The standard barbell thruster is a fusion of a front squat and overhead press. But your technique has to be perfect in both portions of the movement or you're going to have a bad day. You also have to master the rack position (wrists bent back) which is tough for many big lifters. Here's an alternative with all the same benefits.

Landmine Thruster

Landmine thrusters are a user-friendly alternative to barbell thrusters. They're easier to perform and easier on the joints. If you don't have a landmine apparatus, just shove a barbell into a corner on a towel.

Landmine squats and presses don't have the same mobility demands as conventional squats and presses, so more people will be able to do them well. Most lifters also find landmine squats to be easier on the knees and lower back than front squats, and landmine presses to be easier on the shoulders than traditional presses.

Additionally, most lifters' landmine squat and landmine press numbers are a lot more even strength-wise than they are when done the standard way. So the squat portion of the exercise doesn't get short-changed nearly as much as it does when doing it the conventional way.

A Bonus Benefit

Landmine thrusters can work as a great self-teaching tool for the squat pattern. Use it as a tool if you tend to struggle to bring your hips all the way through at the top part of the squat. It's important to achieve full hip extension at the top of the squat, but many people stay in hip flexion and never go that last little bit, especially during sets of higher reps. By adding the press to the landmine squat, it forces you to bring your hips through at the top.

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