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Summer Sessions at PureGym: The Barbell Thruster Challenge!


One of the best ways to keep your time at the gym fun and challenging is to try something new. That's why we've picked barbell thrusters for this week's fun gym challenge. If you're thinking, 'What's a barbell thruster?', don't worry. Read on to discover what they are, how to do them, and what they can do for you. By the end of this article we guarantee you'll be tempted to get thrusting!

What is a barbell thruster?

The barbell thruster gives you a whole-body strength workout and is regarded as one of the best barbell exercises you can do. By combining a full front squat and an overhead shoulder press, this compound exercise (which means it works multiple muscle groups) will help improve your strength and coordination and burn fat.

How do you do a barbell thruster?

As mentioned above, the barbell thruster combines two exercises you may already know: the front squat and overhead shoulder press. To get into the start position, hold a barbell on your shoulders and collarbone with elbows high and hands just over shoulder-width apart. Squat down pushing your hips back and knees out so your thighs are parallel with the floor. Then, push back up to the start position and lift the barbell above your head until your arms are fully extended, and return to the start position. That's one rep.

  • For muscular endurance, perform 15-20 reps for 3 sets. Rest for 30-45 seconds between each set.
  • For muscular hypertrophy, perform 8-12 reps for 3 sets. Rest for 1-2 minutes between each set.
  • For muscular strength, perform 3-6 reps for 3 sets. Rest for 2-3 minutes between each set.

We recommend using a weight that you're comfortable with, but that also challenges you to perform the last repetition. If you’re new to this exercise, start with our lighter studio barbells where you can add 1.25kg-5kgs plates on either side, or dumbbells. As with any exercise, be sure to warm up and stretch before you start. For further guidance on correct technique or the best warm up routines, feel free to ask a member of staff who are always happy to help.

What are the benefits of barbell thrusters?

Barbell thrusters are a whole-body exercise. The front squat works all the major muscles in your legs and core, while the overhead shoulder press targets your upper body and shoulder. As a result, the muscles worked in this exercise include your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, shoulders and triceps. As well as boosting your strength, you'll also continue to burn fat long after your stop exercising.

For more full-body exercises you can try in the gym, check out our free exercises section.

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