If you place a high value on time like I do, you understand the importance of being efficient.
So when people ask me what my training philosophy is, my answer is simple. Quality over quantity - always.
The amount of time you spend in the gym, the number of sets and reps, and how much you sweat or puke (why are you puking?) is irrelevant if your form on an exercise sucks because:
a) you won't work the muscle(s) effectively in the least amount of time possible,
b) you'll develop a bad habit when you do an exercise over and over with bad form,
c) you'll put more stress on your joints instead of your muscle(s),
d) you'll get injured, not be able to workout, and stall your progress.
This week, we do a form check on one of the safest and most effective exercises to gain strength, build muscle, and tone in the largest and most powerful muscle group in your body - the glutes.
The hip thrust, popularized by Bret "The Glute Guy" Contreras, is a staple in any exercise program where the individual wants to get fast, explosive, strong, and build a backside to make Sir-Mix-A-Lot do a double-take.
This exercise is slightly more advanced than a supine hip bridge but essentially works the same muscles. The difference with this version is that your shoulder blades are on a bench which gives your hips more range of motion to work with; so your glutes get more work.
What I like about the hip thrust is that it allows you to workout the lower body by taking lots of stress OFF the low-back and knees. So it's a great exercise if you're dealing with low-back or knee injuries that limit your ability to squat, lunge, or deadlift.
How to Make it Great Again
Stef shows us how to make this exercise great again in this week's video. Stef is doing a bodyweight hip thrust. If this is too easy for you just place a barbell across your lap to add weight.
- Brace your core and maintain that tension throughout the set. This will keep your back from overarching and prevent excessive pressure on your spine.
- Push through your heels and "crack a nut" with your glutes at the top.
- Eye position: look straight ahead when your hips are down, and look up at 45 degrees when your hips are up. This will make your thrust stronger and keep your neck in a much better position.
I would also add that locking eyes with any passerby who looks at you when you're hip thrusting is essential.
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