There are no if ands or buts about it (no pun intended). It’s sorta awkward (avoid all eye contact when performing), it’s anything but comfortable, and depending on the individual it’s a total struggle to get into the correct starting position.
The hip thrust is an awesome exercise and more people should perform it. At WHBC it has become a complete staple in our programming. There’s not much we can do about the awkwardness of the exercise. However, we can totally set you up for success and hopefully guide you in the right direction when it comes to getting strong and feeling good.
First things first you must be able to perform a proper hip thrust with bodyweight before jumping under the barbell. As with any lift, always start with a pretty conservative weight and feel it out from there.
Push the Floor Away – Ensure that your heels don’t rise off the ground. Some individuals prefer to maintain flat feet while others like toes pointed towards the sky. This is something that you can certainly toy around with for yourself.
Vertical Shins at the Top – To maximize glute activation maintain a vertical shin. This will require some testing and re-testing, but should not be too difficult to figure out. Do it prior to using the barbell.
Do Not Allow Your Knees to Cave In – Just like #2, this also increases gluteal activation, puts you in a stronger position and is healthier for the joints. Your femurs should track in line with your feet.
All the Way up – Full hip extension is where the glutes reach their absolute highest level of activation. Make sure you use the glutes to lead the hips as high as possible during each rep. If you cannot reach full hip extension terminate the set and remove some of the weight on the bar. Something to consider; video yourself from the side. When watching the video you should be able to draw a straight line from your knees to your hips to shoulders. Squeeze hard at the top and crush some walnuts.
Keep Ribs Locked Down – For the hip thrust avoid driving your chest up to prevent hyperextending in your low back. Remember maintain that straight line from your knees, hips, and shoulders and finish the lift with your booty not low back.
In the video you’ll see Jaclyn going to work. First we have a Supine Barbell Bridge. Besides body weight variations, this will be a great starting point. This is also a solid variation if you have any low back issues. At the :15 mark is the good old Barbell Hip. After a few weeks or as soon as you’ve mastered the basic Barbell Hip Thrust, give the single leg variation and or complex a try! If you have any questions please feel free to contact us. Also, if you are interested in getting further instruction and are local to WHBC, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.