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The 8 Best Hip Thrust Variations, According to a Trainer

When it involves sculpting a stronger, rounder bottom, the hip thrust is the gold customary of glute workouts. This train uniquely targets your gluteus maximus muscle, which makes up the majority of the form of your butt and hips.

Your gluteus maximus is the biggest and strongest muscle in your whole physique, and strengthening it helps preserve good posture, improves your explosive athletic efficiency, and helps with joint stability, per a 2019 Worldwide Journal of Sports activities Bodily Remedy report.

Including hip thrusts to your health routine is assured to work your muscle tissue to present you a agency, shapely behind and enhance your total power. However if you wish to combine issues up, there are variations of the traditional hip thrust you are able to do to nonetheless work the identical muscle tissue.


Specialists In This Article

  • Ash Wilking, licensed private coach and Tonal power coach

“Glutes are also known as the powerhouse of the core,” says Ash Wilking, CPT, a licensed private coach and Tonal power coach. “Strengthening our glutes by means of these hip thrust variations can improve decrease physique energy, enhance hip mobility and stability, enhance core power, and assist cut back decrease again ache.”

Right here, Wilking shares eight completely different variations so as to add to your leg day routine for a severe booty burn, no matter your health stage. (PSA: These hip thrust alternate options additionally are available clutch whenever you wish to boost your lower-body exercises.)

First, let’s go over the fundamentals of find out how to do a hip thrust

Earlier than working your approach as much as completely different variations, you may wish to nail down find out how to do a hip thrust with correct kind. You are able to do a hip thrust with simply your body weight or up the depth through the use of weight (seize a dumbbell or barbell).

Personal trainer demonstrating hip thrust
Photograph; Ash Wilking, CPT

  1. Seize a bench, field, or any steady elevated floor that is about knee top.
  2. Sit on the ground along with your higher again in opposition to the sting of the bench. Think about that your shoulder blades act as hooks on the fringe of the bench. Your knees ought to be bent along with your toes flat on the ground, hip-width aside.
  3. Together with your shoulder blades resting on the sting of the bench, your physique ought to kind a 45-degree angle with the ground when your hips are down.
  4. Place your arms on the again of your head.
  5. Have interaction your core to stabilize your backbone.
  6. Push by means of your heels and carry your hips towards the ceiling. Your physique ought to kind a straight line out of your knees to your shoulders, and your legs ought to be at a 90-degree angle on the prime of the motion.
  7. Decrease with management.
  8. Repeat for 3 to 4 units of 8 to 12 reps.

“Glutes are also known as the powerhouse of the core. Strengthening our glutes by means of these hip thrust variations can improve decrease physique energy, enhance hip mobility and stability, enhance core power, and assist cut back decrease again ache.” —Ash Wilking, CPT

Newbie hip thrust variations

Our newbie variations have you ever mendacity in your again on the ground in a motion referred to as a glute bridge. A glute bridge follows the identical motion sample as a hip thrust, besides the hip thrust has you in an elevated place along with your again up on a floor.

“These newbie variations are a implausible strategy to prepare the physique within the hinge sample, specializing in extension by means of the hips with out the necessity for extra gear, apart from a resistance band,” Wilking says.

If you happen to’re not new to this train, you’ll be able to nonetheless give these strikes a go—attempt incorporating them into your leg day warm-up to activate your glutes.

1. Mendacity glute bridge

Personal trainer demonstrating lying glute bridge
Photograph: Ash Wilking, CPT

  1. Lie in your again along with your knees bent and your toes flat on the ground, hip-width aside. Your arms ought to be comfortably at your sides with palms dealing with down.
  2. Place the heels of your toes below your knees, in order that they’re shut sufficient to your hips you can simply contact your heels along with your fingertips.
  3. Have interaction your core by tightening your belly muscle tissue to stabilize your backbone. This can assist forestall any arching in your decrease again.
  4. By driving by means of your heels, carry your hips towards the ceiling. Your physique ought to kind a straight line out of your shoulders to your knees.
  5. Squeeze your glutes on the prime of the motion. Your shoulders and toes ought to stay involved with the ground.
  6. Pause for a second on the prime of the carry, persevering with to squeeze your glutes and conserving your core engaged.
  7. Slowly decrease your hips again to the beginning place, conserving management of the motion and sustaining the engagement of your core and glutes.
  8. Repeat for 3 to 4 units of 8 to 12 reps.

