When it comes to building your glutes, the hip thrust is the top barbell movement for the job.
The problem with many trainees and lifters is that they use horrendous form.
Their glutes are doomed to remain flat, weak, and unspectacular unless they change how they perform the movement.
The Proper Set-Up For Barbell Hip Thrusts
There are 4 cues that will help you set up for barbell hip thrusts. They are:
Cue 1) Make your bench set-up is correct
The correct bench set-up is critical to barbell hip thrust performance. A bench that is too high will not allow you to get into the movement properly.
If you are fortunate enough to have the Hip Thruster apparatus, then you will already be setup in the perfect position for performing the barbell hip thrust.
If you are training in the commercial gym, where lousy machines are the priority, then you probably will not have access to the Hip Thruster.
Your best options at the gym are to use a bench or a risers set up.
The Hip Thruster is about 16 inches off the ground. Most benches at the gym are about 17-17.5 inches off the ground.
I used the flat bench to set up for hip thrusts for years.
Even though the bench was slightly higher, it did not stop my progression.
You can see great results if you only have access to a flat bench.
The best way to set up the flat bench would be to put it against a heavy or immovable squat rack.
The risers set-up works well too, but you will need to set it up against a wall. If not they will topple over when you start to load serious weight to the barbell hip thrust.
Cue 2) Make sure you are sitting upright
A mistake that many trainees and lifters make is that they perform the barbell hip thrust in the wrong position.
Your goal is to be upright when you begin the movement. This allows you to have the leverage needed to for proper execution.
If you are sliding down, or your upper back is making contact with the bench, you will not maximize what your glutes will get from the movement.
Starting your reps down in the Sunken Place will leave your glutes in the Sunken Place forever.
Cue 3) Properly position your feet
Foot position is critical to success in the barbell hip thrust.
When your goal is to train your glutes and to improve their size and strength, you cannot have your feet in the wrong spot.
If your feet are too far out, then the hamstrings will take the brunt of the movement. Your glutes will be minimized like Super Mario before he gets the mushroom.
If your feet are too close to you, then you will be unable to reach a full lockout.
There is no point in doing hip thrusts if you cannot reach a full lockout and contract your glutes.
Cue 4) What constitutes full range of motion?
Before you begin the movement you want your chin down, your knees out, and your eyes forward.
As you push up, you are driving your feet into the floor.
When you reach the top your body should be straight across and your glutes should be rock solid.
You do not want to arch your back or lean your head back.
You also do not want to cut your reps short like The Penguin. Fake hustle reps lead to a fake hustle body.
By executing the hip thrust with a complete range of motion, your pants will no longer fall down your backside!
Expect big gains with your performance and your physique if you give a consistent, quality effort with the barbell hip thrust.
I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,