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How To Do a Hip Thrust?

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What is a hip thrust?

Hip thrust is a lower body exercise designed to activate your gluteal muscles, as well as other muscle groups in posterior chain and core. Hip thrust is really simple exercise that is easy to perform and it requires only a bench or a chair.

Which muscles are used when performing a hip thrust?

The motion of the pelvis, while the hip thrust exercise is performed, will target the glutes specifically, especially the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius. The primary muscles targeted are the glutes, but the hip thrust will also require utilizing the hamstrings, quads, core, and hip adductors.

What are the benefits of hip thrusts?

There is a reason why hip thrusts are beloved by many and why they are a staple in many people’s leg and booty days. Some of the main benefits of the hip thrust include:

– Hip Thrust Strengthens and Tones the Glutes

If you are looking to grow and strengthen your glutes and hamstrings, you cannot afford to skip hip thrust. This exercise will target the muscles of your glutes directly, and the results will definitely be visible very fast.

– Hip Thrust is Gentle on the Spine and Lower Back

If you are looking to improve your glutes, you have probably been recommended deadlifts and back squats, which are excellent exercises without a doubt. However, all of these movements do put some load on the spine, intensifying the risk of disc injuries, abdominal hernia, and many other potential injuries. The hip thrust is a very effective way to train the lower body while minimizing stress and force on the spine and lower back.

– Hip Thrust is Easy to Scale

Another fantastic benefit of the hip thrust exercise is that they are effortless to scale, depending on different fitness levels and fitness goals. The hip thrust is accessible to beginners, advanced trainees, and athletes, and it can have a place in anyone’s workout program.

How to do a hip thrust?

In order to reap the benefits of the hip thrust, you must perform the movement with proper form. Performing the movement with proper form will protect you from injuries, and it will allow you to naturally improve and progress in your fitness goals. Here is how to properly perform a hip thrust.

  1. Set up with your back against an elevated surface, such as a bench or a box. The bench or the box should hit just below your shoulder blades, and you can rest your elbows on the bench.
  2. Place your feet about shoulder-width apart, flat on the floor, with your knees bent.
  3. Push your hip bones through your heels until your thighs reach parallel to the floor and your legs form a 90-degree angle while being bent at the knee. While performing the movement, make sure to engage your hamstrings, keep your thighs parallel and your spine neutral. 
  4. Squeeze your glutes at the top, holding that position for a moment. Once you squeeze the glutes, return the body to the starting position without sitting down on the floor and releasing the tension in your core.

If you are a beginner and entirely new to a hip thrust, you should aim for three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions and try working up to 20 repetitions using bodyweight, with rest between sets. Once you have mastered a bodyweight hip thrust, you can move on to harder variations, such as weighted hip thrusts or one-leg hip thrusts.

Variations of a hip thrust

Some hip thrust variations can make your hip thrust workout more fun, engaging, and challenging for your upper body, glutes, feet, hip extensors, and whole body. Some of the most popular variations of hip thrusts include:

Single Leg Hip Thrust

This is probably one of the best exercises you can do for your glutes and posterior chain but it will also engage your core. To perform it simply start in a hip thrust positon but this time lift one leg up and use the other one to lift your hips up. This variation is really user friendly since you do not need any extra equipment and it is still challenging enough.

Dumbbell or Barbell Hip Thrust

The weighted hip thrust exercise is performed just like the regular hip thrust, apart from having the dumbbell or barbell on your hips. The added weight will make the movement more challenging. You can start with lighter weights and move onto heavier weights once you feel more confident.

Mistakes/Safety Tips

There are some common mistakes that a lot of people tend to make when it comes to getting familiar with performing hip thrusts. If you want to perform a hip thrust exercise with a proper form, make sure to avoid:

– Keeping the Feet Too Close to the Butt

The first mistake is bringing the feet too close to the butt, which limits the hip extension and shortens the range of movement of the exercise, lessening its benefits. Ideally, your legs should create a 90-degree angle at the knee when the hips are in full extension, at the top of the movement. 

– Overly Extending the Lower Back

Another common mistake that is often observed in beginners is extending the lumbar in compensation for hip extension and pushing the shoulders into the bench. If you find that your lower back is getting sore from hip thrusts routinely, you might be having this issue.

Related Questions:

What are hip thrusts good for?

Hip thrusts will improve the strength and size of your glutes in a way many other exercises cannot. Glute strength is not only for aesthetic purposes; strong glutes are essential for stabilizing your core, pelvis, and lower body. This makes hip thrusts the perfect addition to your strength training, especially if you are aiming for lighter weight.  

Are hip thrusts better than squats?

Squats cause moderate activation levels to the glute muscles, while hip thrusts maximize tension and metabolic stress on the glutes. Hip thrusts will provide stronger glutes. However, if you combine these exercises, you are in for some severe glute burn.

Do hip thrusts make your thighs bigger?

Yes, hip thrusts will activate your hamstrings, which can make your thighs appear more prominent and stronger, as well as provide stronger glutes.

Can you do hip thrusts at home?

Yes, hip thrusts can easily be performed at home. You can use a low chair, a low desk, or a bench. Just make sure to use a pillow or a towel to make it more comfortable on your shoulder blades.

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