Coaches across the world would agree with me on this, when it comes to building strong and powerful glutes, few workouts compare to the hip thrust. The hip thrust has gained popularity in the fitness world as a result of better awareness of how strong glutes affect almost every facet of life, including athletic and gym performance.
The hip thrust should be included in your training routine if you want to increase the size and strength of your rear. The glute bridge is one of the finest bodyweight exercises for building stronger glutes, so it’s only natural that the best weighted exercise for them incorporates a similar hip thrust.
So, the hip thrust is essentially a glute bridge with weights, though you have your shoulders up as well. When high weights are involved, the finer elements of technique are always more crucial, therefore don’t skip the full explanation of the exercise below.
Muscles Worked During Hip Thrust
The hip thrust, as you might expect, predominantly works the glutes, but this exercise also works the quadriceps, adductors, and hamstrings.
During hip thrust, the glutes are the primary mover, with the gluteus maximus carrying the majority of the demands. The gluteus medius is also active, assisting with hip extension and pelvic stabilization so that the gluteus maximus can work on hip extension.
The hamstrings function isometrically to retain the knee at around 90 degrees of flexion during the exercise. As they stretch their hips, some lifters may experience modest to moderate hamstring contractions. If discomfort becomes too much, there’s a good probability they’re not properly extending their hips and/or not bending their knees enough. Just keep in mind that you don’t want to feel your hamstrings working too hard during the movement.
The adductors are inner pelvic muscles that operate isometrically to keep the pelvis stable during hip extension. You can also insert a foam roller between your thighs and compress the roller isometrically as you stretch your hips to improve hip adductor activation.
How To Do Hip Thrusts With Perfect Form
Sit on the ground with a bench behind you, bending your knees to keep your feet planted on the ground and a barbell sitting below your hips. If you have a padded bar or anything to place between the bar and your body, it will make the exercise much more comfortable.
Lean back on the bench with your shoulders on the bench and the bar above your hips. Lift the bar by driving your hips up. Your knees should be bent at 90 degrees and your shoulders at the top of the bench in the highest position, with your body forming a straight line between them.
Squeeze your glutes as you come to a brief pause at the top of the lift, then slowly lower your hips.
It’s a good idea to start with little weight and make sure that the exercise is mostly felt in your glutes rather than your thighs or lower back.
Hip Thrust Variations
Hip Thrust With Dumbbells
As you would’ve guessed, the dumbbell hip thrust is similar to the barbell hip thrust in terms of execution. Instead of getting a barbell, grab a dumbbell and execute your reps and sets as directed by your target.
The glute bridge stimulates the same muscles as the hip thrust but is not weighted, so it can be used as a stand-in for individuals who don’t have access to equipment or as a stepping stone for those who want to gain strength and confidence before laying a barbell over their thighs.
Lie down on your back, arms by your sides, knees bent, and feet placed on the ground. Form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders by squeezing your glutes, pressing through your heels, and driving your hips up. At the top of the movement, hold for a second before slowly lowering.
Single-Leg Hip Thrust
Because this is a more advanced hip thrust variation, it’s better to try it first without any weights, as the instability generated by only having one foot set on the ground can cause you to fall over. Set up for the hip thrust as usual, but lift one foot off the ground while maintaining the knee bend. As you move your hips up and down, keep the leg up. This variation can help you correct any muscle imbalances in your body while also challenging your core to resist the rotation caused by lifting one leg.
Hip Thrust Benefits
Making hip thrusts a regular part of your workout regimen has a number of advantages. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned gym rat, the hip thrust can help you in a variety of ways.
Hip thrusts work the gluteal muscles more effectively than many other lower-body exercises.
Increases Glutes Strength And Size
The hip thrust is an excellent workout for anyone looking to increase glute growth, strength, and power. To get additional strength, you can use a barbell to heavily load it. For higher glute endurance, utilize a lighter dumbbell and perform a high number of reps. You can also do them one leg at a time for unilateral strength. Consider the hip thrust a foundational compound action that you can use to achieve any goal.
Simple to Scale
Another advantage of the hip thrust is that it is simple to scale for different levels of fitness. You can achieve hip thrust benefits by using dumbbells or even your own body weight. They’re suitable for both beginners and expert students and may be incorporated into any training program.
Excellent Warm Up
The hip thrust, when done with perfect form is an excellent warm-up and cool-down movement. To prime the body for proper hip extension, the hip thrust can be performed with one’s own body weight and at lower intensities. You may even do these at the end of a workout to burn the glutes even more.
Activates Hip Extensor
It has been found in research that then compared to the barbell squat, the deadlift, or the Romanian deadlift, the hip thruster is more effective at activating the hip extensor muscles. Now for those athletes who need to generate speed, this could be very crucial.
There are a few common errors to avoid when executing the hip thruster. These form issues may result in less effective results as well as neck or back problems in the long run.
Wrong Foot Placement
Many coaches will inform their clients that they can establish a comfortable foot position on their own. The position of your feet, on the other hand, can influence how active particular muscles are during the thruster. Moving the feet wider or narrower is unlikely to make a significant impact, but moving the feet farther away or closer to the torso may alter the sensation of the exercise.
Your feet may be too near to your hips if you feel like your quadriceps muscles (the front of the leg) are working too hard. Shifting the workload to the hamstrings and glutes can be accomplished by moving them further away from the body. Moving them too far apart will accentuate the hamstrings while minimizing the glutes.
Lower Back Extending Too Far
Another common error made by beginners when doing the hip thrust is extending the lumbar in order to compensate for hip extension. If you notice that hip thrusts cause soreness in your lower back on a regular basis, it’s time to cut the weight and work on hip extension mechanics.
When performing the hip thrust, maintain the rib cage down and avoid letting them flare out at the top.
There are strong chances that if you have very tight hip flexors or you are lifting too much weight, you will lift the hips partially but not reach full extension with the hips in line with the shoulders and knees. This will deprive you of the most beneficial aspect of the workout.
Reduce the amount of weight you’re carrying and see if you can get your hips fully extended. If your hips still don’t get as high as they should, your hip flexors may be overly tight. Before executing the hip thrusts, try doing some floor bridge exercises to free up the hip area.
Lowering Too Quickly
It’s worth noting that both the lifting and lowering phases are equally important when performing the hip thrusters. Some folks may put in a lot of effort during the lifting phase and then rush through the lowering phase to begin the next rep.
But to make the most of this exercise, you want to control the eccentric phase. Take as much time lowering the bar as you do lifting it. It will force the glutes to stay engaged and work harder.
The hip thrust, also known as the hip thruster, has been increasingly popular in recent years. The exercise is similar to a glute bridge, except it’s done with a barbell and with the body lifted off the ground. It works the gluteal muscles more effectively than many other lower-body exercises.
By stimulating the hamstrings and gluteal muscles, the hip thruster helps to improve hip extension. Also, you can develop your glutes without exerting your upper body by doing the hip thrust (or one of its variations).
If you’re suffering from lower back pain, consider doing glute bridges from the floor and holding them for 20-30 seconds at a time. As you gain strength, you can practice hip thrusts with bodyweight and then incrementally add weight, making sure to lift the load using your glutes rather than your back.
Of course, if you’re in discomfort, you should always seek medical advice before beginning an exercise regimen.
Rahul is a sports and performance consultant. Over the course of his 15-year career in the fitness sector, he has held positions as a strength and conditioning instructor, gym owner, and consultant.
He is deeply committed to assisting people in finding happiness and feeling good about themselves.
Rahul has a master’s degree in exercise science and is a certified NSCA CSCS and CISSN.