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Strong glutes will prevent most lower body postural problems and when trained correctly, will look great. If you want strong glutes, you have to do the work and isolate your glutes. While glutes do receive stimulation from exercises such as squats and lunges, the hip thrust recruits more muscle fibers in the glutes than any other exercise.

Barbell hip thrusts train the gluteus maximus (the upper glute muscle), gluteus medius (the lower glute muscle), the quadriceps, hamstrings and lower back – the posterior chain. The main drivers of jumping movements and vertical jump is the posterior chain. If you play basketball, volleyball or any sport requiring jumping, consider adding the barbell hip thrust to your training.

Barbell hip thrust exercise benefits include:

  • Improved glute strength, shape, and size.
  • Improved glute muscle power.
  • Improved vertical jump.
  • Improved squats and deadlifts.
  • Improved posture.

To perform barbell hip thrusts you’ll need a barbell, weights and a sturdy bench to prop your shoulder blades against. Position the barbell across your hips, make sure that your heels are planted firmly on the ground. Now drive with your hips “bridging” up into the movement, pause briefly at the highest point and slowly lower your hips until the bar and weights touch the ground. Throughout the movement your shoulder blades should stay firmly planted on the bench and you should be able to feel the contraction in your glutes.

The American hip thrust is variation of the barbell hip thrust that produces more posterior pelvic tilt causing your pelvis (hips) to tilt towards your posterior. To perform this variation, rest your upper back against the bench rather than your shoulders. Other than moving your back further up on the bench, the movement is exactly the same.

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