Are you looking to add an interesting, challenging exercise into your fitness routine? One-legged hip thrusts are a great way to target your glute muscles while also working your core and leg stability.
Unlike traditional two-legged exercises, one-legged hip thrusts require more focus, coordination and balance as it puts much of the focus on a single leg at a time.
Not only do they build strength in areas that may be lacking but they have been seen to give many other health benefits like improved posture and reduced lower back pain.
In this blog post, we’ll break down how to perform them properly so that you can reap maximum rewards from this exercise.
Muscles worked during One-Legged Hip Thrusts
One-Legged Hip Thrusts activate several muscles! The gluteus maximus, aka the butt muscle, is targeted. Hamstrings gain strength and flexibility. Quadriceps stabilize the pelvis.
Adductors engage the core. Erector Spinae benefit from unilateral exercises. Oblique abdominals support spinal stabilization. Not to mention, proper form over time can reduce lateral pelvic tilt.
Benefits of One-Legged Hip Thrusts
One-legged hip thrusts are an exercise with loads of benefits! It targets glutes, hamstrings and core muscles, while improving balance. Here’s what it does:
- Enhances leg strength with better balance between both legs.
- Neutralizes the pelvis for better alignment of the hips, reducing pain risk.
- Improves stability for everyday activities like walking and carrying groceries.
- Aids muscle hypertrophy & fat loss, toning glutes & thigh regions.
Be careful not to use too much momentum, or your form will suffer. To make it more challenging, add weights!
This workout originated in the late 20th century with bodybuilders, but quickly became popular among fitness fanatics. Thanks to its effectiveness, it’s now used by sports persons everywhere, making everyday tasks easier than ever!
How To Do One-Legged Hip Thrusts
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to perform one-legged hip thrusts:
Step 1: Prepare your space and equipment Find a sturdy bench or box that will not move during the exercise and place it behind you. You may also use a mat on the ground for added comfort.
Step 2: Assume the starting position Sit on the ground with your back against the bench, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. The bench should be positioned across your shoulder blades, just below your shoulder line. Place your arms by your sides, palms facing down for stability.
Step 3: Engage your core Take a deep breath and activate your core muscles by bracing your abs as if preparing for a punch.
Step 4: Lift one leg Raise one foot off the ground, extending the leg straight out or bending the knee at a 90-degree angle, whichever feels more comfortable and stable. Keep the foot of the grounded leg close to your glutes to facilitate the movement.
Step 5: Perform the one-legged hip thrust Press through the heel of the grounded foot and contract your glutes to lift your hips off the ground. Keep your chin tucked and eyes looking forward to maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement. Raise your hips until they are in line with your knees and shoulders, forming a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold this position for a brief moment, focusing on squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement.
Step 6: Lower your hips Slowly lower your hips back down to the ground in a controlled manner, releasing the tension in your glutes before starting the next repetition.
Step 7: Complete the set Perform the desired number of repetitions on one leg, then switch legs and repeat the exercise for an equal number of repetitions.
Step 8: Repeat Perform the desired number of sets, taking short breaks between each set to recover.
Proper Form for One-Legged Hip Thrusts
To ensure proper form while doing one-legged hip thrusts in your workout routine, with a focus on feet and knee placement, hips and glutes activation, and upper body positioning, read on. Each sub-section offers key insights to help you perfect your technique and avoid common mistakes, while maximizing the benefits for your muscles and overall fitness goals.
Feet and Knee Placement
For one-legged hip thrusts, you must pay attention to your feet and knees. Here’s how:
- Sit on the ground with your back against a bench or step.
- Put one leg on the bench or step and the other straight out.
- Press your foot firmly into the ground with your heel underneath your knee.
- Lift your hips up, push through your heel and keep your knee and toes aligned.
Doing this correctly helps target muscles and prevents strain or injury. Everyone’s body is different, so listen to your body and adjust as needed. This exercise tones and strengthens several muscle groups. Start adding it to your workout today!
