What’s your “desert island” exercise? The one you’d rely on for the rest of your life if you could take only one with you? Ask any top trainer, and most will opt for the so-called “King of All Exercises”: the back squat.
The thruster, however, may be the wiser choice. Combining a front squat with an overhead press, thrusters give new meaning to the concept of the compound, multi- joint exercise. Work this move with heavier weight and lower reps for head-to-toe strength and power, or lighten up the load and do higher reps at timed intervals for the best HIIT workout of your life. The following four-step approach will show you how it’s done.
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your lower back tightly arched, and the barbell in military press position with your hands no wider than the outsides of your shoulders.
2. Keeping your head and chest held high, push your hips back and descend into a below-parallel squat.
3. From the bottom position, explode back to the start position as hard as you can, using your momentum to simultaneously press the bar over your head.
4. Finish in a standing position, with the barbell over and slightly behind your head, then smoothly lower it and descend into another squat in one continuous motion.