7 hip thrust tips to make the amazing butt exercise even more effective
For example, you can do bodyweight glute bridges to get the full range of hip motion. Other butt activation exercises include four-way kicks with a resistance band and hip circles in a quadruped (table) position.
Sliding on a mini band just above your knees or ankles and sidestepping can also get your gluteus medius (lateral glutes) in on the action, DeMattos says. When doing the side steps, be sure to do them with a hip hinge rather than a squat and maintain tension in the band throughout the exercise by spreading the leg wide enough. (Try this glute-activating circuit to put all these suggestions into play!)
You can also use this same mini band during the hip thrust for an added challenge.
“Having a band around your knees and pushing your knees against the band as you do the hip thrust will activate the gluteus medius a bit more,” says DeMattos. “So it’s a great way to challenge yourself a bit more, especially if a steady hip thrust becomes easy.”
2. Play with the placement of your feet.
Your hamstrings, or the muscles at the back of your thighs, will work a little in the hip thrust, but they shouldn’t be the main drivers of the movement. So if this is the main muscle you feel pulling, you might want to change the placement of the feet to bring the movement back into your glutes.
To get the most out of your butt when doing a hip thrust, bring your feet closer to your hips, says DeMatos.
“The further your feet are away from your body, the more this becomes a hamstring-dominant movement,” she says.
You also want to make sure your feet are placed flat on the floor, about shoulder width apart, or at a distance that creates a 90 degree angle between the knee joint and the shinbone (shin bone) when walking. a hip extension, or top of the movement, says Rice.
Some people may prefer to have their feet turned slightly, which will allow you to reach more of your hip external rotators, such as your gluteus medius, piriformis, and tensor fascia latae, says DeMattos.
3. Remember to keep the ground away from you.
One of the most common mistakes DeMattos sees people make with the hip thrust is intentionally not thinking about pressing their entire feet into the ground to achieve full hip extension. You need to push evenly through your feet throughout the range of motion, Rice says. This will ultimately help you get more glute activation from movement.
“You want to be a straight board and make sure you’re pushing the ground away from you,” DeMattos explains. “Everyone’s reaction is to think, Oh, let me just try to lift the hips. So I like to tell people to push off the ground using your whole foot, not just your heels.
As you get stronger and want to make the hip thrust more difficult, DeMattos suggests elevating your feet on a small step stool or weight plates so your hips have a greater range of motion at Browse.
4. Find the right configuration to achieve the full bridge.
When you’re preparing for your hip thrust, you want to make sure you find the right height on a bench, couch, or box so your upper back is comfortably positioned against it, Rice says. This will help you achieve a full bridge at the top of the movement, forming a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.