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Back Squat

Fitness: 3x5 across
Leave room to go up over the next 6 weeks

Performance: 5/3/1 "5 week"
65%x5, 75%x5, 85%x5+

or 70%x3x3

Add 5-10 lbs to your Training Max from last cycle.

Post loads to comments.

4 Rounds For Max Reps of:
1:00 Max Reps Games Standard Box Jumps 24"/20"
1:00 Max Reps Kettlebell Swings 24kg/20kg
1:00 Rest

Post total reps and Rx to comments.

Cliff on Dumbbell Thrusters

Dumbbell Thrusters

The Thruster is a common CrossFit exercise that requires you to squat below parallel with a load on your shoulders then thrust it overhead in one fluid movement. It's commonly used as a potent conditioning tool and less commonly used as a strength developer. While more total weight can be moved with a barbell, mobility limitations can make it very uncomfortable for many people to rack the barbell on their shoulders.  If you have a really hard time keeping your elbows up as you descend and find the movement stressful on your wrists, Dumbbell Thrusters are probably going to be your best bet.  Dumbbells also require more shoulder stability and are excellent at developing muscle symmetry and stability. 
A common issue with dumbbell thrusters is that as you fatigue your weaker side may begin to collapse inwards at the rack position or fail to lock out overhead. Often the dumbbell will begin to drop toward your chest during the ascent and then barely make it to lock out.  This is a clear indication that you've got underdeveloped external rotators in your shoulder.  To get through the workout, you'll have to either slow down significantly or reduce the weight of your dumbbells.  Trying to gut through a collapsing rack support is ill advised as it could put excessive stress on the soft tissue in and around your shoulder. When working with dumbbells, take the time to go through your bracing strategy, get active in your lats, shoulders and grip and WORK to keep the dumbbells exactly where you want them to be. 

Dumbbells tell no lies.
Do you hate/love or are indifferent towards Dumbbell work?
Miranda Oldroyd Does a Dumbbell Thruster/GHD WOD

Reader Comments (19)

Hate them. All the more reason to do them.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjim


Having second thoughts about not coming up to Herondale tomorrow for the Farm party? Wish you could have a day in the country, see the animals and chow on some pulled pork?

Good news! We have some more room! Please email by 7pm tonight if you want to hop on a train or drive and I'll give you the details!

Margielempert (@) gmail (dot) com

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMargie

I really like the dumbbell work. About exposing asymmetries, I found a big one while doing the round-the-block one-arm farmer carries: holding the KB on the right is fine, but my left side quickly loses integrity (grip seems about the same on both hands--it's a core asymmetry).

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlan O'D


I left my blue Samsung SIII along with its charger in the clothes/shoes room yesterday. Could MGMT please hang on to it? Noor wasn't able to come in this morning but I'll be in for the 1PM class. Thanks very much!


June 29, 2013 | Registered CommenterSamir Chopra

How NICE is it to see Margie posting?!?! It always makes me smile.


OG last night for bench and cleans 2 on the 1 for 10. Then ate my face off with a group of hot lady muscles at Dino.

8am this morning, this weather sucks so backsquats were interesting, and then the 4 rounds - my last two were way better than the first two.

NOTE: Apparently I walk super stupid and incorrect so if you see me all duck footed please alert me so I can fix it. Or I'm getting severely punched. Thaaaaanks!

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJB

Dumbbell work is the best. I love it. Especially heavy DB split snatches. Maybe in my top three most fun movements.

Seriously, they're the best. I would be happy with a couple sets of DBs and little else.

June 29, 2013 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Recovery squats @ 240# - felt nice and light. Worked on the bracing sequence, which helped me get a better bounce at the bottom.

WOD - 252 reps Rx'd. Ended up with 140 KBs and 112 BJ.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDan L

I dont like dumbbell work unless its for benching or pressing. I am not sure i see the utility of using dumbbells in lieu of bars for the olympic movements, it is a completely different movement and i dont see any carry over. Well, maybe dumbbell snatches are cool, but i dont think they make you a better snatcher with a bar.

You cant really beat dumbbell concentration curls however.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJakeL

10am with McDowell and Josh. Squatted 160x5x3. Been feeling weak on hot days, and today was no exception. I think I need to start drinking way, way more water. WOD with 20" box jumps and 20kg kettlbell swings, for 224 reps.

