Some of you will be well aware of my love for this exercise and my desire to get everyone strong enough to trust their own bodyweight. The reasoning behind this is not just for your significant others (take from that what you will ha) but instead for the unrivalled athletic enhancement, muscle gaining and fat-loss property’s it offers.
During my master’s thesis study I looked at the barbell hip thrusters ability to aid in jump performance in weight training males. The results were quite favourable and the research into the exercise explained many aspects of how this move can contribute so much to improving not only your performance but also your physic (Beardsley and Contreras, 2013).
As an exercise for developing the back side i.e. your gluteus maximus, it takes its place firmly at the top of the pile (Contreras, 2011). Seeing as this muscle is one of the biggest in your body it can stand to reason that it will also be a great move for calorie burning (bye bye Christmas weight).
I have also said on numerous occasions the ease at which this move can be coached (always good on my end) and how it’s a move that is simply hard to do wrong. We are all aware of the benefits of picking something heavy up and putting it back down i.e. deadlifting, however the technique that must be learned in order to deadlift safely and effectively can take some time in newbies.
I believe being able to learn the hinge pattern from doing a bridge/hip thrust can really help carry over to deadlifting and enable those new to lifting progress quicker towards their strength weight loss goals.
The benefits of the deadlift have never been in question but using the deadlift as a tool for fat-loss I am afraid can bring more problems than good if coached incorrectly or if you are unable to leave your ego at the door (most males being serial offenders of the latter). Proper technique and good form have been shown to us all during every sleep inducing manual handling course we have completed over the years, yet many of us are unable to lift something up off the ground using our powerful glute and hamstring muscles. Instead our lower backs will scream out “I got this bro” and duly lift the weight for you until it realises it is far from up to the task and shoots some pain your way for good measure. Thankfully by hip thrusting you become acutely aware of this hip extension and glute blasting position with your lower back merely a passenger along for the ride.
As a final note let us not forget the constant tension placed on the glutes throughout the movement. Tension in the muscle has been linked to muscle growth directly and fat-loss indirectly (Schoenfeld, 2013). So having the move keep you “under the kosh” throughout is a good thing, trust me.
All in all folks we should truly be thrusting our way to freedom both inside and outside the gym, will only do the body good.
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