The Hip Thrust – Spread the Word

In the past couple of weeks I’ve received three different emails from strength coaches who were writing articles and wanted to include the hip thrust. They emailed me to ask me if it was okay to include the hip thrust into their article. Although I’m always flattered by these types of emails, I want to stress something. If you like an exercise, then write about it. I’ve never emailed an exercise creator asking permission to write about their exercise.

Although Anderson squats (Paul Anderson), Hack squats (George Hackenshmidt), Zercher squats (Ed Zercher), Jefferson lifts (Charles Jefferson), Dimel deadlifts (Matt Dimel), Cook hip lifts (Gray Cook), King deadlifts (Ian King), Pallof presses (John Pallof), and even the damn Kegel (Arnold Kegel) have been popularized by their creators, I’d never think to email them if I was writing an article that included their exercise (many of the creators are deceased anyway). Nick Tumminello, Mike Boyle, Louie Simmons, Dave Tate, Eric Cressey, and Stuart McGill, to name a few, have come up with great exercises and exercise variations, yet I don’t email them to ask if I can write about their exercise. I just do it.

I’m a huge fan of the hip thrust so I always love it when I see the hip thrust pop up in other people’s articles and blogs. You do not need to give me credit for the exercise. If you do, then I appreciate the gesture. But if you don’t, I’m still appreciative. I’ll actually offer a confession right now; when I scan other strength coaches’ and trainers’ programs, I check to see if there’s at least one anteroposterior hip extension exercise in the routine. If there isn’t, I feel that the routine is inferior as I believe that it leaves “room in the tank” in terms of hip strengthening and glute development. So I feel that you SHOULD write about hip thrust variations! However, I’ll still like you and hang out with you even if you don’t hip thrust. :)

To reiterate, PLEASE write about the hip thrust. If you like my work and you like the hip thrust, then the best thing you could do for me is to “spread the word” by writing or talking about it. I want the exercise to become as popular as possible since I believe it’s so effective. Feel free to make your own recommendations as to form, exercise order, set and rep schemes, etc. I’d prefer for you to call it the hip thrust but I’ve seen hip lift, glute thrust, glute press up, shoulder elevated hip lift, elevated barbell bridge, etc. I’ve even heard some refer to it as the “Contreras hip thrust.” Feel free to name it whatever you want, feel free to film a Youtube video discussing form, feel free to write a damn eBook about it if you feel compelled. Nobody owns the rights to a way to move the human body! All I ask is that you don’t pretend to have created the exercise. That’s just annoying.

Last, if you get a question about the hip thrust, you may want to point beginners to my Youtube video discussing form so first-time male thrusters don’t slap on 315 lbs and try the hip thrust (or so first-time female thrusters don’t slap on 135 lbs and try the hip thrust). Deadlifts encourage lumbar flexion; hip thrusts encourage lumbar extension. You wouldn’t try to deadlift 315 lbs on your very first attempt, nor should you try to hip thrust 315 lbs on your very first attempt. You must learn to control the lumbar spine and move at the hips. Failing to do so will result in injury. Master bodyweight first, then move up gradually in weight.

Keep spreading the glute gospel!

57 thoughts on “The Hip Thrust – Spread the Word

  1. s2bfitness

    What are your thoughts on de-loaded hip thrusters and unilateral progressions for beginners? How long before you add weight? Maybe try de-loaded with one foot on a stability disk to build stability post injury/rehab?

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Great questions!!!!!!!

      1. Always master bodyweight before loading
      2. Unilateral hip thrusts are really hard…seriously they might be the hardest single leg exercise out there…possibly harder than a pistol. Most do them incorrectly and don’t use full ROM.
      3. Adding load on bilateral might be more appropriate than moving to single leg hip thrusts
      4. It all depends on the individal in terms of progression…I’ve trained people who picked up rather quickly and I’ve trained plenty of folks who never made it to where they could do single leg hip thrusts, even after training them for an entire year
      5. Not a big fan of stability disks for glute activation purposes…the research I conducted all pointed to less glute activation. The glutes like stability.

      Reply
  2. Arnoldus

    My lower back always hyperextends, even on BW. How do I go about this? Will it eventually improve after a couple of weeks of BW thrusts?

