The kettlebell thruster, also known as the KB thruster, is a compound exercise that combines the movement patterns of a squat and [shoulder press](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/shoulder-press-guide). Perform kettlebell thrusters by grabbing a kettlebell and holding it at chest height. Lower your body by flexing your knees and hips until you end in a [goblet squat](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/goblet-squat-guide) position. As you stand, raise the kettlebell overhead with a push press movement. Much like [dumbbell thrusters](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/dumbbell-thrusters-exercise-guide) and barbell thrusters, kettlebell thrusters can increase your heart rate, burning calories and building strength for other compound exercises like deadlifts and lunges. \nThe kettlebell thruster exercise activates muscle groups throughout your upper body and lower body.\n\n1. __Hamstrings__: By incorporating a squat movement, kettlebell thrusters target the hamstrings on the backs of your legs. \n2. __Triceps__: The weightlifting component of this kettlebell exercise activates your triceps muscles as you lift the kettlebell over your head. \n3. __Quadriceps__: As you lift your bodyweight during the upward movement, you activate the quads on the front of your legs. \nFor kettlebell thrusters, begin by using a weight that you can control for 2–3 sets of 10–15 repetitions or 30–60 seconds. Choose a weight that allows you to maintain good technique throughout all sets and repetitions.\n\n1. With both hands, hold a kettlebell at chest height with your elbows close to your ribcage. Your posture should be tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees. Your shoulders should be directly over your hips with a neutral head and neck position. Your chin should remain tucked throughout the movement, as if you were holding an egg under your chin.\n2. Evenly distribute your weight and grip the floor with your feet to create a stable position. Pre-tension your shoulders and hips while engaging your core. Your ribs should be down and your pelvis should be slightly tucked. All of your repetitions should begin from this starting position.\n3. While keeping the kettlebell at chest height, maintain a neutral spine and slowly begin the downward movement by bending from your hips, knees, and ankles. Lower until your thighs are parallel or slightly below parallel to the floor. You should only lower as far as you can maintain a level pelvis. Imagine that your pelvis is a bucket filled with water and you’re trying not to spill any of it.\n4. To begin the upward movement, explosively push your legs into the ground to initiate standing. As you begin to stand up, keep your chest high, squeeze your glutes, allow your knees to straighten, and allow your hips to travel forward.\n5. Once your legs straighten, allow the momentum of your legs to help drive the kettlebell overhead while performing an explosive overhead press. At the end of each repetition, your shoulders should finish directly over your hips. \n6. Lower the kettlebell back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions or duration of time.\nOnce you’ve mastered the standard kettlebell thruster, try including one of these variations in your strength-training program.\n\n1. __Single-arm kettlebell thruster__: Perform this unilateral variation by lifting the kettlebell with one arm, activating your stabilizer muscles and highlighting any muscle asymmetries you may have developed by holding one free weight with both hands. \n2. __Double kettlebell thruster__: Practice this challenging variation by holding two kettlebells—one in each hand. Hold the kettlebells over your shoulders at the bottom of the squat and lift them above your head at the top of the movement.\n3. __Kettlebell clean to thruster__: This total-body exercise uses a movement pattern similar to a [kettlebell swing](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/kettlebell-swing-guide) as you bring the kettlebells up to shoulder height with an explosive movement before lifting them overhead. \nThrow on some athleisure, fire up a [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com), and get ready to sweat it out with exclusive instructional videos from Nike Master Trainer and *GQ* fitness specialist Joe Holder. Want to improve your cardiovascular endurance? Give Joe’s HIIT workout a go. Trying to get a little swole? He’s got a strength training workout for that. From fitness tips to nutrition hacks, Joe will have you feeling healthier in no time.\nIf you’re looking for a full-body kettlebell workout to include in your bodybuilding program, try kettlebell thrusters.