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5 Hip Thrust Exercises For A Toned And Strong Butt

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ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition
5 Hip Thrust Exercises For A Toned And Strong Butt May 29, 2018

Do you have pain in your knees or lower back? And have you been squatting and lunging, only to make the situation worse? Well, then, you must try these hip thrust exercises. They are THE ULTIMATE glute-strengthening exercises that help restructure the glutes, making your butt rounder, firmer, and stronger. This, in turn, reduces hip flexor inflammation and lower back pain and improves your posture and hip-to-knee coordination. In this article, we will tell you about hip thrust, how to do hip thrust exercises, common mistakes, benefits, and more. Swipe up!

What Is Hip Thrust?

The hip thrust was invented and popularized by Bret Contreras. It is basically 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 the correct technique to do it.

Hip Thrust Technique

The Starting Position

  1. Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Make sure your neck is in a relaxed position, and your lower back is pressed into the floor.
  3. Keep your arms at your sides, with your fingers pointing towards your lower body.

The Movement

  1. Lift your hips towards the ceiling, as high as you can, without raising your feet or shoulders off the floor.
  2. Try to form a straight line from the shoulders to the knees.
  3. Squeeze your butt cheeks together when your thrust your hips up.
  4. Lower your hips.

Start with 12 thrusts in a row. If you are a beginner, you can lower your tush to the floor. But if you want to challenge yourself a little, do not touch the floor when you come down. Get down as low as you can get without touching the floor and then thrust back up.

So, this is how you must do a hip thrust. But why should you do it at all? Here’s why.

Hip Thrust Exercise Benefits

Best Hip Thrust Exercises For A Toned Butt - Hip Thrust Exercise Benefits Pinit

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  • 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.

Next, let’s see what 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. Plus, 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.

Before we start, here are a few tips to position your body to do this exercise.

Hip Thrust Exercise Set-up

  • Bench Height – Bret Contreras recommends the bench height to be anywhere between 13”-19”. Depending on your height, you can change it. Most Americans keep the bench at a height where the mid-upper back is against the bench. This gives them more stability and causes less pain in the back.
  • Bar Position – Place the bar on the crease of your hips in the pelvic region. Hold it so that it remains in position. Prevent it from sliding when you perform the hip thrust.
  • Barbell Padding – Protect your hips by using a padded barbell. You can also wrap a yoga mat or a t-shirt on the bar.
  • Leg Position – Your legs must be hip-width apart, feet flat on the ground, shins vertical, and toes pointing out a little.

Now, we are ready to begin learning. Here are 5 hip thrust exercises with a video demonstration for each. Scroll down.

5 Hip Thrust Exercises For Stronger and Bigger Butt

Hip thrust exercises make it easy to build a bigger and stronger butt. Here’s a list of hip thrust exercises that you can do at home or in the gym.

1. Bodyweight Hip Thrust Exercise

This is very helpful for beginners. Here’s a video that shows you how to do this exercise. The steps are listed right after the video.

 

Steps To Do Bodyweight Hip Thrust Exercise

  1. Sit in front of a secure bench. Flex your knees, and place your feet flat on the ground. Lean on the bench so that only the shoulder blades are against the bench.
  2. Extend your arms to your sides and place them on the bench to support your body.
  3. Lift your buttocks toward the ceiling and look up. Keep your neck and back in a neutral position. Your hips and spine should be in line with each other.
  4. Hold this pose for a second. Do not forget to breathe.
  5. Lower your hips back to the starting position.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 10 reps

Rest – 10 seconds

2. Dumbbell Hip Thrust Exercise

As the name suggests, you need dumbbells to do this exercise. Here’s a video that shows you the correct way to do the dumbbell hip thrust exercise.

 

Steps To Do 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 towards 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.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 10 reps

Rest – 10 seconds

3. Hip Thrust With Chains

Here, you will do the hip thrust with chains. You must practice it before you move on to the Big B, i.e., the barbell hip thrust. This exercise will help you develop the strength to balance a barbell on your pelvic region. Here’s a video that shows you how to do it.

 

Steps To Do Hip Thrust With Chains

  1. Sit in front on a bench. Keep your knees flexed, feet flat on the ground and hip-width apart, and upper back against the bench. Extend your arms laterally and rest them on the bench.
  2. Place the chains on your lap. Take a deep breath and exhale from your mouth. Engage your core, and thrust your hips up towards the ceiling. Keep your neck in a neutral position and look up at the ceiling.
  3. Hold this pose for a second and then lower your hips. Do not let your hips touch the floor before completing one set.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 10 reps

Rest – 15 seconds

4. Hip Thrust With Resistance Band

This exercise was invented and made popular by Bret Contreras. You can use a hip thruster or a resistance band.

 

Steps To Do 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.

5. Barbell Hip Thrust Exercise

The barbell hip thrust is an advanced level glute exercise. If you are new to it, take a trainer’s help to avoid injuring yourself. Here’s a video that shows how to do it.

 

Steps To Do 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.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 10 reps

Rest – 10 seconds

So, these were the 5 hip thrust exercises that you can do. Now, let me tell you about the common mistakes to avoid.

Hip Thrust Exercises – Common Mistakes

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:

  • 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.

There you go – 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!

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