While hip thrusts can feel a little awkward for some, it should be known that they are the Queen of glute exercises (in my humble opinion).
This exercise is also similar to a glute bridge. Incidentally both exercises are easily progressed by adding weight.
For further reading on the differences see; Glute Bridge vs Hip Thrusts.
How to perform hip thrusts
To begin with, you’ll need a barbell and a bench. You may also want to get yourself a flexible mat and/or a bar pad for comfort.
Start sitting on the floor with the bench behind you, place the barbell across your lap, resting it just above your hips.
Next; get into position by pressing your shoulder blades back into the top of the bench. From there; raise your hips up so that they are level with the bench. Position your shoulders so that they are flat on the top of the bench. Finally, make sure your feet are positioned firmly on the ground at around shoulder width apart. This is your start position.
Before you move into the exercise, make sure that your core is braced.
From start position; lower your hips down towards the floor as low as you can go without your bum ever touching the floor. To finish, drive the weight up through your hips in a single controlled and explosive movement. Be sure to finish strong by raising your hips as high as you can shifting the weight up onto your toes and squeezing your glutes at the top.
Use a pad or a flexible mat if the barbell position is uncomfortable.
Hip thrusts: Common mistakes to avoid
It should be noted that if you are performing your hip thrusts with incorrect form, it is likely that you will poorly engage the intended muscle groups, which in turn will hinder your gains and/or result in injury.
Always keep the muscle you intend to work in mind when you are performing the exercise, this is the ideal way to ensure targeted results.
Reps and sets
In addition to your hip thrusts, you should also consider your overall bigger picture. How many reps and sets you perform with each exercise depends entirely on where you are physically and of course, your desired outcomes.
Beginners should keep it simple; 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps is an ideal starting point. For the purpose of laying a solid foundation to build upon; don’t over complicate things. The most important thing is to get started, the rest will come with experience.
On the other hand, more advanced lifters should consider their current strength and goals first. From there; you can choose the appropriate rep/set range to work with.