Hip thrust: The most effective way to work on your glutes

Hip thrust is a great way to work on strength and size of your glutes. Here are the common hip thrust mistakes and variations to try out!
A woman performing a hip thrust
Hip thrusts are great to get your butt in shape. Image courtesy: Freepik
Anjuri Nayar Singh Published: 19 Nov 2023, 12:00 pm IST
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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
a woman measuring her toned glutes
Hip thrusts are a great way to pump up your glutes! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

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.

Also read: Glutes workout at home: 5 gym alternatives to tone your butt

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.


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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.

A woman doing hip thrust for glutes
Hip thrusts are perfect to engage your glutes! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

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.

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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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