Why You Should Include ‘Thrusters’ In Your Workouts

Why You Should Include ‘Thrusters’ In Your Workouts

I often refer to the ‘Thruster’ as a handy exercise as it encompasses all the effort of a front squat, an overhead press and everything in between.  A full-body, compound movement that helps to build overall strength, improve co-ordination, muscular endurance and balance.

Here’s how you do it. With a barbell positioned at the collarbones [hands shoulder width apart and elbows forward], inhale and sit back into a deep squat with your knees always moving in an outward position. With your core engaged, exhale as you push through your heels and begin to return to a standing position, keeping a strong, straight back. When your hips are just above your knees, start to move the bar overhead. To complete the ‘thruster’, stand tall and strong with the bar overhead; your glutes engaged, your trunk strong and move your head slightly forward so that your ears are positioned slightly in front of your biceps. Return bar to rest on collarbones and continue to sit back into squat to move on to next rep.

I strongly suggest you practice the movement before adding more weight. When you feel you are in control and moving with ease and confidence, then it is time to start to increase the weight. What muscles do you target in a ‘thruster’? A lot; Glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, core and back muscles, triceps and shoulders. In addition, it’s an excellent exercise for training the posterior chain; that group of muscles on the backside of your body that includes the glutes, hamstrings, calves, erector spinae [the little muscles surrounding the spine], and the lower and upper back muscles.

FYI! There are several variations of the ‘Thruster’. Replace the barbell with a set of dumb bells or kettlebells. For increased intensity, apply a resistance band around your legs, just above your knees to intensify glute activation during the squat. Handy, too because this single rep combines weights and cardio. Any time you lift a weight overhead, you are increasing your heart rate.

If you’ve not done this exercise before or would like to have your form checked? Ask me. I will gladly ‘Q’ you through the exercise.