For many women, exercising can be a great way of expressing themselves and feeling all the life force that they hold. Every woman has a right over her body and should be able to do what she wants with it. And if what she wants is to go lift a few weights at the local gym, then so be it. Gone are the days when fit-shaming was used as a societal stereotype to hold women back from building their bodies the way they wanted.
You don’t have to fit into society’s ideal body type to be beautiful. You should accept your body the way you feel comfortable in it and embrace all the different shades that make you.
If you are the type who enjoys exploring the different strengths and limitations of your body, then you may be a fan of trying out various exercises. You can make changes to your workout routine according to your level of experience and body goals.
There are different exercises which focus on different parts of the body, such as the abs, the arms, the legs, etc. If you are searching for the perfect exercise to strengthen the glutes, you don’t need to look farther than hip thrusts.
Yes, you heard that right, hip thrusts. And no, we don’t mean the dancing kind you do on a fun night out, but the one you do midst workout to focus on your glutes and build them up. You can consider adding them to your routine if are interested in paying special attention to your glute region. If you want to find out how to do a hip thrust, then keep reading ahead, because we are going to tell you all about the right way to do hip thrusts.
The benefits of Hip Thrusts
Before finding out how to do a hip thrust correctly, it is important to know their benefits, so you are fully aware of your choice, should you add them to your routine.
Hip thrusts for beginners can help in improving certain areas of the body, such as:
- They help in increasing glute strength, size and making them look better and firmer.
- They help in improving performance in the weight room as well as in athletics.
- They lower the risk of injury as stronger glutes help in taking the stress off the lower back, while also helping in smoother functioning of the hips, knees, feet and ankles.
As you start with the hip thrusts for beginners and continue to build your way up, your capacity of strength and endurance will keep growing, as will your confidence in handling yourself. This is because exercise is beneficial for your mental health just as much as it is beneficial for your physical health.
How do you do the perfect Hip Thrust?
So how do you do the perfect hip thrust? Well, the answer is that you do it with practice. The right way to do hip thrusts is by not jumping into the extreme versions right away. Start with the hip thrusts for beginners and move your way towards the more difficult ones as your body adapts to the process.
First, learn to master the bodyweight hip thrust. This is also known as the elevated glute bridge because it is almost the same as the glute bridge, the only difference being that your back is elevated, thereby increasing your range of movement, preparing you for more advanced forms such as the barbell hip thrust. The glute bridge is one of the best exercises for the inner thighs and this added elevation will give you more room to grow.
Here is how to do a hip thrust for a beginner:
- Assume the position with your shoulder blades against a bench, with your arms spread across it to give you stability and balance. For the right way to do hip thrusts, if your shoulders don’t reach the bench, you may start with your butt slightly off the floor.
- Make sure to bend your knees at 90 degrees and keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Take a deep breath in and then exhale air through the mouth completely, bracing your core in the process.
- Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips, holding for around a second or two. The right way to do hip thrusts is to make sure that you don’t hyperextend your back at the top. Always be aware of how your body is feeling during these movements, so you can pause in case something feels odd.
- Make sure that your neck stays neutral or tuck in your cheek when your hips lift, to avoid letting your head drop back.
You can do different variations of this exercise over time, one of which is doing the single-leg hip thrust, where you go through all these same motions, but with one foot off the floor.
How to do a Barbell Hip Thrust?
A barbell hip thrust is a normal hip thrust with the added weight of a barbell plus any extra plates which the lifter may wish to add. This increases the resistance that your body now has to work against and thus, builds even more strength in your glutes. The right way to do hip thrusts with a barbell is by following these steps:
- First, set up a barbell parallel to the bench on which you will support yourself. Then, assume the beginning position on the floor, with your shoulders and shoulder blades against the bench. In case they don’t reach the bench normally, start with your butt a little off the floor. Make sure that your feet are planted firmly flat on the floor.
- Roll the barbell you prepared towards you, over your legs, until it is resting directly over your hips.
- Place your elbows on the bench, while your hands are on the bar of the barbell so you can steady it and hold it better. The right way to do hip thrusts with a barbell is to make sure that all of your body is in a proper position, being aligned. Make sure that your spine is neutral.
- Take a deep breath in and then blow the air out through the mouth completely, bracing your core in the process.
- Then, driving through your heels, squeezing your glutes so you can lift your hips in the air, along with the barbell. Again, make sure that you avoid hyperextending your lower back in the process.
- Hold for whatever count you have chosen and then come down smoothly, keeping your core braced through it.
Your counts and repetitions should be decided according to your level of experience so that you build strength while also being safe. If doing this for the first time, ask someone to watch over you, so they can come to help you out, should you have any trouble in the middle of the exercise.
Things to keep in mind while doing barbell Hip Thrusts:
When going with a total weight that is less than 135 lbs (barbell + plates) on a traditional barbell, it can be harder to place the bar on your pelvis due to the smaller size of the plates. Thus, one can try going for larger bumper plates and ask for assistance during the initial set up if necessary.
If your gym has a fixed weight barbell, you can try using a box, step or proper hip thrust bench to ease the process. For those shorter in height, a lower bench, step or box would work best, depending on comfort.
To make things more comfortable, you can also use a squad pad or used any type of padding between the barbell and your hips, such as a foam pad, a folded towel or t-shirt, etc. That way, the pressure of the weight does not rest uncomfortably on your body.
Mastering the Hip Thrust in all its essence
When doing any kind of exercise, it is important to strike a balance between improving and not overburdening yourself. It is an easy mistake for people to start with high hopes, expecting quick results and then burning out completely, both physically and mentally, when said results do not come.
You must keep in mind that long term change happens gradually and subtly so that it can last. Consistency is the key, so don’t over exhaust yourself in the first weeks and then give up. Go on, no matter how much times passes, because the little you do each day counts more than doing something huge once and then giving up.
It can be intimidating to start something new, especially because we tend to feel shy or awkward when trying our best at something. But always remember that all bodies are different and come in their own shapes of beauty, so what works for someone may not work for you and that is completely alright. You only have to go at your own pace, never too fast or too slow. However long it takes for you to get there is a perfect time, because it is your time.