The barbell hip thrust is a phenomenal exercise for improving the strength and development of the glutes, and the overall function and health of the entire body. While this exercise also strengthens the quads and hamstrings to some degree, the glutes will obtain the majority of the benefits. Strong glutes matter!!
A barbell should be used for this weighted hip thrust. A traditional barbell may be used. To increase the resistance, lifters may add weight plates to each side. If lifters are going to be using less than 135 lbs (barbell + 45 lb plates), larger bumper plates work the best as the smaller size of the lighter plates can make sliding the legs under the bar and placing the barbell in the hip crease fairly challenging. If lifters are using less than 135 lbs, they might require some assistance during the initial set-up and with the removal of the barbell. Some gyms have fixed weight barbells which are shorter than a traditional barbell and the resistance is not adjustable. These fixed weight barbells often increase in resistance by 5-10 pounds (50 lbs, 55 lbs, 60 lbs, 65 lbs, and so on). A bench, box, step, or actual hip thrust bench should be used. For shorter lifters, a lower bench/box/step works best. Lifters can make the hip thrust more comfortable by using a squat pad (wraps around the barbell), or using a foam pad, folded towel/sweatshirt, or other type of padding.
Beginners should start out with bodyweight hip thrusts and should master the form and mechanics. Once this has been accomplished, they can start out with just the barbell as resistance.
Intermediate lifters should start out with a barbell and low to medium resistance. If this feels too easy, additional resistance can be used. If the focus of the workout is the glutes, intermediate lifters should place the barbell hip thrust exercise somewhere in the beginning of the workout. If a full body workout is being performed, the barbell hip thrust should be paired with an upper body pushing or pulling exercise. It can also be used at the end of the workout as a glute burner, and if this is the case, a lower weight and higher reps should be used. Intermediate lifters might perform 2-4 sets of 6-12 reps of the barbell hip thrust, or can do up to 25 reps if the exercise is being used to torch the glutes at the end of the workout.
Women who are comfortable with the barbell hip thrust may choose to use additional resistance. You can also make the exercise more challenging by pausing for a longer time at the top of the lift and really challenging the glutes concentrically, or performing negatives and lowering in 3-5 seconds, and really challenging the glutes eccentrically. You can also place a resistance band above and below the knees when you are performing this exercise, and should press your knees out against the bands for additional resistance. You can also add chains in addition to the bands, or you can perform any of the above options while using a single leg.
How a woman chooses to use a barbell hip thrust is highly dependent on her overall technical ability and experience, how much weight is being used, the set/rep scheme used, where it falls in the workout, what it's paired with, and what the rest periods are. In general barbell hip thrusts can be used to do any or all of the following:
So you’ve seen the body weight glute bridge, you’ve seen the different variations of the bodyweight hip thrust and the hip thrust with the chains and bands. Now I am going to demonstrate the granddaddy of all glute exercises: the barbell hip thrust, and you need to listen to this one because my hips don't lie. My videographer made me say that, sorry about that!
You’re going to get underneath here, you are going to roll it right up to your hips. Now for some people doing a barbell hip thrust can be painful on their hips so you are welcome to roll up a yoga mat or sweatshirt or something to give you a little bit of padding. Then, again, since I'm tall I can sit all the way on the ground and still have my shoulder blades and upper back on the bench. You might need to be lifted a little bit off the ground. My elbows and upper back are on the bench my hands are on the bar just to steady it a little bit. You are going to need to make sure you are very square and very aligned underneath the bar. Before I start, I am going to to take a big deep breath through my nose, blow all my air out through my mouth and brace my core, drive through my heels and squeeze my glutes. Hang out at the top for a second, then come back down. I am going to stay nice and braced all the time.
My entire body should move as a unit - I'm not throwing my head back, I'm not hyper extending my spine, I’m keeping everything nice and neutral and my ribs down the whole time.
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