If you are looking for a way to work on your glutes, there is nothing better than the hip thrust! The hip thrust targets your glute muscles in a unique way and helps build size and strength. A hip thrust or gluteal bridge is a strength training exercise that targets the glute muscles. It involves lying on your back with your feet flat on the ground and lifting your hips up towards the ceiling, using your glutes to power the movement.
Health Shots got in touch with Wanitha Ashok, fitness coach and Fit India Ambassador, who tells us effective ways of adding hip thrusts to our fitness regimes. She also elaborates on the different variations of hip thrusts as well as the common mistakes.
How to add hip thrust to your routine?
- If you are looking for ways to strength your glute muscles, hip thrust is a great way to do that. You may want to start with just your bodyweight and later add weights and variations. “Start with less repititions and sets. For example, you could start with 2 sets of 8 reps and gradually build it,” she says.
How to do hip thrust correctly?
- Use a yoga mat or towel to cushion your back
- Position yourself on the yoga mat with your upper back and shoulders pressed into the fat, feet hip width apart flat on the ground and knees bent
- Engage your glutes and lift your hips up towards the ceiling, squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement
- Lower your hips back down to the starting position, keeping your glutes engaged throughout the movement
- Repeat this movement
As you progress, you can increase the weight or reps to challenge your glutes even more. But there are some things to remember. “It is very important to warm up before you get started on any exercise routine. You can also consider consulting with a certified personal trainer or healthcare provider if you want to get clarity on the potential injuries,” says Ashok.
What are the most common hip thrust mistakes?
Here are some of the most common mistakes when performing hip thrusts.
1. Arching your back
Keep your spine in a neutral position and avoid arching your back during the movement.
2. Not engaging your glutes
Focus on squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement to ensure you’re targeting the right muscles.
3. Lifting too high
Avoid lifting your hips too high, as this can put unnecessary strain on your lower back.
4. Using your lower back
Make sure you’re using your glutes to lift your hips, rather than relying on your lower back.
5. Not using enough weight
To see results, you need to challenge your muscles with enough weight. Gradually increase the weight as you get stronger.
6. Letting your knees collapse
Keep your knees in line with your feet throughout the movement to prevent injury.
7. Not breathing properly
Exhale as you lift your hips and inhale as you lower them back down. This will help you maintain proper form and engage your core.
Can weights be added for hip thrusts?
If you are wondering how you can make your hip thrusts more effective, then it’s important to note that weights can be added. “It is a good idea to add weights. This will enhance the resistance and challenge the glutes further. This can be done by using a barbell, dumbbells, or resistance bands. It is important to start with lighter weights and gradually increase the weight as you become stronger and more comfortable with the exercise,” explains Ashok.
7 variations of hip thrusts
Trying out different variations will help keep the routines more engaging. Ashok tells us the various ways to do hip thrust.
1. Single-leg hip thrusts
This variation involves performing the hip thrust with one leg lifted off the ground, which increases the activation of the glutes and challenges balance and stability.
2. Banded hip thrusts
Adding a resistance band around the thighs or above the knees can increase tension and activation of the glutes.
3. Barbell hip thrusts
Using a barbell across the hips can add significant resistance and challenge to the exercise.
4. Elevated hip thrusts
Elevating the feet on a bench or step can increase the range of motion and activation of the glutes.
5. Weighted hip thrusts
Adding weight to the exercise with dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell can increase resistance and challenge the glutes further.
6. Frog pumps
This variation involves lying on your back with your feet together and knees out to the sides, then lifting and lowering your hips to target the glutes and inner thighs.
7. Glute bridge march
This variation involves lifting one leg at a time while holding a bridge position, which increases activation of the glutes and challenges stability.