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Dumbbell Squat Thrust with Speed Alternate Neutral Presses

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.

Combine two power moves for an intense leg and shoulder workout. Start with a squat thrust, popping out of a squat to a plank position; follow this with shoulder presses done at speed. Moving between the two exercises while keeping a quick tempo forces you to generate additional power.

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 (see Photo 1).


  1. From the starting position, sit deep into a squat, pressing back and down through your hips with your weight in your heels. Keeping your back flat, incline your chest forward, and lower your hands toward the floor until the dumbbells are between your feet, with your palms still facing each other (see Photos 2 and 3).
  2. Keeping your hands on the weights and generating strength through your center, quickly pop your legs back into a plank, or push-up, position. Your arms will be extended with your hands below your shoulders, and your back, hips, and legs will form a straight line. Hold through your center so as not to droop through your hips (see Photo 4).
  3. From the push-up position, pop your legs through the air, back to the squat position (see Photo 5).
  4. From the squat, look up toward the ceiling and lift your chest, and then push up through your feet to rise to the standing position (see Photo 6).
  5. Once you are standing, bend your elbows and bring the weights up to your shoulders, with palms facing inward (see Photo 7).
  6. From the shoulder, do a series of fast alternating shoulder presses, pushing alternate arms straight overhead, keeping your palms facing inward throughout. Do these in a quick, powerful motion for a set of eight presses total, or four on each side (see Photos 8 to 10).
  7. You have now done one set of the exercise. Repeat the entire sequence for a total of eight sets, working to keep the speed of the shoulder presses consistent between sets.
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.