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Here are some things that might work:

      1. Foam roll/SMR for hip flexors
      2. Static stretching and mobility drills for hip flexors (ex: rocking hip flexor stretch, static rectus femoris stretch)
      3. Cook hip lift and Tumminello superdog
      4. Brace your abs when bridging
      5. Progress very slowly, start with bw glute bridge and move up over time in reps, resistance, and ROM
      6. Learn to “feel” the glutes doing the job.

      Best of luck!!!

      Reply
  3. Peter

    That’s funny that you are being asked for permission. Even if you had your name attached to it (like the Arnold Press), it’s not like it’s copyrighted – just like you point out.

    If you really want to help it catch on, it might benefit from gaining a phony East European mystique. You know, like the Romanian Deadlift and Bulgarian Split Squat. Maybe you can start calling it the Ukrainian Hip Thrust? :)

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Haha! Good call! The Ukrainian hip thrust would have definitely added to the allure. Or maybe we can call it the “American hip thrust” and get it popular in other countries???

      Reply
  4. Daniel

    Hey Bret, I have invented this new exercise, it looks just like, or actually, exactly like your hip thrust. But I call it the “barbell booty calls.”

    Reply
  5. felixuhlirach

    Will someone please create the “Uhlirach Glute Swing” apparatus? As you may recall, Bret, after your enormously popular T-Nation glute series, I envisioned a plate loaded apparatus, Hammer Strength style. Visualize a unilateral, adjustable footpad, with a roller leg pad under the knee.

    Variable settings would include waist heighth, chest heigth, and advanced “Rockette” setting. With opposite leg grounded and anchored hand rails, drive the leg from top stretch position all the way through to hip hyperextension.

    With 3-points of stability, (grounded foot, hands and lats anchoring upper body), the acting stabity craving glute can swing for the fences, so to speak. Picture loaded MMA stomp complete with hip hyperextension.

    It’s the pendulum quad ped in an upright position complete with full stretch and hyperextension. Also one leg grounded virtually eliminates excessive spinal flexion and extension.

    Thank you, and my work here is done. That will be all.

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Felix, I do remember that! I’m glad you do too. I’ll tell you one thing; strength coaches would be much more accepting of it as it would be performed in the standing position. I try to get people to try the pendulum quadruped hip extension and coaches think it’s stupid. It’s such a hard core exercise in addition to a great glute and metabolic exercise as well. I believe that the apparatus you described would be even better though. Charlie Francis loved the reverse leg press…the apparatus you described would be even better IMO.

      Reply
      1. felixuhlirach

        So I must confess, I was kind of aiming for an ironic laugh.

        But I actually just performed the aforementioned movement using a wide doorframe to stabilize, working leg bent at 90-degrees, obviously no load. And guess what? My glutes are pumped! (Note: the grounded leg stabilizing glute also gets quite a burn.)

        Probably a closer analogy would be an open chain version of a high step up minus knee extension but plus hip hyperextension. The added stability enables you to fire very explosively!

        Regarding other strength coaches: Bret, you already know this, but you are an indendent thinker, and that quality will ruffle feathers in any field. You have helped me tremendously in my training.

        You always credit hip thrusts with helping deadlift lockout. I may be the exception but I have actually found better carryover to my backsquat. I am far more stable sitting back into hole, my hip mobility and posture are dramatically improved, and knee pain is gone.

        Thanks for your passion, and this blog rocks!

        Reply
      2. PolyisTCOandbanned

        I use the Life Fitness quadriped machine. It works fine.

        I do it after hip thrusts and do 2 sets of 10 straight through, alternating legs, to help with getting failure. Also I do a little pause-squeeze at the top. I do max the machine out, but there are those rubber weights if I need them, to add onto the stack.

        http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160460852916&rvr_id=128760924691&crlp=1_263602_263622&UA=%3F*I8&GUID=9ff0c65412a0a0e203a1f581fc2fdb6f&itemid=160460852916&ff4=263602_263622

        Reply
  6. PolyisTCOandbanned

    I’ve been running around the Internet, telling anyone who advocates any form of bridge-ing that they are stealing from you. Hope you appreciate my “helping you out”. :)

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Haha! Any form of bridging? Well I learned the basic glute bridge from guys like Cressey, Robertson, Boyle, Verstegen, etc. I thought it was kind of gay…too light for me. Never saw the point for my purposes as my glutes “activated” just fine (not saying that others’ glutes do). But I realized that the glutes worked very hard from that vector, so I wanted to make it as hard as possible, like we do with the squat and deadlift. So I came up with the hip thrust, and the rest is history. So essentially I “stole” from those guys. And they “stole” from Jane Fonda and my Mom circa 1980!

