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.