The thruster is a move that combines the front squat and the overhead press into one explosive movement.

The thruster is a challenging exercise that is often seen in CrossFit gyms. This exercise requires strength and power, which can sometimes be difficult to achieve.

The thruster is a full-body exercise that has been popular for years because it is effective in challenging strength and power. Although you may cringe at the word, keep in mind that the pain you’ll feel from thrusters is worth the perks they come with.

Doing the thruster

If you perform the squat and overhead press exercises correctly, the thruster movement should be fluid. This is a step-by-step guide on how to effectively perform the thruster.

Step 1

Assume a front rack position

Start by holding the barbell in the front rack position with your palms facing upwards at shoulder height and your elbows high. The same position you would hold in a front squat or after catching a clean is the position you would hold in this instance.

To do thrusters, you can either start with the weight on a rack, or pick it up from the ground.

Step 2

Squat down

The barbell should be kept in the front rack position and your chest should be held upright as you squat. Your hips are the first thing to move when you sit in a squat, and your weight should be evenly distributed across your feet. Get low by pushing your knees forward and out.

Make sure you squat upright so your legs will have power when you lift.

Step 3

Drive your legs

Start from a squat position and use the strength in your legs to push up through the floor.

If you’re having trouble with thrusters, make sure your leg drive is strong.

Step 4

Continue pushing

Rising to a standing position, powerfully extend your knees, hips, and glutes to thrust the barbell off your shoulders.

Do not extend your hips too much by thrusting forward too much. This arching could make the motion less effective and cause injury.

Step 5

Drive overhead

As you raise the bar overhead, extend your arms fully. The power from your hips will mean that your lower body takes the weight instead of your upper body.

To prepare for the next rep, bring the bar back to the front rack position with your elbows locked out.

The bar should travel in a straight line overhead to help avoid injury. Many weightlifters make the mistake of trying to lift the weight without using their legs, which results in them not being able to lift as much as they could otherwise.

Benefits of the thruster

The thruster offers several benefits that can help with other exercises and improve your health overall. They have the ability to burn loads of calories effectively, help increase strength, and a whole lot more.

Total body strength and power

The thruster uses some of the biggest muscles in the body to generate a lot of force.

Unlike other strength lifts that only focus on one area, the thruster is a great total body exercise because it is dependent on rate of force development, much like the push press and jerk.

Metabolic exercise

The best exercises to use for metabolic circuits, AMRAPS, and EMOMs are those that have a full range of motion and focus on multiple muscle groups.

The thruster is a very versatile exercise that can be used to improve strength, power, and fitness. It is very versatile and can be adapted to the specific needs of the athlete. The thruster is a great functional movement for all athletes because it helps improve coordination, balance, and flexibility.

Increased shoulder and triceps strength

The thruster exercise can help to increase the strength of your triceps and shoulders significantly if you use heavier loads. The push press is a great way to increase the volume of your overhead presses by using your lower body to help drive the movement.

Both of these exercises allow you to put more weight on your shoulders and triceps than they would be able to handle in a standard press.

Improved balance and coordination

The thruster requires precise timing and body awareness, which can help improve your balance and coordination.

You can improve your balance by practicing daily movements such as walking up and down the stairs.

Good coordination may be just as important for cognitive function as balance.

Improved cardiovascular health

A few repetitions of the thruster are all that is needed to get your heart rate up. Cardiovascular exercise can be important for athletic performance and overall health.

The studies suggest that heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States, but regular cardiovascular exercise can help to reduce this risk.

This exercise tests your strength and endurance and can improve your cardiovascular health.

Muscles worked by the thruster

The thruster is a workout move that challenges your whole body to work together to generate force using your legs, core, and upper body. The primary muscle groups involved in this exercise are the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.


The thruster is a movement that is driven by your legs, but your shoulders also help to press the load into its final position. If you have strong shoulders, you are less likely to get injured both in and out of the gym.

36% of injuries occur in the shoulders, and exercising the shoulders may help reduce this. An effective overhead game will also improve other lifts, like the split jerk.


The quadriceps are a large muscle group that runs from the front of the hip to the top of the knee. They are responsible for walking, jumping, running, and squatting. To perform a thruster, you will need strong legs, as the front squat is the basis of the movement.

The quadriceps need to be strong in order to improve performance in thrusters, as well as increasing the size of the muscles. If a person does not have well-developed legs, their thruster abilities will be limited.


The gluteal muscles are responsible for stabilizing and extending the hip joint, which is important for lower body exercises, sport activities, and daily life.

Some of the strongest muscles in the body are activated in the thruster, particularly when you are in the squat position.


The main functions of the hamstrings are to help hinge at the hips and bend at the knees. The muscles mentioned help with daily movement, so it is beneficial to keep them strong.