      Reply
  7. Steven Rice Fitness

    Hi Bret, thanks for the video. Two questions:

    Where does the bar sit relative to the ASIS or other anatomical landmark?

    Are the thighs doing anything, such as pulling the feet in to engage the hamstrings or pushing them away to inhibit the hams?

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Steven, the bar goes right above the pubic bone at the lower abdomen area. Nope; you want the knees to be at a right angle up top. Too acute of an angle and it feels awkward, too obtuse of an angle and your feet slide forward. The quads work very, very hard isometrically to control the movement, and the hamstrings work hard to aid in hip extension, but you just try to push through the entire foot (cue heels) and avoid doing anything tricky.

      Reply
  8. Iris Collado

    Hi Bret! what is your opinion about Spinning Workout? According to Craig Ballantyne, it is better to do interval training than spending 45 minutes doing spinning. One trainer at my gym told me to do it because it is great for your lower body.

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      I think it’s fine to do spinning; it’s a hell of a tough workout. Just not for girls who have the propensity to get too big of quads. Also I don’t think that people should spin too often. They should mix it up. Intervals, tabatas, low intensity long duration cardio, circuits, using various equipment, etc.

      Reply
  9. allie

    oh my gosh, i just found this blog- you’re AMAZING! i can’t believe all of the information on here. and you personally answer so many of the questions asked in comments, THANK you! what a treat, can’t wait to explore further on the blog- loved the vid there.

    Reply
  10. Nina

    Hi Bret,

    I just finished your eBook—great stuff!

    I am currently using the Wendler 5-3-1 program (3 days/week) and I am trying to figure out how best to incorporate specific glute exercises, without killing myself with too much volume.

    Would it be best to perform glute exercises on days where major lifts are not performed; on upper body days (OH & bench press); or on lower body days (DL & squat)? I am usually fried at the end of DL and squat days because my assistance exercises (5 sets of 10-15 reps) are intense (HLR, good mornings and RDLs, rotation of step-ups/lunges/BSSs), so I have been thinking about doing them on OH and bench press days instead. Should I aim for twice or once weekly for glute-specific exercises?

    Also, my gym does not have a reverse hyper machine—can you substitute the use of the donkey-kick machine instead? I am not sure if full hip extension is possible on the one at my gym.

    Thanks for your time and effort on this blog! :)

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Nina, I think you should just use the hip thrust or bb glute bridge or sl hip thrust as assistance exercises. You don’t need to do 5 sets for an exercise; I’d rather do 3 sets of 1 exercise and 2 sets of another. You could definitely try to do the glute specific exercises on off days, but if you’re really sore and beat up it could be problematic. Yes, you could use a donkey kick machine, and usually full hip ext is in fact possible. Thanks Nina!

      Reply
  11. paul

    Im at page 100 of your book and you say we need the quads (knee joint) and calfs (ankle joint) to be stiff. I saw a coach doing leg extensions and holding the extended position for 4 seconds with 1 leg, lower back down, and repeat a number of times (depending on desired training effect). Will this be more beneficial than deadlifts to train the stiff leg concept at ground contact when sprinting? How do you train for quad/calf stiffness?

    Paul Graham

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Paul, the answer to your question is no. Think plyometrics. There is actually some research that shows that complex training (ex: performing a set of squats followed by a vertical jump) can increase stiffness very rapidly.

      Reply
  12. Jerry Bruton

    I have been spreading the word about your hip thrust exercise. Thanks to your website I have incorporated glutes as a separate muscle group in my workouts. The hip thrust, quadruped pendulum hip extension, and band hip external rotation are the exercises I have added to my program. For the quadruped pendulum hip extension, I fabricated a pendulum from galvanize pipes, steel bars, and wood that attaches to my power cage. These exercises have activated the mind connection to the glutes. In fact, laterally rotating the thighs by flexing the glutes has added more sweep to the thighs in my posing. I was selected at an over 40 bodybuilder for the week by Bodybuilding.com.
    http://www.bodybuilders.com/jerry-bruton.htm

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Thank you very much Jerry!!! I’m glad you’ve found my work useful and are spreading the word. It’s great to hear specific feedback from a bodybuilder. Congrats on the pendulum innovation! I’d love to see a pic. You rock my friend!