2. Banded mendacity glute bridge

Personal trainer demonstrating banded lying glute bridge
Photograph: Ash Wilking, CPT

  1. Place a resistance band round your legs and place the band an inch or two above your knees.
  2. Lie in your again along with your knees bent and your toes flat on the ground, hip-width aside. Your arms ought to be comfortably at your sides with palms dealing with down.
  3. Place the heels of your toes below your knees, in order that they’re shut sufficient to your hips you can simply contact your heels along with your fingertips.
  4. Have interaction your core by tightening your belly muscle tissue to stabilize your backbone. This can assist forestall any arching in your decrease again.
  5. By driving by means of your heels, carry your hips towards the ceiling. Your physique ought to kind a straight line out of your shoulders to your knees.
  6. Squeeze your glutes on the prime of the motion. Your shoulders and toes ought to stay involved with the ground.
  7. Pause for a second on the prime of the carry, persevering with to squeeze your glutes and conserving your core engaged.
  8. Slowly decrease your hips again to the beginning place, conserving management of the motion and sustaining the engagement of your core and glutes.
  9. Repeat for 3 to 4 units of 8 to 12 reps.

3. Single-leg glute bridge

Personal trainer demonstrating single-leg glute bridge
Photograph: Ash Wilking, CPT

  1. Lie in your again along with your knees bent and your toes flat on the ground, hip-width aside. Your arms ought to be comfortably at your sides with palms dealing with down.
  2. Place the heels of your toes below your knees, in order that they’re shut sufficient to your hips you can simply contact your heels along with your fingertips.
  3. Raise your left leg off the ground, bringing your left knee straight over your left hip.
  4. Have interaction your core by tightening your belly muscle tissue to stabilize your backbone (this can assist forestall any arching in your decrease again).
  5. Drive by means of your proper heel and carry your hips towards the ceiling, conserving your left leg in a hover place. Your physique ought to kind a straight line out of your shoulders to your knees.
  6. Squeeze your glutes on the prime of the motion.
  7. Pause for a second on the prime of the carry, persevering with to squeeze your glutes whereas conserving your core engaged.
  8. Slowly decrease your hips again to the beginning place, conserving management of the motion and sustaining the engagement.
  9. Repeat for 3 to 4 units of 8 to 12 reps, then change legs.

Intermediate hip thrust variations

To take issues up a notch, you may wish to elevate your shoulders on a bench to deepen your vary of movement all through your hip. Extra vary equals extra muscle engagement, in accordance with Wilking.

“These elevated hip thrust variations are extremely efficient at strengthening the glutes,” she says.

4. Banded elevated glute bridge

Personal trainer demonstrating banded elevated glute bridge
Photograph: Ash Wilking, CPT

  1. Seize a bench, field, or any steady elevated floor that is about knee top.
  2. Place a resistance band round your legs.
  3. Sit on the ground along with your higher again in opposition to the sting of the bench (think about that your shoulder blades act as hooks on the fringe of the bench). Your knees ought to be bent along with your toes flat on the ground, hip-width aside.
  4. Together with your shoulder blades resting on the sting of the bench, your physique ought to kind a 45-degree angle with the ground when your hips are down.
  5. Place your arms on the again of your head.
  6. Have interaction your core to stabilize your backbone.
  7. Push by means of your heels and carry your hips towards the ceiling. Your physique ought to kind a straight line out of your knees to your shoulders, and your legs ought to be at a 90-degree angle on the prime of the motion.
  8. Squeeze your glutes on the prime of the motion.
  9. Decrease again down with management.
  10. Repeat for 3 to 4 units of 8 to 12 reps.

5. Single-leg elevated glute bridge

Personal trainer demonstrating single-leg elevated glute bridge
Photograph: Ash Wilking, CPT

  1. Seize a bench, field, or any steady elevated floor that is about knee top.
  2. Together with your shoulder blades resting on the sting of the bench, your physique ought to kind a 45-degree angle with the ground when your hips are down.
  3. Raise your left leg off the ground and hover it comfortably above your left hip. Preserve this place the complete train.
  4. Your shoulder blades ought to be resting on the sting of the bench and your physique ought to kind a 45-degree angle with the ground when your hips are down.
  5. Place your arms on the again of your head.
  6. Have interaction your core to stabilize your backbone.
  7. Push by means of the heel of your proper foot and carry your hips towards the ceiling. Your physique ought to kind a straight line out of your knees to your shoulders, and your legs ought to be at a 90-degree angle on the prime of the motion.
  8. Decrease again down with management.
  9. Repeat for 3 to 4 units of 8 to 12 reps, then change legs.

Superior hip thrust variations

As soon as you’re feeling snug sufficient performing the newbie and intermediate hip thrust variations, it is time to add a barbell to up the load and depth. Wilking calls the barbell hip thrust the holy grail of glute workouts.