Hips and Glutes Activation
Activating your hips and glutes is key for a full-bodied lower body workout. Before exercising, these muscles need to be warmed up. Follow these 3 easy steps to do so:
- Start with dynamic stretches such as leg swings or walking lunges.
- Do exercises targeting the hips and glutes like clamshells, bridges, or hip thrusts.
- Finish by doing static stretches like the seated pigeon stretch or figure-4 stretch. This helps avoid soreness.
Be careful not to strain yourself. Start with easier exercises and progress gradually. Also, maintain proper form to reduce the risk of injury.
Research by the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research shows that hip thrusts can significantly increase glute strength.
Upper Body Position
For proper one-legged hip thrusts, your upper body must be in the right position. Your shoulders should be atop your hands and your elbows should rest on a bench. Make sure your arms make a ‘L’ shape with the ground. Plus, keep your neck aligned with your spine. This will evenly distribute the weight and protect you from getting hurt.
To sum it up, posture is key during one-legged hip thrusts. Keeping your shoulders over your hands, your arms making an ‘L’ and your neck neutral will get you good results without strain or pain.
If you want to take it up a notch, use weight resistance bands. Or, if you want to adjust difficulty, simply change the height of the bench.
Tips for One-Legged Hip Thrusts
To refine your one-legged hip thrust technique, you need essential tips. In order to achieve success in this area, pay attention to helpful breathing techniques, manage and adjust your rest time and sets, and try new equipment and variations to challenge yourself. These sub-sections cater to specific areas of focus to maximize the potential of your hip thrust practice.
Respiratory Tricks for Success!
For one-legged hip thrusts, it’s key to use proper breathing. Exhale as you lift your pelvis from the ground. Inhale when you lower it.
A relaxed exhalation approach works too. Let air flow while squeezing your glutes. Plus, root lock breathing can help stabilize your core and pelvis.
Experiment with different breathing techniques. Find what works best for you. And, get the results you want!
Rest Time and Sets
Rest and Sets are the superstars of One-Legged Hip Thrusts!
- Allow 60-90 secs rest between each set.
- Aim for 3-4 sets. 8-12 reps each to build strength and power.
- Gradually add weights to increase difficulty and boost endurance and muscle bulk.
- Back straight on bench. Feet flat on ground. Lower hips to floor then push up explosively.
- Exhale when raising hips, breathe in when lowering.
Use a timer to track rest time.
Trainers advise to start slowly and focus on squeezing glutes, building up to a minute of thrusting with weights.
Athletes & weightlifters use Hip Thrusts for lower-body power. Like running backs or sprinters before a game or race.
Bret Contreras says: “The Hip Thrust is an under-rated exercise for a better butt!”
Equipment and Variations
For one-legged hip thrusts, minimal equipment is needed. Yet, there are multiple variations to target different muscles. Adding weight, using a resistance band, or moving the foot position can increase intensity and better results. Trying different moves can help individuals stay away from stagnation.
Ankle weights or a dumbbell on the upper thigh can add resistance. A resistance band just above the knees stops the knees from caving in. Changing foot placement also changes which muscles are used.
Try the elevated feet variation. Elevating on a bench or box increases range of motion and strengthens the stabilizer muscles in the hips.
Pro Tip: Avoid injury by keeping your core tight and a straight line from the shoulders to the knees during the exercise.
Common Mistakes in One-Legged Hip Thrusts
To avoid common mistakes in one-legged hip thrusts with proper form, focus on arching the back, maintaining correct knee alignment, and avoiding rushing the movement. These three sub-sections will help you perform this exercise correctly and avoid any potential injuries or discomfort.
Arching the Back
Maintaining Proper Form in One-Legged Hip Thrusts
When doing one-legged hip thrusts, proper form is key. Many people arch their back too much, causing injuries and strains. To avoid this, focus on tightening your core and glutes when lifting your hips. A resistance band around your thighs can provide extra support. Keep in mind; this exercise targets the glutes. Don’t put pressure on other body parts. Balance core strength and spinal stability to perform the exercise without pain or injury.