      Reply
  13. Steven Rice Fitness

    Bret, how well do you think the hip thrust would serve for strengthening the upper spine in extension?

    I put a lot of emphasis on posture, and particularly dealing with thoracic hyper-kyphosis and rounded shoulders. Typically I would have someone work at good spine extension while retracting the scapula, but it occurs to me that the spine itself could be emphasized doing the bridge with the support higher(and less weight.) Working the glutes would just be an extra benefit.

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Steven, I don’t think they’re that good in this regard. I could be wrong; certainly you could experiment with moving the base of support more toward the neck. By palpation I’ve found that the reverse hyper works people’s erectors all the way up as long as they hold onto the handles for support grip. I have a Youtbe video of the thoracic extension which works well too. Dave Tate likes the safety squat bar upper back good morning. Front squat holds work the bejeezus out of that region too. Best of luck!

      Reply
  14. ALEX

    Yesterday i was reading a blog of Chris Mallac from http://www.sports-performance.com who states that the massive and powerful looking gluteals of top-level sprinters and people with that characteristic in gerneral, is due to the architecture of their pelvis. For the author, thanks to a genetic predisposition,this people have pelvic bones that are wider in the front/back direction than the regular person and are more inclined to tilt forwards (so it looks like their bottom is sticking out). As a result, their sacrum bones (tailbones) sit more horizontal than the regular person, which provides a much more generous platform for the gluteals and hamstring muscles to attach onto. This means their gluteals end up looking much fuller and developed due to this phenomenon.
    He adds also that unfortunately, no amount of training will ever make up for the fact that if you don’t have the pelvic bones developed in that particular way, then you just ain’t going to get those glutes.
    He says that training can only make the glute a lot more stronger with minimal to average cosmetic improvements.
    for that purpose, he advices an exercise similar to the single leg hip thrust.
    Now i want the ultimate word from the glute guy in person!
    Is it possible for a woman who does not possess that phisical characteristic develop a bubble butt?
    There is hope for a woman with a flat butt into a beautiful one through training or is it possible only to make it strong? Have you ever seen it happen?
    I’ll appreciate your sincere opinion about this argument.
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Alex, could you point me in the direction of this blog? I tried the sports-performance link and it was dead. I tried surfing around and couldn’t find it. I have journal evidence on the anthropometry and somatotypes of sprinters but I’m not sure if he’s exactly correct. Chris seems like a smart guy so I’d like to see exactly what he wrote.

      Of course genetics play a huge role in glute appearance. Some girls don’t even work out and have perfect butts, while others train round the clock and still don’t have nice butts. However, every person I’ve trained has gotten a better butt. It may not look like Jessica Biel but it always gets better. Skeletal structure, insertion points, fiber type proportion, etc. play a huge role in bodybuilding with all muscles, not just the glutes. So do physiological elements such as testosterone, IGF-1, cortisol, myostatin, growth hormone, insulin, estrogen, growth factors, cytokines, etc.

      However, most individuals have never trained the glutes properly in order to see what their genetic potential truly is. I have taken plenty of flat butt women and given them booties. In fact, my first client in my garage (who was the first client I experiment with in terms of prescribing the hip thrust exercise) had a flat butt and she developed a butt for the first time in her life. She couldn’t believe it. If I had before/after pics of all my clients over the years you’d be quite impressed. Unfortuntately most people don’t know how to train properly; they don’t know the best exercises, they don’t know how to design programs, they don’t know how to listen to biofeedback, and they don’t know how to get stronger, so they’ll never know what their butts could have looked like.

      Please send me the link to his article. I’m sure that Chris and I would be on the same page as there’s definitely a lot to what he’s saying in terms of genetics, but I’m sure he’d agree that everyone can improve their gluteal appearance. Not everyone can get a bubble butt, but they can still look better.

      Bret

      Reply
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  16. alex

    This is the article from the newsletter”Sports Injury Doctor”.
    There are no picture because i don’t know how to send a link! (sorry)

    ISSUE 4

    31 AUGUST
    Lazy Glutes Syndrome

    I was watching some of the IAAF Athletics Diamond Competition the other day when the 100m women’s sprint final came on. My wife was amazed at the size and shape of the ‘rear ends’ of the female sprinters and asked me what it would take to acquire gluteals of such extraordinary proportion and shape.

