Monday Move: Barbell Hip Thrust

Want a stronger butt? Yeah, you do! Sure it looks nice to have a supple booty, but more importantly, it is a prime driver and will improve your strength tremendously.  And, the pelvic floor and glutes are good friends, working together to give you a more functional core.

I find a traditional bench too high for my comfort on the barbell hip thrust (or the elevated glute bridge for that matter).  I’m on the shorter side though (5’3), so I prefer to use aerobic steps with risers (like this– The Step High Step Aerobic Platform – Grey).  Since it is 115 degrees out today, I brought my barbell inside for this demo.  Any surface of the optimal height will do so long as it is supportive.  Once you start getting into heavier weights though, you are going to need a more “professional” and supportive set up.  I like the steps for that, wedged against a wall.  Bret Contreras…the king of glutes…sells a machine just for this purpose.

Also, as the weight gets heavier, you will also probably want some padding to protect your lady bits…like this.  A rolled up yoga mat can suffice, too.

Here are a few tips on the barbell glute bridge.

  1. Feet shoulder width or slightly wider.
  2. Focus eyes out in front and up.  The line where the wall meets the ceiling is a great focal point.
  3. Inhale at the bottom and exhale drawing core tight as you drive the barbell up, contracting glutes.
  4. Feet need to stay nice and flat.  If you go up onto your toes it will put the lift in your quads, and if you lift up your toes and go into your heel, you will put the lift in the hamstring.  We are focusing on glutes, so neutral foot grip.
  5. Keep upper torso fixed on bench.  There isn’t much movement in this area of your body.  Bring the pelvis in line with ribs by using the glutes to drive.
  6. Don’t hyperextend at top of the lift.  The goal is to lift pelvis to be in line with ribs.  If anything, err on the side of slight posterior tilt.  Otherwise, you may experience back pain.