Doing hip thrusts properly to maximize your glute work
I want to highlight a common mistake in this movement. Take a look at this side. To test it out, let’s do it this way. So, here’s what you need to do: Set up the pad on the bar. Get underneath it with your feet positioned wider is not better for activating the glutes. Place your heels right where your hip socket is for the best spot. Make sure your feet aren’t too far away. Now, use your elbows to hoist up, and remember, the elbows should come off the bench. Your tricep can touch the bench, but not your elbows up here. I often see people doing this, but that’s not a hip thrust, and it can hurt your back.
Now, let’s focus on the correct technique. It involves a full hinge. Notice how my chest is coming forward, aligning with my neck and hips. My entire spine is on the same plane, like a rod. It should not look like this with my chest straight up and chin tucked forward. As I raise my hips, my chest and chin remain tucked. Tucking the chin is crucial for activating the glutes. It’s similar to rounding your back during a hip extension to engage the glutes. The chin tuck helps contract and fire up those muscles.
From this side, you can see that my triceps are in contact with the bench, not my elbows. Also, I’m not too far off the bench where all the load is on my spine. The pad is right under my shoulder blades. This is the mistake to avoid. Instead, it should look like this with a tight core at the top.