Gone are the days of little hips and small bums, we are in the era of the booty, and I am so thankful for that! I have always had a booty but now thanks to the trend my booty is en-vogue. But there is a difference between a big butt and a strong butt, I have worked my literal butt off getting my glutes to be full, strong and powerful. Using a hip thrust exercise has been a big help for me and it could be a big help for you, too.
The hip thrust exercise is great for all exercise levels as it’s highly focused and very safe and you can literally do it anywhere.
You can use equipment or just your body weight. It’s very versatile, which is another huge benefit. If you have back or knee problems this exercise is excellent for you. Especially if you experience back issue, studies have shown that a lot of low back issues steam from your glutes being too weak, so yes, those long hours sitting at your desk aren’t helping your cause. You see, sitting is one of the worst things we can do for our glutes, as you sit for long periods of time, you put your glutes on a stretch while also applying pressure. Talk about a great way to turn off your glutes completely. I like to call the inability to activate your glutes, gluteal amnesia, your body is incapable of contracting the muscles in your glutes, which further exacerbates low back pain. By doing hip thrusts you’re directly stimulating your glutes, allowing them to get the neuromuscular stimulation they need to keep them strong and to keep them turned on.
I recommend to people who sit a lot or want to have better overall performance in their lifts or at their sports, or if it is just for aesthetics to hit the hip thrust 2-3 times per week.
Benefits of Hip Thrust Exercise and Variations
- Improving glute strength
- Increasing glute size
- Improving the aesthetics of glutes (higher, rounder, firmer)
- Improving performance in athletics
- Improving performance in the weight room
- Reducing the overall risk of injury, as strong glutes can help take the stress off the lower back and also positively affect the mechanics of the hips, knees, ankles, and feet
- Improved lower back pain
When done well they really target your booty to get that bubble butt that’s all the rage. They do engage quads and hamstrings as well, but to a much lesser degree, making them awesome of your looking to grow your glutes while minimally stimulating your legs so they don’t grow too. Unlike the squat which predominantly uses our legs (quads and hammies) which will be growing your legs more proportionally to your glutes.
Pro Hip Thrust Exercise Tips
- Grab either a bench or a plyobox to use for your back. Set up the barbell on the floor
- Position yourself on the floor, with your shoulders and shoulder blades against the bench. Again, if they don’t reach the bench when you are sitting on the floor you can raise your butt a little bit off the floor.
- Roll the barbell toward you, over your legs until it’s directly over your hips.
- Put your elbows on the bench and your hands on the bar to steady it. It is very important that your body is aligned and your spine is neutral.
- Take a deep breath in, then exhale all the air out through your mouth and brace your core.
- Drive through your heels and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips (and the barbell).
- Don’t forget to tuck your chin in at the top to allow for proper spine placement and optimal glute activation
- Come down smoothly, with your core still braced.
Note- Remember to really push and squeeze your glutes at the top to maximize your glute recruitment. If you find Barbell Hip Thrusts painful, definitely put some padding between your hips and the bar. You can roll up a yoga mat, a squat bar pad or towel, or whatever else is handy, and put it under the barbell to “pad” the weight.