Butt Fact: Hormonal changes occur during menopause that shift fat storage from the butt to the stomach.
I’ve seen the hip thrust referred to by other names such as elevated bridge. It is, in fact a more advanced version of a bridge, which is why it gets a separate mention in this article. The hip thrust may not be as well known as some others, but has been growing in popularity recently. It feels a little awkward at first but a lot of research is being done on the effectiveness of hips thrusts as they compare to squats.
There are many variations starting with body weight on to thrusting with a heavy barbell. Most fitness experts agree that hip thrusts are best done with heavy weight, because glutes are strong and can take it. But it never hurts to start with body weight to get your form down correctly.
Basic Stability Ball Version
- Rest your upper back and shoulders on a stability ball and plant feet on the ground. Start with your hips down and knees bent.
- Holding your upper body steady and neck neutral, lift your hips up, squeezing your glutes before lowering back to the starting position.
- Repeat for 15 to 20 reps.
- You can use different size stability balls but make sure you keep your hips, back, neck and head in a straight line at the top of the lift. As with all glute exercises, concentrate on squeezing your glutes at the top.
- If you use a larger ball, you can roll out enough to rest your head on the ball as well.
Single Leg Version
Keeping one leg off the floor, lift your hips and lower them again for 15 reps each leg.
Rest a 25 pound dumbbell or body bar on your hips as you thrust.
Hip thrusts can be done on a short sturdy bench with a heavy barbell. Rest your upper back against the bench with feet flat on the floor. Place the weight across your hips, using a pad to protect your hips if the weight is substantial. Keeping your back, neck, and head aligned, lower your hips and raise them.
- Take care to avoid arching your back at the top.
- Keep your neck in neutral position to avoid straining it.
- If it irritates your neck to hold your head up unassisted, use a larger ball to rest your head on.
- Pause at the top for a couple of seconds to get the full effect.