Articles

What Is a Thruster?

A thruster is a combination of two traditional compound weight-training exercises: the front squat and overhead press. Exercise combinations such as the thruster are sometimes referred to as complexes. The thruster can be performed using dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, a medicine ball or a sandbag. In fact, almost any heavy object can be used for thrusters.

Thruster Anatomy

Thrusters work many of your major muscles. Your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes — essentially all your major leg muscles — work very hard in the squatting part of thrusters. The force developed by your legs is then transmitted into your upper body via your abdominal and lower-back muscles. Finally, your shoulders, upper back and triceps provide a powerful push to drive the weight overhead. The thruster is very much a whole-body exercise.

Thruster Benefits

Thrusters can be performed using a variety of set and repetition schemes to target different elements of your physical fitness. High-rep, light-weight sets of thrusters are metabolically demanding and can dramatically elevate your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular fitness. Low-rep, heavy-weight sets will develop muscular strength and power.

Performing the Thruster (Dumbbell)

• In a neutral grip (palms facing you), place a pair of dumbbells on the shoulders with the end resting on the front part of the shoulder.
• Using a front squat technique (feet wide, knees out, torso upright as possible), squat to a few inches below parallel to maximise glute, hamstring and quadriceps recruitment. *TIP* Look to get the hip crease below the top of the knee for a full squat everytime.
• Drive through the heels to stand back up keeping the chest up and elbows in.
• As you reach the top of the squat extend the arms above the head until they are locked out using the momentum of the squat to lift the weights up, keep hands neutral
• Lower the weights back to the starting position and immediately start a new rep. *TIP* Keep the elbows close to the body and under the hands to create a shelf for the weights to sit on rather than holding them up with the shoulders.

Performing the Thruster (Barbell)

• Hold a barbell in a semi front rack position, (feet just wider than the hips, bar resting across the front deltoids, elbows 45 degrees to the floor).
• Using a front squat technique (feet wide, knees out, torso upright as possible), squat to a few inches below parallel to maximise glute, hamstring and quad recruitment. Keep elbows at 45 degrees at all times to keep chest up and the bar on the shoulders, (dropping the elbows can cause a forward lean in the upper back and the bar to fall off forward) *TIP* Look to get the hip crease below the top of the knee for a full squat.
• Drive through the heels to stand back up
• As you reach the top of the squat extend the arms above the head until they are locked out using the momentum of the squat to lift the weights up.
• Lower the barbell back to the starting position and immediately start a new rep.

Thruster copy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *