Hip thruster workout guide: How to master hip thrust exercise for stronger, bigger glutes 

Hip thruster workout targets the glutes. (Photo via Instagram/womenwholiftweights)
Hip thruster workout targets the glutes. (Photo via Instagram/womenwholiftweights)

If you're looking to build strength in your lower body muscles, particularly the glutes, adding a hip thruster workout can be result-worthy.

Also known as hip thrust, this powerful exercise is basically a glute bridge variation that can be performed in several ways depending on your fitness level. The standard hip thrust variation is done using a barbell with the body lifted off the floor. However, you can also do it using dumbbells or resistance bands, or simply as a bodyweight exercise with no weights.


What muscles do thrusters workout target?

The hip thruster workout particularly targets the glutes, including both gluteus medius and gluteus maximus. Apart from the glutes, this lower body exercise works on the hamstrings, quadriceps and hip adductors and also targets the core.

Regular practice of a hip thruster workout can offer lots of benefits. It can prevent pain and stiffness in the hips, reduce back pain and also lower risk of injuries and inflammation. The thruster workout can also correct posture, improve balance and coordination, and boost overall athletic performance.


How to do a hip thruster workout?

Hip thruster workout reduces back pain. (Photo via Pexels/Kindel Media)
Hip thruster workout reduces back pain. (Photo via Pexels/Kindel Media)

Here’s how to do the thruster exercise with a few different variations to achieve super toned and strong butts:

Hip thrust with a bar

The most popular version of the hip thruster workout is done using a barbell with the body balanced against an exercise bench. Here’s how you do it:

  • Sit straight in front of an exercise bench, and place a barbell on your thighs.
  • Keep your upper arms on the bench with the elbows flexed, and press your upper back against the bench.
  • Move your forearms towards your body, and hold the barbell with both hands.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor at a hip-width distance, and bend the knees to start the movement.
  • Engage your abs, and slowly lift your butts off the floor while pressing your feet into the floor and go as high as you can. Make sure to keep the neck in a neutral position to avoid straining.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds, and slowly lower your butts back to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Dumbbell hip thrust

If you're not comfortable with a barbell, you can do this exercise using dumbbells or a weight plate.

Here’s how you do a dumbbell hip thruster workout:

  • Start sitting with your back pressed against a bench, and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Resting the dumbbells on each thigh, flex your knees, and keep your feet at a hip-width distance for better balance.
  • Push up with your heels, and lift your hips off the floor as high as you can.
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top, and slowly lower your butts back to the floor. Repeat the exercise.

Bodyweight hip thrust

Hip thrusts exercise can be done using dumbbells. (Photo via Instagram/ange.reakes_ep)
Hip thrusts exercise can be done using dumbbells. (Photo via Instagram/ange.reakes_ep)

If you're a beginner, you must always start with a bodyweight hip thruster exercise to learn the basics. Once you’ve mastered the bodyweight hip thrusts, you can progress on the weighted ones.

Here’s how you can do the bodyweight version of this effective lower body exercise:

  • Sit straight with your back against an exercise bench, box or any other elevated surface. Position your legs at a hip-width distance, with the knees bent and feet on the floor. Rest your elbows on the bench.
  • With your chin tucked in, push through your feet, and lift your butts off the floor till the thighs get parallel to the ground.
  • At the top of the movement, squeeze your butts, and lower back to the starting position.

As a beginner, start with ten reps in two sets, and gradually work your way up.

Single-leg hip thrust

If you want to target each side separately, consider doing a single-leg hip thruster exercise.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Sit with your upper back pressed against an exercise bench. Extend your right leg straight, and keep your left leg flexed.
  • Push your hips off the floor, keeping the right leg extended, and slowly lower the butts.
  • Repeat the exercise for a few reps, and switch your legs.

Aim to perform the aforementioned versions of the hip thruster workout at least thrice a week, and combine it with other lower body strengthening exercises, like good morning, Romanian deadlift, glute bridge and back squat.


Combine hip thruster workout with lower body exercises. (Photo via Pexels/Leon Ardho)
Combine hip thruster workout with lower body exercises. (Photo via Pexels/Leon Ardho)

Overall, a hip thruster workout can be an effective addition to your full body, lower body or leg day workout routine.

However, before starting with this strength training movement, make sure you're properly warmed up as this will avoid muscle strains and injuries. It's also important to give yourself enough rest in between sets and workouts to properly recover your muscles.

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Edited by Bhargav