Hip Thrusts Won't Lie, but These 5 Moves Will Also Help Build Glutes of Steel

We love the barbell hip thrust, but there are other options to build glutes. The barbell hip thrust is a fantastic exercise popularized by Bret “The Glute Guy” Contreras. It remains the gold standard exercise for strengthening and adding mass to your glutes. Walk into any gym and it’s not unusual to see people thrusting…

We love the barbell hip thrust, but there are other options to build glutes.

The barbell hip thrust is a fantastic exercise popularized by Bret “The Glute Guy” Contreras. It remains the gold standard exercise for strengthening and adding mass to your glutes. Walk into any gym and it’s not unusual to see people thrusting hard and heavy.

Having strong and muscular glutes is the key to having a great body, reducing low back pain, improving hip mobility, and even running faster. But not everyone can perform this movement with high intensity because not everyone feels comfortable with a heavy barbell across their pelvis.

If you need a break from the barbell hip thrust, we’ve got you covered. Here are five options to build glutes of steel.

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Stability Ball Hip Thrust

Any exercise performed on a stability ball gives you instant feedback and the stability ball hip thrust is no different. This variation lights up your hamstrings and is difficult to lock out without losing your balance. Unlike the barbell version, this is best done with bodyweight or bands for safety reasons.

Muscles trained: Glutes, hamstring, and calves

How it helps: make you more aware of your hip hinge. Any glitches and you’ll meet the floor.

How and when do it: Sitting upright on the stability ball, walk forward until your upper back is on the ball. Make sure your knees are 90 degrees with a vertical shin angle. Keep your chin tucked, ribs down, back in neutral, and squeeze the glutes at lockout. This exercise is best performed for higher reps as an accessory exercise after your main strength move for the day.

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Cable Pull Through

The cable pull-throughs are a great exercise to groove good hip hinge technique while isolating the glutes and hamstring because it’s a pure hip hinge movement.  This provides a larger range of motion without undue stress on your lower back, making it a great exercise if your lower back is bothering you.

Muscles trained: Glutes, hamstrings, and lower back

How it helps: The larger ROM and reduced joint stress make this a perfect exercise to add volume to your glutes and hamstrings.

How and when to do it: Place the cable setting low because butting into your private parts isn’t an option. Can be performed with a resistance band too. Keep your chest up, shoulders down, and stop when you feel a good stretch in your hamstrings to prevent lower back rounding. Perform higher reps as an accessory exercise after your main strength move for the day.

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Chaos Hip Thrust

If you like lifting dangerously this hip thrust is for you. Like the chaos push up the unstable band forces you to perform the hip thrust with control and great technique. Because if you don’t, you and the floor become one. Chaos band is a great technique fixer and involves more of the hip stabilizer muscles for better hip stability and mobility.

Muscles trained: Glutes, hamstrings, and hip stabilizers.

How it helps: Give your glutes and hamstrings some serious time under tension and help strengthen your hip stabilizers for better hip mobility.

How and when to do it: Set up the strongest looped band on the lower rungs on the squat rack, even with the weight bench. Carefully place your midfoot on the band, hip-width apart with your chin tucked, ribs down, and back in neutral. Perform with control and squeeze your glutes at lockout. Perform for higher reps at the end of your training for extra volume.

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Single-leg Band Hip Thrust

Bilateral hip thrusts are great, but if you have strength imbalances between sides, the single-leg hip thrust will fix them in a hurry. The ascending resistance will improve lockout strength and makes it easier to unilaterally load your glutes.

Muscles trained: Glutes, hamstrings, and obliques.

How it helps: Strengthens imbalances between sides and will improve lockout strength which has carryover to your squats and deadlifts.

How and when to do it: You have the choice to load this, either across the pelvis or above the knee as shown in the video. It is a matter of personal preference.  Keep your ribs down and back in because want the extension to come from your glutes and not the lower back. Try this glute burnout set at the end of your training. It will hurt so good.

1A.  Single-leg hip thrust: 12 reps per side

1B. Bodyweight single-leg hip thrust: 12 reps per side

1C.  Bilateral hip thrust: AMRAP

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Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian split squats train the glutes, the quads, and everything in between, making this exercise double the fun. The hamstrings, calves, adductors, and hip stabilizers, all work hard to keep you balanced. Similar to the barbell hip thrust, the elevated split squat gives you a larger ROM for better glute-building potential.

Muscles trained: Core, glutes, glute stabilizers, adductors, and quads

How it helps: Improves leg drive and helps to reduce strength imbalances between legs. Leg drive is essential for squatting and deadlifting heavy.

How and when to do it: You have a choice on how to load this wonderful exercise. Either dumbbells or kettlebells front-loaded in the goblet or racked (single or double) style or holding them by your side.  Keep your chest up, shoulders down, and maintaining a slight forward lean keeps your spine in neutral to get the best out of this brutal exercise. Perform for higher reps as an accessory move after your squats and deadlifts.

This story originally appeared on: Muscle & Fitness - Author:vkim