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How to do Hip Thrusts

What is a hip thrust?

Hip thrust exercise

See all hip thrust variations

The hip thrust exercise targets the gluteus maximus, which is the biggest muscle in your body. It also activates the hamstrings, quadriceps, and adductors. Working on developing this muscle, can help to improve your overall lower body strength, size and power, through training hip extension. Since the glutes influence foot, ankle, knee, hip, pelvic, and low back mechanics, strengthening this muscle can help to improve the overall functioning of the body and help to avoid the risk of injury. 

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT HIP THRUSTS

  • Hip thrusts are good for developing glute strength and size, which can help improve overall lower body strength and power.  

  • How many times you perform hip thrusts will depend on your needs and goals. Performing more reps in a small window of time does not mean that you will see faster or better results.  If your goal is to develop your glute muscles or improve glute strength, there are a few things worth considering such as: focus on providing the right stimulus, ensuring good form, applying progressive overland and getting adequate rest, to achieve optimal results. If you’re not sure how many times would be optimal to perform this exercise, you can ask help from a personal trainer in the gym.

  • This depends on your needs and goals. Both exercises target the glutes and can help to develop glute strength and size. The glute bridge is typically performing with your shoulders in contact with the floor with your bodyweight acting as resistance. The hip thrust is typically performed in an upright seated position, against a bench or something to support your weight.

    Some people may feel better muscle contraction with the glute bridge and some people may find that the hip thrust provides better muscle contraction which can drive their preference over which exercise they use, but that’s not to say they can’t both be incorporated into a workout routine

  • The width of your hips is mainly based on your genetics and anatomy so performing hip thrusts would be unlikely to change the width of your hips. Hip thrusts can help to strengthen and make your glutes appear bigger which in turn, can change the appearance of your lower body.

Hip thrust tips

  • Use a barbell pad or towel for cushioning the hips, particularly if using a heavy load
  • Start light and gradually increase the weight as you get stronger, focusing on executing the exercise with good technique
  • Avoid overextending your back as this can put unnecessary pressure particularly on the lower back
  • Focus on rotating your pelvic tilt posteriorly at the top and crunching your abs slightly or keeping your chin down to help with this

How to Do A Bodyweight Hip thrust

Level: Beginners 

Equipment: A bench, plyo box or hip thrust bench to press your upper back against. If you're using a plyo box make sure that it's against wall to prevent it from moving as you perform this exercise.

  1. Sit with your shoulders and back against the bench, knees bent and arms on your hip or crossed infront of you.
  2. Make sure your feet are firmly planted to the floor at a distance, that allows you to extend your hip whilst keeping your upper back in contact with the bench.
  3. Brace your core and lift your hips up to the ceiling by squeezing your glutes.
  4. Pause as you hit the top and then slowly lower back to starting position.

How to do a barbell hip thrust

Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Equipment: Sit up bench, plyo box or hip thrust bench, mat, barbell with weighted plates and clamps on either side.

Once you've mastered the bodyweight hip thrust, you can and some weight to make it more challenging. In this example, a barbell is being used to add extra load but you may wish to use a lighter dumbbell before moving onto the barbell.

  1. Sit with your shoulders and back against the bench.
  2. Position the barbell above so it's in line with your hip.
  3. Bend the knees with feet firmly planted on the floor. Make sure your feet are at a distance, that allows you to extend your hip whilst keeping your upper back in contact with the bench.
  4. Place your hands over the barbell about shoulder width apart. Brace your core and lift your hips up to the ceiling by squeezing your glutes.
  5. Pause as you hit the top and then slowly lower back to starting position.

   

If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.