How To Do Squat Clean Thruster (aka Clean Thruster)

Squat Clean Thruster Exercise

Squat Clean Thruster is an explosive exercise that primarily targets the quadriceps, lower back, hamstrings and gluteus muscles.

Secondary muscles involved in the exercise are the lats, upper back, read shoulders and traps.

The core is greatly used throughout the Squat Clean Thruster but most especially at the press where the upper body must be stabilised to support the lower back.

Squat Clean Thruster is a great exercise to build muscle size, develop speed, power and coordination.

Squat Clean Thruster Progression & Mobility

  • Take a slightly wider than shoulder width overhand grip on the barbell.
  • Assume the bottom position of the Deadlift; feet at hip width apart and in a neutral position, shoulders slightly ahead of the bar, back flat, knees bent and hips positioned lower than the shoulders.
  • Initiate the pull by pushing your feet through the floor, shins should be vertical.
  • When the bar is at knee level, drive your hips and explode by jumping up. The force of the jump should throw the bar up and over to your shoulders.
  • The momentum of the weight will drive you to the bottom position of the squat. This is the catch position.
  • At the catch position, your feet will now be shoulder width. Back remains flat, hips lower than knees. Your elbows must remain elevated and parallel to the floor. The barbell must sit firmly on your shoulders and in front of the heels.
  • To transition to the thruster part of the exercise, push your feet hard to the floor and explosively squat up. The momentum generated by your squat should thrust the weight above and off your shoulders.
  • At the top position, you arms must be fully extended and the elbows fully locked. The bar should be behind your head and in line with your shoulders, hips, lower back and heels.
  • Bring the barbell down to the floor and repeat the exercise until the targeted number of reps are completed.

Faults, Form and Technique

Extending your legs at the start of the pull like a Stiff Leg Deadlift will place more pressure on your lower back.

Muscling up the weight using the strength of the arms will slow down the exercise and put your arms, elbows and shoulders at risk of being injured.

Another common fault occurs when catching the weight with the elbows down instead of keeping them elevated and parallel to the floor.

When you catch the bar with your elbows pointed down, your tendency is to fall forward and lose balance.

Variations: Hang Clean and Press, Clean and Press

Squat Clean Thruster