The Thruster

The thruster is one of the hardest movements in crossfit to become efficient at. Regardless of whether they are heavy or light, they can be one of the most grueling and taxing movements that we perform. When done properly and efficiently, the benefits of this full body exercise are realized.

Setup. Proper Front Squat form for the first part of the movement is essential. Weight in the heels, knees tracking over toes, upright body torso positioning, and shoulder front rack mobility are all needed. The Press overhead is more of a strict press with some help from the hip extension that happens naturally after the Squat.

Technique can be broken down into two elements: The transition of the bar coming into the next rep and breathing.

In the video/pictures above, you can see the full lockout overhead with a full grip and as the bar starts to descend and the elbows return in front of the bar, that the wrist also relaxes to set the bar back onto the shoulders in the front rack. The body then descends back into the front squat as if it was “absorbing” the weight. *Note that if a true front rack can not be obtained, it is safer to use dumbbells because the stress will not move into the shoulder joint as much.

Breathing changes depending on the weight and speed in which the movement is being performed. For lighter/high volume thrusters, I prefer a quick panic like breathing pattern, much like one would do if running. For heavier lifts, holding your breath during the Front Squat portion of the movement may be required followed by large quick breathes while the bar is moving overhead and coming back down.