If you're looking to build your core strength while isolating and training your glutes, the resistance band hip thrust is the perfect exercise for you. You'll need a resistance band, or more preferably a set of bands so that you can vary the resistance you use as you gain strength. Something like a pull up assist band set works perfectly for this type of exercise, allowing you to step up the resistance as you progress. Once you're comfortable with the highest resistance band, you can simply double up or triple up bands to add additional difficulty.
How to do hip thrusts with a resistance band
For the standing hip thrust, you'll need to set up on a squat rack or powerlifting rack. Choose the appropriate resistance band for the level of strength you're at (or are training to). You need to anchor each end to either side of the rack, using a J hook to secure it. The band should be fixed at your waist height.
Stand in the middle of the rack with the band taut around your waist, so that it is pulling back to your left and right towards the anchors. Lean forwards and grasp the opposite vertical poles of the rack, one in each hand. You should now be leaning forward, with your knees slightly bent, and your head and neck relaxed. Your upper body should be at about a 30-degree angle to the floor. This is your starting position.
Now, push your hips back until you feel your hamstrings tense, and then thrust forward, contracting your glutes as hard as you can to gain as much forward movement as possible. Don't pull with your arms, they are only there for stability. Release back to the starting position. That's one rep. We would recommend you try for 3 sets of 20 reps each in a single session. If you can comfortably do more, you may want to think about increasing your band resistance.
For the sitting version, you'll need a hip thrust frame. You could use other gym equipment, as long as you have a slightly angled plate to support your shoulders and a grip plate for your feet, but the safest way is to use a piece of equipment designed for the job.
Get into the starting position by securing the band to the base of the frame on each side, so it passes over your hips. Rest your shoulders on the top plate, and plant your feet firmly at the bottom end of the frame. The band should be taut but not overly tense.
Now, lower your hips as near to the floor as you can and then, contracting your glutes, thrust your hips upwards as far as possible, stretching against the resistance band. Relax and return to the starting position. That's one rep. As with the standing thrust, we'd recommend a program of 3 x 20 set to reps.
As you get better form and build your strength, work with increasingly resistant bands, to prepare you for moving on to heavier weights.
What muscles do hip thrusts work?
A hip thrust workout specifically targets the glutes - that is, the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. Hip band thrusts isolate these muscle groups really well, allowing you to focus on building strength and muscle mass in that area. Of course, you'll also be building and toning your core, which is vital for the stability of your form during the exercise.
Why do banded hip thrusts?
Developing and maintaining your glutes is a crucial part of training for most weightlifting disciplines, and for explosive power in sports like rugby or gridiron football. It's also key to many wrestling and martial arts disciplines, particularly those involving grappling and throwing.