Can You Use A Kettlebell For Hip Thrusts

James Lee
• Tuesday, 03 November, 2020
• 8 min read

To perform this exercise you will need 3 main things, a barbell, weights, and a bench or something else to prop your shoulder blades against. Your shoulder blades should stay planted on the bench you are using for support to complete the bridge.

hip kettlebell thrust
(Source: www.youtube.com)


I strongly recommend using a squat sponge or some type of pad when performing this exercise as the barbell can really wreck your pelvis. I have made the mistake of performing these without a pad before and ended up black and blue in all the worst places.

Here we have another hip thrust utilizing a barbell, however in this variation we see more posterior pelvic tilt (1). When performing this variation, you will also be resting the back against the bench at the very bottom or inferior portion of the scapulae/shoulder blades.

Other than this change, the movement is essentially the same, beginning with the barbell on the floor and ending in a bridge. Taking this into consideration utilizing this method may increase activation of the gluteus Maximus however this variation is best suited for the more experienced lifters as it requires a bit more practice performing safely.

“Bands have recently been shown to elicit similar levels of Egg amplitude compared with free weights” (1). On top of eliciting a similar amplitude, I love that the resistance increases as you progress through the repetition.

To perform this variation, hold the kettle bell in between the legs, allowing it to be low enough that it is not going to hit you in the groin. Start by holding the kettle bell with both hands, begin the repetition by softening the knees allowing your hips to come back and then extend the hips forward and pushing the kettle bell forward and up.

hip thrust kettlebell kettle bell swing dumbbell swings exercise workouts workout crossfit ups exercises step travel gap skimble reps leg
(Source: www.skimble.com)

Much like the rest of you, I’ve had to transition my exercise from the gym to my home. In March, I also started focusing more on all over strength-building and lower body exercises.

Swings can be performed with lighter loads for ultra-high reps to build muscular endurance and aerobic conditioning, and they can be performed with heavier loads for medium-to-high reps to build strength, explosive hip power, anaerobic conditioning, and even muscular shape in the posterior chain. You will also notice that the heavier loads generate greater GRS, and that this force increase is even more pronounced in the horizontal vector.

In a previous article, I discussed why I felt that heavy kettle bell swings should be utilized for athletic strength & conditioning. I mentioned that heavy KB swings would be a great exercise for improving hip power, acceleration, and speed.

Recent high-quality research has shown this to be true in sprinting, that is, the glutes and hamstrings counteract the hip flexion and knee extension torques induced by gravity, motion, and ground reaction (see abstract HERE). Finally, Lake & Lauder showed in an excellent study that KB swings produced a greater impulse (impulse equals force multiplied by time) compared to squats and jump squats, indicating that they may be superior in some regards (see abstract HERE, see larger review of the study HERE).

Increased Hip Extensor Activation with Progressively Heavier Kettle bell Swings I asked my friend Marianne Kane, a proficient and experienced kettle bell swinger, to perform kettle bell swings with 16 kg, 28 kg, and 48 kg while electrodes were place on her glutes, quads, and hamstrings and electromyographic (Egg) activity was recorded.

kettlebell thrusters hip skimble exercise
(Source: www.skimble.com)

Hopefully in time a study will emerge will a sufficient sample size, but my guess is that the results will be duplicated as it’s common biomechanical sense to me. For example, if I do swings with 300 lbs, my range of motion (ROM) is compromised, my power output diminishes drastically, and my hip extensors (glutes and mammies) don’t contract as forcefully.

If possible (due to equipment availability), I recommend pyramiding loads for swing sets. If you perform kettle bell swings with the intention of shaping the glutes and hamstrings, make sure you progress over time and use heavier loading.

If you ’re a beginner, you ’ll likely want to first master the kettle bell dead lift and cable pull-through, then the kettle bell dead lift/swing hybrid (click HERE to see this movement), and then finally move onto swings (click HERE to see videos for KB swing form). Your glutes are the largest muscle group in your body, and that makes them incredibly important when it comes to performance.

Make sure you read this blog post all the way to the end because you ’re about to discover the benefits, muscles worked, and how to perfectly perform this awesome exercise. Your glutes are important to performing squats and dead lifts which are common exercises in most bodybuilding programs.

