5 Best Exercises for Men to Get Better at Barbell Hip Thrust
The barbell hip thrust is one of the most effective exercises for building strength and size in glutes and hamstrings.
However, there are many variations of this exercise you can perform if you have a bench or squat rack at home. By adding a few exercises to your routine, you'll be able to perform barbell hip thrust in a better way.
Best Exercises to get Better at Barbell Hip Thrusts
Here's a look at the five best exercises for men to get better at hip thrusts:
The deadlift is a compound exercise that works the lower back, hamstrings and glutes. It is a full body exercise that also targets the quads, core and shoulders.
The deadlift primarily targets the posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings) with secondary emphasis on the quadriceps and upper back. The key to this lift is to keep your chest up throughout your set by lifting with your legs rather than rounding out your back at any point during the movement.
That ensures you're activating more glute and hamstring muscle fibres instead of relying solely on spinal erectors for stabilisation (i.e., trying not to fall forward).
#2 Hip Lift
The hip lift is a great exercise to add in between sets of barbell hip thrusts. Here's how it's done:
- Perform the hip lift exactly as you would perform a barbell hip thrust.
- However, instead of placing your hands on the ground or weight bench, place them behind your head, and pull yourself up till your hips are fully contracted and parallel with the ground, at an angle slightly more than 90 degrees).
- Hold this position for five seconds before lowering yourself back down to begin another rep.
#3 Glute Bridge
You may have done a glute bridge before and thought it was easy. It can be, but the next time you do one, try to imagine yourself as an Olympic weightlifter who needs to get their hips as high as possible. That's going to make your glutes work harder than usual and improve your overall power production to perform barbell hip thrusts.
If you're using a barbell for this exercise, set it up in front of a bench or box that's at least knee height. Place both feet flat on the floor in front of the bench while keeping your torso parallel to the floor and lowering into position slowly without letting your butt touch down till you're ready to perform every rep.
That will help condition those important muscles responsible for rebounding back into position after each rep. Your feet should be hip-width apart, with knees slightly bent and hands placed behind each foot for support, but you don't need any weight yet.
Squats are a great exercise for building lean muscle, but they can also be a very effective glute workout. Squats are full body exercises that involve moving the body through space and using multiple muscles at once to complete the movement. In this case, squats will work your glutes, and your quads and hamstrings.
If you're not familiar with squats or have never done them before, it's best to start out using no weight at all. Just pick up some hand weights, or use dumbbells if you need more resistance. Gradually add weight over time till you find one that feels challenging without being overwhelming or uncomfortable.
You can also vary how low you go to target different parts of your lower body; going parallel or lower won't hit the glutes as much as higher squats will, but remember that it takes practice.
#5 Glute Kickback
Here's how it's done:
- Kneel on a bench with your hands on the bench behind you.
- Raise your right leg up and back till it's parallel to the floor, keeping your hips square and shoulders relaxed; this is called a double hip extension.
- Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement; don't sway forward or backward as you do this exercise.
- You should feel it in both sides equally if done correctly, so make sure to focus on both sides equally while doing sets of 10-15 reps (two to three sets).
You may include these five exercises in your workout regime:
- Barbell Hip Thrusts
- Hip Lifts
- Glute Bridges (with or without a barbell)
- Squats (with or without a barbell)
If you’re looking to incorporate more variety into your barbell hip thrust routine, the aforementioned five exercises are a great place to start.
All these exercises can be done at home with just a barbell and bench. You don’t even need any weights, if you don’t want them. These are all simple variations that can be done standalone or alongside the original hip thrust exercise.
Remember that every exercise has its unique benefits and goals, but just make sure to take the benefits of them all.