As I previously mentioned, at WTC, we have a BIG focus on training the glutes and the posterior chain. I believe that it has made a huge difference in the results of our clients, and the glutes transformations that we create.
As you can see, we build some pretty good glutes and posterior chains at WTC! Not only do we use the Hip Thruster and it’s variations for our bikini and fitness models, it’s also a mainstay for the athletes that we coach in Powerlifting and Weightlifting, in addition to those returning from back injuries and pretty much every single person that comes through the doors of WTC.
I’ve found that band hip thrusts in particular hammer the glutes but don’t take a toll on recovery or tax the CNS. He is also a competitive powerlifter and martial arts black belt, and has been featured in publications such as T-Nation, Muscle-Insider, Inside Fitness, Elites and more.
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.
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.
Well, if you care about muscle activation here is a good reason “Barbell exercises are a staple in strength and conditioning programs around the world, and typically outperform machine exercises in muscle activation.” (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.
Keeping that in mind, you can use these exercises to help build this granite shelf glutes you’ve been dreaming about. They also target the rest of the body, you use your core, balance, and coordination to perform these correctly.
Walk into most commercial gyms a few years back, and you would see a vast selection of resistance machines and cardio equipment, with perhaps a small section in the corner devoted to free weights and a squat rack. For most novices this is probably the most intimidating area in the gym, full of loud grunts and heavy weights being dropped on the floor, maybe somewhere you never intend to venture too.
When it comes to strength training, we believe that nine times out of ten free weights are preferred over resistance machines. Start standing with feet outside hip width, toes are turned out where comfortable and knees and ankles are aligned.
Whole foot should be in contact with the floor and hold onto the kettles with straight arms, making sure to grip inside the legs. Keep a neutral spine as you straighten your knees, hips, and chest all at the same time to stand up tall.
Hinge back to the start position the same way you set yourself up, making sure you don’t round your shoulders. Keeping a neutral spine flex through one hip to bring the leg to around 90 degrees.
If you are struggling to maintain in a controlled position with this exercise either take the kettle bell away and perform with body weight or keep both feet in contact with the floor and do a regular hip thrust. Keeping a neutral spine, hinge your hips backwards with a soft knee and take hold of the kettle bell by the horns in an overhand position.
Swing the kettle bell in-between the tops of your legs, keeping your spine neutral and hinging back further. Make it an explosive movement as you move with the kettle bell to stand tall allowing the weight to swing forward in front of you.
Begin by keeping the chest upright, hinge the hips back as you take a big step to the left. Bend the left knee as you place the whole foot onto the floor, the right leg should remain straight.
Keeping the spine and pelvis in neutral, as you drive off the left foot and come back to the start position. If you are struggling to find balance and control in this exercise regress to a lateral squat.
If you are finding the exercise easy you could progress to a front rack position or a barbell lateral lunge instead. The supporting leg is soft at the knee and the pelvis should remain in a neutral position.
Start lying on your back with legs straight but hips flexed so the soles of the feet are facing up toward the ceiling. Exhale as you extend one leg away from you, inhale as you bring it back to the start position and repeat on the other side.
If you are struggling to keep your lower back in contact with the floor regress this exercise and don’t allow your leg to travel too far away from you. We also believe that exercise should be for everyone and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to buy a couple of kettle bells.
One of the best exercises for your glutes is something you can easily do at home or at the gym: dumbbell hip thrusts. 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. Your glutes are three muscles located on the back of your hip bones and help to create the shape of your lower body.
You have to get more than one pair if you want to increase the resistance over time You have to find a place to store them Dumbbells can be expensive 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. When you are comfortable with body weight hip thrusts, it’s time to add the dumbbells.
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.
As you can see, the dumbbell hip thrust is a great exercise for building your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Just make sure you perform the movement slowly in a controlled manner on a friction-less surface so your legs and all equipment remain stable.
They’re made by one of the most trusted fitness brands in the world They’re easy to store And they adjust as you gain experience and strength Here’s a step-by-step blueprint showing you how to shred body fat and build noticeable muscle definition in the next 2 weeks.
Barbell hip thrusts are awesome for building an insane amount of glute, quad, and hamstring strength. Yet, hip thrusts can be a little tough on the lower back if you can’t keep good form.
So, we’re going to talk about seven of the best hip thrust alternatives to target your lower body and go a little easier on your back. They hit the glutes, quads, and hamstrings just like the barbell hip thrust, but they allow you to work against a bit more resistance and build greater overall strength.
