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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 02-07-2007, 03:26 PM   #1
Blair Robert Lowe
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On the video of 2-7, showing thrusters; I see a fairly low rack of the bar.

Does it really matter where the rack is, when doing thrusters for time? I'm recalling rounds of 21-15-9 or such.

The higher the rack, the less effort it takes to hold up the bar in general, right?

Just a question. Never really been taught a thruster, formally.
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Old 02-07-2007, 04:38 PM   #2
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with ligher loading, you can get away with a sloppy rack, i.e. hold it all in your hands. as the weight gets heavier, the need to actually rack it on your shoulders increases, which in turn makes the transition from squat to press a little more complicated. but with the bar resting on the shoulders/torso, the movement is easier in general (provided of course the position isn't painful due to inadquate flexibility, etc.). the more vertical the torso, the easier the transition, and the higher the bar, the more vertical the torso must be.

so i would say:

light weights - don't worry too much about the rack position. you're going to fly through the reps any way you do it.

heavy weights - approach it like you would a front squat and rack it accordingly.
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:36 PM   #3
James Falkner
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Is there any guideline as to what % of your max clean and jerk you should use for a max thruster effort? Is there any point in going for a 1RM in thrusters? Just curious. The other day, 135 lb. thrusters came up, and I struggled to do more than 5 or 6 at a time, and felt pretty unstable on the last few reps, when my form went to ****.
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Old 02-09-2007, 08:12 AM   #4
Richard Boureston
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I respectfull disagree with you. And I really disagree with the picture shown for the Wednesday WOD.

Placing the bar on the shoulders allows for less stress on the lower back. Although the weight is less it will still have significant inertia from the increase in speed at which the weight is moving. Much faster than at a heavier weight. Additionally it is common knowledge that the body is much less able to protect itself from injury due to volume than effort. Therefore I would agrue it is at least as important if not more important that the form be correct while performing high-rep at a fast cadence.

But the elbows are what I really have a problem with as well.

Sorry, but Crossfit better get it together on form or their going to lose credibility. A Thruster is a front squat followed by an overhead press. Since when is it proper form to have your elbows pointed at the floor when doing a front squat? Sounds like a good recipe for a broken or injured wrist.

Don't get me wrong I have to credit Crossfit with opening my eyes to a lot of fun and interesting workouts and ideas but it will lose momentum when people start injuring themselves all over the place because they are being told through images that incorrect form is the correct way. Crossfit has got to be consistent in how they communicate and we all know how video and pictures communicate sometimes even more effectively than words.

(Message edited by sfc on February 09, 2007)

(Message edited by sfc on February 09, 2007)
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:26 AM   #5
Aushion Chatman
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Proper form should be a full rack position...

I do think however that form does break-down, especially when you tire. I'm not sure how dangerous it is to have your elbows down...that's how I do presses, don't see the difference between a press from a squat or a strict military press. Except that the weight could shift forward more easily.

(Don't know if I'd call Annie out though Richard) ; )
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:30 AM   #6
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the dangers in the low elbow position are simply wrist/elbow strain or driving the elbows into the thighs, which can range from slightly painful to broken wrist. with a small load (e.g. 45# bar in Jackie), none are much of a threat, which is why i said what i said. i was not at all suggesting that annie in that photo/video specifically was doing it the way i wouold want in those circumstances.

with the load annie is doing in the photo/video, i would absolutely demand she rack it, but it's none of my business.

if you're looking for the fastest possible reps, a legit rack is not going to be a good choice. if you're more concerned with technique and safety, i'd rack it. just depends on what you want to do and why.
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:55 AM   #7
Rene Renteria
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A Thruster is a front squat followed by an overhead press.

I think this is wrong; it's a front squat followed by a push press. You're right to say it should be racked b/c a push press starts with leg drive to toss the bar up off of the shoulders followed by the press to finish.

With poor flexibility, such as I have (ahem), I have to be careful not to have my hands around the bar and elbows down. In that position, the bar is up off my shoulders. So when I drive, the bar bends my wrists back, crashes into my clavicles to get properly racked, and then gets push pressed. Ouch.

I guess folks with better flexibility can get away with that hand position b/c the bar is in the right place on the shoulders, or they're strong enough to use their arms as a platform for the push (although this seems like a good way to ask for tendinitis in the elbows) instead of having their arms a bit more "relaxed", simply keeping the bar on the shoulders in the rack.

Like Greg said, it does slow me down b/c it takes me some time to get the bar down to the shoulders and re-racked because I have to open my grip and have the bar on fingertips only.

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Old 02-13-2007, 11:52 AM   #8
Garrett Smith
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I agree with you. If I had a website that had as much influence as this one does, I would be making sure that the videos and pictures on the main page demonstrated the highest level of technique. Fundamental technique.

From the videos that accompany the WODs, it has always seemed that the CFHQ studs/studettes are allowed to get away with form that I judge most CF trainers wouldn't let their clients do (I know I wouldn't), if only for the known fact that poor form incurs more injuries. This takes away nothing from their impressive levels of fitness--it will only likely take away from their career longevity as studs/studettes. The brightest stars nearly always burn out the fastest.

Basically, I would like to see VIRTUOSITY portrayed in the videos on the main site with the WODs, as described in the CFJ. High numbers, low times, and poor form combine to form something that is impressive, yet it is not virtuosity.

A solution that would cover both might be to put impressive or "record" videos in a separate page/linkset.

I'll never forget how bad my batting average got when I started mimicking pro players' swings (ie. ditching the fundamentals). The same issue could be happening for many in this situation.
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Old 02-13-2007, 12:54 PM   #9
Lincoln Brigham
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A thruster is a front squat right into a push press. It is not one lift followed by another - it is a single contiguous movement.

I have found and seen that it is impressively difficult for any website to post a consistently perfect level of technique exercise videos. If anyone can point to a website that does a better job, and with more exercises, I'd really like to dig into that website. For example, Crossfit does a much better job of showing weightlifting technique than even U.S.A. Weightlifting does!

I have always thought that the technique for the thruster is even more difficult than that for the front squat or the push press. This is because the ideal front squat uses a different elbow position than the ideal push press. I've noticed that trainees have a hard enough time developing a decent front squat rack position, but to combine both in the same movement only serves to make it an order of magnitude more challenging.

To my mind the perfect thruster technique uses an "elbows up" position in the bottom of the squat similar to the ideal front squat. Then the rack shifts to a more "elbows slightly down" position as the lifter rises into the pressing phase, akin to the ideal push press or jerk position. So to do a perfect thruster requires a perfect front squat rack and a perfect push press technique and a great transition from one to the other - all in the same trainee and in the same lift. Not an easy thing to find.
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Old 02-15-2007, 12:07 PM   #10
James Goodell
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Lincoln, that last paragraph is excellent. I wish I had read it a year ago when I started Crossfit. Mastering the transition portion of the thruster is tough, it's the reason that there's much more technique in the thruster than simply adding a push press to a front squat.
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