CrossFit isn’t just a style of exercise, it’s a lifestyle and a movement. There are over 15 million athletes. There are over 14,000 locations around the globe. It’s characterized by the mantra: Off the carbs. Off the couch. It’s sound nutrition and detailed exercise. Its focus is on long-term health.
According to BarBend, one of the best ways to build your CrossFit strength is by training with a stronman yoke.
What are yokes and how are they used in CrossFit?
Popular in strongman circles as well as CrossFit, the yoke carry traditionally involves carrying a weighted metal frame on your back. It’s unknown who invented the first Yoke Carry, however, The first Yoke seen in strongman was in the 1977 World’s Strongest Man competition. It was known as the fridge carry.
A yoke can help you achieve core strength, stability, and coordination by aligning you in your best stance. A yoke is a large and sturdy metal frame. It has a crossbar. It can be stacked with weights on each of the four corners of the frame. Some yokes are designed for multipurpose use. They are lifting stations that double up as a sled and a squat rack. It’s important that the yoke can be adjusted for an individual height difference that different users may have. The thicker yokes will provide more comfort on your back because the load is spread in a wider area.
In CrossFit it’s used as a yoke carry getting under the yoke and doing a yoke walk. Purpose of lifting weighted down is that it creates an incredible physical response in your body.
The different parts of your body that are enhanced by using a yoke carry and training to lift these loads.
When you’re already in excellent shape you can try the yoke walk. The concept is based on 60 seconds and then looking at the maximum distance covered. By working with perfecting the yoke walk, you’ve started training for the ultimate game changer in the CrossFit Games.
The Yoke conditions and works :
- Your upper back
- Your posterior chain- glutes, hamstrings and lower back
- Your legs
- Your hips
Important Elements to Consider
The most important element in exercising with a yoke is to have the yokes slightly higher so you can ward off any wobbles and injuries. It’s important to take small fast steps while staying tight so that you avoid extra movement in the yoke. Give yourself the feeling of bending the bar around you like a cloak. This way if you think of it that way you will keep the yoke secure, which is important when lifting or dragging heavy weights. When you’re walking don’t look straight ahead but focus on a specific spot farther than you want to walk and walk towards that spot. Strong technique can make an effective difference in safety, in training and in results. Many of the yokes can also be used as sleds.
Yokes have a great deal of variety, versatility and functionality. You need to choose a yoke that will work within your budget, your weight requirements, and your determination. They can be used for many different kinds of carries and pushes as well as squats. The advantage in using a yoke is that it provides the safety while you build strength and power.
What workouts have featured a yoke in the past CrossFit?
The yoke is the heaviest challenge and most competitors are intimidated by it. According to Muscle and Fitness magazine, the yoke is the ultimate test of endurance, strength, core stability and explosive power. It is become a staple the last 15 years in many strong man contests and features highly in CrossFit games. In fact this is what separates the true athletes.
A yoke needs to be trained in the correct manner it can allow the athlete to carry tremendous weight with incredible strength. Is a power builder. However it’s not just for the strong men, but it’s a powerful tool for an athlete in any sport. Many celebrities, including Dwayne Johnson, use the yoke as part of their regime.
In the 2017 Games
In the 2017 games yokes were used in what was called Strongman’s Fear where you were required to move a yoke, farmers log and sled 150 ft across the field.
- Men had a 500 lb yoke
- Women had a 340 lb yoke
In the 2018 Games
In the 2018 games, yokes were part of the Aeneas challenge. That included five for pegboard climbs, 40 thrusters. A 33 ft yoke carry then added weight, another 33 ft yoke carry then add additional weight, and the last 33 ft yoke carry.
- Men had 425-565-665 lb yoke carries
- Women had 345 – 405 – 445 lb yoke carries
In the 2021 CrossFit Games
During the 2021 games 168 ft yoke carry was required in the 13th event where there were four rounds. By the time the yoke Carry came along, there were only 20 athletes participating. This yoke carry made the difference in who won. That demonstrated how important the yoke is.
What weight is typical required in a yoke for men and women?
Two times the body weight of an individual is what is an achievable weight to start with for both men and for women. They should have a strong background in strength training before beginning.
There are three markers: for men two and a half times body weight is excellent progress. An advanced standard is three times body weight. For women three times the body weight is superb. If you are in that one. percent of the world you can achieve four times body weight.
What to look for when buying a Strongman Yoke
More than any other piece of equipment you really need to look at the metal that this is made of making sure it’s solid. Make sure that the yoke has a thick crossbar and it very least two bolts on each end of the crossbar. A sturdy piece of equipment is vital.
You want something that can be versatile that can do yoke presses, slide pushes. yoke squats, yoke bench presses, and of course yoke walks.
The Best Yokes For CrossFit
This is such a niche piece of equipment, and it really makes sense to go with the best. Rogue are renowned for their sponsorship and support of strongman and CrossFit competitions, and resultingly we find their yokes are leagues above the rest of the market. They may be a little pricey, but when you consider a yoke can also double as a squat rack, sled, and weights rack, they really do justify the price tag. The Volcano Rogue Yokes
- Height and weight: 60″ – 110″, 185 lbs. – 205 lbs.
- This is a pricey option, in fact, it is the most expensive, but its solid construction makes it an excellent choice for those who are serious.
- Volcano is a plate-loadable steel tire flip and yoke training implement that can effectively activate the same muscles used in flipping a tractor tire, but it supplies the safety element you need.
Y-2 Rogue Yoke
- Best all purpose.
- This takes all the best into account, as they call it part yoke, part power rack, part sled. this all-inclusive piece of equipment does it all and gets you ready for any sport, CrossFit games, or just CrossFit excellence. Additionally, it is reasonably priced and the best value.
- The Y-2 Rogue Yoke with 2×3″ 11-gauge steel uprights, a 750-pound plate storage capacity, and durable skid feet designed to handle sled pushing and dragging exercises.
T-3 SERIES YOKE | TALL
- This contender from Titan is inexpensively priced and yet solid in construction. It is multi-purpose, as it can be Used as a Squat / Press Stand, Push or Drag Sled, or Yoke.