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Upgrade Your Glutes By Doing Hip Thrusts At Home

woman doing hip thrusts at home

The ability to work out at home is like the secret ingredient to the fitness sauce you may have been trying to perfect the recipe for. Whether you’re squeezing in workouts between household tasks or while your kids nap, knowing what other exercises you can add to your home routine can help you reach your goals more efficiently. 

If you’re here, maybe you have the general idea that working on your glutes can give you the derriere you’ve been yearning for. If you haven’t tried hip thrusts yet, here’s a quick guide on how you can get started on doing hip thrusts at home. 


How to Do Hip Thrusts at Home

You may have been able to do hip thrusts at the gym with a bench - however, if you’re at home you can improvise with your couch or another surface of similar height. 

Bench Alternatives:

  • Couch/bed
  • Yoga/pilates ball
  • Stairs

How to do hip thrusts without a bench:

  1. Start by sitting on the ground with your upper back against the elevated surface of choice. Your knees should be bent and feet flat on the floor (hip-width apart).
  2. If you decide to use a weight (barbell, dumbbell or resistance band would work) - position it securely towards your hips.
  3. Rest your shoulder blades firmly on the couch or chair.
  4. Engage your core and glutes.
  5. Activate your glutes and press through your heels and lift your hips up. 
  6. Keep your head in a neutral position, chin tucked and gaze forward.
  7. Lift your hips until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.(*See #4 in Tips section below!)
  8. Lower back down to starting position with control.
  9. 8-12 reps should be enough!

Tips:

  1. Remember to focus on proper form
  2. Keep your core engaged throughout
  3. Remember your glutes should be doing the squeezing and supporting the hip movement - feel the burn!
  4. *Form is more important here than anything else! Some sources say you don’t need to elevate as high as initially thought, even 12-15 inches elevation might be enough.

Alternative:

If you don’t have a couch/chair that you would do this exercise on, you can improvise and do the glute bridge. The only difference with this is you would keep your back and feet on the floor.

glute bridge is similar to hip thrusts at home

Hip Thrusts: Muscles Worked

As described by Self magazine, this exercise has been called the ultimate butt exercise. And they might not be wrong about that… using proper form and a good amount of resistance can hit your posterior chain muscles like you haven’t had before. 

Yes, doing a hip thrust can work the following muscles:

glute muscles are worked out when you do hip thrusts at home
  1. Gluteal muscles (all of them: minimus, medius, maximus)
  2. Hamstrings
  3. Quadriceps
  4. Erector Spinae: these are located along the spine helping to stabilize the lower back during the thrusts! (longissimus, iliocostalis and spinalis muscles)
  5. Core (which is always a plus!)
erector spinal muscles are put of muscles worked out when you do hip thrusts a home

Why Do Hip Thrusts at Home?

Since hip thrusts can be used with your bodyweight or added resistance, this allows you to isolate your glutes more. And who wouldn’t want a toned gluteus maximus? 

Your gluteus maximus in particular is the largest and most superficial muscle of the glutes. 

It is also one of the strongest muscles in the whole body. 

Once you get the form and technique of a hip thrust down, obviously you wouldn’t need much to continue your strengthening routine at home.

Hip thrusts would make a good addition to a home routine that includes:

  1. Squats 
  2. Lunges
  3. Glute bridges

Studies show:

According to a study published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine

“The gluteus maximus muscle showed greater activation in the BHT (barbell hip thrust) compared to squatting, barbell deadlift and hex bar deadlift.” 

This same study also reported, “… BHT exercise can induce a high neuromuscular activity of the hip extensor muscles, especially the gluteus maximus, in comparison with the more traditional exercises. In addition, variations in the positioning of the feet during the execution of the BHT may present different levels of excitation of the muscles associated with the joints of the knee and hips.” 

So why would we want stronger glutes? 

  • Better function: Glutes are essential for walking, climbing stairs, standing up from seated position and bending over!
  • Better posture
  • Injury prevention
  • Improved athletic performance: Stronger glutes can help with power and speed since they work when we run, jump, lift and squat.

Since hip thrusts are relatively easy to try at home, why not give it a shot?


Hip Thrusts at Home FAQ

What can I use for hip thrusts at home?

You can easily substitute a bench with a couch, bed, chair or yoga ball at home! Worst case scenario, you can do a glute bridge just by placing your back on the floor. A glute bridge is also beneficial to your posterior chain.

How can I do hip thrusts at home without equipment?

Doing hip thrusts at home without equipment is basically a glute bridge - for some people, this may be more comfortable and just as beneficial. 

How to make a homemade hip thrust?

You can make a hip thrust bench at home. This is an interesting concept, depending on what you want to achieve. In my perspective, doing hip thrusts without any other equipment is the easier way to go, but you can check out the following video for how to make a DIY hip thrust bench! 

How to do hip thrusts by yourself?

All steps in this exercise show how to do the exercise solo already. See the above section on how to do a hip thrust at home without a bench and with alternative equipment. 

 

Hip Thrusts at Home: Conclusion

Hip thrusts are a powerhouse exercise that certainly deserves the attention and is worth trying. Since our glutes are responsible for so much in our daily movements, improving posture and preventing back pain, strengthening them is beneficial in so many ways. 

Targeting your glutes will overall improve your strength, function and aesthetics! So whether you’re hoping to have a stronger posterior chain, shape your booty or enhance your athletic performance, hip thrusts may be worth incorporating in your routine. 

And if you haven’t seen our plethora of articles about glutes and how much they do for us, you’re missing out!




Now that you've read about doing hip thrusts at home, check out or pages on the Smith Machine hip thrusthow to activate glutes and the ATG split squat.

Source:

[1] Neto, W., Vieira, T., Gama, E. Barbell hip thrust, muscular activation and performance: a systematic review. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 2019. 



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