Gym Workouts

How To Do Hip Thrusts? 5 Best Exercises To Get A Toned Butt

Medically reviewed by Dr. Sudhansu Singh, Physiotherapist
by Charushila Biswas
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

The hip thrust is the ultimate glute-strengthening exercise (1). It makes your butt rounder, firmer, and stronger. This, in turn, helps reduce hip flexor inflammation and lower back pain. Hip thrust exercise also improves posture, hip-to-knee coordination, and sports performance (2). Read on to know how to do hip thrust and 5 variations to get a toned and shapely butt.

What Is Hip Thrust?

The hip thrust was invented and popularized by Bret Contreras. It is an advanced and more effective version of the bridge exercise. Although both help in strengthening the hips, lower back, and thighs, the hip thrust is more challenging as you will do it at an elevation using your body weight or dumbbells, barbells, chains, and bands. Here’s how to do hip thrusts properly.

Hip Thurst Exercise – How To Do It Correctly

Here are the steps to do hip thrust or bodyweight hip thrust exercise correctly.

The Starting Position

  1. Sit with your shoulder against an exercise bench or a sofa, with your knees bent and feet flat.
  2. Keep your arms on the bench or the sofa, with your fingers pointing toward your lower body.

The Movement

  1. Push your hips toward the ceiling, forming a straight line from the shoulders to the knees, without raising your feet or shoulders off the floor.
  2. Squeeze your butt cheeks together when you thrust your hips up.
  3. Slowly lower your hips.

Repeat

  1. Before your hips touch the floor, thrust your hips up again.
  2. Do 3 sets of 8 reps if you are a beginner.

If you want to challenge yourself or want to up your game to get a toned and shapely butt, do these following variations of the hip thrust exercise.

5 Best Hip Thurst Exercises To Make Your Butt Look Good

1. Hip Thrust With Resistance Band

Steps To Do The Hip Thrust With Resistance Band

  1. Place two 100-pound dumbbells on either side of a secure bench.
  2. Attach each end of a resistance band to each dumbbell.
  3. Slide underneath the band. Flex your knees, keep your feet flat on the floor, and legs hip-width apart.
  4. Keeping your upper back against the bench, extend your arms laterally, and keep them up on the bench.
  5. Take a deep breath and exhale through your mouth. Engage your core and lift your hips. Do not tuck your chin. Keep your neck in a neutral position and look up at the ceiling.
  6. Hold this pose for a moment and then lower your hips.
  7. Do not let your hips touch the floor before completing one set. Do 3 sets of 12 reps. Rest 10 seconds between the sets.

2. Dumbbell Hip Thrust

Steps To Do The Dumbbell Hip Thrust

  1. Place the dumbbells on either side.
  2. Lie down on a mat. Keep your knees flexed, feet flat on the ground and hip-width apart, and ankles right below your knees.
  3. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and place them right on your pelvic region.
  4. Push up with your heels. Exhale and raise your hips toward the ceiling. Feel the resistance in your glutes.
  5. Hold this pose for a second. Inhale and lower your hips. Do not let your hips touch the mat before completing the set. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. Rest10 seconds.

3. Barbell Hip Thrust

Steps To Do The Barbell Hip Thrust

  1. Sit in front of a bench and place a barbell on your pelvic region.
  2. Keep the upper back against the bench, place your upper arms on the bench, flex your elbows, bring your forearms towards your body, and grab the bar of the barbell.
  3. Flex your knees. Keep your feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart.
  4. Take a deep breath and exhale through your mouth. Engage your core and lift your buttocks toward the ceiling. Look up at the ceiling and keep your neck in a neutral position.
  5. Hold this pose for a second and then lower your hips back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 10 reps and take 10 seconds rest between the sets.

