Hip thrust variations allow you to focus on your glutes from various angles, leading to overall development. However, hip thrusts do not focus only on glutes but also on hamstrings, quads, and adductors as well.
However, if there were two muscle groups you want to focus on, those would be the glutes and hamstrings.
Hip Thrust Variations for Beginners
Here are six hip thrust exercises you can try as a beginner preparing to advance to the next level.
1) Resistance Band Hip Thrust
This is the first step towards hip thrusts. You'll need a resistance band and have it run over your hip. You’ll need a bench to place your upper back against for support as you do the thrusts.
You must ensure to only move your hips and not your entire body. Your quads will become a part of the motion, but the primary muscle-mind connection should be with your glutes and hamstrings.
2) Dumbbell Hip Thrust
Once you’ve done resistance band thrusts, you can move to dumbbell thrusts. Start with a light weight, and keep it on your hip line. It’s better to have a mat placed on your hips before placing the dumbbell.
Hold the dumbbell while you do hip thrusts to ensure it doesn’t fall off, which could lead to injuries. As you become stronger, you can move to higher weights. As you use higher weights, your quads will become more involved with the exercise.
3) Single Leg Hip Thrust
The next pick from hip thrust variations is the single leg hip thrust. You do not need to use any weights for this exercise initially.
To do the exercise, place one foot on the ground, and take the other off the ground. Do hip thrusts only with the foot on the ground, which can also be considered to be unilateral movements. Once you’re comfortable doing that without any weight, you can move to doing the same exercise with dumbbells.
4) Double Foot on Medicine Ball
If you can do single foot hip thrusts, you can move to slightly advanced hip thrust variations, such as the medicine ball/ yoga ball.
To get in position, lay on the mat with your feet near the centre of the medicine ball. Lift your hips, and balance the upper body on your shoulder blades and upper back.
To do the exercise, roll the medicine ball towards you using your glutes and hamstrings while your feet remain on the ball to keep it stable and balanced. You may not be able to do numerous reps with this movement, as it’s advanced, but it’s a great warm-up and finisher exercise.
5) Barbell Hip Thrust
Barbell hip thrust is one of the hip thrust variations that requires strength and glute engagement. You need to place a barbell on your hips as the resistance.
You can begin with lighter weights, but heavier weights should be the aim. It’s important that you use a mat before putting the barbell on your hips to protect the bones from the barbell’s weight and friction.
6) Glute Bridge
One of the exercises from hip thrust variations that can be done for warm-up and cool-down is the glute bridge. To do this exercise, lie on the floor; lift your hips, and balance yourself on your upper back and shoulder blades.
Begin doing hip thrusts, and come as close to the ground as possible when lowering the hips.