Dumbbell Hip Thrust

Dumbbell Hip Thrust - How to, Benefits & Alternatives

Learn how to perform dumbbell hip thrusts, explore their benefits, and discover effective alternatives in our comprehensive guide.
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Gym rats who strive for ultra-visible results on their bodies have always tried to find a glute exercise that works on many levels. Squats and deadlifts are amazing and are mandatory additions to leg workouts. However, dumbbell hip thrust is your go-to exercise when looking for more powerful techniques for the glutes.

We are talking about a movement pattern that works the largest glute muscles and directly hits the posterior area. It will lead you to stronger glutes while working other parts of the body as well, such as the lower back, quads, hamstrings, and core. In other words, hip thrusts with dumbbells are the ultimate exercise with the power to give astonishing outcomes!

We have created this guide for a better understanding of the hip thrust along with its alternatives and modifications. You will acknowledge its benefits and realize that this exercise needs to be a part of your training sessions. 

3 Benefits of Hip Thrust with Dumbbells

You may wonder why you need dumbbell hip thrusts when you already have squats and deadlifts. When these thoughts cross your mind, you need to consider that the glutes are the largest muscles in your lower area, meaning they need different kinds of exercises to become more powerful. Moreover, a hip thrust can provide several benefits, and the effects will lead you to the results you are trying to achieve.

Here are several benefits you get to enjoy when you include a hip thrust using dumbbells in your workout session.

1. Bone Density Improvement

To keep your bones healthy and prevent diseases, you need the proper diet and exercise. But, you have to take into account that not all activities can help you improve bone density. You need to find the one that comes with the desired effects.

That is where the hip thrust comes in! It increases the muscles in the hips, buttocks, and quads. It helps to stabilize the pelvis, lower back, and knees, making it suitable for targeting weak bone density in hip or femoral bones. Moreover, alignment of knee joints strengthens the glutes and improves balance.

2. Movement and Mobility Improvement

When establishing your workout program, you need exercises that hit all your muscles. Even if you are focused on one particular area the most, your training sessions should include several exercises that are good for the entire body. This especially refers to the lower part of your body. If this area is not strong enough, you will not have the strength to perform other exercises as well as you wish, i.e., you will not have the strength to move as you should.

A hip thrust can make a difference in improving your movement and mobility. It will make your lower back muscles stronger and give you the ability to perform other exercises with full power. Weak glutes are often responsible for bad performance in different kinds of sports and workouts. But with a hip thrust, that can change quickly!

3. Posture Improvement

Believe it or not, a hip thrust with dumbbells can do miracles on your posture. Since muscles are designed to work in pairs, you need a perfect balance between your glutes and hip flexors. If they do not work in sync, you are at risk of poor posture and back pain. Today, many people complain about back pain, and the usual reason is muscle imbalance.

With a hip thrust, you make your glutes stronger but also work on the lower back and core as well. When these muscles are engaged properly, you obtain their proper function and gain correct posture. Good posture protects your back from pain and injuries during working out. 

What Muscles Does Hip Thrust Target?

When working on your lower muscles, the hip thrust is an exercise that should come into the mix. Recently, it has become quite popular due to its benefits and outcomes it gives. It is part of strength training workouts, and it involves movement of the hips from a flexed position to a straight alignment with your shoulders, hips, and knees.

The closest thing to a hip thrust is a glute bridge. Namely, these two exercises are pretty similar, although they bring slightly different outcomes. The main differences are in the performance - glute bridge is done with the back and feet on the floor, while hip thrust is performed with the feet on the floor and back on a bench. The dumbbell hip thrust form gives an enhanced range of motion, hence the powerful results in your glutes.

Squats and deadlifts are great exercises for the lower muscles, but they do not have the same power on the glutes as hip thrust does. It is a horizontally loaded movement that provides a greater impact. It primarily targets the largest glute muscles but is also a powerful exercise for the hamstrings and quads. Vertically loaded exercises like deadlifts and squats do not produce the same effect. Therefore, they need to be enhanced with a hip thrust. 

What Are The Best Alternatives to Hip Thrust?

One of the best alternatives to this exercise is considered dumbbell hip thrust. Even though you can perform hip thrusts with a barbell, resistance bands, kettlebells, or using your body weight only, the greatest outcomes are usually achieved with dumbbells. This is because dumbbells do wonders when you want to add challenge to your hip thrust. It is the only way to get stronger glutes and build more muscles.