“Including the barbell to the elevated hip thrust place permits you to enhance load, selling muscle hypertrophy and energy improvement,” Wilking says.

6. Barbell hip thrust

Personal trainer demonstrating barbell hip thrust
Photograph: Ash Wilking, CPT

  1. Place a barbell on the ground and cargo it along with your desired quantity of weight (or none in any respect!).
  2. Sit on the ground along with your higher again in opposition to the sting of the bench. Roll the barbell over your legs and place it straight over your hips. You possibly can place a barbell pad or folded map below the barbell to cushion your hips.
  3. Place your toes flat on the ground, hip-width aside, and knees bent at a couple of 90-degree angle.
  4. Maintain the barbell with each arms to maintain it regular. Your arms ought to be barely wider than shoulder-width aside.
  5. Have interaction your core to stabilize your backbone and defend the decrease again.
  6. Push by means of your heels and carry your hips towards the ceiling. Your physique ought to kind a straight line out of your shoulders to your knees on the prime of the motion, and also you need your shins to be vertical on the prime of the motion (checking a mirror will help with correct placement).
  7. Pause for a second on the prime, sustaining the squeeze in your glutes and the engagement of your core.
  8. Slowly decrease your hips again to the beginning place. R
  9. epeat for 3 to 4 units of 8 to 12 reps.
TIP

Maintain your ribs down and preserve a impartial backbone, specializing in driving the hips up, however not overarching by means of your decrease again. To keep away from neck pressure, maintain your eyes in your knees and do not throw your head backward.

7. Single-leg dumbbell hip thrust

Personal trainer demonstrating single-leg dumbbell hip thrust
Photograph: Ash Wilking, CPT

  1. Sit on the ground along with your higher again in opposition to the sting of the bench.
  2. Place a dumbbell over your proper hip, holding it with one or each arms. The dumbbell could be positioned vertically on the prime of your thigh or horizontally with the deal with throughout the crease of your hip.
  3. Place your toes flat on the ground, hip-width aside, and knees bent at a couple of 90-degree angle.
  4. Raise your left leg to hover it simply off the ground.
  5. Have interaction your core to stabilize your backbone and defend the decrease again.
  6. Push by means of your proper heel and carry your hips towards the ceiling. Your physique ought to kind a straight line out of your shoulders to your knees on the prime of the motion.
  7. Pause for a second on the prime, sustaining the squeeze in your glutes and the engagement of your core.
  8. Slowly decrease your hips again to the beginning place.
  9. Repeat for 3 to 4 units of 8 to 12 reps, then change legs.
TIP

If hovering your nonworking leg feels a bit too difficult, flippantly set the heel on the ground to create a kickstand for some stabilization, whereas nonetheless conserving the vast majority of the work within the loaded leg.

8. Single-leg barbell hip thrust

Personal trainer demonstrating single-leg barbell hip thrust
Photograph: Ash Wilking, CPT

  1. Place the barbell on the ground and cargo it along with your desired quantity of weight (or none in any respect!).
  2. Sit on the ground along with your higher again in opposition to the sting of the bench. Roll the barbell over your legs and place it straight over your hips. Use a barbell pad or folded map below the bar to cushion your hips.
  3. Place your toes flat on the ground, hip-width aside, and knees bent at a couple of 90-degree angle.
  4. Have interaction your core to stabilize your backbone and defend the decrease again.
  5. Maintain the barbell with each arms to maintain it regular. Your arms ought to be barely wider than shoulder-width aside.
  6. Raise your left leg off the ground.
  7. Push by means of your heel and carry your hips towards the ceiling. Your physique ought to kind a straight line out of your shoulders to your knees on the prime of the motion.
  8. Pause for a second on the prime, sustaining the squeeze in your glutes and the engagement of your core. Maintain your ribs down and preserve a impartial backbone, specializing in driving the hips up with out overarching the decrease again.
  9. Slowly decrease your hips again to the beginning place.
  10. Repeat for 3 to 4 units of 8 to 12 reps, then change legs.
TIP

If you happen to discover that hovering your leg off the ground is simply too superior, you’ll be able to place the nonworking leg barely on the ground like a kickstand so as to add stability.


Nicely+Good articles reference scientific, dependable, latest, sturdy research to again up the knowledge we share. You possibly can belief us alongside your wellness journey.


  1. Buckthorpe M, Stride M, Villa FD. ASSESSING AND TREATING GLUTEUS MAXIMUS WEAKNESS – A CLINICAL COMMENTARY. Int J Sports activities Phys Ther. 2019 Jul;14(4):655-669. PMID: 31440415; PMCID: PMC6670060.


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