Burn Calories: Supercharge the Squat Thrust

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Burn Calories: Supercharge the Squat Thrust

September 9, 2013

Attend any class that is labeled boot camp, interval or bodyweight and you are more than likely to hear the word squat thrust. Much like other classic exercises—such as squats, push-ups and jumping jacks, for example—the squat thrust has become a staple exercise for any type of class in which the goal is intensity. Love them or hate them, squat thrusts are here to stay.

A total-body exercise, the squat thrust is considered a “big bang for your buck” movement. Arm, legs, core and cardio—this one move takes care of it all. Often interchanged with the word burpee, in its most basic form the squat thrust is a 4-count exercise:

Squat thrust

  • Begin in a standing position.
  • Squat down and place both hands on the floor (count 1).
  • Jump the legs back into a high plank position (count 2).
  • Jump the legs up to the hands (count 3).
  • Stand up (count 4).

What makes the squat thrust graduate to the burpee is the addition of a vertical jump after you stand up. The burpee has also been known to sneak in a push-up after jumping back into the high plank position.

There are many variations to the squat thrust—you can add push-ups, weights and various jumps to increase the intensity and challenge one’s coordination, agility and strength. If you are ready to move on from the basic squat thrust, these variations challenge how you move in and out of the plank position.

Single Leg

Single leg squat thrust

  • Squat down with the right leg and place both hands on the floor.
  • Jump back to plank position, landing only on the right leg while keeping the left leg extended and lifted off the floor.
  • Jump up to the hands with the right leg only.
  • Stand up.

Regression: Jump back to the plank with one leg and jump up to the hands with both legs; or Jump back to the plank with both legs and jump up to the hands with one leg.

Single Arm

Single arm squat thrust

  • Squat down and place the right hand on the ground.
  • Jump back to plank position.
  • Jump up to the hand.
  • Stand up.

Regression: Jump back to the plank on both hands, then jump up to one hand; or jump back to the plank on one hand and then jump up to both hands.

Off-set Stance

Off-set stance squat thrust

  • Squat down and place both hands on the floor.
  • Jump back to plank position.
  • Jump up to the hands, landing with the right foot on the front and the left foot on the back.
  • Stand up.

Regression: Walk your feet up to the off-set stance.
Progression: Alternate right then left off-set stance with every rep.

Rolling Squat

Rolling squat

  • Squat down and place both hands on the floor.
  • Jump back to plank position.
  • Jump up to the hands, then sit down, tuck the knees into the chest, and roll on your back. Place your hands on the ground for support.
  • Roll to your feet and stand up.

Progression: Reverse the order and begin with the rolling squat first.

Surfer

Surfer squat

  • Squat down and place both hands on the floor.
  • Jump back to plank position.
  • Jump up to the hands, landing with the right foot on the front, and the left foot on the back. Turn the back foot slightly outward and stay low to the ground.
  • Repeat the sequence of plank position to the surfer position. Wait to stand back up until you have completed your targeted reps.

Progression: Alternate right then left surfers with each rep.

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