In part 1 of our cross-fit series we discussed the importance of cross-fit movements and how it related to our jobs as firefighters. We also discussed the first exercise on our list, deadlifts. Today we will talk about another important movement, the thruster.
This exercise is a movement that combines a front squat and a press. This is a great strength building exercise when using heavier weights and great for building endurance when using lighter weights.
This movement combines a squatting motion along with a pushing motion. Whether we are taking a bag of absorbent and placing it on the ground or pulling ceiling with a hook, the thruster will assist with multiple fire ground requirements. Here are some points that will help you master this exercise.
1.The bar can be started either on the ground or from a racked position.
2. Place the bar across the top of the chest and front side of the shoulders. Your hands should be positioned just outside of your shoulders.
3.You want your elbows pointing forward, not down to the ground. There may be some flexibility issues that prevent this.
4.Raised elbows help keep the shoulders up, which prevents the back from becoming rounded.
5.With the bar and hands in position, begin to lower yourself into a deep squat where the hip crease goes even with or below the knees. Look straight ahead. (A trick I use is to pretend that there are eyes on the front of your shoulders. You want those eyes looking straight ahead at all times. If your elbows start to dip down, so will your shoulders, which in turn will allow your back to become rounded.)
6. Once at the bottom of the squat, press through your heels with your hips and knees moving in unison (you do not want to begin to stand up with your weight on the balls of your feet); stand up while keeping your elbows high and your shoulders back.
7. Push the weight above your head, locking your elbows at the top. This is easier if you start your overhead push prior to reaching the top of your squat, which takes advantage of your upward momentum.
We have attached a video demonstration of thrusters to help put it all together: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfIc4DUeapo
Make sure you catch our last part of our cross-fit series when we will talk about burpees. These are body weight movements that will incorporate the entire body. There is not a more taxing exercise!
(Part 2 of 3)
Photographer: Glen E. Ellman, www.fortworthfire.netPhoto subject: Lt. Jake Henderson