    I regretted to inform her that a large part of the reason that these women possess such powerful looking gluteals and upper hamstrings is due to the architecture of their pelvis. Unfortunately, no amount of squats, lunges or step ups will ever make up for the fact that if you don’t have the pelvic bones developed in such a way, then you just ain’t going to get those glutes.

    Thanks to a genetic predisposition, top-level sprinters, have pelvic bones that are wider in the front/back direction than the regular person and are more inclined to tilt forwards (so it looks like their bottom is sticking out). As a result, their sacrum bones (tailbones) sit more horizontal than the regular person, which provides a much more generous platform for the gluteals and hamstring muscles to attach onto. This means their gluteals end up looking much fuller and developed due to this phenomenon.

    “Gym exercises such as squats, lunges, leg press and step ups may actually exacerbate knee problems. These exercises are performed from positions where we start or finish in lots of hip flexion but we don’t actually extend our hip into extension.”

    The end result is that they are in a biomechanical position to generate large amounts of force in the gluteals and hamstrings to use in the hip extension (stride through) stage of sprinting.

    So how does the non-athletic population develop strong gluteals if we don’t have the favourable bone structure to allow generous development?

    Part of the difficulty (bone structure aside) is that most of us have ‘lazy’ glutes. The reason for this is due to the amount of sitting that we do. When we sit, our hips are in what is called ‘relative flexion’. The gluteal muscle is effectively on stretch in sitting (as they are hip extensors). The muscle re-organises its structure to suit this hip flexion so that they become longer, and in effect weaker, when we stand upright.

    Now here is the main problem that we physiotherapists see on a daily basis: weak glutes in standing, walking and running that lead to problems around the knee. The old nursery rhyme – “the hip bones connect to the .. thigh bones, the thigh bones connect to the …. etc.” – holds true. The hip muscles are needed to keep the pillar that is the leg stable when we mobilise in walking/running. Without good hip stability, our knees move and wobble too much and this can lead to knee problems.

    Gym exercises such as squats, lunges, leg press and step ups may actually exacerbate this problem. These exercises are performed from positions where we start or finish in lots of hip flexion but we don’t actually extend our hip into extension. This is where we want our glutes working quite hard as we need them working well when we have our lower limb in extension (such as the final push off phase of running).

    An exercise that I frequently advocate to patients wanting strong gluteals for the purpose of function in walking and running is the bench bridge exercise.

    The Bench Bridge

    * This is performed by lying crossways on a gym bench with the arms held out like on a crucifix.
    * You place the foot of the leg to be worked directly underneath your knee.
    * The other leg is held out straight and off the ground.
    * Push down through the heels and attempt to raise the hips up into a horizontal position.
    * You can actually push through and get into slight hip extension in this position.
    * The beauty of this exercise is that it can be performed at home or the gym, and the biggest benefit is that it works the gluteals quite hard into hip extension, something squats, leg press, lunges and step ups don’t do.

    Chris Mallac

    has been head of sports med at Bath Rugby and head physio at Queensland Reds Super 14. He presents the Rehab Trainer course in London each year, with the next course coming up in September 2010.

    Please work around this topic and tell us your detailed opinion!

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Alex, thanks for the article. I think it’s a very well-written piece. I don’t disagree with much in this article (except I’d like to see references for the sprinter’s anatomical differences…not saying he’s wrong…just saying I’ve never seen this research). I think a lot of sprinters are definitely in APT (anterior pelvic tilt) for one reason or another (could be genetic or through training). At any rate, I talked about a lot of this stuff in my glute eBook and I’m very glad that I’m seeing more of it these days. His exercise is indeed a single leg hip thrust and is very effective. Thanks again!

      Reply
  17. Bianca

    Hi Bret, great blog and great article and related video (showing the proper form is SO important)
    .
    I would like to ask you a couple of questions regarding hip thrusts:

    1) how tall should the bench behind your shoulders ideally be when you’re doing a hip thrust? (I don’t work-out at the gym, so I have to find some sort of equivalent at home)

    2) I am a woman (quite lean): do you think in my case it would be okay to do the hip thrust using a sandbag instead of a barbell? And what about using a kettlebell? (too unstable?)

