I did 25 hip thrusts a day for two weeks, here’s what changed

The hip thrusts for 14 days challenge has been a game changer

Hip thrusts with weights
(Image credit: Lucy Gornall)

I am a total slave to hip thrusts; they’ve been a lower-body staple in my gym-based leg days for years thanks to their serious ability to help work the glutes, aka the butt muscles. So, the thought of doing the hip thrusts for 14 days challenge filled me with joy.

Much like doing deadlifts with dumbbells, hip thrusts are a great move for the glutes and there’s even research (opens in new tab) to back up the fact that hip thrusts provide very high levels of gluteus maximus activation; the gluteus maximus being the biggest of the three muscles that make up the glutes. The other two glute muscles are the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius.

Hip thrusts aren’t just a means of getting or maintaining pert glutes. They also help to strengthen the glutes, which in turn can help with a multitude of other exercises, as well as improving posture and helping to avoid injury. How so?

In short, many of us spend much of our time sitting down, which can lead to lazy glutes. When our glutes are lazy and inactive, other muscles have to overcompensate which can lead to injury. Plus, if you’re a runner, you’ll be wanting to ensure those glutes stay strong; studies have found that strong glutes lessen the chances of running-related injuries including knee pains and hamstring strains.

So, the hip thrusts for 14 days challenge. What did it entail? Essentially, I opted for 25 to 30 weighted hip thrusts every day. This might not sound like many but I was working with weights of between 75kg and 90kg, and in normal times, I would typically take a couple of days off hip thrusts before I went at them again, so to go for 14 consecutive days was definitely going to be a shock to the ol’ glutes. Plus, as a personal trainer, I would always advise giving muscles a break so they can recover and grow efficiently. 

The rules for this challenge were simple; 14 days, 25 to 30 hip thrusts using either a barbell and plates or a hip thrust machine with plates added. 

Here’s what happened when I did hip thrusts for 14 days…

1. My glutes were always hurting

Naturally, as I wasn’t allowing my glutes to recover between hip thrust sessions, they never really healed, so I was always in a bit of pain. It was a constant, nagging pain, especially in my left glute. 

Plus, because I was doing hip thrusts every day for two weeks, I naturally was inclined to do other lower body moves too. In fact, I basically did 14 leg days back to back. And it’s worth noting that I don’t recommend this without building up your strength safely.

Because of this constant lower body exercise, all my leg muscles were feeling it, day after day. This did mean that everyday tasks, such as walking up the stairs and vacuuming were far more challenging than normal.

2. I 100% noticed butt growth

If you want to grow your glutes and develop rounder glutes I can tell you now, from a personal trainer perspective, that hip thrusts need to be a part of the routine. Of course in regular life doing them every single day will not be beneficial as your glutes will never get the rest, they need to recover and grow. However, for this one-off 14 days challenge, I certainly noticed that my glutes grew but, this may have been just a constant ‘pump’ as I never took days off hip thrusts.

3. My abs felt stronger

During any resistance-based moves, the core muscles should be engaged. This helps to reduce the risk of injuries, especially injuries in the back. So, naturally I was engaging my core muscles whilst doing my hip thrusts, and I really did notice that they became stronger and ‘popped’ that little bit more. Of course, without wanting to sound like a broken record, for abs to REALLY show up, the layer of fat that sits on top needs to slowly fade away. Please don’t embark on this hip thrust challenge if you think it’s going to mean a flat stomach with washboard abs.

4. I increased the weight fairly quickly

I did think that due to the fact I was doing hip thrusts every day for 14 days, I would struggle to increase my weight, as my glutes were so fatigued and unable to recover properly. However, by the end of the two weeks, I was adding extra plates to my bar, and doing the same rep count. So, happy days.

Hip thrust challenge

(Image credit: Lucy Gornall)

5. My love for hip thrusts remains

Honestly, I swear by this move to keep my butt relatively peachy. It’s never going to be big per sé as I don’t build up my weight too much and I tend to just maintain a steady weight, instead of switching up my reps, rest, and holds, but my love for this move will never fade. Just the feeling of that butt burn keeps me hooked. Am I weird? Probably.

6. I was hungrier

This may have been because I was on my period (if you know you know) so this could be a dead point however I definitely felt hungrier during this 14-day challenge. As mentioned, I incorporated my hip thrusts into leg days so basically I was doing far more leg days than normal. Leg days work some of the biggest muscles in the body so it was natural that I was going to feel a little bit hungrier. I was certainly craving more carbs throughout the day and found that no matter how much I ate I never really felt full. 

Lifting weights push your muscles to their max, and muscles need feeding. Period. So it’s natural to feel hungry.

I don’t track calories so I have no idea how much I was consuming, however, I did try to ensure I was getting plenty of protein, from lean protein sources, as protein is the building block of muscle.

Hip thrusts for 14 days challenge: my verdict

Do it, do it, do it, do it. OK, so, maybe do it, but leave a day between each round of hip thrusts… just so the glutes can recover between sets, especially if you are pushing your hip thrust weight to the max. 

I actually think this is my favorite challenge to date. I basically ‘had’ to do my favorite move, 14 days on the trot. There is simply nothing I could dislike about this.

I noticed changes in my glutes; they’re rounder, firmer, and just a little peachier, plus I improved my hip thrust form and generally felt stronger. 

I am definitely going to aim for three rounds of hip thrusts a week going forward, rather than my usual two, and I reckon I will try to add far more variation to my holds, pulses, and rep counts.

If you want to boost your butt, turn to the hip thrust. It’s a move like no other.

For more challenges we’ve been taking on, find out what happened when we did 500 calf raises each day for a week.

Lucy is a freelance journalist specializing in health, fitness and lifestyle. She was previously the Health and Fitness Editor across various women's magazines, including Woman&Home, Woman and Woman’s Own as well as Editor of Feel Good You. She has also previously written for titles including Now, Look, Cosmopolitan, GQ, Red and The Sun. 

She lives and breathes all things fitness; working out every morning with a mix of running, weights, boxing and long walks. Lucy is a Level 3 personal trainer and teaches classes at various London studios. Plus, she's pre- and post-natal trained and helps new mums get back into fitness after the birth of their baby. Lucy claims that good sleep, plenty of food and a healthy gut (seriously, it's an obsession) are the key to maintaining energy and exercising efficiently. Saying this, she's partial to many classes of champagne and tequila on the rocks whilst out with her friends.