By Coach Paul
Q: How do you make thrusters less terrible?
In Part 1, we examined the fundamentals of strong, powerful thrusters. Now, let’s run through some additional tips to maximize efficiency when tackling thrusters — potentially lots and lots of thrusters — potentially a little later this week — you know, it could potentially happen — in a workout.
Control on the way down
As you rack the bar for subsequent reps, slow the movement down from overhead until you can receive weight in good position. It’s better to spend a second here rather than doing it quickly with poor form. When the bar is in a bad position it can start sliding down your shoulders (or into your hands), as you complete reps, and rob you of efficiency.
Find a rhythm that works for your breathing. It’s common to see athletes take a quick breath (or rest) with the bar overhead, rather than holding the bar in the front rack position – though find which works better for you. Effective breathing can be compromised as our torso starts collapsing in the squat, demanding we keep upright through the squat.
Pace, pace, pace.
Don’t go out too quick. Find a tempo where you can maintain good form through the range of movement. It’s better to rest shortly when you still have a few reps in the tank rather than burning out completely.
When thrusters break down, rest enough so you can move correctly.
If you do get truly fatigued, set the bar down, rest, and regain composure – prevent poor mechanics and protect yourself from potential injury. It’s better to take a bit longer in a workout or have fewer reps than to continue working with poor form and risking injury. So, pace the reps AND take breaks before you’re burned out.
The only downside of all of this, of course, is that by improving your form and efficiency throughout the entire movement you set yourself up for — you guessed it — more thrusters.