The thruster is a move that combines the front squat and the overhead press into one explosive movement. The thruster is sometimes seen as a difficult exercise to perform in the gym because it requires both strength and power.
How to Do the Thruster
If you can squat and overhead press effectively, the thruster should be an easy movement to do. This is a guide on how to perform the thruster.
Step 1 — Assume a Front Rack Position
Place the barbell in the front rack position, with your palms towards the ceiling at shoulder height and your elbows high. The position that you hold in a front squat or after catching a clean is the same one.
A thruster is a type of weightlifting move that can be performed either from a rack or by cleaning it from the ground.
Step 2 — Squat Down
You should keep the bar in the front rack position and your chest upright as you squat. First, you move your hips when you sit in the squat. Then, your weight is evenly dispersed across your foot. Get low by pushing your knees out and forward.
Assuming an upright squat position is important because your legs will be used for power during the concentric part of the lift.
Step 3 — Drive Your Legs
Stand up from the squat position by pressing through the floor and using the power from your legs.
An important part of the thruster is the leg drive. This is what drives the weight at first, and it helps with heavier loads or high volume.
Step 4 — Continue Pushing
As you come to a standing position, drive the barbell off your shoulders by forcefully extending your knees, hips, and glutes.
Don’t overdo it by thrusting too far forward with your hips. If you arch your back while doing this exercise, it will make the motion less effective and put you at risk for injury.
Step 5 — Drive Overhead
Push the bar up until your arms are straight and locked. The strength coming from your hips will allow your lower body to support the weight instead of your upper body. Return the bar to the front rack position and get ready for another rep.
In order to avoid injury, it is important that the bar travel in a straight line overhead. Many lifters will try to press the weight too early, before fully utilizing their legs and power to help with the lift.
Benefits of the Thruster
The thruster provides several benefits that can help improve your health and performance in other lifts. They are able to burn many calories, help increase strength, and much more.
Total Body Strength and Power
The thruster mainly uses the large muscles of the body to create a lot of force. The thruster is a great total body exercise because it is not only dependent on the rate of force development but also on other strength lifts.
The best exercises to use in metabolic circuits, AMRAPS, and EMOMs are those that involve a full range of motion and a lot of muscle tissue. The thruster is a very versatile exercise that can be used to improve strength, power, and fitness. It can be performed with different weights and repetitions to suit the needs of the athlete. The thruster is a great functional movement for all athletes because it works many different muscles at once.
Increased Shoulder and Triceps Strength
The thruster can help you build strong triceps and shoulders by increasing the weight you’re lifting. If you want to increase the amount you’re able to press overhead, try using your lower body to help out, similar to the way you would with a push press.
Both of these exercises allow you to put your shoulders and triceps muscles under more strain than they would be able to handle in a standard press.
Improved Balance and Coordination
The thruster requires timing and body awareness, which can help improve your balance and coordination. Balance is essential for performing daily movements such as walking up and down the stairs. Having good balance can help you avoid falls and injuries.
Studies suggest that good coordination is linked with cognitive function. Therefore, coordination is just as important to practice as balance.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
A few repetitions of the thruster will definitely increase your heart rate, and cardiovascular exercise is important for both athletic performance and overall health. The leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States is heart disease, but regular cardiovascular exercise can help reduce this risk. The thruster is a great workout for your strength and cardio and can improve your cardiovascular health.
3 Essential Barbell Exercises To Get Stronger
The following are our three top barbell exercises, but you shouldn’t just go to the gym and do them all in order as you are punishing new workout routine. You should be careful when adding weightlifting with barbells to your workouts so you can get the most out of it while also preventing any injuries.
According to personal trainer Tom Wright, movements that recruit a large number of motor units and provide a big stimulus to the central nervous system should always be carried out at the start of training sessions. When lifting weights, you usually choose two main exercises to focus on, such as squatting and deadlifting for lower-body muscles, or bench pressing and rowing with a barbell for upper-body muscles.
To do the move, start with your arms locked and the bar above your chest. Start by pressing your shoulders into the bench and planting your feet firmly on the floor. Then, squeeze your glutes to get in the ideal position for the exercise. To complete this move, lower the weight to your chest by bending your elbows. Press back up to the start position.
Targets: chest, triceps, front shoulders
If the goal is to build an impressive upper torso, the bench press is the best option. This exercise, which involves working out the pecs, shoulders, and triceps at the same time, is one of the best ways to test your strength, according to Wright. The benefit of this exercise is that you can use more weight, which will help build your triceps more effectively than assistance exercises such as dips or press-downs.
Beyond The Chest
The bench is all about your pecs, right? Wrong. In order to be able to compete with the larger companies, you will need a lot of strength in your upper back, says Wright. Then proceed to arch your back while keeping your butt on the bench” Keep your shoulder blades fixed on the bench and arch your back, making sure your butt stays on the bench. To stay in a stable position during big lifts and to prevent movement, you need to be under tension. When powerlifters bench, they use a technique that involves lifting their hips and planting their feet while squeezing their muscles from the shoulder blades to the floor.
