7 Hip Thrust Benefits That’ll Blow Your Mind (and his Back Out)
Ah, the hip thrust. The most blatantly erotic exercise maneuver that also yields incredible health benefits inside and outside the bedroom. If you could only do one glute exercise for the rest of forever, consider making it the hip thrust.
Perfected by booty powerhouse and all-around glute guy Bret Contreras, the hip thrust’s benefits go way beyond its overt sexual overtones, safeguarding your spine, plumping your ass, and improving your life in surprising ways.
Add the hip thrust to your booty care regimen to stay soft and firm in all the best ways. With its endless variability, you can start using just your own body weight before working up to the advanced variation that involves adding another hot, sweaty body on your lap.
You know we’re a glutton for the glutes, so follow along to learn how to do hip thrusts and pump up that peach. Let’s get thrusty!
What are hip thrusts?
The hip thrust is a lower body exercise that targets all three components of the gluteal muscle group: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.
Hip thrusts are the shoulders-elevated cousin to the floor-bound glute bridge exercise. They offer a greater range of motion and more room for variety. If you do them right, you can go beyond the butt to work your hamstrings, quadriceps, abductor, and adductor muscles, too. Honestly, what can’t she do?
Hip thrusts might sound (and look) like a great way to impress your new gym crush with your pelvic prowess, but don’t be surprised when you also wind up with a stronger core, healthier back, and better posture.
How do you do hip thrusts?
Maybe you’ve been thrusting your hips for years, but we aren’t talking about shaking those sheets, honey. The hip thruster is a proper workout, so we don’t want to see any funny business while you lean back against the bench, squeeze your butt cheeks, and thrust your hips up and down…and up and down…again and again…until your thigh muscles tremble and you — okay, maybe we do want to see that, after all.
Before you go loading a stack of weight plates all up on your pelvis, we recommend getting the form down so you can keep on thrusting injury-free.
There are plenty of variations, but a common approach is the barbell hip thrust, so we’ll walk you through that one.
- Start with a barbell loaded to a weight you can comfortably thrust with good form for two to three sets of 6–12 reps. Set up the barbell parallel to the bench on the floor.
- Sit on the floor perpendicular to the bench so your shoulder blades press back against it at about a 45-degree angle.
- Roll the bar up until it rests in the crease of your hips, then bring your knees up and plant your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
Body position note: At the top of this movement, your upper body and thighs should be flat, shins straight up and down, and knees at a 90-degree angle. Position yourself accordingly on the floor and do a few test positions until you can get your body into a table shape and feel your glutes working more than any other muscle group.
- Squeeze your glutes, push through your feet, and thrust the bar upward until there’s a straight line from your chest through your thighs.
- Hold at the top for two to three seconds. Imagine it like the first few strokes — nice and easy — and less like the end, when he’s begging you not to stop.
- With your glutes still engaged, hinge your hips and lower the barbell back down to the floor in a controlled motion. Remember to keep your chin tucked throughout the motion, and repeat for the desired reps and sets.
Extra tips to keep in mind
- You don’t want to hyperextend your lower back, so maintain a neutral spine and avoid driving your hips too far through.
- Look toward the line where the wall meets the ceiling — not straight up and not straight forward (not straight anything). Keep your eyes on that spot so your chin doesn’t pivot with your movement.
- Get the most out of each rep by keeping your glutes engaged throughout. Drive through your feet to maintain engagement and stability. If you don’t feel your glutes or don’t know how to engage them, you can include glute activation exercises in your warm-up — or ask a big, strong gym bunny to explain it to you.
- Work yourself up to thrusting the approximate weight of your crush if you really want to catch his attention.
The beauty of a hip thrust is that it’s an intuitive motion — one many of us already do on the regular. Doing it as an exercise just takes it out of the bedroom. This regimented movement requires body awareness and intentionality to ensure you get all the benefits without any of the risks.
Hip thrust benefits for men
First and most importantly, they’re just fun to do — so jot that down. But that’s only the beginning. We wouldn’t mind being friends with these kinds of benefits.
1. Perfect your posterior… chain
The posterior chain does not get the hype she deserves for keeping us upright; we’re about to change that. From your traps to your calves, your posterior chain includes hamstrings, glutes, lats, and erector spinae.
Include workouts and mobility routines that target your whole backside to help alleviate back pain, improve stability, and correct strength imbalances. Strengthening your backside is vital to longevity and stamina, so putting in the reps will keep more than just your spine erect. And that peachy hypertrophy is a big booty bonus.
2. Hip flexor-bility
Moving your body through a full range of motion with resistance training improves flexibility. The full hip extension of a well-executed hip thrust can increase the mobility in your hip flexors and hip extensors. Basically, you’ll gain access to all sorts of wild new sex positions.
And if that wasn’t enough, strengthening the muscles around your pelvis can correct imbalances and reduce nagging pain or tension.
3. Injury prevention
When you bolster all your bits with stronger muscles, you also pump up your ligaments and tendons, increase bone density, and improve balance — basically the trifecta of injury prevention.
4. Become a faster runner
Hip thrusters give you go muscles, not just show muscles. Whether you’re training for a 5K or running from your problems, hip thrust workouts benefit your speed by training your muscles for explosiveness.
Not only can you get thrusty at the gym, at home, or on the go, but there are also endless possibilities for creative variations. Get those glutes burning by adding iron. A kettlebell, barbell, or dumbbell hip thrust will yield big benefits with increasing weight.
At home, you can use a gallon of milk, a stack of books, or your boyfriend. Add in hip abduction at the top of the move by pulling your knees outward against a resistance band.
6. Plays well with others
To really round out your rump and bolster your backside, you can easily combine hip thrusts with other posterior chain and lower body exercises, like deadlifts and squat variations.
Mix in Romanian, single-leg, and sumo deadlifts to keep things interesting. Throw in a dash of back squats, constant tension squats, or Bulgarian split squats for knee health and balance. You can even keep the glute bridge exercises for a workout as well-rounded as your ass.
7. Really good at thrusting
We saved the best for last because, at the end of the day, practice makes perfect. If you’re thrusting away at the gym and working on your form while improving strength and mobility, your thrusting game is bound to impress.
The real question: Will they make me better at sex?
The answer is a resounding and emphatic YES, especially for all the tops out there. No matter what position you’re in, improving your own strength, stamina, and mobility will bring your hip action to the next level and put the bass in your thrust.