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Dumbbell Squat Thrust with Alternate Lockouts

By RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

A strong legs and back demand a powerful core for support. Train all three with this exercise. You'll develop power and control, and you'll feel the results.

Muscles Worked

Starting Position
Stand upright with legs more than shoulder-width apart—your legs should be slightly wider than they would be in a standard squat thrust, because you will need the wider stance to help you balance. Hold dumbbells in each hand; your arms should be at your sides and your palms facing inward, with your thumbs forward. Important note: If you haven't done this exercise before, try it first without using dumbbells to start, then add in very light dumbbells later and slowly work up in weight over time (see Photo 1).


  1. From the starting position, bend your knees and lower yourself into a fully squatted position, with the dumbbells in your hands resting on the floor between your feet. Keep your back flat, and do not change the inward-facing orientation of your palms from the starting position (see Photo 2).
  2. From the squatted position, immediately kick your feet back into the plank position in one fluid motion. Your shoulder blades should be flat; do not round your upper back (see Photos 3 and 4).
  3. In the plank position, contract your abs as you slowly and deliberately raise your right arm up so that it is parallel to your side, keeping your elbow straight. Lower the right arm and repeat with the left arm. It is crucial that you maintain total control throughout the movement. Focus on form throughout, and go as slowly as you need to (see Photos 5 and 6).
  4. After you have lowered the left arm and are back in plank position, lift up your feet and shoot them back towards your hands, landing them back at the squatted position (see Photo 7).
  5. Stand up from the squat, returning to the starting position (see Photo 8). Repeat this exercise 16 times for a full set.
About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, which was voted the best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. A competitive swimmer and triathlete in his own right, Polson has over 15 years of experience working as a coach and trainer, and was recently named by Men's Journal Magazine (December 2005) as one of the Top 100 Trainers in America.