Build Explosive Power With the Landmine Thruster

Build strength, improve conditioning and boost your metabolism with this workout.

The Landmine Thruster is the perfect exercise for building the kind of explosive athleticism needed to separate yourself from the rest of the field.

The Thruster is a compound movement popularized in CrossFit circles. It combines a Front Squat with a Push Press, and the compound movement works muscles in your lower body and upper body in the same exercise.

A Landmine Thruster can be used to build strength, improve conditioning and boost your metabolism.

Traditional Thrusters are done with barbells, but that presents a problem for people who have mobility limitations or technique issues, leading them to improperly execute the movement and achieve sub-optimal results.

Both the Front Squat and the Push Press portions present challenges.

For the Front Squat, mobility issues may prevent one from getting into the initial front rack position and from executing a Front Squat with proper form.

On the Push Press portion, many strength coaches have eliminated overhead pressing from their programs because of their athletes' shoulder injury history—think pitchers and quarterbacks—and mobility limitations. Many people struggle when performing overhead pressing exercises because of shoulder impingement issues.

Fortunately, you can use a landmine to troubleshoot these issues. It is a more effective alternative because:

  • The neutral grip on Landmine Squats is a more comfortable grip than the front rack position.
  • Landmine Squats are often used as a progression exercise by strength and conditioning coaches to reinforce proper squatting mechanics.
  • The Push Press portion of the Landmine Thruster is at an inclined angle instead of directly overhead, making it a more natural and safer movement for the shoulders, allowing all types of athletes to use the exercise.
  • With barbell Thrusters, the grip used for the Front Squat is slightly different from that used for the Push Press, which requires the athlete to either execute one portion with a sub-optimal grip or take a few seconds to adjust his grip to execute both movements properly. Either way, this is sub-optimal since to effectively reap the benefits of the movement, Thrusters should be a seamless movement.

The Landmine Thruster can be used for power, strength, conditioning and metabolic benefits like hypertrophy and fat loss. Want to work on strength? Do lower reps and heavier loads. Power? Use moderate loads, low reps and lift explosively. Conditioning and metabolism? Do more reps per set or lower rest between sets.

Landmine Thruster All-In One Workout

This workout allows you to train each of the aforementioned facets of athleticism at once. Start with a heavy load for the first set, use a moderate load for the second set and use a lighter load for the third set. On each set, your reps will progressively increase. Aim to reduce your rest intervals between sets as your conditioning improves. All three sets will equal one round; aim to do a total of three rounds.

  • Set 1 (heavy load) x 3 reps
  • Set 2 (moderate load) x 5 reps
  • Set 3 (light load) x 8 reps


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