Exercises

How to do Hip Thrusts | The gymgirlfit Guide

If you’re after a booty isolation exercise, look no further. Learning how to do hip thrusts is just about the closest you’re gonna get.

Mastering the hip thrust is a fast track to lifting, firming and strengthening your butt. It puts the weight through every section of your glutes and strengthens your hamstrings too.

But this is about more than making those coveted booty gains, having powerful glutes is a must for a powerful squat, strong deadlift and even sprinting.

Read on for this:

  • What are hip thrusts?
  • What do I need for hip thrusts?
  • How to do hip thrusts

What are hip thrusts?

Woman performing a hip thrust

The brainchild of the world’s favourite ‘Glute Guy’, Brett Contreras, the hip thrust was invented to develop strength and power in the butt.

The movement was so successful in creating a firm, rounded butt that Contreras even wrote a thesis centred around the success in developing glutes with this hip-hinging exercise.

Not only is it a great way to strengthen up your butt, it also works your quads, hamstrings and adductors too.

If we get into the science, a hip thrust is like a glute bridge with load, however rather than resting your upper body on the ground, you’ll be resting it on a bench.

This point is essential as it allows your hips to go through an open and closed position, without the tension ever really leaving your muscles. That means a whole lot of hypertrophy for your butt. Hypertrophy = strength and size.

Basically, if you want to build muscle in your booty, whether that’s for strength or for the perfect peach, you need to have the hip thrust on your side.

Want to perfect your squat? Read our step-by-step guide. 

What do I need for hip thrusts?

There’s a few things you’ll need to perform a hip thrust. Pick up these items and you’ll be ready to start your journey to incredible booty gains.

  • Bench
  • Barbell
  • Barbell pad or folded towel/gym mat
  • Small resistance band (for when you want to turn up the heat)

Looking for a full legs day? Check out our legs workout for women. 

How to do hip thrusts

Kate upton performing a hip thrust
Even Kate Upton loves hip thrusts!

The key to perfecting the hip thrust is to get the form perfect. As always, if you don’t have perfect form, you can end up with an injury.

That’s why, to start with, it’s best to begin without load. That way you can nail down the form and protect yourself from injury before you start adding weight to the movement.

Here’s our step-by-step on how to do hip thrusts:

1. Sit along the side of the bench with your back to it

2. Place your feet flat on the floor about shoulder-width apart

3. Pushing through your heels and using your glutes to power upwards, raise your hips until your body is flat. Try not to slide onto the bench too far, keeping your shoulders on the edge

4. Don’t overextend at this point, stop at the point your body is flat to maintain tension through your glutes

5. Throughout the movement, keep your chin tucked down to your chest like you’re holding an egg there. Keep your torso straight and your ribs down, without dipping your hips or overextending your lower back. Imagine your body is like a hinge, only the joint moves

6. At the top of the movement, squeeze your hips to increase muscle contraction and increase your gains

7. Ensure your knees don’t fall inwards at this point

8. Slowly lower your hips and return to the start position

How to do barbell hip thrusts

woman doing a hip thrust

Once you have the bodyweight hip thrust mastered, you need to up the ante on the movement. By increasing the load running through your booty muscles, you’ll be challenging them even more, which will increase both strength and size gains in a big way.

To do this, load a bar and put a pad on it.

Roll it up and over your hips while you’re sat on the ground, ensuring the barbell pad will completely cover your hips.

Then perform the movement by lifting the bar with your hips, holding onto it on both sides so it stays balanced.

How to do banded barbell hip thrusts

By introducing a band, you can challenge your muscle even further. They’ll pull in muscles around the sides of your glutes, growing a rounded, peachy booty.

Simply use a small resistance resistance band place it around your legs, just above the knees. As you perform your hip thrust, resist the pull of the band and keep your knees straight and strong throughout the movement. This will take you to a whole new level of booty burn.

The final rep – gymgirl hints and tips

Add this to your legs day and you’ll see some incredible strength and booty gains in no time.

If you’re looking for a bigger booty, aim for four sets of 10-15 reps.  If it’s strength you’re after,  five sets of five reps at a heavy weight will be perfect.

With this in your repertoire you’ll soon be on your way to your dream booty. This movement really is that good. Perfect our form and try it out for yourself next time you hit the gym. You’ll thank us in the long run.

Lauren

Lauren is a health and fitness enthusiast, powerlifter and writer who's written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

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