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How To Do The Hip Thrust

exercises
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The best bodyweight exercise you can do to build stronger glutes is the glute bridge, and so it naturally follows that the best weighted exercise you can do for them involves a similar thrust of the hips.

That’s more or less what the hip thrust is, a glute bridge with weights, though you also have your shoulders raised. The finer points of technique are always more important when heavy weights are involved, so don’t skip the full explanation of the exercise below.

You’ll want all the info on how to do the hip thrust because quite simply you should be doing it. It’s not just the glutes that benefit from the exercise, because the move also recruits your hamstrings and quad muscles, and it will help to build speed and power in your legs alongside strength. After a few weeks of adding it to your regular routine, you’ll notice the benefits when you’re performing squats or deadlifts. In short, no lower-body training plan is complete without the hip thrust.

How To Do The Hip Thrust

exercises

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Sit on the ground with a bench behind you, bending your knees so your feet are planted on the ground and holding a barbell resting below your hips. If you have a padded bar, or anything you can slip in between the bar and your body, it will go a long way to making the exercise more comfortable.

Lean back so your shoulders are on the bench and position the bar above your hips. Drive your hips up lifting the bar. In the top position your knees should be bent at 90° and your shoulders should be near the top of the bench, with your body forming a straight line between them. Pause at the top of the lift and squeeze your glutes, then lower your hips slowly.

It’s worth trying the moving without any weight at first and making sure that you’re feeling the exercise mainly in your glutes, rather than your thighs or lower back.

Hip Thrust Variations

Glute bridge

exercises

(Image credit: Unknown)

The glute bridge works the same muscles as the hip thrust but is unweighted, so it works both as a handy alternative when you don’t have access to equipment and as a stepping-stone exercise for those who need to build some strength and confidence before resting a barbell across their thighs.

Lie on your back with your arms by your sides, your knees bent and your feet planted on the ground. Squeeze your glutes, press through your heels and drive your hips up so you form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold for a second at the top of the move, then lower slowly.

Single-leg hip thrust

This is an advanced variation on the hip thrust so it’s best to try it without using any weights first, because the instability created by only having one foot planted on the ground can cause you to topple over. Set up for the hip thrust as normal but raise one foot off the ground, keeping the bend in your knee. Keep the leg elevated as you drive your hips up and come back down. This variation can help fix any strength imbalances in your body, as well as challenging your core to resist the rotation created by having one leg lifted.

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.