If you have an underlying medical condition, consult a physician before attempting any physical activity. Prevention is better than treatment for pain!
Incorrect Knee Alignment
Performing one-legged hip thrusts? Essential to get your knee in line with your hips and ankles. Wrong alignment can lead to muscular imbalances and injuries.
If your knee goes in or out, too much pressure on the muscles. Could strain or sprain them, and cause discomfort and pain. So, important to keep your knee aligned.
Use a resistance band around both knees to stop it falling inward. This will help you hold the form.
Also, be careful not to use too much weight. Can cause bad alignment of the knees. Suggest starting with lighter weights before adding resistance.
Getting good knee alignment during hip thrusts helps motion range and muscle activity around the glutes. Check your form regularly to avoid incorrect execution and stop painful muscle strains.
Rushing the Movement
Performing the one-legged hip thrust too quickly can lead to errors in muscle use and form. Control and proper form are essential.
Mistakes can be made if people rush the movement. Lower back muscles may be overly engaged instead of the glutes. This could cause strain or injury. Moving the body or pushing off the ground with too much power will disconnect from the correct muscle activation.
To get optimal results, slow down and focus on glute activation. This will properly use all the needed muscles and reduce injury risk.
Certified strength and conditioning specialist Nick Tumminello says: “If you want your glutes to be strong and powerful, the hips should be fully extended at peak tension.”
Variations of One-Legged Hip Thrusts
To explore the variations of one-legged hip thrusts, use weighted, bench, or resistance band variations as solutions. These variations will offer different intensities, muscle targets, and engagement levels. Try out the weighted one-legged hip thrusts, one-legged hip thrusts on the bench, or one-legged hip thrusts with a resistance band to see which variation best suits your needs.
Weighted One-Legged Hip Thrusts
A one-legged glute bridge with extra weight is a type of hip thrust that focuses on posterior chain muscles. To do it:
- Sit in front of a bench, putting it behind your back and keeping one leg straight and the other bent at 90°.
- Put the weight on your pelvis and extend your arms to grip the bench for support.
- Lift your pelvis from the ground, squeezing your glutes as you lift and lower slowly.
- Repeat and switch legs for evenness.
This move strengthens one side and increases core stability and balance. Pro Tip: Use a padded barbell to evenly spread weight and avoid chafing.
One-Legged Hip Thrusts on a Bench
Performing unilateral glute exercises can have big impacts on strength and muscle balance. One exercise that targets the glutes, hamstrings and lower back is the One-Legged Hip Thrust on a Bench. Here’s how:
- Sit on the edge of a bench.
- Place one foot flat on the ground and the other leg straight out in front.
- Put your hands behind you for support.
- Drive through the heel and raise your hips until your body is in line from shoulders to knees. Squeeze at the top.
- Lower back down to starting position without touching the bench.
Adding weights can up the intensity for experienced lifters. It’s vital to train both sides equally to protect against injury. Incorporating One-Legged Hip Thrusts into your routine will target muscles often overlooked in traditional movements.
I once met a trainer who had issues engaging her glute muscles from an injury. But, after trying One-Legged Hip Thrusts, she was able to get her mobility back and enhance her performance. This goes to show that even small changes can lead to great results!
One-Legged Hip Thrusts with a Resistance Band
One-Leg Resistance Band Hip Thrusts are a special version of the classic hip thrust move. This exercise works the glutes, hamstrings and core! Perfect for those wanting to boost their lower body strength and endurance. Here’s a 6-step guide to do them:
- Wrap the band around your ankles, just above.
- Lie on your back, bend your knees with feet shoulder width apart.
- Extend one leg, keep the other bent with heel on the floor.
- Hold both ends of the band with hands at your side.
- Drive through the foot on the floor, squeeze glutes at the top.
- Lower down and repeat before switching legs.
While doing reps, keep a neutral spine and brace your core. Press shoulders into the floor and avoid arching. To make it harder, add extra looped bands above or below knee height.
One-Legged Hip Thrusts with Resistance Bands are great for athletes of all levels to challenge and improve lower body strength.