The thruster exercise targets the hamstrings by involving the hips and knees.


The triceps muscles assist the shoulders and legs in the thruster exercise, and are primarily responsible for the lockout of the load overhead. In order to extend the elbows when performing a thruster, the triceps must be engaged. This is often the limiting factor when the weight is heaviest.

To get stronger at lockout, you can do floor presses and other partial range of motion presses, which work the elbow extension muscles.


A proper front rack position will help strengthen your core muscles and limit the stress on your lower back. Having a strong core can help you with safety outside of the gym.

Working on your core muscles regularly can help improve your strength and stability, making it easier to maintain a good front rack position.

The magnificent exercises for better lifts

1. Bench press

Lock your arms and place the bar above your chest. This is the starting position Press your shoulders back into the bench, plant your feet on the floor and squeeze your butt muscles. This is the starting position Lower the weight to your chest by bending your elbows, then press back up to the start.

The bench press is the best exercise for building an impressive upper torso. This compound pushing movement, which comprises of pecs, shoulders and triceps, is one of the true tests of strength according to Wright.

The lift also allows you to load up your triceps with more weight than what you could lift on assistance exercises like dips or press-downs.

2. Bent-over row

Grip the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart, bend your knees slightly, then bend forward at the hips until your upper body is at a roughly 45° angle to the floor.

Squeeze your shoulder blades together and drive your elbows forward as you pull the bar up to touch your stomach. Then lower under control, maintaining the tension in your back muscles. If you’re lifting the weight with your arms, the weight is too heavy.

In order to maintain a balanced physique, you should dedicate equal time to training your back as you do your chest. The move that is key to developing your back is the bent-over row.

The barbell row is good for building a strong upper body and adding size to your back. It works all the different muscles in the back part of your torso.

You need to be able to both pull hard and stay in a bent-over position to do this move, which means having strong spinal erector muscles.

3. Deadlift

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Grasp bar with hands just outside legs.

Start the movement by pushing your hips forwards, keeping your back flat. Additionally, you should always lower the bar under control. However, once you get up to heavier weights, it is okay to drop the final rep.

If you want a move that will give you raw strength, then you should do the deadlift. “This exercise works the muscles on the back of your body to pull the bar from the floor to your hip,” says Wright.

The deadlift is the best exercise for developing overall strength and power because you can move more weight with it than any other barbell exercise.

4. Back squat

Lift the barbell off the rack and position it behind your shoulders, resting on your rear deltoids. Corresponding to the width of your shoulders, take two giant steps back and stand with your toes pointing outward slightly.

To keep your spine in alignment, look at a spot on the floor about two meters in front of you. Then, “sit” back and down as if you’re aiming for a chair.

Descend until your hip crease is below your knee. Make sure your weight is on your heels as you drive back up.

If you go to a gym where people take lifting seriously, they will always ask you how much you can squat. Your strength will be judged based on your squat numbers.

According to Wright, newcomers to lifting tend to focus on the bench press, but stronger guys will instead focus on exercises that target the lower body. The squat is a great measure of strength because it uses both the lower and upper body muscles simultaneously, while also involving the core muscles to support the movement.

5. Overhead press

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and a bar across the upper chest. Grip the bar with hands just wider than shoulder-width apart. To complete this exercise, press the bar straight upwards while tightening your abs, glutes, and quads.

Pause at the top, then lower. The position of your forearms will be more favorable if you wrap your thumbs around the same side as your fingers when lifting weight.

Lifting a heavy weight over your head is a classic way to test your strength. According to Wright, the overhead press requires a combination of strength, balance, shoulder mobility, and stability.

This workout routine will help you develop bigger delts, a stronger back, and more overhead strength – all of which will improve your performance in the bench press.

6. Lunge

Stand with a barbell on your shoulders, with the weight evenly distributed on both sides. * Begin by retracting your shoulder blades and keeping your back upright. * Make sure to brace your core throughout the entire movement.

Step forward with one foot and lower your body until both knees are bent at 90 degrees. Push off your front foot to return to the start position.

The barbell lunge is an excellent way to build your lower body because you can apply heavy loads to one leg while moving.

Wright states that this exercise has many variations and that it can be used to target many different muscles in the lower body. This movement is great for developing athletic ability, but it is underused.

7. Power clean

Start by holding the barbell on the floor with a shoulder-width grip. To lift the weight off the floor, drive through your heels and then explode up as it passes your knees. Use the momentum to help pull it up to chest height and “catch” it on your chest.

After you lift the barbell, pause for a moment before lowering it again for the next repetition.

The following text is about a move that is designed to increase power and speed. Wright says that the power clean has been used by athletes for years to improve their performance on the field.

To build power, you need to increase your speed while working against resistance. A power clean is a full-body exercise that combines a deadlift with a hang clean to help you develop power.


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