By: Adam Que and Aida M. Toro
Adam: We all know squat thrusters are tough. Some people love them, and well, I think most despise them. Imagine your sweat dripping, your arms aching, your body wobbling — that’s the first time I saw one client do a squat thruster…
Aida: “Hey, hey, hey–I was trying my best!”
But all jokes aside, squat thrusters should be everyone’s buddy when it comes to functional fitness. I haven’t encountered the most pleasant experiences with a squat thruster, as it can be tough for one’s physique to process. But once I started incorporating fitness into my wellness, I saw the progress. At first, I struggled with getting up efficiently from a push-up position. As I learned more about the movement, developed more mobility, and strengthened my midline, I suddenly realized that I was able to rep them out at a faster pace than usual.
Adam: Squat thrusters are still not Aida’s cup of tea, however, these are some movements that have helped her develop that good relationship with squat thrusters.
To do an inchworm, option 1). start off in a push-up position (as all of these movements will be) and walk your hands towards your toes until you reach full flexion in your hamstrings without bending your knees, then walk your hands back out into push-up position and repeat. This option is great if you have limited space. Option 2). Start off in a push-up position and walk your feet towards your hands without bending your knees until you reach that full flexion, then walk your hands out back into a push-up position, continuing your momentum forward. This is obviously great with more space.
Start off in a push-up position and bring your hand to the opposite shoulder and touch it, then the other hand and repeat continuously. Try to keep your chest down and shoulders aligned, don’t raise your shoulder when tapping your hand. Also, keep your midline engaged in the process. Simple though it is, it can be a very effective movement when slowed down.
Lateral Walk-in Push-up Position:
Probably the simplest of movements but also effective. Start off in that push-up position and shift your hands and feet sideways to the desired distance, then the other way till your start point or another point of reference. Again, keep your midline engaged and TRY NOT TO RAISE THOSE HIPS. You, of course, can amplify the movement with a push-up, another calisthenic, or plyometric movement.
Everest Mount Climbers:
You know what position we’re in. When there, you can either jump or step your foot to the outside of your hand. Try to make sure your foot is flat as possible at that point and your back leg is in a prone position but still slightly hovering off the ground. Of course, mobility and morphology come to play, but try to keep your hips down and chest high. Then keep flowing or stepping your feet up and back.
Two-foot hops middle and side to side:
This final movement is the most dynamic out of all of them and is cardiovascular-ly involved. In our push-up position, as explosive as you can, hop your feet roughly towards your hands and chest then back again. Of course, in this movement, your hips will rise a bit. Then when hopping your feet to the sides of you, make sure you don’t compromise your positioning. Try to keep your feet together and try not to wobble and be strong throughout the movement.
Remember, all these movements can be done in your apartment. Furthermore, I hope you can take this notion into the new year because this is one of the most utilized movements in the fitness and wellness world. As well as, this is where that burpee starts…but we’ll leave that for another day.
Here is a little circuit you can practice to improve that squat thruster:
4-6 sets of:
5 low impact squat thrusters (slowly stepping or motioning through the movement and taking pauses throughout the movement to evaluate your posture/body and breathing.)
10 full squat thrusters