    Thanks so much for this great blog!
    Bianca

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Bianca, the end of a couch works perfectly for hip thrusts, and a sandbag is great too (but you want to be able to continue to increase the load) as it distributes stress well across the hips. KB’s do not work well for hip thrusts, but you can certainly do KB swings with them; another great glute exercise.

      Reply
  18. Bianca

    Hi Bret, thanks so much for your answer. I have another (very difficult) question and maybe you are the only person who’s experienced enough as to be able to answer me.

    I am an ectomorph-dominant: my parents are both very thin and I have always been very thin as well.
    If I don’t eat a lot (at least 2.000 kcal/day), I tend to be absolutely under-weight in particular in my upper-body.

    When I do eat a lot , I keep being thin (especially in my upper body) but I have a quite round and nice butt.

    I started working out with kettlebells a year ago, with satisfactory results in terms of muscle gain and toning.

    The only problem is that, when I eat a lot (in order not to be too skinny), I develop a very nice bum but unfortunately I tend to accumulate fat also on my upper thigh region (and this is not nice at all).

    Do you have any suggestion for me? My goal would be to keep my round and nice bum and at the same time get rid of that ugly fat on my upper thighs.
    Any advice?

    Thanks very much and I really hope that you will find the time to give me your opinion.

    Bianca

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Bianca, it’s all about finding the happy medium. I’ve always said, “I can be lean, or I can be huge, but I can’t be lean and huge.” I can drop down to 200 lbs and have ripped abs but then I have no muscle. I can bulk up to 250 and be huge and strong but then I have a big belly. So I stay at around 220-230 which is a happy medium. Get to a point where you feel comfortable and then go for gradual gains in weight and make sure these gains are accompanied by strength gains in order to maximize the likelihood that the weight gain is in the form of muscle, not fat. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  19. Bianca

    Thanks Bret for your very wise and smart reply: it has indeed helped a lot.
    I will keep my 2.000 calories daily intake and at the same time perhaps increase my workouts from 2 (as I am doing now) to 3-4 times a week. Perhaps also increasing the weights that I use.

    I wish you lived in Italy or I lived in Arizona: I’d love to have an intelligent and experienced trainer like you!
    But I am very happy that I have found your blog.

    Thanks again

    Bianca

    Reply
  20. Ted

    Hi Bret,

    great blog and great instructional video. I just started doing the hip thrust and like it very much since I do not know any other exercise which targets the glutes as efficiently. But I feel that my quads fatigue before my glutes do. Is that a problem? Do I do anything wrong, necessarily? My major aim is to improve my mind muscle connection since I am not really able to squeeze my glutes while squatting.

    Thank you very much

    Reply
  21. TK

    Bret, thanks for all the great info! I heard you say on a recent podcast interview that you can do hundreds of repetitions of bodyweight hip thrusts but I haven’t heard you mention higher rep schemes much on your blog. Do you see much benefit to doing high reps for endurance (a la kettlebell swings) with this exercise?

    Reply
  22. ALEX

    true story
    my wife is from slovakia, she is tall, good breast size and long slim legs, but she had no butt.
    she had the flattest glutes you could ever see. when viewed from the side you could see natural well developed hamstrings but no butt.
    she is very lazy, she has never done bodybuilding or other forms of vigorous physical activities.
    i am a bodybuilder so i pushed her to do something to overcome this aesthetic asimmetry.
    at last, i convinced her to do the same traditional glutes exercises (squat, sumo and romanian deadlift, bulgarian squats etc) at home, twice a week, with a 30 pounds barbell and a 35 pounds kettlebell. plus the overstimated (in my opinion) bodyweight non progressive resistance glute activation work. she has tried this routine for 9 mounths without any viseable improvement.
    in the meantime, i was experimenting in the gym with the contreras loaded exercises (hip bridge and hip thrust) so i knew i was on something.
    i changed her routine using the same frequency (twice a week) and the same ridicously ligth equipment.
    workout 1
    warm-up bodyweight hip thrust 1×12
    barbell hip thrust 6×8/12 30 pounds
    kettlebell sumo deadlift 4×10/12 35 pounds
    workout b
    warm-up bodyweight hip bridge 1×12
    barbell hip bridge 30 pounds
    zercher squat 4×10/12 35 pounds
    to convince her to use more weigth was a lost buttle so the only thing i controlled was to make sure she contracted strongly her glutes on each rep.
    like many other women she has muscle and joint hypermobility, so no hip flexors stretching or other strange exercises.
    two mounths later, she certainly is not lenda murray, but she has visibly improved the size and the shape of her butt. in tight jeans, she doesn’t even look the same person. her posture has improved also.
    i am confident that if she would increase her training weigths and intensity, she coul reach incredible results.
    she’ getting good results from a light application of the contreras idea, so i sincerely think that bret is the only true innovator.
    when he speak we better listen very carefully

    alex italy

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Alex,

      I have noticed a similar phenomenon in several individuals. Thank you VERY much for posting this comment. It’s so nice to hear feedback like this. And I agree – with more resistance she could see even better results. Keep up the great work my friend!

