The kneeling hip thrust is a common exercise used to strengthen the gluteus maximus. Its simplicity and effectiveness have skyrocketed its popularity.
You could start the exercise with body weight, however, it’s hard for some people to disassociate hip extension and lumbar spine extension. This could make the movement difficult to perform with the correct form even with little to no weight.
The movement is commonly used in a rehab setting for glute training. It is important to strengthen the glutes and train rehab patients to extend the hip so that the low back and hamstrings take less stress.
To perform the kneeling hip thrust, you will need a dowel with tubing. The tubing needs to have handles on both ends so that you can wrap the tubing around a stationary point and slide the dowel through the tubing handles.
You can also use cable weights or Keiser resistance; however, you will be limited on just how much weight you can add before it’s too much and pulls you back.
Do not use the kneeling hip thrust if you want to weight the hip thrust so much.
This is just an activation and basic motor recruitment exercise that is used to turn on the glutes before progressing to even more advanced glute strengthening workouts like the basic hip thrust.
HOW TO DO KNEELING HIP THRUST
Here are the steps for performing the exercise:
- In a kneeling position, position yourself with the dowel over your lower abdomen and pelvis area. You can hold on to the dowel for comfort as well.
- Place your feet together shoulder width apart and they should a triangle with your knees.
- Start by sitting on your feet then lift your body up and out, extending your hips.
- Squeeze your glutes together at the end range of movement and avoid hyperextending your low back.
- Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of sets and reps.
MUSCLES ENGAGED DURING KNEELING HIP THRUST
The movement primarily targets the glutes that is, both the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius, and the hamstrings as well.
The core and hip abductors are worked as well.
KNEELING HIP THRUST BENEFITS
The movement enhances your ability to engage the glutes to extend the hip. Moreover, it’s more effective than the traditional supine bridge position in terms of taking the lumbar extension of the equation.
This allows you to focus on activating your glutes and extending your hip without worrying about compensation at the lumbar spine.
Performing the movement with your feet together, places your hips in a slight external rotation. This common modification for the bridge exercise is beneficial for people with tight hip flexors.
Maximum glute firing occurs towards the end range of hip extension. When the hip flexors are too tight, they do not allow full hip extension thus compensation occurs in the low back with lumbar extension. You will also squeeze your glute better.
Also, the movement helps build strength and size of your glutes better than other exercises. Experts recommend the exercise as it is beneficial for many people, from athletes to the elderly.
Strengthening your glutes improves the stabilization of your core, pelvis and lower body. Otherwise, you’ll be more susceptible to knee pain, low back pain, and other types of injuries.
In general, strong glutes are key to good mobility and promote athletic abilities, like jumping, sprinting, and changing directions. Additionally, you’ll get a nicely lifted and round butt.
Strengthening the hamstrings, which are responsible for much of the stabilization of the knee, ultimately protect our knees from injury or strain.
Moreover, hamstrings are responsible for knee flexion and extension, thus, they help the knee move through a full range of motion.
Like the glutes, hamstrings are built for speed, helping athletes to suddenly stop, then change direction and run again. Therefore, having a healthy and strong hamstring.is beneficial if you’re playing a sport that requires quick stops and sudden acceleration needs
Last but not least, your glutes are responsible for moving your hips and thighs. Hence, you need strong and healthy glute muscles to provide daily functional and sport mobility like climbing up and down the stairs, getting in and out of chairs, or playing basketball.
KNEELING HIP THRUST ALTERNATIVES
The hip thrust is a common and popular exercise for every lifter as it uniquely targets the posterior chain, especially the glutes. It is a bent-leg hip extension movement that is done with your back on an elevated surface.
SINGLE LEG HIP BRIDGE
The single leg hip bridge is a great exercise for isolating and strengthening glutes and hamstrings. It does not require any equipment, thus fits into a lower body strength workout that can be performed basically anywhere.
The cable pull through works all the same muscles as the kneeling hip thrust. You won’t be able to go heavy with the exercise, but it will maintain your muscles under constant pressure and it puts less strain on your lower back.
KNEELING HIP THRUST MISTAKES TO AVOID
MOVING TOO QUICKLY
Moving too quickly not only reduces the amount of time your glutes are under tension but also increases the chances of you moving the weight, using momentum rather than your muscles.
In order to enjoy all the glute benefits this exercise has to offer, slow down your reps and maintain a steady pace.
ARCHING YOUR BACK
It may be tempting to arch your back during the exercise. Although keeping your trunk stiff as a board is important. This is because a braced core helps strengthen your glutes and keeps any extra stress out of your lower back.
Being an easy exercise, many people quickly master the kneeling hip thrust technique and move to even more advanced glute strengthening exercises with much better form and less compensation.
You can work this movement into your rehab programs or as part of your dynamic warmup to enjoy its benefits.