Category Archives: Glute Training

Yeah, She Thrusts

These days, not too much excites this old man. I still get all riled up when my clients or training partners hit PRs, but I suppose that lately I work too many hours and am just too damn tired to garner up much excitement for typical things. However, I want to confess to you something that never fails to stimulate this worn-out brain of mine. Every single time I see a video clip of a UFC fighter; an NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL player; a top powerlifter, weightlifter, or strongman; or a top bikini, figure, fitness, physique, or bodybuilding competitor performing a hip thrust, exhilaration is bound to ensue.

Last year, I noticed a rise in hip thrusting popularity with UFC fighters, but this year, I’ve noticed a rise in hip thrusting popularity with bikini competitors. Want to know what’s ironic? Those of you who have been following my blog for some time are well aware that I frequently embed images of top bikini competitors in my articles. Over the years, the ladies whose pictures I’ve used most in my articles include Jamie Eason, Nathalia Melo, Erin Stern, Ashley Kaltwasser, Amanda Latona, Michelle Lewin, Justine Munro, Jessica Arevalo, Maria Torres, Christina Vargas, and Gracyanne Barbosa. Guess what? All of them love the hip thrust and/or barbell glute bridge! In fact, just recently, many of these ladies have been posting pictures and videos of themselves thrusting away on their social media channels.

As I’ve stated time and time again over the past several years – the best glute training programs utilize a variety of glute exercises to round out the buttocks. The ladies with the best glute development on the planet perform a variety of bilateral and unilateral squat/lunge, thrust/bridge, deadlift/hinge, and abduction/rotation movements. However, it’s definitely great to see more and more top level competitors including the hip thrust and/or glute bridge in their training.

Nathalia Melo

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Nathalia is my sister from another mister. When I met Nathalia a couple of years ago, we hit it off instantly due to her vibrant personality and our mutual affinity for all things glute related. Check out my interview with her HERE where she talks about how Brazilians love their glute training and how they perform a wide variety of glute exercises. HERE is a video of Nathalia performing band hip thrusts, and below are some recent pictures.



Photo credit:

Erin Stern

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I love Erin Stern. She has such a great attitude. Recently Erin stepped up her glute game and started training them three times per week and setting PRs with her barbell glute bridges. Her glutes are looking better than ever, too. Below are pics and videos of her bridging 425 lbs!

Erin II Erin


Jamie Eason Middleton

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Jamie is a sweetheart. I’ve been a big fan of her for quite some time, and she helped put fit glutes on the map ten years ago. Check out what she recently said in THIS article:

In any glute-grow program, Middleton insists there must be hip thrusts and bridges. “Squats and lunges are great, of course, but exercises like those in which the glutes are the primary movers are totally necessary,” she says.

Below are pictures of Jamie performing dumbbell glute bridges and dumbbell plus banded hip thrusts. Jamie was doubling up resistance with hip thrusts before I was! HERE is a clip of me doing double band hip thrusts from earlier in the week – it works very well.

Jamie Eason

Photo credit: Oxygen Magazine


Photo credit: Oxygen Magazine

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Ashley Kaltwasser

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Ashley Kaltwasser is the current Ms. Bikini Olympia champ, and her glutes are insane. Last week, she stated the following HERE:

I often get asked what are some of the glute exercises that I incorporate into my routine on a regular basis. One of my favorites is the glute bridge. 

Photo credit: Per Bernal, Muscular Development Magazine

Photo credit: Per Bernal, Muscular Development Magazine


Amanda Latona Kuklo

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Amanda’s glutes are off the chain. She’s been hip thrusting heavier recently, check out her pics HERE and HERE. I would hate to have to choose who has the best glutes on the planet (actually, who am I kidding – I’d love it), but Amanda’s are certainly right up there.


Is this real life?

Amanda K

Michelle Lewin

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Michelle Lewin has almost 5 million Facebook followers – WTF?! Apparently she prefers to hip thrust off of a leg curl machine, as shown HERE.

Michelle L Michelle

Gracyanne Barbosa

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Gracyanne is famous in Brazil for her huge glutes – she has almost 3 million Facebook followers! She hip thrusts in a variety of ways, using a smith machine HERE, using an incline bench and a smith machine HERE, and using a barbell and incline bench HERE.


Justine Munro

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I was pleased to see that Justine loves the hip thrust – her glutes rock. HERE she is stating that hip thrusters are her FAVVVVVES, and that she likes going light, going heavy, and doing single leg.

Justine Munro Justine

Jessica Arevalo 

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Jessica’s glutes are unbelievable. I was happy to see her list hip thrusts as one of her top 3 favorite glute exercises in the video below.
Jessica Arevalo


Maria Torres

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Maria Torres has some amazing glute development, and she’s a fan of the barbell glute bridge, as shown HERE.

Maria Torres

Christina Vargas

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Christina likes the hip thrust, either off of a bench or using a leg extension machine, as shown in the videos below.

Christina V



Big props to all of these ladies. It’s not easy looking incredible year round, but somehow these ladies pull it off year in and year out thanks to hard work, sacrifice, and dedication (and obviously good genetics too). As you can see, the owners of the best booties on the planet love the thrust. Researching these ladies’ training methods confirmed what I’ve stated over and over on my blog throughout the past several years, that optimal glute training requires a variety of glute exercises that are tailored to the individual. If great glutes are what you’re after, you want to be hitting the glutes hard from all angles.


Anatomy of the Perfect Hip Thrusting Station

Hip Thruster Station

As long as you have a gym membership, it is not necessary to spend any additional money in order to hip thrust. In THIS blogpost, I embedded over a hundred videos showing you how to hip thrust off of a standard bench, using smith machines, using bands, and on leg extension and leg curl machines. However, more and more coaches are seeking out ways to hip thrust on standalone units, and many individuals are interested in setting up hip thrust stations in their garages or guest bedrooms. These people want to know the best possible way to hip thrust along with the items they need to buy in order to make it happen.

I’ve now posted 3 different glute burnout videos on YouTube (THIS one in October of 2013, THIS one in November of 2014, and THIS one in March of 2015) and 5 on Instagram (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE). Since these protocols utilize bands, I’ve been receiving numerous questions from people asking me what bands they should purchase. Furthermore, numerous individuals want to know the name of the apparatus used in the Instagram videos or the type of thick bar padding surrounding the bar.

Therefore, I felt that it was time to describe the ultimate hip thrusting station and direct readers to links where they can pick up any needed equipment. I’m excited to share the knowledge I’ve gained from 8.5 straight years of hip thrusting and prescribing hip thrusts to clients. Here are my recommendations, but you can obviously pick and choose items depending on your preference and financial situation.

If You Own a Facility And Train a Variety of Individuals

If you have your own studio or gym, you should consider purchasing:

  1. Hip Thruster (www.TheHipThruster.Com – $499)
  2. Squat Sponge (Amazon – available in red or blue – $25)
  3. Two Strong Long Bands (Elitefts – Pro Strong, or Sorinex – Strong – around $30 each)
  4. One Average Long Band (Elitefts – Pro Average, or Sorinex – Average – around $23 each)
  5. One Light Long Band (Elitefts – Pro Light Band, or Sorinex – Light – around $19 each)
  6. Hip Circle XL (Rogue – $25)
  7. Resistance Loops aka Minibands (Perform Better – Heavy Blue and Heavy XL – around $3-4, also Power Systems, Gopher, SPRI, and 360 Conditioning sell them)
  8. Two 1.5″ Mats (Birco sells them for just $15-20, or you might be able to make your own out of plywood, dimensions are 2′ x 2′ x 1.5″, or 24″ by 24″ by 1.5″)
  9. Bumper Plates (Rogue – especially two 10 lb plates and two 25 lb plates – around $535 for 330 lb set, of course, you’ll also need a barbell and some clips)
  10. Airex Balance Pad (Amazon, there are knockoffs of this product too – around $60)

* Some of you might be shocked at the total cost of my recommendations, but keep in mind that 1) everything on this list added together is still far less than a reverse hyper unit from Westside with no weights (an excellent piece of equipment but not as good of a glute builder as the hip thruster), and 2) you can buy none of this, some of this, or all of this depending on how much you like to thrust – these are just suggestions. 

If You Are a Big, Strong Guy Training Out of a Garage

If you’re a big dude, you should consider purchasing:

  1. Hip Thruster (www.TheHipThruster.Com)
  2. Squat Sponge (Amazon – available in red or blue)
  3. Two Strong Long Bands (Elitefts – Pro Strong, or Sorinex – Strong)
  4. Hip Circle XL (Rogue)
  5. Two 1.5″ Mats (Birco, or you might be able to make your own out of plywood, dimensions are 2′ x 2′ x 1.5″, or 24″ by 24″ by 1.5″)
  6. Bumper Plates (Rogue – at least a pair of 45-lb plates…you can use other plates too but having a bumper plate to soften the impact is nice)

If You Are a Newbie, Shorter Woman Training Out of a Guest Bedroom 

If you’re a beginner woman that is short or has a shorter torso, consider purchasing:

  1. Hip Thruster (www.TheHipThruster.Com)
  2. Squat Sponge (Amazon – available in red or blue)
  3. One Strong Long Band (Elitefts – Pro Strong, or Sorinex – Strong)
  4. One Average Long Band (Elitefts – Pro Average, or Sorinex – Average)
  5. One Light Long Band (Elitefts – Pro Light Band, or Sorinex – Light)
  6. Resistance Loops aka Minibands (Perform Better – Heavy Blue and Heavy XL, also Power Systems, Gopher, SPRI, and 360 Conditioning sell them)
  7. Two 1.5″ Mats (Sorinex might be able to sell these separately, Birco looks like they sell them, or you might be able to make your own out of plywood, dimensions are 2′ x 2′ x 1.5″, or 24″ by 24″ by 1.5″)
  8. Bumper Plates (Rogue – especially two 10 lb plates and two 25 lb plates…you can use other plates too but having a bumper plate to soften the impact is nice)
  9. Airex Balance Pad (Amazon, there are knockoffs of this product too)

Video Explanation

If you want to listen to me elaborate, below is a video explaining the rationale behind each recommended item.

An Excellent Body Transformation Powered by Serious Glute Strength

Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to introduce you to Roselyn Kennedy, a regular badass. Here’s how I came to learn about Roselyn. Last week, I was tagged in an Instagram post – I think it was her husband Frank who tagged me. Anyway, the video showcased Roselyn hip thrusting 500 lbs for 2 reps. Since Roselyn has some of the strongest glutes I’ve ever seen, I was curious to find out exactly how she trains. I decided to email her to inquire about her training, and we ended up exchanging several emails with one another.

Roselyn and her husband Frank Kennedy own United Cross Training, a gym based in Sugar Land, Texas. She recently lost 23 lbs over a 9 month period, check out the results!


Roselyn’s 9 month physique transformation. 163 lbs on the left, 140 lbs on the right at a height of 5’6″. Look at those abs!!!

Over the past year, Roselyn busted her ass, setting squat, deadlift, and hip thrust PRs. She can squat 255 lbs, deadlift 325 lbs, hip thrust 500 lbs x 2 reps, and hip thrust 365 lbs x 10 reps. When she set her squat and deadlift PRs, she weighed 140 lbs, but she’s recently put 7 lbs back on which is when she set her hip thrust PRs. Below are the videos:

Squat 255 lbs

Deadlift 325 lbs

Hip thrust 500 lbs x 2 reps

Hip thrust 365 lbs x 10 reps

Another view of the hip thrust 365 lbs x 10 reps


Roselyn is not happy with the technique in her squat video, apparently she was trying out a closer stance when she hit that weight  because she was dealing with a injury (her fibula popped out of placed). She usually  has a wider stance on her squats, but It was a PR with a different stance. 

Not to take the spotlight off of Roselyn – she’s the rockstar here. But one thing that I find interesting is that she fits a particular profile I’ve noticed – the decent squatter/good deadlifter/great hip thruster with a high-hipped roundback maximal deadlifting style profile. Roselyn, Sammie, and myself all fit this profile. Each of us are much stronger at the deadlift compared to the squat. Each of us pull with high hips and rounded backs when maxing out. And each of us can hip thrust a ton. I think that our glute strength is far superior to our quad strength, and this leads to less impressive squats, roundback maximal pulls, and serious hip thrust power. I hope to one day get to conduct research on this hypothesis using isokinetic dynamometry, but below is a chart showing our strength (I had to use an online calculator to estimate some of the 1RMs).


I asked Roselyn about her training program, and she was kind enough to send it to me:


Back Squat

6 Reps @ 45%

6 Reps @ 55%

6 Reps @ 65%

6 Reps @ 70%

6 Reps @ 75%

6 Reps @ 80%

1 Rep @ 85%

1 Rep @ 90%

1 Rep @ 92%


6 Reps @ 85%

Barbell Walking Lunges

6 Reps / 4 Sets @ 145lbs.


5 sets of supersets of:

Dumbbell Row’s 10 Reps

Close Grip Bench Press 8 Reps

5 sets of supersets of: 

Pull Ups 8 Reps

Bodyweight Back Extensions 20 Reps

5 sets of supersets of: 

Underhand Grip Barbell Rows 10 Rep’s

1 Min Planks


Hip Thrust

20 Rep’s @ 70%

10 Rep’s @ 75%

6 Rep’s @ 80%

5 Rep’s @ 85%

3 Rep’s @ 80%

1 Rep @ MAX

Sprints / Meter’s

5 @ 20

4 @ 30

3 @ 40

2 @50

1 @ 60

3 @ 40

5 @ 20


5 sets of supersets of:

Push Ups 15 Reps

Hanging Leg Lift’s

5 sets of supersets of: 

Hang Cleans 8 Reps

Balanced Deadlifts 12 Reps

Mid Incline Bench Press

5 X 5 @ 75%

Seated Banded Hip Abduction 20 Reps 5 Sets


Repeat Mondays Training, Cancel out Deadlifts and replace with:

4 sets of supersets of:

Stiff Leg Dead-Lifts 8 Reps

Box Squats 6 Reps


Every 16 Days she changes Hip thrust to 3 times a week one day would be volume EX:

1st Day Reps 20,10,6,5,3,1

2nd Day Reps Bodyweight 20 X 5

3rd Day Reps 6 X6 @80%

Also, she changes Squatting to 3 times a week 2 days would be volume EX:

1st Day Reps 8,5,3,1

2nd Day Reps 12 X 5 @ 65 – 67%

3rd Day Reps 20 X 3 Bodyweight

The accessory work varies depending on goals and weaknesses at that time.

Here are the links to United Cross Training’s social media:

United Cross Training YouTube
United Cross Training Instagram
United Cross Training Facebook
United Cross Training Twitter
United Cross Training Website

Keep it up Roselyn and Frank!

Glute Burnouts

Here at the Glute Lab, I’ve been giving my clients glute burnouts at the end of their training sessions (follow me on Instagram HERE). We always start off with our heavy work (ex: squats, deadlifts, barbell hip thrusts, bench press, chins, front squats, block pulls, Bulgarian split squats), then we make sure to finish off with something that burns the heck out of the glutes. An example session might look like this:

Back squat 3 x 3-5 (or Bulgarian split squat 3 x 8)
Block pull 3 x 3-5 (or barbell hip thrust 3 x 8)
Close grip bench press 3 x 5-8 (or incline press 3 x 8)
Feet elevated inverted row 3 x 5-8 (or band assisted chin-ups 3 x 8)
Glute burnout 3 rounds

These glute burnouts can be done in a variety of ways, but basically you want to pair up some frontal/transverse plane glute work with some sagittal plane glute work. For example, you could superset high rep band seated hip abductions with high rep barbell hip thrusts, or high rep lateral band walks with high rep bodyweight back extensions.

Five months ago, I came up with Bret’s Booty Blasting Protocol. That was my favorite burnout at the time (it was pure hip extension based with no frontal/transverse plane activity in the mix), but now I have a new favorite glute burnout. Here’s the protocol:

20 reps band hip abductions
20 reps double band hip thrusts (bands around knees and hips)
20 reps narrow stance band hip thrusts

Band reps are done rather quickly, so each rep is around 1 second in duration. The entire burnout usually lasts around 60 seconds long, so 3 rounds is 3 minutes of time under tension for the gluteals, with some serious build up of metabolic stress. Here’s a video so you can see how it’s done:

Obviously the best way to do this is with a Hip Thruster. By the way, just to let y’all know, we just stepped up our hip thruster customer service big time. If you purchase a hip thruster in the United States, you’ll receive it within 2 weeks. This is exciting because previously it took 8 weeks to receive a unit.

* U.S. Hip Thruster Orders Arrive Within 2 Weeks! *

If you don’t have a hip thruster, you can set up in a power rack or use dumbbells to pin the bands down.

This picture of Katie Coles is from 2009 in my old garage!

This picture of Katie Coles is from 2009 in my old garage!

Give this glute burnout protocol a try and start doing different glute burnouts at the end of your training sessions and let me know what you think.