Thrusters are a CrossFit workout staple and when it comes up in a workout we all know its going to hurt. Whether we’re doing Fran, Open WOD 15.5, or something crazy like Kalsu, some people can really get it done while other flail. There are a lot of great reasons to do thrusters, but there are 3 major factors that will dictate your success.
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1. Power Transfer
The primary aspect of the thruster is power transfer. Power is generated during the upward fire from the squat and that power is transferred through the core into the arms and the barbell. Any weakness in the squat, core or rack position is detrimental to performing this movement efficiently. Think about those times when you’ve done thrusters. Back pain and should exhaustion are sure signs that you aren’t transferring power from your legs effectively.
Why it’s important
Power transfer is important to any athletic endeavor. The hips are the most powerful part of the body. Whether you’re delivering a hit on the football field, throwing a fastball, or hitting a golf ball the power is transferred from your hips through your body similar to the thruster.
2. Endurance and Stamina
When it comes to the thruster you are only as strong as your weakest link. While you might be able to do a couple of really beautiful reps at some point something is going to get tired and the reps start to get sloppy. Once your core breaks down, you’re back to using parts of your body that just can’t effectively move the load from the squat to overhead.
Why it’s important
Conditioning is part of any great sports program because every coach knows that fatigue can lead to failure and even injury. Increasing your ability to handle fatigue and maintain good position keeps performance high and injuries at bay.
3. Turnover Rate
For high rep thruster workouts, there is a magic in pacing and pacing with thrusters means turnover rate. Simply holding on to the bar takes a toll. Generally thrusters need to keep moving in order to get through high numbers. Just standing with a 95 lb barbell on your chest will add up. You might as well get in a good number of reps while you’re holding on to the bar but on the other hand going too hard is like trying to sprint a 5K.
Why it’s important
Turnover rate is a key aspect in sports like cycling, rowing, and swimming. Being able to maintain a faster turnover rate while being able to generate power leads to amazing athletic performance improvements.
HOW TO BRING THEM TOGETHER
If you’re not quite there and find workouts that have thrusters to be the worst kind of workouts, its time to change your approach. Rather than just hitting the Rx weight and hope you get better, focus on one of the key aspects listed. Try reducing the weight during a METCON workout and move the weight more efficiently. Make sure that before and after the workout you’re doing mobility work that will help keep you in good positions to transfer power. And if you’re thinking about doing some accessory work be sure to hit the core so it doesn’t give out during that horrible set of 15 reps in Fran.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]