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Welcome to The Pain Cave: 20 Killer CrossFit Workouts with Thrusters

As far as CrossFit workouts go, thrusters are one of the most infamous! 

CrossFit Workouts with Thrusters

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Technique Tips to Improve your Thrusters

Check out this great video from Ben at WODprep to help you make use of this important technique that he learned from Rich Froning.

CrossFit Workouts – Thruster Technique

The following reasons with tips should help you cycle thrusters through MetCon workouts a bit faster, and a bit easier.

1. Your front squat needs more work

Foundations for thrusters are built with front squats: a squat variation where the barbell is positioned on your (front) shoulders. Which means your torso needs to be upright, so the weight together with your body gets balanced properly.

To keep the torso upright, you need a sufficient mobility in your ankles and hips, and a good core strength that will allow you having a better control over the weight and movement itself.In general, the demand for overall mobility is much higher than with back squats.

In the bottom position make sure you keep the weight on the heels. Engage core and drive up with your hips. Learn how to activate and use both within the movement. Your thrusters will benefit from strength built with front squats.

2. Your front rack mobility is a challenge

Insufficient front rack mobility is a common reason why so many athletes struggle with either front squat or thruster. The bar needs to rest on your shoulders, you should look for a “comfortable” position which feels strong and where your arms only control, not carry the bar/weight.

So if your torso is upright, your shoulders, wrist and arms in general need to be mobile enough to only control the position of the barbell. Until the top position of the squat, your torso carries the weight. Avoid touching the bar only with finger tips; grab it with a hook grip. If this is impossible, make it manageable with mobility drills.

Kelly Starrett’s tutorials to help you with that:

  • Solving front rack problems
  • Hip demands of the upright torso
  • Better front rack shoulder stability

3. The bar starts to slide down: off your shoulders

Inappropriate rack position, limited overall mobility and leaned-forward torso will cause the bar to start slipping off your shoulders. Fixing it during the WOD will therefore cost you extra strength and energy, and also disturb your focus.

In the bottom squat position your elbows needs to stay up, whether doing front squats or thrusters. Focus on keeping the bar fixated well on your shoulders, and be accurate with receiving it in this position as well. Rather slow down the tempo and perfect the movement, the speed up and lose control.

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