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If you’re looking to develop nice and strong glutes, hip thrusts and glue bridges are two of the most effective exercises you can do. Not only will they make your butt look nice, but they’ll also enable you to do other lifts and activities better (squats, running).
Currently, building your glutes is one of the most popular trends in the fitness industry. Many people do them solely for looks, but there are far more benefits of these exercises than just getting a nice “booty”…
But what are the key differences between hip thrust vs glute bridge? Glute bridges are less strenuous, and they are better for beginners who haven’t developed strong enough glutes to do hip thrusts, and they’re a great exercise for warm-ups. On the other hand, hip thrusts are great for loading up a lot of weight and building muscles (glutes, hamstrings, quads).
When should you do either of these two and who will benefit the most doing these exercises? Let’s find out.
About Glute Bridges
Glute bridges are a bodyweight exercise that will focus on your glutes and hamstrings but will also strengthen your hip flexors, which is great news if you’re a runner, or if you do other sports that involve running. It’s also good for your posture if you have a curved lower back.
One of the most common problems is that we don’t engage our core and our glutes as we walk or stand, which can result in a pretty poor posture – our belly tends to stick out, while our lower back seems to be curved. This is especially typical for those who tend to sit a lot.
Glute bridges are a great exercise if you only have your bodyweight but no barbells or weights, so you can do them at home. They are a great alternative for hip thrusts, although they’re done slightly differently.
How to Do Glute Bridges
Glute bridges are done lying on the ground (or a mat or somewhere soft). To do them, you need to lie on your back and retract your legs so that they are at a 45-degree angle. Then, you must lift your butt off the ground and push it towards the ceiling until it reaches the same level as your upper body.
At the same time, you need to be mindful that you’re squeezing your abs as much as possible. Also, make sure you place your shoulders in such a way that they support your body. Your shoulders should be on the ground – this is the key difference between glue bridges and hip thrusts, where you place your upper body on a platform or a bench.
It’s a fairly simple exercise. Here’s a quick video that shows you how to do them.
What are Glue Bridges Good For?
So, why should you do glute bridges, and who are they good for?
- Glute bridges are a great exercise for warming up your lower body, your core, and your butt. If you’re doing a leg day, then this exercise can be a great warming up exercise before you do hip thrusts, which are much harder to do than glute bridges.
- If you don’t have weights and you do your workouts at home, then you can do glute bridges instead of hip thrusts. Essentially, they work almost the same muscles; the main difference is that you can make hip thrusts more challenging as you place a bar on your body to make them more effective.
- You can also do glue bridges if you’re a beginner. They will build up your glutes and your hamstrings, and they will prepare you for tougher movements that you’ll do later on, such as hip thrusts.
- Glute bridges are a great exercise for long-distance runners or if you have a bad posture. Because they focus on your glutes, which tend to be neglected when you run or walk, you’ll be able to run, walk, and do sports easier. Your posture will also improve as a consequence.
About Hip Thrusts
Hip thrusts are one of the most common exercises when you want to build your glutes and hamstrings, and you want to load them up with weights. They can be quite tough to perform, so you’ll need some prior experience to do them.
As such, they are great for enhancing your glutes and hamstrings, as well as your hip flexors. Because of that, they’re a common feature in workouts of those who want to enhance the look of their butt and make them more functional for running, sprinting, and sports.
Like glute bridges, hip thrusts can also do wonders for your posture. However, because they involve weight, they are slightly harder to do and also a bit more uncomfortable. Hip thrusts are a natural advancement exercise of glute bridges.
How to Do Hip Thrusts
If you want to do hip thrusts, you’ll need a few things:
- A barbell
- Some weights
- A bench or an elevated platform
To start doing this exercise, we recommend sitting beneath the bench with your shoulders leaning towards the bench, ready to use it as a support. Your barbell should sit in your lap, loaded with just the right amount of weights you feel you will comfortably be able to lift at your level.
Then, slightly bend your knees and prepare yourself to lift your booty up. Note that this can be quite uncomfortable at first, but once you get used to it, it gets easier. Then, lift your butt and lean onto the bench as you do the exercise. When your butt reaches the level of 90 degrees, you can let go and move down again.
One of the keys here is that you keep your spine and head as straight as possible and as relaxed as possible. Your body should move as a unit. If you’re just starting out, it makes sense to start with lighter weights to get used to the movement first.
Here’s how to do it.
What are Hip Thrusts Good For?
Hip thrusts are a natural progression from glute bridges. So if you feel like you’ve mastered glute bridges and you can do at least 20 of them at once, then you can progress to hip thrusts.
They’re very effective for building your glutes, hamstrings, and have an added focus on your hip flexors. Research suggests hip thrusts are more effective for strengthening your hip flexors compared to glute bridges, which allows you to be more effective when you sprint.
Hip thrusts are for your if…
- You have progressed glute bridges enough so that you can start loading them up.
- Hip thrusts are also great if you want to make your glutes and hamstrings even stronger. Because you can add a lot of weight to the bar, they allow for easier progression than glute bridges, so you’ll see more difference faster with hip thrusts.
- They are also good for your posture.
- If you do sports, then hip thrusts are even more beneficial for you than glute bridges, because they focus on hip flexors more, allowing you to be more effective when you sprint.
Hip Thrusts vs Glute Bridges – Which One Should You Do?
The truth is that both exercises work almost the same muscles: glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors, where hip thrusts put some additional focus on your hip flexors. So if you want to get that peachy booty, both exercises are great.
But it depends on your personal circumstances and the surroundings you find yourself in. You have to consider a few things before you decide which one to do, such as your level of strength, the equipment you have, and your ultimate goals.
You Should do Glute Bridges If…
- You are a complete beginner and have no experience with various glute and leg movements. If you want to build up your strength so that eventually, you’ll be able to do hip thrusts, glute bridges are great.
- You want to warm up your glutes and hamstrings before you move onto harder movements.
- You don’t have equipment such as barbells, weights, and a bench.
You Should do Hip Thrusts If…
- You’ve progressed with glute bridges enough so that you feel comfortable your body and your glutes can handle the weight that comes when you do hip thrusts.
- You want to build strength more and focus on tougher movements where you can add more weight.
- You need to build your hip flexors more so that you can use them in real-life situations more, such as sports that involve a lot of sprinting.
- You want to focus on hypertrophy and want to progress with hip thrusts as you can add a lot more weight to the bar later on.
The Bottom Line
To summarize, both exercises are great for building your glutes and your hamstrings. Which one you will choose depends massively on your current situation. If you don’t have any equipment or if you’re a beginner, then we recommend you go with glute bridges. They’re also a great exercise for warming up your glutes.
But if you already have some experience and if you have gym equipment at hand, then hip thrusts are undeniably more effective.