Since barbell hip thrusts can be a little hard on the lower back, the regular dead lift probably isn’t the best choice either. In this standing exercise, you’ll be able to target your glutes more directly with the assistance of your hamstrings and lower back.
Grab onto the rope extension and position yourself so your back is facing the pulley machine Bend over to about a 90-degree angle at the hips. Keeping your back and legs completely straight, begin bending forward at the hips Stop when your upper body is just about parallel to the floor.
The kettle bell swing is pretty similar to the motion of the hip thrust, but it requires a lot more momentum. That’s exactly why the kettle bell swing is on this list, as it can help you to build power and strength in your lower body.
Grip the kettle bell with one or two hands in front of your body, planting your feet about shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back and legs completely straight, bend over until your hips are at about a 90-degree angle.
This exercise nicely isolates the glutes and allows you to build up the strength for barbell hip thrusts. Lie flat on your back with one foot planted on the floor and the other straight out in front of you.
Push up off the floor with your planted foot until your back is completely straight and your leg is at a 90-degree angle. Just because you don’t add barbell hip thrusts to your routine doesn’t mean that your glutes are doomed.
There are plenty of exercises out there that allow you an equal chance to strengthen your glutes, quads, and hamstrings without hurting your back. Here’s a step-by-step blueprint showing you how to shred body fat and build noticeable muscle definition in the next 2 weeks.
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.
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). Put maximum tension on the lats and prevent your forearms from burning out.
A program to increase hip strength and mobility that can be done anywhere in a short amount of time. CrossFit with guns, a supplement ingredient quiz (with prizes), and the delicious food that keeps you full for hours.
A 6-month-long study used experienced lifters to pinpoint what amount of volume would build the most muscle and strength. A strong libido is a sign of a healthy, fit body.
Jim Gender's 5/3/1/ program promises slow and steady gains that will eventually turn you into the strongest guy in the gym. Your glutes won't fire properly if your sacrum is out of alignment.
Do selfie-obsessed fitness chicks hold the secret to building muscle? Bodybuilding is full of programs used by “enhanced” lifters, but most people don't take drugs and can't get good results.
Barbell back squats are actually not the king of leg exercises. The ultimate combination of the most powerful kettle bell exercise and hardcore strength work.
Ignore stupid rules and follow these twelve steps instead. With apologies to CrossFit, the Marines, and even NASA, there are some exercises that are just plain dumb.
You should be able to pass these tests before you hit the bench, squat, do direct arm work, or add more ab exercises. It is safe to say, though, that at the very least Bret popularized the hip thrust, which is now the go-to movement for any woman who ever dreamed of building a booty so big that she's been barred from walking into fine China shops lest she make a sudden about-face and inadvertently knock all the Llano collectible porcelain figurines off the shelf.
He's an exercise physiologist who actually has fan girls, which is kind of like a guy who sells extended warranties on in-window air conditioners having fan girls. Regardless, if the results of a new study from Brazil are to be believed, glute-obsessed women should maybe have been giving some of their adulation to Fred Hatfield, aka Dr. Squat, instead.
In an effort to compare the effects of the back squat and hip thrust exercises on muscle strength and hypertrophy, Brazilian scientists recruited 22 well-trained women. Before the study started, the researchers assessed the women's 1RM on both squats and hip thrusts while also measuring the thickness of their quads and their glutes.
On weeks 1, 5, and 9, the women did 12-15 reps with 30 to 60 seconds of rest between sets. On weeks 2, 6, and 10, the women did 4-6 reps with 3 to 4 minutes of rest between sets.
They might also want to erase all their moon-eyed, aspirational, “Mr. and Mrs. Bret Contreras” scribbling from the margins of their training logs. That being said, hip thrusts are a single-joint exercise and their range of motion, even when done perfectly, is kinda' small, so it makes sense that their muscle-building effects would suffer a bit in comparison to old-school squats.
It also makes sense that their strength-building effects might not transfer well to other movements (if that even matters to the glute obsessed). And sure, I understand that hip thrusts exhibit off-the-chart Egg readings, but Egg rankings might not be the ultimate arbiter in determining an exercise's worth.
Mechanical tension over an extended distance appears to be more important, at least in the case of squats v. hip thrusts. Mathews Carvalho, Daniel Souza, et al. “Back Squat vs. Hip Thrust Resistance-training Programs in Well-trained Women,” International Journal of Sports Medicine, 2020.