Exercise to Make You More Awesome: The Barbell Hip Thrust

If I had to describe the snow storm that the northeast received over past 24 hours in one word, it would be: epic.  Seriously, it was almost as if the Mayans predicted this storm.

Anyway, as I'm cooped up for the rest of the night (and probably weekend) I figured I'd upload a video of one exercise I've recently really started to enjoy.

Enter: the barbell hip thrust.

 While the ladies swooned over Sean Lowe, current star of The Bachelor, I simply yawned after seeing how he needs to fill out the rest of those boxer briefs.

While the ladies swooned over Sean Lowe, current star of The Bachelor, I simply yawned after seeing how he needs to fill out the rest of those boxer briefs.

Glutes are the new biceps.  As Lindsay can attest, I don't usually get all that envious if I see a guy walking around with big biceps.  I mean, it's cool that some people have the time to do nothing but "curls for the girls" for an hour at the gym....but nothing proves that a guy really knows what he's doing in the gym like a strong backside.

Why?  Because it shows that you know how to squat, deadlift, and that you understand how the glutes are the center of all your power. Not too mention, in today's era of skinny jeans, a well formed glute is a forgotten, but important aesthetic quality. 

On that note, I want to introduce the barbell hip thrust.  Why is it awesome?  Well, if you're looking for a training stimulus to your backside, look no further.  While I'll explain a few more reasons as to why it's so awesome after the video, here's the subject of this post to give you a sense of what I'm talking about..

So, why is this exercise so great?  For one, it provides a great training stimulus and alternative to deadlifting if you have "tight" hamstrings.  In fact, if you can't come close to touching your toes while standing up, you shouldn't be deadlifting!

Also, you can see that this exercise forces you into hip extension, which is the exact opposite position that the majority of the population spends their waking hours (that is, sitting in some capacity).  I'd go as far to say that almost all of my clients could use more time in hip extension, as many of them have tight hip flexors, weak glutes, and weak abdominals.

So what's the secret to this exercise?  Simply, bridge yourself up and tighten both your glutes and abdominals.  Doing so will prevent you from going into lumbar hyperextension, which can really cause some issues in your lower back.  Also, start small, as many people often have trouble differentiating their glute contraction from lumbar contraction.

Once you have the basics mastered, feel free to do this in your own gym and have everyone watch you.  And you know what?  You better get used to it, because a pair of strong glutes will definitely garner some additional attention.