If you have never seen someone do a hip thrust before, you may think it’s an absolutely bizarre looking exercise. Admittedly, I thought it was a bit odd looking the first time I saw someone sit on the ground, lay back on a bench, place a barbell over there hip and thrust upwards. It wasn’t until I performed it myself and started researching the movement that I began to appreciate all the benefits this exercise had to offer.
4 Reasons Why I Put Hip Thrusts in my Programs
1) The Coordination Requirements are Low:
When I have a client that is new to squats and deadlifts, it often takes a while for their body to become used to the new movement pattern. In an effort to maintain safety, I can’t have them lifting appreciable weights.
What I can do, is have them load up the weight on a hip thrust, an exercise that’s far simpler in nature. This allows the client to develop the necessary strength required to safely perform squats and deadlifts.
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2) It’s a Great Supplemental Lift to Squats and Deadlifts:
In both a squat and a deadlift we are going to drive our hips behind us, ask our glutes to be big movers, and drive the bar upwards. Why not have one of our supplemental lifts be a hinge performed on the ground?
It will develop neural pathways to teach us proper hinge mechanics, and we can also use it to get some extra volume in for the glutes.
3) It’s Typically Easy on the Knees
Knee pain is one of, if not the most common area of pain I have people mention to me in consultations. For a number of clients, avoiding squats and lunges is a great place to start, but if one of the goals is still to build strength in the legs, the challenge for me as a trainer is to find exercises the client can do that are pain-free. One of the common solutions is to stick with training the posterior chain. The hip thrust does just that, as it primarily works on your hamstrings and glutes.
4) Big Butts are in!
Let’s be honest, even a brief search of workouts/trainers/“fitsagrams” will show a massive percentage of young people doing some kind of butt workout. Why? Because people want bigger butts. If you’re a follower of Bret Conteras, you will know he goes by the “glute guy” and is largely responsible for popularizing the hip thrust; he has previously listed his best exercises for developing bigger glutes and his number one exercise was the hip thrust.
Hip thrusts have only gotten popular in the last decade but they are vastly underutilized in training programs. They develop strength and power in the posterior chain and whether your goals are performance or physique based, they get the job done.