Falling in Love with Thrusters
Just mentioning the word thrusters to a CrossFitter can bring about a very indifferent expression. The reason for this is that thrusters make your whole body work, they require great mobility and they really put you through your paces in terms of power. For everyone who hates them it’s time to turn the tide on your attitude, because they are part of the CrossFit foundation. Chances are you having difficulty with your technique and it’s bringing you down, so let’s take a look at some ways you can increase power and efficiency all at the same time.
The first thing you want to do is stay back on your heels and allow the weight of the bar to be parallel with the middle of your foot, not your toes. If it aligns with your toes then you are too far forward and you will be struggling with your balance. As you go into your thrusters don’t forget to sit back and drive your chest upwards, because this will maintain the position of the bar and help you keep a good balance.
Using the Right Rack Position
In order to successfully use the rack position for a thruster you need to have enough mobility in your shoulders, lats and upper back. If you don’t have enough mobility the rack position is going to be a nightmare. However, there is a different way to approach this problem. Try using the pseudo rack position that combines the front squat and the press. This will see the bar sitting higher on your shoulders and given enough mobility, it won’t slide down. It’s important that the position of the bar stays in tact from the beginning of the thruster until the end. Here’s an interesting video on how to work on your rack position.
If there is one thing you have to be when doing a thrust, it’s aggressive. As you reach the top you should punch the bar towards the ceiling, and consider it the peak point of speed. At the same time you want to pull the bar down to your shoulders and allow the weight to take you back into a squat. By pulling down on the bar it will both accelerate your thruster and make the bar work for you, which takes the edge off for a few split seconds.
Breathing at the Right Time
To finish things off, try to take a breathe at the top position of a thruster. The fact of the matter is that everybody hates to break the fluent motion of a thruster, but breathing correctly also needs to happen if you want to maintain your speed. If you choose to take a breath in the middle of the thruster it’s going to take a little longer compared to taking a moment at the top. Try to get into a comfortable rhythm with your breathing.