you want to approach it with a three-step movement: legs, hips, and arms.
First, keep your back tight while getting into position, and slightly lean forward with your chest. At no point in the exercise should you be hunching over.
As for the three-step movement, during your row you want to extend your legs, open your hips as you start to lean back, and then follow through with your arms. Think of it as a clean while sitting down.
Your movement should be in a nice, straight line, and when you pull, you want one long drive from when you extend your legs until you follow through with your arms. This will give you the chance to recover on the return.
Your goal during the row is to let the turbine run as long as possible before you take your next hit, so avoid short, hard bursts.
— Fundy CrossFit (@FundyCrossFit) October 25, 2016
For an efficient thrust, the bar should be resting on your shoulders during your squat while your elbows remain elevated, and when you stand back up, drive into a push press and punch the bar to the top.
Keeping the bar resting on your shoulders will prevent you from putting too much strain on your arms or tipping forward. Your elbows will also add extra support, and keeping them elevated will help you avoid smashing them into your knees while you squat.
When you are pushing out of that squat, put as much drive from your hips as you can, so you can create momentum. Another thing to remember is don’t use a death grip on the bar. I promise, it will slow you down.
Additionally, it’s a great idea to wear dedicated footwear for weightlifting to keep yourself grounded and stable during these kinds of compound movements.
As for the pull-ups, if you can do three normal pull-ups, I suggest the butterfly kip for Jackie. Your chin will only go to the level of the bar (not above it), and your legs will be gaining momentum for the next rep.
You also won’t make any reverse movements once you get to the top when doing a butterfly kip pull-up, and instead you should maintain a continuous motion. This isn’t the strongest type of pull-up by any means. But for Jackie, it works perfectly.
Even though CrossFit WOD Jackie is a well known workout, there are a few cool variations worth trying.
Running Jackie is a variation that substitutes an 800-meter run for the 1,000 meter row, while the other two exercises stay the same.
This workout takes less emphasis off the back and arms, but still retains the intense minimalist cardio element.
— Fundy CrossFit (@FundyCrossFit) March 6, 2017
Angry Jackie lets you take her to a whole new level because there is a longer row, more weight on the bar, and bar muscle-ups replace pull-ups. Also done for time, Angry Jackie consists of:
- 2,000 Meter Row
- 50 Thrusters (95/65)
- 30 Bar Muscle-Ups
Eikcaj (Backwards Jackie)
There is also Eikcaj, which is Backwards Jackie, and that’s pretty self-explanatory. But, just in case, you do the pull-ups first, then the thrusters, and finish up with the row.
Before you do this WOD Rx for time, make sure you are doing every move with proper form to avoid injury.
Can You Handle the CrossFit Jackie Workout?
As you can see, the Jackie is a total body benchmark workout that’s going to test your endurance and strength.
That’s why it’s important to focus on perfect form and pace yourself when tackling this WOD.