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Health and Fitness

Mastering Hip Thrust Alternatives

The hip thrust is a popular glute strengthening exercise, but not everyone has access to a barbell to perform the movement properly. Luckily, there are plenty of effective hip thrust alternatives you can do instead. Mastering these hip thrust variations will allow you to target your glutes from all angles and build a stronger, rounder rear.

Bodyweight Hip Thrusts

The simplest hip thrust alternative is the bodyweight version. To perform:

    1. Sit on the floor with your upper back against a bench or box and knees bent so your feet are flat on the floor.
    2. Drive through your heels to lift your hips up into a bridge, squeezing your glutes at the top.
    3. Lower back down with control.
    4. Repeat for reps.

You can make this exercise more challenging by extending one leg straight out or raising one foot into the air as you thrust your hips upward. Adding a shoulder press at the top also increases difficulty. Really focus on contracting the glutes to lift the hips; do not use momentum. Go slow and controlled.

Cable Pull Throughs

Cable pull throughs are a great way to mimic the hip hinge motion of a barbell hip thrust. To do them:

      1. Attach a rope handle to the low cable pulley.
      2. Stand facing away from the cable machine with feet shoulder-width apart.
      3. Hold the rope and hinge at your hips to stick your butt back behind you.
      4. Maintain a flat back to isolate your glutes.

The movement

        1. Initiate the motion by driving back with your hips
        2. Lead with your glutes to pull the rope up and underneath you.
        3. Slowly return to the start position with control.
        4. Repeat for prescribed reps.

Be sure to keep your core braced and stand with an athletic stance throughout the movement. Really focus on squeezing the glutes.

Single-Leg Hip Thrusts

Making the bodyweight hip thrust unilateral trains single leg strength and stability. You perform this exercise as follows:

Set up

          1. Sit on the floor with shoulder blades against a bench.
          2. Extend one leg straight out hovering above the floor.
          3. Bend your working leg so your foot is firmly planted.

The motion

            1. Drive through your working heel to thrust hips up.
            2. Squeeze the top glute before lowering with control.
            3. Complete set then switch legs.

Pay attention not to let the hips twist or rotate throughout the motion. Keep them square. This takes a lot of glute strength!

Kettlebell Swings

The explosive triple extension of kettlebell swings will set your glutes on fire. But focus on powering the motion with your hamstrings and glutes rather than your lower back. Keep the core tight and do not use momentum to swing the weight. Control the bell.

Sliding Leg Curls

Looping a resistance band around your legs provides constant tension through the entire glute contraction. This exercise allows you to isolate your glutes through their peak contraction point. Slide out slowly, squeezing the glutes the whole time. Then return back to the starting position with control.

Mastering a variety of hip thrust alternatives lets you stimulate muscle growth from multiple angles. Work these exercises into your routine for rounder, stronger glutes and hamstrings. Mix up the variations to keep your body guessing. With time and practice, your posterior chain strength will be next level!

Also discover – The Nutty Goodness of Akhrot Giri

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