Training glutes are all the rage. And, of all glutes exercises glute bridges and hip thrusts (glute bridges with back elevation) offer the most bang for your buck. They enable you to target and load your glutes in their fully shortened position, while based on my own observations have rarely resulted in injury.
Their low risk and high reward profile make them an attractive exercise for beginners and experienced lifters alike. Athletic coaches like them because of their transfer to horizontal force production, and physique coaches adore them for giving you a stronger and firmer backside.
Glute bridges might look relatively simple to perform — it’s just rolling a bar on your hips and thrusting after all — but, there are some things you can do to enhance the feeling and results you get from them almost immediately. Here are my top game-changer coaching cues for glute bridges and hip thrusts.
Keep your chin tucked for better activation and overall better hip thrust technique – Keeping your chin down will have a knock-on effect through the rest of your spine, ultimately affecting lumbar and pelvic positioning. It’s not attractive, but it works!
The goal of glute bridges are to work your glutes hardest in their fully shortened position. Try to get your “cock up”, screwing your pelvis in to a posterior tilt at the top of the thrust. Keep your ribs down. This is full range of motion, and not when you try to compensate through overextending your low back.
“Crush the walnut between your cheeks”
Being able to add a little more weight on the bar each week is great. But, it should never be at the expense of your ability to maximize mechanical tension. It’s mechanical tension that will get your butt stronger and fuller, after all. If you can’t imagine “crushing a walnut between your cheeks” at the top of each rep, you might actually be going too heavy.
Now, you might be thinking; “is that it?”
Yes it is. Because realistically how many coaching cues are you going to remember when you’re under that bar!? Having three loaded and ready to go is just enough for your brain to recognize and execute properly. The next time you glute bridge or hip thrust just remember to “double-chin… cock-up… and crush the walnut” to level-up your technique.
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