9 Ways You're Ruining Your Hip Thrusts - Coach Mark Carroll

9 Ways you’re Ruining your Hip Thrusts

May 11, 2023
Mark Carroll
It’s time to fix your hip thrust! 
Hip Thrusts are one of my favourite exercises to program for clients… but only if they can do them well! Over my many years as a coach, I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly which is how I’ve come up with this list of the 9 most common mistakes that people make when hip trusting. So, let’s get into it:
  1. Chin Position – When we thrust we want to tuck our chin onto our chest throughout the movement. I would cue this as “Chin tucked, eyes down at your knees”. Chin tucked means better ability to hip-extend rather than extending through your back which is commonly associated with feeling less Glutes and more lower back.
  2. Feet Too Wide – “I feel my adductors only!”. We often talk about feet positioning in reference to how close or how far away from your body, but width matters too! We want our feet to be just outside shoulder width at the absolute most.
  3. Feet Too Close – “I feel my quads only!”. Quickest fix is assessing how close feet are too your body. We want roughly a 90 degrees angle of the knee at top of thrust position. If your feet are too close, we get more knee flexion, increasing quads.
  4. Feet Too Far Away – “I feel my hamstrings only!”. This is commonly associated with having your feet too far away from your body. The further your feet are from your body, the more we increase hamstrings potential. Hip thrusts are effective as the bent knee decreases hamstrings.
  5. Driving With Toes – People driving off their toes increases quad activity. We want whole foot down ideally equal weight between the foot. Keep the heel down!
  6. Losing Scapula Position – Another one I see is people sliding all over the place each rep. When setting up, try to drive your shoulder blades down into the pad. This will help when driving up to not slide back excessively and lose positioning.
  7. Over Banding – Banding knees does not make it more Glute max receptive. The whole point of a thrust is to train hip extension and banding abduction can negatively impact hip extension. Primarily we want to focus on loading hip extension, not abduction.
  8. Bench Too High – I’m referring to when you’re performing dead stops. Your upper body positioning matters and we want to keep this locked in throughout the set. When a bench is too high, we lose this and it effects the form.
  9. Lifting Too Heavy – Hip thrust has become a bit of an ego lift. I think people forget where tension is greatest, being the top. Want Glutes? Make sure top range is reached completely!
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Coach Mark Carroll