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How to Do a CrossFit Thruster

author image Scott Amato
Scott Amato has been a sportswriter for a major Midwestern daily newspaper since 1985. He has covered professional baseball, football and hockey. In addition, Amato has contributed to sports publications throughout the United States and Japan. He has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Ohio University.
How to Do a CrossFit Thruster
Proper form for a thruster. Photo Credit Demand Media Studios

Altering your view of standard free-weight training is the first step in transitioning to the CrossFit thruster. Working out with weights usually means choosing between lifting over your head, bench and leg pressing, deadlifting, curling and squatting. The CrossFit thruster combines weightlifting with movement to build strength and enhance coordination and flexibility. CrossFit thrusters are relatively new to physical fitness, so it is important to learn the proper technique before performing the exercise.

Proper Thruster Form

CrossFit thrusters begin from the standing position, with the barbell held against your shoulders. Drop into the squat position while keeping the barbell at shoulder level. Hold the barbell with your palms facing up and your elbows extended out. Return to the standing position while hoisting the weight over your head. Bring the barbell back down to your shoulders and drop into another squat. You can repeat the exercise up to 10 times.

Muscles Recruited for a Thruster

CrossFit thrusters work muscles in the upper and lower body to provide a complete workout. Beginning the thruster with a front squat while holding a weighted barbell builds up the thighs, calves and buttocks. The legs are utilized again when lifting the barbell overhead. Muscles in the arms, shoulder and back also activate during the lift and are still engaged when dropping the barbell back down to shoulder level. Performing sets of 10 CrossFit thrusters adds muscle from top to bottom and quickly helps you develop explosive power.

Prevent Injuries from Thrusters

CrossFit thrusters work muscles in the upper and lower body, but you can develop tears, pulls or strains when lifting too much weight. If you are just beginning the exercise, use only the barbell to do thrusters and build up before adding weight plates. Do not neglect your legs. After dropping to the front squat, use your legs to push the barbell up over your head. Keep your feet flat on the ground and spread your legs to shoulders' width apart to ensure proper balance. CrossFit thrusts are most effective in multiple repetitions, but you can start at a slower pace to ease into the intense workout and prevent injury.

Why Thrusters Are Essential to CrossFit

CrossFit training is intense and rigid, one reason why it has gained popularity in the military and law enforcement. Operating under the "Forging Elite Fitness" banner, CrossFit training takes workouts like weightlifting, calisthenics and running to another level while achieving overall fitness. Programs are tailored for advanced athletes all the way down to beginners. CrossFit workouts like thrusters are designed to develop strength, speed, power, flexibility and balance.

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