Hip Thrust With Bands

How To Hip Thrust With Bands
By Alli McKeeFebruary 11, 2016

Band Hip Thrust

The band hip thrust is a phenomenal exercise for improving the strength and development of the glutes, and for the overall function and health of the entire body. Strong glutes matter!!

Equipment needed:

You will need a resistance band for this hip thrust variation as well as a bench, box, step, or actual hip thrust bench. For shorter lifters, a lower bench/box/step works best. To anchor the resistance bands, you can use a pair of dumbbells or the safety bars inside of a squat rack.

Ability level:


Beginners should start out with bodyweight hip thrusts. Once they have mastered the form and mechanics, they can add a low-resistance band.


Intermediate lifters should start out with a medium-resistance band. If this feels too easy, additional resistance can be used. If you're doing a lower body workout, you can use the band hip thrust as a warm-up to prepare your body for the compound movements, or you can perform the band hip thrust after a squatting, lunging, or hinging exercise as part of a lower body superset. If you're doing a full-body workout, you can pair the band hip thrust with an upper body pushing or pulling exercise. You can also use it at the end of the workout, as a glute finisher. Intermediate lifters might perform 2-4 sets of 6-12 reps of the band hip thrust, or can do up to 25 reps if the exercise is being used to really work the glutes hard at the end of the workout.


Women who are comfortable with the band 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, really challenging the glutes eccentrically. Or, you can 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 using the bands, or perform any of the above options while using a single leg.

Benefits of Band Hip Thrusts:

How a woman chooses to use a band hip thrust is highly dependent on her overall technical ability and experience, how much resistance 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. This glute and hip exercise provides hip thrust benefits without requiring the use of a barbell, and can be performed anywhere, any time. In general band hip thrusts can be used to do any or all of the following:

  • increasing glute strength
  • building muscle
  • improving aesthetics of the glutes (higher, rounder, firmer)
  • increasing speed and power by teaching optimal hip extension, which will be beneficial to running, jumping, and other sports specific movements
  • improved full body function and health as strong glutes positively impact the alignment and mechanics of the spine, pelvis, femurs, knees, ankles and feet
  • increasing performance in the weight room
  • increasing athleticism and sports specific performance
  • fat loss (if your diet and exercise routines are conducive to fat loss)

How to perform a Band Hip Thrust:

  • Anchor a resistance band with two heavy dumbbells. The dumbbells should be heavy enough that they do not move.
  • Set yourself up so your shoulder blades, upper back, and elbows are resting on top of the bench, and your body is facing straight ahead. Your hips should be relatively close to the bench during the initial set-up.
  • Your feet should be hip to shoulder width apart and your feet can be angled out a bit if this is more comfortable.
  • Slide the band over your legs, and place it in your hip crease.
  • Before you start, take a deep breath into your belly (360 degrees of air around the spine) and brace your core (imagine blocking a soccer ball with your stomach). This will protect your lower back, and will give you greater ability to generate force.
  • Initiate the hip lift by driving through the heel and mid-foot and squeezing your glutes. Do NOT arch your lower back. This is extremely important.
  • At the top position, hold for a count or more as this will really utilize the glutes. It is imperative that you lock out by squeezing your glutes, not by arching your lower back.
  • During the lowering phase, go as low as you can while controlling the movement with your glutes.
  • For the duration of the exercise, it's important to keep your rib cage tucked toward your hips (closing the space in your midsection) and keep your core braced. Do not allow your rib cage to lift or lower back to arch.
  • Make sure that your weight remains on the heel and  mid-foot but keep your toes down, particularly your big and baby toe. This will dramatically improve your stability, and ability to perform this exercise.
  • Keep your shins relatively vertical or else your hamstrings will take over.
  • Do not allow your knees to collapse in or fall outside of your feet.
  • Keep your neck in a neutral position as you lift yourself off the floor. Don’t allow your head to drop back.
  • Choose a resistance that allows you to do all of the above.
  • Reset before each rep.

Video Transcription: 

Okay, so now I’m going to demonstrate a band hip thrust. You can rig this up, really, however you want. Brett Contreras, who’s actually the guy who invented and popularized the hip thrust, has the hip thruster machine that you can hook bands on to. It’s really cool. You can get that on brettcontreras.com And no, he is not paying me to say that. He just does great work, and he’s the man for hip thrusts, so I had to throw his name out there.

So you can set it up on his hip thruster machine, you can set it up on a squat rack if you like, and here I’ve just got the band looped around the handles of 100-pound dumbbells, so hopefully it won't move when I get down here. So you just get down in position, like a normal hip thrust. Make sure the band is lined up right at your hip bones, bend your knees, big deep breath, brace your core, up, and squeeze.

You want to make sure that you’re really controlling your entire body through this movement. You don’t want your head to be thrown back, and you don’t want to keep your chin tucked either. You want everything to move in a nice straight line so that if you had a PVC pipe on your back it would stay connected to your head, your upper back, and your tailbone the whole time. So everything moves as a unit. Squeeze your butt, and that’s the band hip thrust.


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About the author:  Alli McKee

Alli is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. She's contributed to and modeled for a number of major publications including Oxygen magazine and the New Rules of Lifting: Supercharged. You can find out more about Alli on her personal blog at www.allimckee.com.

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