I am by nature an introverted person, am inclined to shyness and as a result of my personality am very, skeptical. So as you can imagine, when something new comes along, I am not the first to embrace it with open arms. In fact, I usually stay away from it, do research and then begin to experiment with the thing. In this case it is exercise and considering the fact that I train others for a living and their safety and results are in my hands as far as picking moves and programs to do goes, it makes it a very good trait to have.

I was very skeptical of kettlebells when they began to get popular around my area. But I did my due diligence and came to the conclusion that they are a very useful tool and when coupled with good programming, can get someone the results that they crave. So you can probably imagine when hip thrusts came along I was a bit apprehensive. Beside the fact that it looked like you were trying to get it on with the bar! 

I however began to look into this move and began to read up on it. I looked for articles, research, analysis and other’s experience and results from and with this movement and found it to be a useful movement and as a result have added it into my client’s and my own training.

I have had some good results from using it as well. One: my glutes fire so much harder on my other lower body moves such as my squats and deads.

Two: I have ended up improving my kettlebell swing form and my ability to generate force.

Third: my butt grew a bit which my wife likes! I am also sure that there have been other benefits but I haven’t noticed them as of yet.

How to do them:

This movement is not too complex to do but like every exercise, you will need to pay attention to the details as you do them. In order to get the full benefit of this drill and to become a believer like me, you will want to: Set up properly, find a spot on the horizon to focus on throughout the movement, keep your rib cage down. Drive the earth away through your heels, keep your knees out and squeeze your glutes hard on top.

1. Set up properly:
I have said it a million times and now I will say it a million and one: “the set-up is the most important part of any exercise.” The same holds true for this movement pattern; if you don’t set up well, it will be hard to fix everything once you start your set.

So when you set up: take a seat on the ground with your mid back on the bench behind you. (Make sure that the bench won’t move before you get going.) Find a spot to look at on the horizon throughout the move, place the barbell on your A.S.I.S or the bony part of your hips. Tighten your with a brace (as if you are about to get a people’s elbow to your gut.) and get ready to get some booty and strength building movement!

2. Push through your heels:

Like any other exercise that works the posterior chain, you will need to “push the earth away with your heels” to engage your glutes, hammies and of your other back side’s muscles. If you do this as well as the other parts to this move, you will get an amazing glute activation.

3.Force your knees out:
Physics are funny and always lead to a certain part of our body wanting to collapse under the resistance of a move. For example, when you do push-ups- your low back and legs want to bow.  In this case just as with squats your knees may want to bow inward. So make sure to keep your knees out as you workout by using this strength move. To learn more about this and how to correct this mistake, click here.

4. Squeeze your glutes hard on top:
The Glute max is a phasic core muscle, which simply means that we must focus on firing them to get the most out of it. So as you do this move, you basically want to do a plank for your butt and squeeze super hard as you pause on top for a second.

Hip thrusters have won over this skeptic in a very convincing way. Between my and other’s experience and Bret Contreras research, I am a convert and use them with most of my clients for various reasons but always with good results. I recommend that you do the same and get to as Bret C would say, “Get glutes!”

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