Calling all folks looking for a firm and fierce booty! Meet your new best friend, the hip thruster. This move is touted by fitness pros for its butt-lifting and strengthening abilities.
“Thrusters are essential to make that booty grow, but also to enhance overall performance in the gym, on the field, or simply with everyday activities,” says Arnit Kobryniec, certified personal trainer at Neat Mind & Body in South Florida. This, she says, is mainly because our glutes affect our speed, power, and performance.
Personal trainers love hip thrusters because they strengthen the hip flexors, a.k.a. your hip muscles, which keeps your lower back and hips flexible and strong. This enables your hip joints to function properly so you’re able to walk, move your legs from side to side, and even walk backward.
The cool part? There are countless adaptations of the standard hip thrust that offer unique benefits for your hip flexors and many other muscles in your body. Here are three that top trainers say you need to try.
First, let’s start with the basics. “This standard hip thrust warms up your glutes and hamstrings before attempting more advanced movements,” says Courtney Levering, National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified trainer and head coach at Tone House in New York City. “Remember to engage your core!”
How to: Start by lying on your back with your feet hip-width apart and your heels about six inches from your fingertips (a). “Lift your hips upward by squeezing your glutes so you’re balancing on your shoulder blades and feet,” says Levering. “Hold for two seconds and then release back down” (b). Do two sets of 10 reps.
As you progress in your training, you can begin adding weight to your hip thrust. “The added load directly above your pelvis area will fire up your lower abs, forcing you to engage the stabilizing muscles in your core,” says Kobryniec.
How to: Begin by placing two dumbbells or a barbell (whatever you have available) above your pelvis (a). “Next, lie on the floor, placing your feet underneath your knees and keeping your core engaged at all times,” she says (b). “Lift your hips, creating a full hip extension” (c). Make sure your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders, and at the top of the move, squeeze your glutes (d). Do two sets of 10 reps.