How To

1 Sit on the floor with the long side of a bench behind your back along your shoulder blades. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
2 Straighten one leg by flexing your glute and extending your hips until straight. Your supporting knee should form a 90-degree angle. Hold briefly.
3 Lower slowly by hinging your hips.

Muscle Worked in Single Leg Hip Thrust

Primary Muscles

Glutes The glutes help you extend your thighs from the hips and drive you forward.
Hamstrings The hamstrings flex your knees and extend and rotate your hips

Secondary Muscles

Calves The calves are the muscles at the back of the lower part of your legs
Lower Back The low back helps stabilize your spinal column and connects your upper body to your pelvis.
Obliques The obliques help you twist your trunk and support your core and spine.
Quads "Quads" refers to your quadriceps femoris muscles which flex your leg from the hip joint and extend your leg from the knee joint.

Pro Tips

  • Keep weight on your heels and rotate your pelvis forward.
  • Use a bar pad or towel to cushion the bar on the hips.
  • Try not to use your elbows too much to anchor this movement. Instead, focus on pivoting from your upper back to drive your hip thrusts.
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Equipment

Barbell
Barbell
Bench
Bench

Benefits

  • Single-leg hip thrusts can help grow your glute muscles.
  • This exercise is a good way to strengthen your posterior chain, or the muscles at the back of your body. Posterior chain strength is important for everyday movements like running or walking.
  • Unilateral training is good for addressing muscle weakness or imbalances. Working on single-leg exercises can help you bring the weaker side of your body up to par with the stronger one. Learn more about unilateral training here: Effects of Unilateral vs. Bilateral Resistance Training.
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Alternatives

Common Mistakes

  • Driving from the elbows is one common mistake made in the single-leg hip thrust. Make sure to push through your upper back, using it as a pivot point instead of engaging your elbows for leverage.
  • Don’t tilt your head or lean too far back in this exercise. This can put a strain on your neck.
  • Try to avoid extending your hips too high. This can hurt your spine, especially if you are using heavy weight for resistance.
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Warm Up & Cool Down

Try forward leg swings to warm up for your single-leg hip thrusts. To perform this warm-up: Warm Up Before Barbell Squat
1 Stand on one leg, bringing your hands to your hips or out to a T-shape for balance.
2 Swing your free leg back and forth, keeping a slight bend in your knee. You can use momentum.
3 Continue for at least 10 swings, then switch legs.
Cool Down After Barbell Squat Use a figure 4 stretch to elongate the glute muscles after your single-leg hip thrusts.
1 Stand on one leg.
2 Bend your other leg at the knee then fold that ankle over the knee of your standing leg, as you drop into a shallow one-legged squat.
3 Hold for 10-30 seconds.
4 Repeat on the other side.

FAQ

Are hip thrusts and glute bridges the same?
No. Although these workouts activate similar muscles, a hip thrust is typically performed with the upper back leaning across a weight bench. Glute bridges are performed lying on the floor with no weight bench.
Are hip thrusts good for hypertrophy?
If you want to achieve hypertrophy (muscle growth), there is evidence that hip thrusts can benefit hypertrophy, particularly in the gluteus maximus muscle. Learn more here: Hip Thrust and Back Squat Training Elicit Similar Gluteus Muscle Hypertrophy.
What is the main muscle you work in a single-leg hip thrust?
The gluteus maximus— your largest glute muscle— is the main isolated muscle in a single-leg hip thrust.