CrossFit Open Workout 21.2 is a repeat from Open Workout 17.1. To tackle Open Workout 21.2, we’re going to need tips and a solid strategy in place to log the best score possible.
Contrary to 17.1, for Open Workout 21.2, there’s been a significant change for the dumbbell snatch — and you can now change your grip at any point during the lowering portion.
We’ve built the ultimate Open Workout 21.2 tips and strategy guide to help you crush this workout for the first time OR beat the scores that you logged in 2017. Let’s make this your best CrossFit Open yet.
We’re going to break this CrossFit Open Workout 21.2 strategy and tips guide into three sections where we’ll discuss best practices for pacing, dumbbell snatches, and burpee box jump-overs.
If you’d rather watch me go through it all on video, just click play below!
No matter what division you’re competing in, pacing is going to be HUGE for success in 21.2. Here are my top two pacing tips for Open Workout 21.2.
1. Resist Going Full Speed At the Start
For this workout, we need to mind our pacing out of the gate and resist the temptation to send it too fast, too early. Upon the first rep, establish a pace that works for you and work to keep it until the later rounds to avoid burning yourself out.
With pure engine workouts like this, it’s not only an endurance game but a mental one to pace yourself accordingly based on your capabilities.
2. Adapt a Metronome Lifting Pattern
Essentially, I want you to adapt a metronome-like pace for your dumbbell snatches and box jump burpee reps. An even-keeled pace here will allow you to nail your breathing mechanics and get into a flow-like state especially when working through the higher rep sets.
If our speed is inconsistent, then we can burn ourselves out way too quickly. So, think like a metronome.
3. When You See the Light, Gas It!
Everyone will have a different version of “seeing the light”. For some, this could be the final round of the workout as they beat the time cap, and for others, this could be getting in as many reps as possible before the time cap.
Regardless of what “seeing the light” means for you in Open Workout 21.2, I want you to give it your all for the last portion to log your best score yet. This is why it’s important to pace yourself early on because otherwise we’ll fall flat at the end when we want to push.
The dumbbell snatch is back, but with a fairly significant change. This year, you can switch your dumbbell snatch grip at any point as long as you lock out your rep. This means no more waiting until you’re below eye-level to switch, which could help some athletes.
1. Adapt a Movement Pattern Based On Your Capabilities
Basically, I think there are three primary ways athletes can perform the dumbbell snatch in this workout. Some will be more efficient than others and we need to adopt a means of completion that is feasible for our skill level.
2. Don’t Be Sloppy With Your Contact
The last thing an athlete wants is to be “no-repped” for not touching both heads of the bell to the ground. Every rep, make sure you’re making contact with both dumbbell heads on the ground to ensure ALL of your reps counts.
In addition to touching both dumbbell heads, we also have to be mindful of how we’re setting the weight down. Try to set the dumbbell down after each set in a controlled fashion and keep your feet relatively planted so the dumbbell doesn’t bounce and roll away, only adding time to your workout.
3. Power Vs Traditional Reps
Outside of transitions, it’s also a good idea to select a movement pattern that is conducive to your goals and capabilities. Some athletes will power snatch the dumbbell while others will perform a traditional, lower-hip position dumbbell snatch.
Both options can be awesome, but if we’re not going into the workout without consistency in our movement patterns, then we may fatigue too quickly. Basically, we don’t want to have half of our reps in ONE set be power, then the other half be traditional as this can throw off our pacing and timing.
If you want to switch styles whenever you hit certain rounds or levels of fatigue, then do so, and have a plan in place before you hit the workout.
The burpee box jump-overs are loved by some and loathed by many. This exercise can make or break scores and can be absolutely brutal especially as we hit the later rounds.
1. Choose How You’re Getting Down to the Ground
There are two primary ways to get to the ground for your burpees. One method will be faster and more efficient, while the other will be slower but more beginner-friendly.
2. Choose How You’re Standing Up
We talked about lowering yourself down, now let’s turn our attention to standing back up. Similar to getting down, there are two primary ways we can stand up from our burpee.
3. Keep the Hips Low on the Box
If you watch all of the elite CrossFit athletes, they all maintain a low hip position on the box. By doing this, you’ll be in a better position for nailing your consecutive reps. PLUS, this method will help you save time because standing up can be inefficient when we’re racing the clock.
So, once you jump onto the box, keep a low hip position with adequate knee flexion to pop up and right off to get into your next burpee rep.
4. Mind Your Shoulders
On top of keeping the hips low, it’s also a good idea to keep your body in a more “sideways” position. Essentially, I don’t want you to jump up with square shoulders because this will only require you to then turn the body once you come off the box.
Similar to standing up, turning the body will only add time to your workout and increase your overall effort. The takeaway here is to jump with low hips and EITHER keep a slightly sideways position to quickly get into your next rep OR turn in the air during step down process.
For the scaled division, I’d suggest stepping up with one foot as soon as you get up from your burpee and keep a low hip position throughout without bringing the second foot fully to the box. This will help you be efficient and keep your score lower due to limiting wasted time and effort turning.
5. Use Your Arms In the Burpees
Arm swing equals momentum. When doing your burpees, use your arms to help propel your body forward and on to the box. When efficiency is the game, use all of your limbs strategically to assist with momentum and energy conservation.
6. MARK YOUR HAND POSITION
This one is huge. Before you start the workout, use chalk or tape (ask your gym first!) to mark a consistent hand position that puts you close to the box without bumping your head.
A lot of times when we get fatigued we’ll jump off the box at different distances. If we do this, then we may perform burpees that are far away from the box which can create additional movement, AKA increase our effort and drive fatigue up further.
As a rule of thumb, set your hand position in a means that keeps your head a few inches away from the box to avoid bumping it and to keep you close for burpee sets.
Repeat Open Workouts can be one of the best tools we can use to track how far we’ve come and improved. CrossFit Open Workout 17.1 was absolutely brutal, but hopefully, this year you can implement of these Open 21.2 tips to improve your score.
The name of the game is having a strategy in place before starting the timer. Positions, movement patterns, and setups are all major factors to help you log your best Open Workout 21.2 score yet!
Blog post – Crossfit Open 21.3
YouTube Video – CrossFit Open Workout 21.2 – Full Strategy Guide
Blog Post – CrossFit Open Workout 21.2 Announced (All Workouts)
Blog Post – 4 Steps to Nail Your Open Workout 21.2 Video Submission
Blog Post – CrossFit Open Workout 21.1 (All Workout Types)
Blog Post – 3 Killer Strategies for CrossFit Open Workout 21.1
Blog Post – Tips and Strategies to Master the Wall Walk in CrossFit Open 21.1
YouTube Video – CrossFit Open Workout 21.1 – Full Strategy Guide
Get my FREE Strategy Guides delivered to your inbox every week!
2020 CrossFit Open details (if you’d like to compare this year to the 2020 Open)
WODprep’s Open Practice Workouts
Blog Post – 5 Reasons You Don’t Want to Miss The 2021 CrossFit Open
Blog Post – The CrossFit Open: All You Need to Know
The CEO and Head Coach at WODprep, Ben is passionate about helping fitness athletes of all abilities get their competitive edge and learn new skills! He's currently living in Denver, Colorado with his wife and two dogs, and whenever possible the two love to travel and explore new places around the world (and meet new WODprep athletes).
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