Thrusters are full-body workouts and weight lifting exercises with a combination of overhead press and squats. It is a part of the CrossFit program. Since this exercise involves working on the whole body, it is physically demanding and quite challenging which will make you sweat. This workout targets major parts of the body i.e. shoulders, core muscles, and quads. It also helps in improving in building muscles in the hips, leg, pelvis, and arms.
Thrusters help you gain strength and improve stamina in the upper and lower body parts. Though this exercise is not an easy task. You need to put in a lot of hard work and also combine this exercise by intake of proper nutrition. Thrusters have been a daily fitness regime for Martial artists and professional weight lifters. Because it needs focus and high strength and stamina, you cannot do this exercise at home, as it requires gym or fitness instructors to guide you throughout this exercise.
How to Do Thrusters in Proper Form
Before moving on to thrusters it is necessary to get your body ready. Do some warm-up exercises like rolling on the spine, lifting the barbell, tricep smash, ankle stretches, pull-ups, and dumbbell pullovers. These warm-up exercises will help you to activate your muscles and gain the strength to do thrusters.
Once you are done with warming up the next step is to get prepared for doing thrusters. Make sure that you have a spotter or an instructor to guide you for this workout. According to the CrossFit program, you need to follow the steps to do thrusters with the proper technique.
- There are two ways you can lift the barbell. The first way is to squat and then lift the barbell.
- Initially, stand on the floor with shoulder-width apart.
- Make sure you have an overhand grip on the dumbbell or barbell.
- While picking up do the squat clean, your barbell should be on the shoulders, legs in a front squat position.
- Then go up and lift the bar over your head, by maintaining an erect spine.
- The second way is to lift the bar straightly, place it on the shoulders, lift it over your head and then take a squat.
- For both the movements, your elbows and biceps should be facing forward.
Different Forms of Thrusters
Stand on the feet but carrying kettlebells with both hands placed on shoulders. Kneel with your right leg and then stand up straight while raising the kettlebell with your left hand. Do this movement for the left leg and right hand too. This is known as kettlebell up and down movement when only one leg and hand is used in this variation to strengthen your leg and quats.
Depending on your capacity, you can use a dumbbell with your choice of weight. Stand on your feet, with hip-width apart. Grab the dumbbells, lift them and place them on our shoulders. Squat down with dumbbells on your shoulders, with elbows parallel to your knees, thrust the dumbbells overhead with arms fully extended. Repeat this movement for about 5 reps by squatting back again. Muscular balance and stability are some of the biggest advantages of this variation.
Sandbag Shoulder to Arc Press
If you have a sandbag, then you can do this variation at your home. This is a simple variation. Place the sandbag on the right side of your shoulder. Kneel on right leg only. While standing up move the sandbag to the left side of your shoulder. Do this movement repeatedly by kneeling and moving the shoulder from one side to another side. This exercise helps to maintain a strong posture and great shoulder strength.
Tips and Precautions for Mastering Thrusters
- Rather than jumping directly to the weights, you can start thrusters by just using an empty barbell. The form is more important than doing with weights.
- Rushing with thrusters will lead you to injure yourself. Instead, slow down your movement.
- Do not directly attempt thrusters with heavy barbells. Sart them by doing slight variations of thrusters like sandbag or dumbbells and then jump to barbells.
- You need to put pressure on your heels down instead of leaning forward on toes. This will help you to lift the barbell straight up with the correct form
- Thrusters help you to boost metabolism and improve muscular strength and flexibility.
- Doing this workout will benefit you a lot since it targets the majority of important parts of your whole body like glutes, shoulders, triceps, hips, back muscles and quads.
- Since it involves weightlifting, you will be able to understand your weight lifting capacity and also helps to lift heavier weights.
- For Olympic weight lifters, it’s a boon, because it will help them to achieve proper squat pattering and front rack positioning.