Daily Dose of Coach #300: Technique - The Barbell Hip Thrust


The barbell hip thrust is a progression of the posterior chain "bridge" exercises.

While the bridge exercise is typically done without weight and done through lots of repetitions, but barbell glute bridge is done with a sometimes great deal of resistance and sometimes down to 1-5 repetitions.

This exercise is a great way to strengthen the glutes and posterior chain muscles, especially at the end range of hip flexion.

Here's how to do the barbell glute bridge:

  •    Begin sitting with legs straight and upper back lined up across a secured bench
  •    Either place an Airex pad or rolled up mat at your lower ab area where the barbell will be resting during the exercises. Not having some type of padding, mainly as the weight increases can cause a lot of discomfort   Assuming larger plates are being used, such as 45lb plates or lighter bumper plates, roll the bar towards the hips and place on the padded area. If available, you can also use a spotter to place the weight on to your waist in the hip raised position.
  •    The barbell should be placed at the crease of the hips and slightly above the pelvis.
  •    Keeping feet at shoulder width, bring them towards the butt and think about digging into the bench and the ground.
  •    In this position take one deep breath, exhale and raise the barbell using the posterior hip muscles (glutes). During execution keep the core braced so that you don't go into lumbar (low back) hyperextension. Keep your hands on the bar to keep it balanced and steady.
  •    Push through either the entire foot or dorsiflex your ankles. Raise the hips to parallel to the ground and squeeze the glutes for a 1-count. Make sure you are feeling the tension primarily in the posterior leg muscles and not in the lower back.
  •    Lower the bar in control to the ground or slightly above it.

Remember this is an advanced bridging exercise. Before you do this, you should have mastered the bridging exercises, being able to contract your glutes and hamstrings during execution. Begin the barbell glute bridge with just using the bar. As you progress and feel comfortable with the exercise continue to add more weight.