The thruster exercise is a combination of common weight-training exercises, front squat and overhead press, which aims to buildup core strength and power from head to toe. This exercise can be done with heavier weights and lower repetitions or with lighter load and higher repetitions. The thruster utilizes any of the equipment such as the kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells, sandbag and medicine ball. As a matter of fact, any heavy object is eligible for the thruster as long as there is force involved. In this article, the barbell is going to be used but as mentioned earlier, any heavy object is qualified.

In order to perform the thruster, firstly stand with your feet flat on the ground at shoulder width, then in military press position, tightly grip the barbell with your hands at shoulder width and lift the barbell. Maintain your head and chest high and push your hips backward, forming a below-parallel squat formation. Exert an explosive force in getting back to your starting position and press the barbell over your head simultaneously. Finish the repetition in a standing position with your barbell over and behind your head. To continue the repetition, lower down the barbell and descend yourself in another squat.

This exercise is a best training for those who want to excel in sports because their whole bodily muscles are exercised and stretched. The thruster allows you to execute higher volumes of training work in a period of time.


The thruster workout primarily targets your hamstrings (the muscles at the back of the thigh), quadriceps (the core muscles in front of the thigh), glutes (muscles that cover up the whole buttocks) and erector spinae (the muscles in your lower back). Your shoulder muscles and triceps are also covered by this workout.

This workout engages your affected muscles to toil in order to be more flexible, more toned, more stabilized and more balanced. Having your major muscles work in synergy denotes that they are functioning together, which is a good sign for normal bodily function.

Sets and Repetitions

For beginners, if you are going to go with the light weight and high repetition setup, then you can proceed with 10 to 15 repetitions in a set. If you prefer the heavy weight and low repetition setup, then complete five to 10 repetitions also in a set. If you are an advanced and choosing the light weight and high repetition setup, a set of 15 to 20 repetitions is sufficed. But if want to carry on with the heavy weight and low repetition, then continue with 10 to 15 repetitions in a set.

Instagram Video

Here is an Instagram video that exhibits the thruster movement.

Related Amazon Product Links

If you prefer to use the kettlebells in your thruster, this product can suffice and it has an adjustable weight for your own customization.

The medicine ball can be utilized in executing the thruster, and this product can fill your prerequisite requirement. It is filled with sand, so you can be assured of its heaviness.

This product has an initial weight of 40 lbs and it can hold up to the maximum 390 lbs. The package includes a streel stand, which is tailored to be sturdy for longevity.

The dumbbells offer weight in your arms, and this product is a set of dumbbells with a wide range of weights from two to 20 lbs.

Related Movements

Below are some exercises that can be executed together with the thruster exercise:

  • Deadlift

  • Hang clean

  • Push-up

  • Burpees

Related Foods

Here is a list of food that you can add up in your menu before your workout.

  • Oatmeal with dried fruits

  • Whole wheat bread with peanut butter and banana

  • Whole grain cereal with almond milk

  • Fresh fruits

After your workout, you need to replenish your body with the following options of food below:

  • Cheese and whole grain crackers

  • Cottage cheese with berries

  • Boiled eggs

  • Chocolate milk


Here are the photos that illustrate the thruster.

YouTube Video

Here is a YouTube video that provides a lecture on the thruster exercise.

Functional Use

You would be able to notice improvement when your heart rate is increased, resulting to an ameliorated cardiovascular performance. The setup of high repetition and light weight thruster improves your cardiovascular fitness, while the low repetition and heavy weight setup, develops more muscular power and strength. If you have performed thruster with an object of unstable weight, you would see that your core strength and balance are getting better.