Thrusters, simply defined, are front squats to a push press. It’s a compound movement that involves multiple joints and even more muscles including your quads, hamstrings, abs, deltoids, and lats to name a few. They can be performed using a barbell, dumbbells, a med ball, luggage (for a hotel room WOD) and even with objects filled with liquid (a la slosh pipes) to focus on stabilizing your mid-section. They can be done heavy with fewer reps which focuses more on strength. Or conversely, in a quick and dirty WOD like Fran which uses lighter weights and a higher amount of reps, the focus becomes more metabolical.
The problem with thrusters is that more often than not, thrusters aren’t performed as efficiently as we’d like. We see rounding backs, dropped elbows, too narrow of a stance, etc. Here are a few tips compiled from a few videos from Kelly Starrett of MobilityWOD, Diane Fu of FuBarbell, and Jason Khalipa, who took 2nd at CF Games 2013.
– mobilize your triceps, lats, and shoulders to improve your front rack position
– mobilize your thoracic region to open up your back which will provide thoracic extension (keeping your torso upright)
– keep the bar resting on your shoulders in the front rack position during the front squat (think elbows up!)
– drive through the hips on the way up to transfer momentum to your shoulders to float the bar up
– don’t tight grip the bar which limits your elbow position during the front squat
– maintain open hips to allow for torso stability
If you can, come in a little early to mobilize those regions discussed above and to practice a few light thrusters. Hopefully these tips will help you during the WOD today.
On another note, we’d like to wish Nicole a very Happy Birthday! Nicole is a 6:30am regular that put up an impressive showing at Intrepid Games this past Saturday.
Bench press 3 x 5/Wendler
Then, 4 rounds: