Hip Thrust Instructional Video

In the past several months, I’ve seen so many bad hip thrust videos on YouTube that it occurred to me that I’ve never filmed a hip thrust instructional video.

In case you didn’t know, in September of last year I started writing about the hip thrust and incorporating the exercise into articles for various strength training websites. The exercise has already become very popular around the world. I receive multiple emails daily from individuals who have begun using hip thrusts and have seen excellent results in terms of better butts, faster sprints, and improved deadlift strength.

To date, I know that strength coaches Dave Tate, Christian Thibaudeau, Kelly Baggett, Mike Boyle, Nick Tumminello, Eric Cressey, Tony Gentilcore, Jason Ferrugia, Martin Rooney, Mike Young, Mark Young, Patrick Ward, Joe DeFranco, and Charlie Weingroff have been performing and prescribing variations of hip thrusts. Famous celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson programs them into his celebrities’ workouts. There are probably many more experts and athletes using them but I have yet to receive feedback. Furthermore, strongman Kevin Nee and powerlifter Andy Bolton have used variations of them in their training. The hip thrust has been featured on TMuscle.Com, StrengthCoach.Com, Elitefts.Com, Men’s Health Magazine, and Oxygen Magazine, not to mention numerous blogs and forums around the world.

If you’ve studied the history of the bench press, you know that it took many years – around fifty years to be more precise, for the lift to evolve into the world’s most popular upper body exercise. It started off as the “back press,” “press from back,” or “floor press,” morphed into the “bridge press” or “belly press,” and finally evolved into the modern “bench press.” Many weightlifters from back in the day did not like the bench press because it was performed while lying supine. These folks felt that all “manly” lifts were performed from a standing position – barbell military press, cleans, jerks, snatches, squats, deadlifts, curls, and bent over rows. The weightlifters would see people performing the bench press and would scoff at those who wanted to “expand their pecs.” Despite the close-mindedness of the weightlifters of that era, the bench press caught on because it works! The hip thrust is catching on very rapidly because like the bench press, it works too! If you do the hip thrust correctly your glutes will burn like they’ve never burned before.

When you think about it, the hip thrust is very much like the bench press. One could consider the hip thrust “the lower body bench press.” You can perform a floor press but a bench allows you to perform the movement with a full range of motion. Similarly, you can perform a glute bridge, but a bench allows you to perform the movement with a full range of motion. Lying supine allows you to train the pecs optimally which are best worked from a horizontal load vector. Similarly, lying supine allows you to train the glutes optimally which are also worked best from a horizontal vector.

Although standing exercises will always reign supreme, sometimes we need to throw in supine, prone, or quadruped exercises in order to train different angles. The bench press correlates very well with the shot put. Similarly, the hip thrust seems to correlate well with top speed sprinting. In my opinion, the hip thrust is getting popular faster than any other new exercise I’ve seen since I’ve been following the fitness field.

In order to perform proper hip thrusts, you must move at the hips, not at the low back. You must feel the glutes doing the work, not the lumbar erectors and hamstrings. Finally, you must control the weight, which means no flinging.

Do yourself a favor and watch this ten minute video. It will really pay off in the long-run. I’ve been performing hip thrusts for three-and-a-half years now, so I can provide you with some pretty darn good advice! Ironically, Soviet and American scientists Yuri Verhkoshansky, Mel Siff, and Tudor Bompa thought up variations of hip thrusts decades ago and prescribed them to athletes and sprinters. Although these exercises didn’t “stick,” it appears that the more modern variations I’ve come up with are here to stay.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCm-70-9_XE&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&border=1]

53 thoughts on “Hip Thrust Instructional Video

  1. Bret Contreras

    Yep! That’s the best thing about hip thrusts; you’ll never get too strong for a loaded barbell. I like some of the machines at my gym but I can only use them for endurance training as I can do 30 reps with the entire weight stacks.

    Reply
  2. Sam

    Brett, this video was much needed. As the creator of the hip thrust exercise it’s always best to get it “straight from the horses mouth” on the excecution of the lift.

    I hope this articles gets circulated alot because far too many people point to the fact that lumbar compensation is frequent and here you clearly showed that it IS possible to drive motion with the glutes. It just comes down to same issues as every other exercise —> COACHING! As the person instructing someone how to perform the lift its important we get our athletes/clients to make the concious decision to keep the lumbar spine “natural/neutral” and actively use your glutes to drive the motion in the same way we get our athletes/clients to conciously “push the knees out” during the decent in a squat.

    Keep discovering and educating buddy!

    Reply
  3. Jonathan Lund

    Great video! I have been doing more and more hip thrusts in my fitness classes that I teach, and doing more on my own as I train for marathon season here in Minnesota (I have three coming up this summer; I feel as if I have gotten as much use as I’ll ever get out of the Cybex Multi-Hip machine (the equipment at the fitness center here is stamped ‘November 1995′ so it’s pretty outdated!). I saw one other club that has equipment called ‘Med-X’ and their hip extension machine has you laying on your side and using your glutes/hamstrings and squeezing the pad just under your knees in an arc. I got a good pump from that but again, after a few weeks, it got old. Doing hip thrusts I think will be something I can build on and improve my strength (and recovery improvement) after this years marathons.

    Reply
  4. Jaime

    Thank you for the video Bret. I have implemented the hip thrust with some of my clients who feel uncomfortable performing Trapbar deadlifts or Rdl’s. After educating them to drive through the floor and recruit their glutes without using excessive lumbar extension they really feel the difference and notice the difference in
    1.running
    2. other exercises
    3. Just every day walking without back pain

    Thanks for the great information and keep pumping ideas out there.

    Reply
  5. Steve

    Brilliant! This is a true service, Brett – thanks.

    By the way, you left out one other very important reason for doing this exercise – to relieve and prevent lower back pain.

    Reply
  6. Steve

    Brett, you mention tight hip flexors being a potential problem when trying to get full hip extension. That’s true. But I’d add a caveat – training oneself (with just body weight as you suggest) to properly activate the glutes and not the lower back actually facilitates the de-activation of the hip flexors. (This is more effecvtive than endlessly stretching them.)
    Yet another benefit of your exercise!

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Once again, I agree! Kind of like the chicken or the egg…we always say that tight hip flexors inhibit the glutes but weak unactivated glutes tighten the hip flexors as well. Great point!

      Reply
      1. Tom Watson

        Bret and Steve,
        I can only get 1/3 of the way to full extension/hyperextension atm – and have a bizarre psoas injury which means stretching makes it spasm and doesn’t seem to loosen it. So if I can’t really stretch my hip flexors, can I expect just doing bridges with 1/3 ROM to loosen my HFs for me? Could you tell me about your experience with this? Thanks so much! Tom

        Reply
  7. Amanda

    This was a very useful video. One thing I noticed is that when doing just the bodyweight thrusts I see to have trouble completely arching up at the top through my hip flexors. I assume they are tight or my glutes are weak. Is the best course of action to keep stretching the hip flexors and doing this exercise, or dare I ask, should I be doing a even more beginner type exercise (I think in a previous post you discussed standing glute isolation exercises…)

    Reply
  8. Bret Contreras

    Thanks Amanda! Great question. In your case I would do the following:

    1) Lot’s of foam rolling and trigger point therapy for the various hip flexors
    2) Static stretches and mobility drills for the hip flexors
    3) Basic glute activation exercises…glute bridges, quadruped hip extensions, bird dogs, side lying clams, side lying abductions, etc.
    4) Focus on squeezing the glutes as hard as possible and rising at the hips not the low back.
    5) Move up gradually over time and progress to more difficult exercises

    Reply
  9. Tony

    thanks for the video. my question is about back placement on the bench.
    are you rotating up at your shoulder blades? is back placement crucial and what about height?
    say performing this exercise at home on the edge of a couch which a little higher than the bench.
    also, how much does weak glute strength affect lower back pain?

    thanks.
    got to get back to ready more.

    Tony

    Reply
  10. Bret Contreras

    Tony, good questions! Yes, right around the shoulder blades is best placement.

    Height is not that critical, as it is a double-edged sword. The higher you go the more ROM you get about the hip joint (which is great) but optimum glute activation occurs when the shoulders are around 12 inches higher than the feet. Best case scenario you’d be able to elevate both the shoulders and the feet to allow for the best of both worlds (maximum hip ROM and glute activation) but you’d have to worry about the object at your feet sliding away from the bench so it’s not very practical.

    Your last question is a great one. I believe that glute strength is even more important than core/abdominal strength in preventing low back pain and injury. Strong glutes encourage proper form and take the brunt of the load when squatting, deadlifting, or simply bending over to pick stuff up.

    Hope this helps!

    Bret

    Reply
  11. Tony

    Bret

    thanks for clearing that up. i will have to incorporate this into my training and see if i can get the wife to start as well.

    thanks

    Reply
  12. Pingback: An Interview with Bret Contreras

  13. Bree

    I’ve been trying to add hip thrusts and extensions into my program, but I feel them in my quads instead of my glutes. I am able to engage my glutes successfully in deadlifts, squads, lunges, etc, so I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. Any advice?

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Bree this is more common than most people think. For some reason many women (not men) tend to feel hip thrusts mostly in their quads at first. I move them to barbell glute bridges and it solves everything – they feel it in their glutes and after a month or so we transition back to the hip thrust and they’re able to feel hip thrusts in their glutes. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  14. Pingback: Weekend Reading 8/27 « SB Training and Nutrition

  15. Max

    I’ve been doing a lot of hip thrusts lately, and really like the exercise now as my technique has improved (great video!).

    I’d like to set a goal for myself, so can you tell me how much weight should one be able to hip thrust (in relation to BW) in order to get the seal of approval from The Glute Guy ? :) Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      You should be able to hip thrust what you can squat. A good goal would be 1.5 times bodyweight. Double bodyweight is even more impressive. But just take things slow and progress gradually.

      Reply
  16. Joe

    Hello, Bret.

    Is it possible to build the glutes with just the barbell hip thrust? I recently started doing barbell hip thrust and it is the only exercise that I feel in the glutes. Squating, deadlifting, and dumbbell step ups have done nothing for my glutes and have only built my quads.

    Thanks,

    Joe

    Reply
  17. Pingback: A Shoutout to Mike Boyle and A Few Words On Simplicity « SB Training and Nutrition

  18. Steven Sashen

    I just got my Hampton Extra Thick Bar Pad, so today I did my first set of elevated hip thrusts (I’m a 48 year old sprinter). Popped 250 on the bar and did 2 sets of 9 with a 3/3 tempo. Man, that last rep was a glute KILLER! LOVE IT. Thanks for the ideas, Bret!

    Reply
  19. Pingback: WOW: Couch Workout | Mark's Daily Apple

  20. Pingback: WOW – May 23rd « My Paleo World

  21. Pingback: Breaking News: Toning Shoes About As Useful As Doo Doo Butter « fitsquared

  22. Pingback: Dana Linn Bailey

  23. Pingback: barbell hip thrust - Bodynet.nl - Bodybuilding & Fitness discussieforums

  24. Pingback: Vollere billen & benen... - Pagina 3 - Bodynet.nl - Bodybuilding & Fitness discussieforums

  25. Pingback: Rambodians training log - Page 17 - Ausbb - Australian BodyBuilding

  26. Pingback: Callan's Powerlifting Journal - Time To Get Serious - Page 68 - Ausbb - Australian BodyBuilding

  27. taijilift

    Thanks for this great video. I came across it looking for an instructional video on hip thrusts. Do you have any suggestions on how to get the barbell across your lap if you’re not using big enough plates where you can roll it towards your hips? I am not ready to use 45 lb plates and I am not strong enough to hoist a loaded (or unloaded) barbell onto my hips in the hip-thrust position.

    Reply
  28. Pingback: Bret Contreras » Is the Hip Thrust Dangerous? Guest Post from Brandon Alleman

  29. Larry

    Should you be applying the pressure through the heels? This is how I have been performing them. I have seen some get up on the toes, does this matter? Or is it fine as long as the key points you talked about are followed?
    I apologize if this has already been asked, but there were a lot of posts to go through and I may have skimmed by it.
    Thank you for your time.

    Larry

    Reply
  30. Andrea

    Bret: Quick question about the knees…when I do glute bridges with just bodyweight from the floor, at the point of extension I feel some sort of tightness/pulling across the knee cap. Is this bad? When I do weighted hip thrusts with shoulders supported by a bench at the gym, I don’t feel this pulling in the knees. Any idea why I feel tension through the knees with the glute bridges?

    Reply
  31. Pingback: Is the Hip Thrust Dangerous? Guest Post from Brandon Alleman | Bret Contreras

  32. Back Pain

    Hi Brett, thanks for the video. I’ve had success with the hip thrust in activating my weak glutes and have seen improvement in body alignment and back pain. One quick question, how many times a week do you recommend performing this exercise?

    Reply
    1. Bret

      Up to 4X/wk depending on goals. They don’t cause much CNS or joint stress if you do them correctly. I do them once per week right now but I’ve done then 3X/wk with success.

      Reply
  33. Sara

    Thanks for this! I just had a running gait analysis done and the PT identified weakness/lack of firing in my glutes as a problem contributing to my frequent injuries, so I plan to add this and some of your other strengthening exercises to my routine. I do have a couple of questions:

    1) How many reps and sets of these do you recommend doing?
    2) When stringing multiple reps together, does your butt come all the way down to the floor between reps or does it stay off the ground?
    3) Like one of the posters above, I found that I felt this exercise a lot in my quads, and given that I tend to be too quad-dominant I’d like to keep as much of the work as possible concentrated in the posterior chain. You suggested doing barbell glute bridges instead. I’m not sure what those are – is there an explanation/demo posted somewhere?

    THANKS!

    Reply
  34. Pingback: Barbell Hip Thrusts | CrossFit Locus

  35. Pingback: The Number One Exercise To Build A Better Booty | I Train Therefore I Eat.

  36. Pingback: So, what’s the best fitness routine? | Exploring life and fitness

  37. Pingback: Exercise Alternatives to the Dead Lift - Your Trainer Paige

  38. Pingback: Lesa Sol Pensak

  39. Pingback: 3 day/week Lifting Routine suggestions - 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community Weight and Resistance Training

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>