It has been awhile since I have done a post for CrossFit OnRamp. Today we talk about a valuable training tip: Putting your thrusters on the shelf.
I am referring to what is more appropriately called the rack position + a little tweak of my own. Developing the rack position is essential for a good power clean, jerk, front squat, and what we will be talking about today, thrusters. I thought about posting my own video for the rack position but who can compete with Mike Burgener ? If you feel like you already have a good rack position let’s talk about putting some thrusters on the shelf.
The thruster is a very powerful and complex movement. If starting from the ground you will be doing a clean, front squat, and push press all in the same movement. If you don’t feel 100% comfortable with the movement you will be recruiting the wrong muscle groups and putting unnecessary strain on others.
The issue of putting unnecessary strain on muscles is more prominent with the thruster than with other “rack position” lifts. Why? Like I said the thruster is a complex movement, and unusual for a lot of people. They are not hard to accomplish, but many people are performing them inefficiently or incorrectly.
When the thruster is not on the shelf and you are using your arms too much you begin to recruit too many muscles from the lower back which can cause injury and rapid fatigue. You are no longer seated on your heels and that is not good for your knees. You now think thrusters suck not because of how complex the movement is, yet because it hurts you all over in a way that it is not suppose to.
We can fix your thruster, make them more efficient, and increase how much you can thrust with one easy tip. Every time you thrust the weight overhead you should only be thinking about one thing…How will it come back down? When you bring the weight down you want it to land high on the deltoid with elbows up..I know, I know, “But Caoch Burgener said”..we will get to that. You have to find the most comfortable position for you, but the higher the better. Your hands should not be doing a lot of work once the thruster is on the shelf. Your arms and hands are now just place holders keeping the weight in place. The weight can now be pushed effectively through your heels and you will not inappropriately lean forward on the way down. When all the muscles are working how they are suppose to in a movement it feels comfortable and easier. Now, remember what Coach Burgener says in the video for when you are ready to press. Elbows down and out. When the weight is coming down I recommend high elbows, not down and out, where the weight will catch on the deltoid properly. Then when you squat down simply move the elbows a litle bit down and out to get ready for the press. It is a combination of his rack position and my shelf and it has helped my thruster a ton.
Every time the weight goes overhead ask, How will it come back down?
Once you find the sweet spot you will be amazed. You will feel like you can slam the thruster to the shelf, go down quickly, and get the weight back up faster. You will become more efficient at the movement and the lower back will show very little signs of fatigue. You may actually begin to enjoy thrusters. Now go get a faster Fran time!!
Any questions or comments let me know!!