If your chest muscles are strong but your shoulder stabilizers are weak, you won’t be able to lift a lot of weight on the bench press. Here is an exercise to help improve shoulder joint health and increase the chance of success. “A great variation for bench press is the single-arm dumbbell press,’ says Wright. ” The text is saying that it takes a lot of strength in your shoulders and back to stay in the position. If you think that you may have greater strength on one side of your body than the other, then you should integrate this into your workout routine once a week. In doing so, any imbalances will become a thing of the past.
Use Your Body
If you can control your body weight, you can often lift more significant weights using external resistance, such as a barbell. The best exercise to help with bench pressing would be dips or a close-grip pressing exercise, according to Wright. These exercises work the same muscles but in a slightly different ways. Before you start to add weight, make sure you can perform ten reps with just your body weight. You can either use a belt or hold a dumbbell between your feet to add resistance.
To perform the movement, hold the bar with a shoulder-width grip and bend your knees slightly. Then, bend at the hips until your torso is at a roughly 45° angle to the floor. Pull the bar up to your stomach and then lower it under control. If you’re having to use your upper body to move the bar, the weight is too heavy.
Targets: biceps, lats, core
If you want your back to be as strong as your chest, you need to put in the same amount of work. The bent-over row is the key move to target your back muscles. Wright says that the barbell row is a great way to develop a strong upper body and add size to your back. He says that it is the only exercise to work all the different muscles that make up the rear of your torso. The move requires not only a strong pull but also the ability to keep yourself fixed in the bent-over position, which takes strong back muscles – technically part of your core muscles.
Keep Your Shoulder Blades Engaged
Your starting position is very important if you want to lift a good amount of weight while still activating your target muscle groups. “This means depressing and retracting them so your shoulder blades sit flat against your back.” Says Wright, you should always initiate the row by depressing and retracting your shoulder blades so they sit flat against your back. ” To do this, pull your shoulder blades back and down by squeezing the muscles between them and expanding your chest, then let your elbows follow through to your sides. Your hands are like hooks, holding the weight but not pulling it. You can even try a thumbless grip. contracting your lats will help you engage the muscle better.
Use The Right Muscles
There are some common mistakes you can avoid when doing this move, even though it may not look complicated. Wright claims that the first reason people fail at pull-ups is due to using their biceps too much and not their back. ” You need to first turn on the muscle you want to use and then move through the entire range of motion. Overloading the bar with too much weight can cause you to lose form and decrease the range of motion. Performing reps too quickly can also hinder progress. You should keep the tension on the muscles for approximately 40 seconds in order to facilitate muscle growth. Control the weight in order to maintain the tension.
After you have perfected the move, you can start to experiment with different variations to change up your routine. If you’re looking to build your big back muscles (lats), try using a grip with your hand placed narrowly under the object, as this will target your lower back and lats specifically. ” As well as recruiting more of the latissimus dorsi, it also uses more of the biceps. It has been demonstrated that rows are more effective than lat pull-downs for developing your lats.
Add In Dumbbell Rows
Want to get even better at rows? Then do this assistance move. Wright says that braced dumbbell rows are his favorite assistance exercise for barbell rows. Keeping your back straight, reach down with the other hand and touch your toes.” Stand with one hand on a bench and your feet wide apart, bracing through your trunk. Reach down with the other hand and touch your toes, keeping your back straight. Hold a dumbbell in front of you with your arm fully extended. Keeping your arm straight, slowly lift the weight until it reaches the bottom of your ribcage. Rowing with one arm gives you a better range of motion and is good for strengthening your obliques and core muscles.
To perform a deadlift, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and grasping the bar with your hands just outside your legs. To lift the bar, push your hips forward and keep your back flat. Bring the bar down slowly and under control. Although, when you are using really heavy weights, it is okay to let go of the bar on the last repetition.
Targets: whole body
deadlifts are a great way to increase your strength. Wright explains that this exercise works the muscles on the rear of your body to pull the bar from the floor to the hip. The deadlift is the best exercise for developing overall strength and power because you can lift more weight than with any other barbell exercise.
Brains And Brawn
Deadlifting is all about using your brute strength to execute the move with sound technique. Wright said that there are many things that can go wrong when trying to pull the weight off the floor. ” The average gym’s deadlifting technique is poor and can cause serious injury. When you are getting ready to lift the weight, remember to pull your shoulders back and push your chest out. This will help to lock down your shoulder blades. This prevents tension in your lower back and hips from coming up too early. To perform the move correctly, lean back and press your hips forward so they almost touch the front wall. Squeeze your glutes tightly and press down through your heels into the floor.
Hard And Fast
Even though you may be a beginner, you will very soon be able to lift a bar that has 100kg on it. When things start getting serious, you will want to make sure you are using the proper technique so you don’t get injured. If you’re having trouble executing the lift properly, Wright says to start with rack pulls. This involves setting the bar in a rack around 30cm off the floor. You will be stronger in a shorter range of movement. If you have to work hard for every rep, you may want to work on your speed.
This will contribute to a better hip snap, which is required for a strong, fast deadlift.” Working on heavy kettlebell swings will help build your deadlift speed by contributing to a better hip snap, which is required for a strong, fast deadlift. You will build stronger glutes and hip drive by firing your hips forward against the weight of the kettlebell, which will in turn increase your deadlift power.