Hip Thrust

An anatomical drawing from behind. The glutes are highlighted in blue. These are the primary movers in the Hip Thrust.

The Hip Thrust is the best way to increase glute strength. Because I’ve written a post on it before (Glute Strengthening For Wrestlers), I won’t get into detail as to why that’s important.

But, to summarize that post, it will improve your hip strength and power for wrestling.

That’s pretty important, right?

However, from what I’ve found by working with wrestlers for so long, the glutes don’t fire very well.

In fact, I had this problem as well. Here are two things I did to get them firing.

First, I performed a lot of Band Hip Abductions. Here’s what I mean.

The glutes fire in two ways. First, they extend the hip (which is what Hip Thrusts train).

Second, they externally rotate the hip (which is what Band Hip Abductions train).

I use this with wrestlers simply because they all “feel” their glutes working when they perform this exercise. And that’s ultimately how you get a muscle “turned on.”

The other exercise I use a lot is a Band Hip Thrust. By the way, bands have been shown in many research studies (including a mini one I did in college) to produce the highest EMG activity in muscles.

Here’s a video of a Band Hip Thrust.

Here’s a picture of how to hook up a band using a carabineer (in case you don’t have a bench with band pegs).

A picture of an orange band wrapped around a bench held together with a carabineer.

Additionally, as weird as it sounds, I encourage people to hold the exercise at the top and touch their butt. Like I said, this sounds weird. But, the sign that a muscle is firing is that it’s contracted. So, feel for a tight butt. Man, this is getting weird.

But seriously, make sure your butt is tight and your hamstrings aren’t doing the work.

Once your glutes are firing, you can move on to one of two Barbell Hip Thrusts.

Here’s my preferred variation.

Here’s the second variation.

Both are great exercises, it’s just easier to get set up to perform the first variation.

As far as technique pointers go, I encourage you to hold each rep at the top for a second or two. Also, make sure you’re feeling your glutes do most, if not all, of the work. That’s the whole purpose of using this exercise in the program.

A picture of Kyle Dake and Dickie White.
Hi, I’m Dickie (the author of this blog). Here I am with my good buddy, Kyle Dake. While he doesn't have a nice coat like me, he is pretty good at wrestling. Here's what he said about my training system:

Before I began lifting using Dickie's system my wrestling skills were getting slightly better. I've now been lifting under his guidance for more than 5 months and I have begun to dominating ALL of my competition. At first I had little faith in Dickie and his program, but now I would run into a wall if he told me I would get stronger! I know it sounds insane, but I would. The bottom line is Dickie is an expert and knows what he is talking about. If you want to defeat those kids whom you've always lost to and reach a level you never thought possible, I suggest you start lifting using Dickie's system immediately.

-Kyle Dake, 4X NCAA Division 1 National Champion
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Want to see what other wrestlers are saying about my training system? Check out my Success Stories page.

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Want to learn more about Dickie? Check out my About page.

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Want to get started on a program today? Read this post and download your free program- 12 Week Training Program For Wrestlers.

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