Hip Thrust: Benefits, Common Mistakes, and Best Variations

If you’re looking for a way to work your glutes, there’s nothing better than the hip thrust! The hip thrust uniquely targets your glutes and helps build size and strength. A hip thrust or gluteal bridge is a strength training workout that focuses on the glutes. It involves lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and lifting your hips toward 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 to add hip thrusts to our fitness regimes. She also goes into detail about the different variations of hip thrusts and the common mistakes.

How do you add hip strength to your routine?

  • If you’re looking for ways to strengthen your glutes, Hip Thrust is a great way to do so. You may want to start with just your body weight and add weights and variations later. “Start with fewer reps and sets. For example, you can start with 2 sets of 8 reps and build up gradually,” she says.

How to perform hip thrust correctly?

  • Use a yoga mat or towel to soften your back
  • Place yourself on the yoga mat with your upper back and shoulders pressed into the fat, feet hip-width apart flat on the floor and knees bent
  • Engage your glutes and lift your hips toward the ceiling, squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement
  • Lower your hips back to the starting position, keeping your glutes engaged throughout the movement
  • Repeat this movement
Hip thrusts are a great way to pump up your glutes! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

As you progress, you can increase the weight or number of reps to challenge your glutes even more. But there are some things you need to remember. “It is very important to warm up before starting an exercise routine. You may also consider consulting a certified personal trainer or healthcare provider if you want to get clarity on the possible injuries,” says Ashok.

Also read: Training glutes at home: 5 gym alternatives to strengthen your buttocks

What are the most common hip thrust faults?

Here are some of the most common mistakes when performing hip thrusts.

1. Arch your back

Keep your spine in a neutral position and avoid arching your back during the movement.

2. Not using 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

Don’t lift your hips too high as this can put unnecessary strain on your lower back.

4. Use your lower back

Make sure you use 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. Let your knees collapse

Keep your knees in line with your feet throughout the movement to avoid 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.

A woman doing hip thrusts for the glutes
Hip thrusts are perfect for training your glutes! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Can weights be added for hip thrusts?

If you’re wondering how to make your hip thrusts more effective, it’s important to know that weights can be added to them. “It’s a good idea to add weights. This increases resistance and further challenges the gluteal muscles. This can be done 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 different variations keeps the routines more appealing. Ashok tells us the different ways to perform hip thrust.

1. Single leg hip thrusts

This variation involves performing the hip thrust with one leg lifted off the ground, which increases glute activation 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. Dumbbell hip thrusts

Using a barbell across the hips can add significant resistance and challenge to the exercise.

4. Increased hip thrusts

Elevating the feet on a bench or step stool can increase 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 further challenge the glutes.

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 reach 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 glute activation and challenges stability.

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