“On second thought, I’m not feeling so well,” you say after seeing that thrusters were programmed into today’s WOD. Not so fast! One of the best things you can do on your fitness journey is to attack your weaknesses head-on. So, let’s talk about how you can improve your thrusters with three simple fixes.

5 Tips for Improving Your Thrusters

1. Rest With the Bar Overhead, Not on Your Shoulders

Believe it or not, locking out the bar overhead for a few seconds of rest might be noticeably less taxing than resting with it on your shoulders. This is because with a barbell on your shoulders, your core is having to fight harder to stay upright and engaged.

Plus, you lose some of that momentum you’ll pick up while riding the bar down.

If you need to rest for a second, do so with the bar overhead, and then seamlessly move into the next rep by letting the weight of the barbell push you down into your squat. If you need to really rest, drop the barbell — which brings us to our next point.

2. Treat the First Rep as a Clean

Whenever you pick the barbell up from the ground to start a new rep, perform it as a clean. In other words, in one fluid motion, clean the bar off the ground and go right into that first thruster.

The alternative is to power clean the barbell, hang out at the top with the bar on your shoulders for a moment, and then perform the next rep of thrusters. This is more work!

3. Focus on Pointing Your Elbows Up

What do you notice when athletes start getting fatigued during thrusters? Their torso pitches forward and threatens to collapse. This makes the bar feel heavier, and you have to work harder to keep it in the right position.

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Therefore, one goal during thrusters should be to keep your chest high. The easiest way to remember to do this is with the cue elbows up. Think of pointing your elbows up as high as they’ll go. This will keep the barbell tucked into that sweet spot on your shoulders, and you won’t have to exert as much energy to keep your technique on point.

And on a similar note…

4. Breathe at the Top

Another way to support your upper body is to take a big breath in and hold it. This means that you need to inhale at the top of the lift and hold it on the way down. As you’re standing back up, let the air out of your lungs before the next rep.

5. Break Up Your Reps Before You Feel Like You Need To

One way to avoid hitting failure and knock out your sets faster? Break them up when you’re still feeling fresh. Too many athletes make the mistake of waiting until they feel like collapsing to break up the reps.

We know it might feel like you’re wasting precious time. But short, strategic breaks will take up less time than you’ll spend resting after you start getting no-repped.

Now that you can thruster like a pro, give this WOD with thrusters and burpees a shot!