4. Single Leg Hip Thrust

Steps To Do The Single Leg Hip Thrust

  1. Sit on the floor with your shoulders against an exercise bench or a sofa. Extend one leg and keep the other leg flexed.
  2. Push your hips up, keeping one leg extended.
  3. Slowly lower your hips down.
  4. Push your hips up again before they touch the floor.
  5. Do 2 sets of 8 reps and take 10 seconds rest between the sets.
  6. Extend the other leg and do the same.

5. Single Leg Dumbbell Hip Thrust

  1. Place a close-ended wide resistance band just above your knee. Hold a dumbbell and sit on the floor with your shoulders against an exercise bench or sofa.
  2. Place the dumbbell right above your pelvic area. Extend one leg and keep the other flexed.
  3. Push your hips up, pause, and lower your hips.
  4. Thrust your hips up again before they touch the floor.
  5. Do 2 sets of 8 reps and take 10 seconds rest between the sets.
  6. Extend the other leg and do the same.

These were the 5 hip thrust exercises that you can do. Here are the benefits of hip thrust exercise.

Hip Thrust Exercise Benefits

  • Improves glute strength, shape, and size.
  • Improves glute muscle power.
  • Helps you slay squats and deadlifts.
  • Strengthens the lower back and leg muscles.
  • Improves body posture.
  • Refines leg, ankle, knee, pelvis, and hip movements.
  • Activates more muscle fiber in glutes than other exercises.
  • Provides good stability to the lower spine.

What do you need to do these exercises? We have also answered a few other questions that will help you understand what muscles you will work on, the exercise time duration, and much more. Scroll down.

What Do You Need To Do Hip Thrust Exercises?

  • Comfortable clothes
  • Yoga mat
  • A secure bench
  • Dumbbells
  • Barbell

What Is The Time Needed To Do Hip Thrust Exercises?

Take about 15-20 minutes to do at least 2 variations of hip thrust exercises. Make sure you do 3 reps of each variation. Take a few seconds rest between each rep and set.

Which Muscles Does The Hip Thrust Exercise Target?

The hip thrust exercise targets the glutes, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, and lower back muscles.

Do I Need To Warm Up Before Doing The Hip Thrust Exercise?

Yes, absolutely. You must take 10 minutes to warm up. If you don’t, you may injure your glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

It is one thing to make mistakes when you exercise and another not to correct them. An incorrect form will make you prone to injuries and prevent you from reaping all the benefits of the exercise. Keep the following points in mind when you do hip thrust exercises.

Hip Thrust Exercises – Common Mistakes

  • Avoid excessive arching of your back. This happens when the weight of the barbell, dumbbell, or chain is way too much for you.
  • You might involuntarily tuck your neck. However, make a conscious effort not to do so. Look up at the ceiling when you thrust your hips up.
  • When you raise your hips, keep your feet flat on the ground. Do not raise your heels.
  • Avoid doing the “half hip thrust”. Raise your hips so that your head, neck, and tailbone are in the same line.

Conclusion

There’s everything you need to know about form, execution, variation, benefits, and tips to do hip thrust exercises. Remember Bret Contreras’ words, “Never make direct eye contact while hip thrusting or when someone else is hip thrusting…things can get awkward rather quickly.” With that in mind, put on your earphones, zone out, maintain the correct position, and thrust your hips up. Cheers!

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Are glute bridges or hip thrusts better?

Both are good for shaping up your buttocks. But bridges tend to overextend the lower back, which may lead to injuries.

What’s the difference between the glute bridge and the hip thrust?

The difference between the glute bridge and the hip thrust is that you do the glute bridge lying down on the floor and perform the hip thrust sitting up with your shoulders against an exercise bench or a sofa.

What are hip dips?

Hip dips is an inward curve that you can observe on the side of your hips. It can appear due to fluctuating body weight or can be genetic.

2 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.
  • Effects of 7-Week Hip Thrust Versus Back Squat Resistance Training on Performance in Adolescent Female Soccer Players, Sports, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6524379/
  • Effects of a Six-Week Hip Thrust vs. Front Squat Resistance Training Program on Performance in Adolescent Males: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27253835

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Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. And that prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.