You can use the hip thrust as a main lift to build strength and a killer posterior chain. This exercise is all about the glutes, making it the holy grail of building a perfect butt.

bridge glute leg kettlebell single position starting placed hip directly diagram
(Source: www.researchgate.net)

To set up your dumbbell hip thrust, you will need a bench that supports you just beneath your shoulder blades. Make sure your bench is either secured to the ground or placed up against a wall so it doesn’t move while you are performing your hip thrusters.

Begin with your back against the bench while seated on the ground, then tuck your chin, keep your chest and rib cage down, and look forward. By tucking your chin, keeping your chest and rib cage down, and looking forward, it will lower the chances that you will overextend and hurt your back.

With your chin tucked, your chest rib cage down, and your eyes looking forward, draw your knees in and prop the upper half of your back onto the bench. The top of the thrust is when your hips are fully extended, your knees are at 90 degrees, and your shins are vertical.

Sit against the bench with the top hitting just underneath your shoulder blades Hold your weight on your pelvic bone Place your feet at a distance that will result in your knees being at a 90-degree angle and shins vertical at the top of the movement Focus your eyes at a point in front of you, tuck your chin, keep your chest and rib cage down, and use your glutes to raise the bottom half of your body. Here are a few popular variations of this movement to change emphasis and target slightly different muscle groups in your booty sculpting workout.

This exercise is going to work all the same muscle groups, but will increase the intensity since each leg will be isolated. Follow the same steps as the standard hip thrust, but take note of these additional tips.

hip thrust kettlebell training thehealthylife24 barbell results fitness workout
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and feet close to your butt (sit-up position) Secure a dumbbell in the middle of your pelvis with both hands Keeping your abs tight and your glutes flexed, push your hips up until your waist is completely unhinged and straight Lower yourself slowly and controlled back to the floor As toucan see, the dumbbell hip thrust is a great exercise for building your quads, glutes, and hamstrings.

Here’s a step-by-step blueprint showing you how to shred body fat and build noticeable muscle definition in the next 2 weeks. Compared to squats, lunges, and dead lifts hip thrusts activates the glutes at a much higher rate.

The hip thrust is like a glute bridge the only difference is that the back is resting on the bench to help increase the range of motion. Bend your knees to about 90 degrees, and make sure your feet are flat on the floor.

Tip: It’s very important that you don’t hyper extend your lower back at the top to prevent this make sure your neck stays neutral as you lift yourself off the floor and Don’t let your head drop back. In order to perform a hip thrust, you will need something sturdy that will provide elevation.

If you are performing body weight hip thrust toucans something like a chair or even a couch but as you start adding heavier weight you will need a bench to provide you with the proper support, the same goes for padding. As toucan see in the image below I am performing banded body weight hip thrust using a chair.

kettlebell hip thrust
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Load: From a barbell, bands, kettle bell, dumbbell, chains, or just body weight these are all different options you can use to add resistance to your hip thrust. To protect your hips from any bruising toucans a yoga Matt by folding it in 4 parts or toucan also get yourself a barbell pad.

Barbell Hip Thrust using the Smith Machine, this is a great variation when there are now free bars available. Banded Hip Husbanded Hip Thrust using the hamstring curl machine, this variation is great when you are running short on time and don’t want to waste any additional time setting up.

Banded Hip Thrust using a kettle bell /dumbbell, this is also a great variation to perform on low volume high-rep days. Single Leg Hip Thrust, performing unilateral exercises helps balance things out and prevents muscle imbalances.

Therefore, if you are currently performing hip thrusts or soon plan to make sure to incorporate single leg hip thrust in your routine. B-stance Hip Thrust: This my favorite single leg variation the b-stance helps me stay stabilized through the whole movement especially when using a barbell.

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1 www.simplefitnesshub.com - https://www.simplefitnesshub.com/what-body-part-does-kettlebell-swings-work/
2 www.atemi-sports.com - https://www.atemi-sports.com/what-muscles-kettlebell-swings-work/
3 www.webmd.com - https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/kettlebell-workout
4 darkironfitness.com - https://darkironfitness.com/kettlebells-for-beginners/