If you only have limited time and you had to pick just one exercise to work your entire body: choose the Squat Thrust. We love incorporating this into our MASHUP® workouts in various ways at least once a week because you really get a lot of bang for your buck with this one.
Squat thrusts use almost every muscle group including your core. Primary muscles used are: hamstrings, quads, and gluteus. Assuming you are doing them correctly with your knees rotated out and squatting to parallel, you should be using your hip adductors as well. Also if you add dumbbells you are also working chest, shoulders and back if you go into a push up after you squat down and add a shoulder press after you stand up.
One of the other added benefits is that it is also a cardiovascular exercise. We like these types of exercises and call them Agility and Strength in our workout program because they call upon numerous muscle groups and continue to keep your heart rate up during the exercise. In MASHUP®, you will find the Squat Thrust along with other exercises that will challenge your heart as your muscles are burning. We tell our clients “Why waste your time on the treadmill when you can get the same benefit while toning your muscles in a quarter of the time! “ Add a few high-intensity Intervals and some mind/body and you have our complete training system.
Make sure you keep proper form during a squat thrust for safety and follow these directions below:
Level 1 Modification
Reach arms straight over your head then squat down bringing elbows to 90 degrees then return to standing. Throughout the movement you want to focus on pulling your navel toward your spine to keep the core engaged. Our Level 1 modification never has to get on the floor. Other Level 1 exercises may incorporate a chair or using the wall.
Level 2/3 Modifications
Stand with your feet together and squat down as mentioned in Level 1. Jump your feet backwards until you are in a push up position maintaining a straight torso. Then, jump your feet back forward between your hands and stand up.
Bud Jefferies at strongerman.com claims that you can maximize your benefit with a simple workout of 100 squat thrusts done without resting. He states that it is
“high enough reps to involve muscular endurance and shoot your cardio through the roof.”
For women wanting more ideas on exercises that shape the body, check out