However, keeping a good dumbbell hip thrust form is very important. Otherwise, your results will not be as you expect. Usually, when adding weight is part of your workout sessions, you need to ensure that you increase it gradually and properly. When it comes to hip thrusts with dumbbells, starting with only one dumbbell or two light ones is advised. Then, as you progress in the exercise, consider adding more.

It is very important to find the level at which you are comfortable. Namely, this is the only way to prevent injuries and get the desired outcomes. Once you feel ready, you can increase your weight and set new challenges for your glute area. Working on the glutes slowly and gradually is the safest and most guaranteed option to achieve the goals you have established for your body.

Another point we must mention is that performance timing plays an important role when you work with dumbbells and different weights. If you begin increasing the weight gradually and come to do the hip thrust with heavy dumbbells, then doing the exercise at the beginning of your workout session is advised. However, if it is still not part of your main heavy lifts, then you can do dumbbell hip thrust alternatives at the end as well. 

1. Proper Dumbbell Hip Thrust Performance

As previously mentioned, form is crucial when performing hip thrusts with dumbbells. Learning how to perform it accurately is a priority. Otherwise, you will not get the most out of it! Paying attention to your position and motions is one of the first things you have to consider when performing hip thrusts. The exercise may seem quite easy, but you might not get its effects if your performance does not align with the appropriate form.

So, here are some steps that will guide you to proper movements and techniques while performing a dumbbell hip thrust.

  • You will need a bench where you will place your back. If you do not have one, you can use your couch or a sturdy step. Your knees should be bent and your feet flat on the floor, while your back should be pressed on the bench.
  • Once you pick the dumbbells of your choice, you should place them on your lap. Again, you can start with one if it feels more comfortable to you.
  • To raise your legs to the ceiling and keep your upper back in place against the bench, drive through your heels. Make sure you pause the movement at the top and squeeze your glutes to maximize the exercise.
  • After the pause, you slowly return your rear end to the ground.
  • You should start with 10 reps, and as you progress in the exercise, you can increase the reps to 15 and even 20. You should always find a way to improve your performance, whether in speed, increased reps, or weight.

This is a proper way to perform a hip thrust with dumbbells. Ensure that you consider these guidelines when incorporating the exercise in your workouts. You will know you are doing it right if you feel soreness and your glutes are burning. 

2. Form Tips for Hip Thrust with Dumbbells

When performing dumbbell hip thrust, you are hitting multiple muscles, such as glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Nonetheless, the focus is on the glute area, meaning this is the part of your body you should feel the most.

If you notice that your hamstrings are burning the most, then you need to opt for a dumbbell hip thrust alternative. More precisely, you will have to position your feet closer to your rear end so that the impact will be mostly on the glutes. The further your feet are, the more you affect your hamstrings. You should do this only if you aim to exercise your hamstrings the most. Otherwise, you should stick to the feet position that is closer to your glutes.

Another thing to consider is the straight line at the movement's top. The hip thrust is supposed to hit the core as well, meaning you need to feel some burning in this area. However, if you feel that your back is arching, your dumbbell hip thrust form is not what it should look like. So, remember to always keep a straight line from your shoulders to your knees as you pause at the top of the movement.

Lastly, if you are having a hard time keeping the right form, there is one position that will surely help you perform the exercise better. Think about your position when you are trying to zip your pants while lying - your nose is aiming towards your pelvis area. You need to have this position when performing a hip thrust with dumbbells. Keep this tip in mind, and you will be good to go every time you do this exercise! 

How to Enhance The Effect of a Hip Thrust with Dumbbells?

While it is a fact that a hip thrust is the most powerful exercise for your glutes, you need to consider that other factors play a significant role when it comes to visible results. You cannot expect to achieve well-shaped glutes without paying attention to your diet. Building well-shaped muscles requires good nutrition because nutrients are an essential part of getting lean body shape!  

This means that you will need to construct a precise diet that will be focused on protein intake the most. So, you will need to consider including a lot of protein-rich foods in your daily meals. You can also consider supplements that will help build muscle mass.  

We offer a wide selection of protein supplements that are created with these goals in mind. You can find the one that works for you the best according to the results you want to achieve. Most bodybuilders and gym enthusiasts use supplements to ensure proper progress in their workout process.  

If you want stronger glutes, a dumbbell hip thrust is a must! You can always combine it with other exercises aimed at the lower area of your body, but make sure you do not skip it. It will bring you the results you want and help you with other goals you want for your entire body. Plus, it allows modifications, so you will easily incorporate it at your desired level!  

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