      Bret

      Reply
  23. chris mallac

    Bret

    Someone pointed me into the direction of your website in terms of some coments that had been made regarding an article I wrote for the Sports Injury Doctor.

    I enjoyed scanning through your blog and reading your thoughts and ideas – I picked up a few good points that will help me in teaching – i will ensure that I make reference to you for that.

    Anyway on the issue of sprinters pelvic architecture. Unfortunately I don’t have research for this. It is a comment i picked up from a Biomechanics lecturer many many years ago that has stuck in my mind and he did make reference also to the bony architecture of gorilla’s (not in the smae breath thank goodness) and how they had a wider AP diameter to their pelvis which facilitated gluteal leverage.

    Also as a physiotherapist having worked extensively with elite athletes and common recreational athletes, the visual difference is obvious. Sprinters have a sacrum which is more horizontal than the average person which would ensure that the ilium must also be wider in the AP direction to accomodate the extra horizonatl inclination.

    I apologise for possibly stirring up a hornets nest if I have.

    Kind regards
    Chris Mallac

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Great to hear from you Chris. I checked out some of your stuff too and found you to be very intelligent. And you did not stir up any hornet’s nests, you gave me some food for thought as I believe that sprinters’ pelvic architecture probably does differ from that of the average population, I just haven’t come across any research on this topic. Thanks for the comment!

      Reply
  24. Pauly

    Hey Bret,

    I’m having trouble finding one of your posts that I read earlier for a friend of mine. You talked about how hip thrusts can really transfer to jiu jitsu, his sport of choice. If you going post the link that would be awesome.

    Reply
  25. Pingback: Is Ab Training Diminishing Your Curves? | Mother Fitness Revolution

  26. David

    Bret I am trying to build up the glutes especially the medius and the abductors on the sides. Does the hip thrust work all of the gluteals? Also what is the best strategy for glute hypertrophy because I just recently corrected an anterior pelvic tilt which caused my glutes to be almost non existant. Just looking to grow some glutes. Thanks!

    Reply
  27. Will

    I fell in love with this exercise (actually the abbreviated ROM version w/o a bench) but i herniated a disk shortly afterwards (dunking everyday, back squats, and an exercise discovered for myself which is basically a dynamic goodmorning, stomping feet down 3x week for 4 months did that to me) eventually i will be belt squatting but compressing the spine is forever done (in the weightroom, i’m gonna get back to bball if eventually no matter the risk) bottomline: how safe is this movement to someone like me?

    Reply
  28. Will

    David,
    I’ve read that this is a great movement for APT. This is an awesome movement that for most ppl will be all they’ll need for the glutes IMO. it doesn’t get the very top of the ass tho — no hyperextension. I’ve personally found that it hits my hams a lot too but maybe that’s just me. Brett is dead on w/ stressing the importance of anteroposterior plane. axial plane movements peter out at the end, that’s why chain and bands have become useful.

    Reply
    1. Phil

      Will I am 48 and had a total hip replacement 4months ago. I got onto this exercise to prepare the glutes for surgery. Last night I lifted 385 lbs. What i have found is that hip thrusters make you strong where you need to be. With reference to it hitting the top of the glutes, keep working at the hyperextension, and do iso holds at top of the movement. It will come. Also, keep the hinging movement throughout deadlifts, goodmornings, squats and you will find that helps with the body learning to get into hyperextension rather than that movement going to lumbar spine.

      Reply
  29. fred

    Mr. Bret,

    how do i incorporate the hip thrust in my leg routine?currently, it consists of squat, deadlift, lunges, leg press, ext. and curls…and somehow lunges(if i still have the energy)…can i substitute the SLDL with hip thrusts?

    thanks in advance!

    Reply

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