I love the hip thrust. We’ve written a TON about it so by now me telling you the WHY of hip thrusting is kind of beating a dead horse. (If you want to read a little more about it, check out this post)
Since not everyone has a gym with a dedicated hip thrust section, we decided to show you some creative ways to perform the ultimate glute developer with stuff you can probably find around your home.
We break the exercise into the two sections you need to hip thrust: elevation and resistance. Let’s get started!
If your upper body isn’t elevated, it’s a glute bridge, which isn’t a bad thing! We love the glute bridge just as much as the hip thrust. (maybe even more than?)
Some people will feel it more in the glutes while hip thrusting, and others will feel it most during a glute bridge. Try both and see what works for you!
Ideally, most women will need a non-moving bench (either braced against a wall, or with non-slip feet) approximately 12"-15” off the ground, depending on your body/limb lengths and proportions.
The perfect elevation device will also provide you with a padded top section and give you a nice, non-slippery base to push off of.
The problem is, that setup probably costs $250 minimum, sometimes closer to $700+ depending on your shipping costs, and takes up a ton of space.
If you’re like most people and don’t have access to the perfect setup, we’re going to make do with what we got. Don’t get me wrong, we can definitely make some gains without it.
When looking for the best setup available to you, we’re looking for comfort and ease of access. Here’s our most common spots around the house:
Part 2 is all about Resistance! In the simplest terms, continually striving to increase the resistance during an exercise is how you grow. Add more weights, reps, sets, or (sometimes) frequency than you’re used to and your body will respond.
It’s been studied for decades. My favorite quote on it comes from Hans Selye “Repeated Sub-Lethal exposure to a stressor will lead to a subsequent tolerance of the said stressor”
In non-smarty-pants lingo: Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (with a bigger booty!)
When you first start to train your glutes, your muscles are in the “noobie gain” stage. Any exercise with any rep/set scheme will work fine! You’ll feel some good burn, and watch your glutes grow quick… for about a few weeks.
If your glutes are SO deconditioned that you can’t “feel it” when doing the hip thrust, try to throw on a hip circle. I guarantee you’ll feel it ;)
Other bodyweight variants:
-Foot elevation: put something under your feet to increase the stretch on your glutes and give you a deeper range of motion.
-Single leg hip thrust: exactly how it sounds! Double the weight each glute lifts by performing the hip thrust with a single leg.
Outside of that, you can always perform the bodyweight hip thrust with more reps, more sets, more often (higher frequency of workouts) or with less reps between sets.
Assuming you're past the beginner stage, you’ll be needing to add some weight as well.
Here’s our favorite weighted variants:
These are a classic for a good reason: they work! If you have access to a loadable barbell and/or a set of dumbbells, itʻs very easy to progress. Simply add more weight than you did the last time.
Unfortunately, they do cost a bit of cash and take up some storage space.
No weights? Try heavy objects like Rice Bags, a backpack full of books or whatever you can comfortably fit on your lap.
Warning! Only for advanced trainees! Assuming you have a partner that weighs an appropriate amount for your strength levels, youʻre in luck! Simply have them hop on you, then have them pull their feet to their knees to keep them off the floor and have at it.
Weʻre all adults here, donʻt make this weird 😂
Check out a demonstration from @almira.dancefit
-Hip Circles/Glute Bands
You know we love our resistance bands.For most beginners, even up to intermediate levels, you can get a ridiculous booty burn with a good band.
If your new to glute training, you probably have some difficulty "feeling it" or waking up your previously dormant glutes. The glute band solves that almost imediately by forcing glute abduction and helping teach you to contract the muscles harder at the top.
BUT when you combine them with some of the other resistance techniques we showed above they really start to shine. Plus theyʻre cheap and easy to store.
The hip thrust is the crème de la crèmeof the glute world, but it does have itʻs limitations- you need some equipment. If thatʻs not your thing, check out our post on the glute bridge.
That being said, donʻt let a lack of the perfect gear stop you from finding a way to do it. All it takes a is a little creativity and your glutes will be on their way to growth!