I love dumbell work! But whenever I pick up a dumbell I inevitably end up bashing myself in the shoulder or wrist or clavicle and I 'm left with nasty bruises the next day that I have to explain away to friends and coworkers....

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Mc

10am w/Josh & McDowell

100 back squats; bar kept slipping through my sweaty back, I'll have to start wearing t-shirts instead of tank tops.
189 reps, but not sure I should count the first 17 box jumps. I had a freak out moment and ended up just stepping on and off the first round... on the kiddie box (with a bumper). Kettlebell felt good though, I never tired out.

Then AC with David. I bitched and moaned all hour long, but feel great now :)

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle B.

Awesome AR today. I'm not sure what brought me closer to death, trying to massage all the tightness out of a lx ball with my booty (that's the way it works, right? that lx ball is full of tension) or attempting to insert the lx ball into my abdomen via kettlebell weight. All fun stuff!

I love dumbbell work even though it makes me feel like an even bigger klutz than normal! Nothing like dumbbells to make you realize that you've got one awesome arm and one gimpy chicken wing...always entertaining. @Laura Mc ME TOO! Inevitable shoulder and collarbone bruises.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay S

Back squats partnered with Julian: 255x3x5 (first two sets were solid and then the third set suddenly became grindy, with some knee and shoulder caving).

Accessory WOD @24" box, 24kg KB: 97 box jumps, 77 KB swings.

Massive lunch afterwards. Now, time for a nap.

June 29, 2013 | Registered CommenterSamir Chopra

taught yoga at South Street Seaport this morning outside on a lil patch of turf that they've put out for events and such. it was really fun... if anyone wants to come out for some free yoga, holler at me. it will be Saturday mornings weekly thru the summer! 10am start time today. might explore going earlier since it got pretty toasty out there!!

1pm with McD and Josh

45x5, 95x5, 115x3
focus (and asked Ellie to watch and give me feedback) on not going too low in depth on squat. i'm keeping this as focus this cycle to see how it goes, as opposed to bouncing off the bottom, which is super super low for me. it feels pretty ridiculous/amazing to not have to go very far... like i'm barely squatting. these all moved relatively quickly. a few breaths to rest in between reps 3, 4, and 5 of the last two sets. heart rate really jumped quickly with this heat.

love the bracing strategy work we did today. these are perfect reminders for me... was just having that conversation with josh the other day.

WOD with 20" box and 16kg bell (i accidentally wrote 20kg on the board... i did NOT use a 20kg! bell!)
236 reps
box jumps are fun. it's been a while. limiting factor felt like heart bursting and losing breath.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWhit H

Yay box jumps! The Blog Gods do listen!

Loved this workout.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

New Reebok CrossFit lifting shoe:


I've enjoyed lifting in my reeboks and these look even better with the double metatarsal strap.

June 29, 2013 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Last day of the rings seminar. It was great, and I'm looking forward to the next one. Thanks Ken!

I made good progress on all of my goals. My handstands are back and improving (Ken got a 24s hold on video today, but I can definitely do better--my hands were shot by the end of class). My strict muscle-ups are pretty smooth; the dip actually needs more work than the transition. Unassisted back levers are a ways off, but I can train them on my own now.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlan O'D


I would love to know you're ok. If you happen to read this shoot me a text at 516-430-8792...

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJakeL

Finished the final set of wendler squats @ 240. Feeling pretty sore though. I've been working on dialing in the form and bracing, but I think I need to back the weight off while I get that locked in. 240x5 is a PR for sure, but I felt like I started to lose good bracing in the final rep and am paying the price.

WOD with 193 reps. KB felt pretty great, box jumps slow but steady.

Favorite part of today: seeing the little girl in the tiara carrying around a bucket of lax balls like the flower girl at my wedding. Hilarious and awesome. Mazel tov to the parents, she was awesome.

June 29, 2013 | Registered CommenterMaxwell Knight

Alan's humble - he definitely got into minute territory with those handstands when there wasn't video rolling - nice work!

The rings seminar was great. Thank you Ken. I think it was the perfect compliment to assess my strength increase over the course of my first few months of CF. It was also great to mess with gear and exercises so foreign to me. I'm determined to get a muscle up in the next course. My handstand has improved a bunch - I'm in the 5 second territory :) Looking forward to the next round of classes and maybe try some tumbling? Pummel horse? :p

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJosue

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