Muscular and curvy buttocks are considered a sign of beauty and fitness across many cultures. The Greeks even made statues symbolizing the importance of body shapes on beauty and fitness, good buttocks being a common trait in almost all of them. A good shaped lower body, apart from being attractive, is also healthy. For both men and women, good glute shapes ensure appropriate stress balancing on thigh muscles; which not only help in attaining higher running or walking speeds but also ensure the longevity of the lower muscular system as a whole. Glutes are one of the largest muscle groups in the body, and also consequently very importance. While especially for women, healthy glutes and thigh muscles easy out the pain while deliveries, thus ensuring a healthy baby and a healthy mother.
It’s relatively easier to work out on the muscles visible or in the mirror, but not so much for the ones that aren’t visible. That way, ensuring good glute health is of prime importance during posture improvement health workouts. And it doesn’t take much, it can be easily done at your home!
To begin with your dumbbell hip thrust, you will need a bench that supports you just beneath your shoulder blades. You will need the support to below – about 11 to 13 inches off of the ground. If you don’t have the right bench, you can build one with step boxes, risers and other similar stuff
Make sure your bench is either secured to the ground or placed up against a wall so it remains stationary while you are performing your hip thrusters. To be sure that your bench is the correct height, sit on the floor with the bench behind you to make sure the top of the bench touches right beneath your shoulder blades. If you feel that you are sitting too low, you can grab a 10kg or 20kg weight plate to sit on, so you will be raised off the ground a few inches.
Start with bodyweight
Before doing the movement with dumbbells, you must begin by practising with your body weight.
1) Commence with your back against the bench while seated on the ground, then tuck your chin, keep your chest and rib cage down, and look as forward as you can.
Chin tucking, chest and rib cage at a low level and looking forward actually reduces the chances of overstress and thus prevents you from hurting your back.
2) Keeping your chin tucked, your chest rib cage down, and your eyes looking forward, draw your knees in and support the upper half of your back onto the bench. At this point, you shall experiment with feet placement location. No matter if your stance is wide or narrow, you shall feel the movement in your glutes. So, place your foot where you feel the most effective stretch at the top of your hip thrust.
3) Fully extended hips are the top of the thrust, with knees are at 90 degrees, and your shins vertical. Your toes can be pointing straight or at an angle, depends on your preference. The hip thruster is a very localized movement, and what works best for one person, might not be right for another.
4) If you feel the most impact in your glutes instead of your thighs or feet, you know you’ve done it right. And to find the maximum muscle activation posture, you’ll have to keep experimenting until you reach the optimum point as described above. If this troubles you, a small resistance band around the kneed would be a saver. It forces you to engage your glutes while pushing your knees out against the resistance.
Once you have that perfected, practice the movement a few times by raising and lowering your hips in a controlled movement, while emphasising on the posterior pelvic tilt.
- Here comes the real part, thrust with dumbbell:
Now you shall add the dumbbells when you are comfortable doing the exercise with bodyweight
The methodology is the same, the only alteration being that you would be holding a dumbbell on your pelvic bone. It might feel a little tight at the bottom of the movement, but that when you know you’re doing it right.
1) Sit against the bench or the support with the top hitting just beneath your shoulder blades
2) Hold your weight just on your pelvic bone
3) Place your feet at a separation that would result in your knees being at a right angle and shins vertical at the top of the movement
4) Focus your eyes at a point in exactly in front of you, tuck your chin, keep your chest and rib cage down. Use your glutes to raise the bottom half of your body. Squeeze those glutes while lifting your hips and pressing your heels into the floor.
5) As you extend your hips, roll the dumbbell a little forward and slightly off of your hip bones to eliminate irritation and to get the full range of motion. Lower yourself back down, this is one rep.
Since you are limited with dumbbells on the amount of weight available for you to use with this movement, you shall focus on doing a slow, controlled movement with a high number of reps. Keep in mind, if placing the dumbbell on your hip bones is too uncomfortable, consider placing a small folded gym mat, padded sheet or towel underneath the dumbbell to relieve the pain/discomfort.
First, ensure that you support bench is of the appropriate dimensions as mentioned above. Incorrect dimensions might cause unnecessary pain in the muscles.
Always start with your body weight. That not only helps you get good know-how of the required posture but also helps in adjusting your glute muscles to a certain stretch load.
Gradually, when you get comfortable with bodyweight, begin the exercise with dumbbells. Direct exercise with extra weight can cause wear and tear of concerned muscles, which would be painful. Take caution.
If even after following all the instructions, you feel a discomfort in the workout, do consult a physician.