The sandbag shoulder to shoulder thruster is a similar movement to the conventional thruster, except the bag is unilaterally loaded on one side of the body. Placing the load on one side of the body creates an asymmetrical load which forces your core muscles to work even harder. The unilateral load engages the erector spinae and lateral fibres to stablise the spine in order to avoid lateral flexion.

Teaching Points

  1. Shoulder the sandbag on one side of the body with your feet positioned hip width apart.
  2. Brace the core and initiate the squat by flexing from the knees and hips, keep a neutral spine throughout the movement.
  3. Lower yourself to a comfortable position (thighs parallel to the floor if possible).
  4. From the bottom position push the ground away keeping the chest lifted throughout to maintain a neutral spine.
  5. Use the force generated from the squat to press the sandbag overhead and onto the opposite shoulder.
  6. The arms will move up vertically, straighten the arms, stabilize the shoulders, and contract the triceps so the arms are straight.
  7. Engage the lats and lower the sandbag under control and pull it back into the ‘shouldered’ position.
  8. Repeat the movement.

Common Problems & Solutions

Error: Spinal alignment falling into flexion.
Correction: Keep chest lifted high shoulders packed down.