Overhead lifts have been difficult for me ever since starting CrossFit.  I’ve been asked how I do CrossFit without doing overhead lifts, but the great thing is that everything can be modified!! Since my left arm can’t actively move above my head, my coaches and I have thought of some creative exercises to substitute for the usual ones.    Here is a video about thrusters by a coach at Paradiso CrossFit, which describes the movements and little modifications you can do if you can raise your arms overhead.  This is the typical movement.  However, if you have trouble lifting your arm overhead, like me, I’ve taken videos of some alternative Thruster options! I don’t stick to any one exercise in particular. I like all of them, so I think it’s good to change it up!

OPTION #1: Get a plate and hold it in front of your chest.  Do a squat and use the force of your legs and hips to lift the disc as high as you can.  (Don’t mind my crazy coach Gines in the background of the video.  We have a lot of fun while working out!)

OPTION #2: Use two dumbbells and lift them so they’re resting against your shoulders (i.e. do a “Clean” to get them there).  Then, squat (like in Option #1) and lift your good arm all the way, while lifting your other arm as far as it can go. Otherwise, keep it against your chest (also known as “Rack Position”).

OPTION #3: Use one dumbbell and hold it in front of your chest with both hands.  Squat and push it as high as it can go comfortably.

If you know of any other modifications for Thrusters or have any questions or comments about these modifications, please comment below! Thanks for reading!

A big thanks to the coaches at CrossFit Singular Box for your advice
and to my videographer, Loni Slatkin!


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