This exercise can enhance strength while also providing for great support and increased performance.
For those looking to build serious size and strength in their behind, the hip thrust exercise is definitely one to consider putting into your workout regimen. This glute exercise is designed to improve strength, speed, and power by working to get your hips in a solid and stable place for increased training and performance. Since your glutes are one of the more powerful muscles in the body, an undeveloped glute muscle can really hurt all of your goals. Weak glutes and unstable hips will seriously affect many lifts, especially the big three powerlifts we all so desperately want to put up big weight on.
With the goal of building lower body strength and muscle, hip thrusts will tone your lower half as well as serving as a highly beneficial exercise for aesthetic and performance. The glutes play a role in everything we do, so what would be the point in neglecting them? Even if you aren’t going for that big butt to show off, it is still important to know that weak glutes are hurting all those other lifts you want to see progress with.
Let’s dive into hip thrusts, a great glute exercise designed for strength, speed, and power. We’ll take a look at muscles worked, the benefits of this exercise, and how to perform it, as well the differences between the glute bridge and hip thrust exercises. Knowing just what to do to increase your training and performance is one step closer to attaining that beastly strength you want to have.
Muscles Worked With Hip Thrusts
The main muscles worked with the hip thrust are your gluteus maximus and gluteus medius. But virtually all of your lower body muscles are worked from your quads, hamstrings, and hips, as well as your core, which serves a pivotal role in providing great balance and support (1).
Benefits Of Hip Thrusts
Hip thrusts provide a host of benefits that will serve you well in terms of increasing strength, speed, and power. After hearing what hip thrusts can do for you, you will most certainly want this in your workout routine.
Hip thrusts benefits include:
- Better lower body lifts: By strengthening your legs and core, big lifts like the squat and deadlift will improve and those personal records will really start to show (2).
- Increase power: Provide more explosiveness with stronger, more stable hips for better jumping and launching ability.
- Enhance speed: With more power, your speed will greatly increase, especially the initial burst. This is great for sport specific movements.
- Promote stability: More solid hips will promote stability by keeping you more grounded and solid with form to avoid any unwanted pain and injury (3).
- More toned behind: The more you enhance your hip thrust, the more toned your glutes will be adding to your overall aesthetic.
How To Perform The Hip Thrust Exercise
Here are the steps to follow to perform a proper hip thrust:
Choose an elevated surface, most likely a bench and rest your back against it. Your feet will be flat on the ground and your knees bent upwards. Your back will be resting on the bench just between your mid-back and shoulder blades. With your chin, drive through your feet until your quads are parallel to the floor. Your legs will be at a 90-degree angle. Squeeze your glutes at the top, hold for a moment, and return to the starting position.
When looking to add weight to this exercise, rest a barbell with your desired amount of weight across your lap. Perform the same motions as above, only this time you will really feel the weight as you drive through the hips.
Difference Between Hip Thrust & Glute Bridge
Another common exercise performed to enhance glute strength is the glute bridge. The glute bridge is very similar to the hip thrust only you lie on the ground as opposed to being elevated on a bench. Typically used as a bodyweight exercise for warming up, the glute bridge is also a solid exercise to consider adding into your routine (4).
While both may be great exercises for enhancing your training and performance, each has its own respective benefits for you. The glute bridge is a great warm-up exercise while the hip thrust will really enhance strength and mobility given its greater range of motion. The glute bridge is a good exercise for those without equipment but if you have access to a bench and a barbell, plus some weights to throw on the ends, the hip thrust is a better exercise for building strength, speed, and power. Since you are moving with a greater range of motion, your muscles are worked to a greater degree thus increases time under tension and greater working of those muscle fibers.
All in all, both exercises are awesome to perform and both should be included in your routine. Either as a warm-up or strength builder, you can reap the benefits of both to seriously enhance training and performance.
Hip thrusts for bodybuilders are a great exercise to include in your routine for they really work to enhance strength, speed, and power, all things you want to see in your training and performance. Whether its for increasing those big lifts, providing better balance and posture for a solid lifestyle, or working on toning for that stellar aesthetic, the benefits of hip thrust should not be overlooked. The option to use weight or not is completely up to you, but if you have access, a barbell can enhance those gains even more. In addition to hip thrusts, pairing them with a glute bridge exercise can double your gains and improve your confidence. Don’t neglect your glutes for they are vital to your health and fitness and really work with hip thrusts to see what this exercise can do for you today.
*Images courtesy of Envato
- Neto, Walter; Vieira, Thais; Gama, Eliane (2019). “Barbell Hip Thrust, Muscular Activation and Performance: A Systematic Review”. (source)
- Bird, Stephen; Barrington-Higgs, Benjamin (2010). “Exploring the Deadlift”. (source)
- Holcomb, William R.; Miller, Michael G.; Rubley, Mack D. (2012). “Importance of Comprehensive Hip Strengthening”. (source)
- Tobey, Kelcy; Mike, Jonathan (2018). “Single-Leg Glute Bridge”. (source)