The dumbbell hip thrust is an excellent exercise for strengthening your glutes, which are the large muscles found in your backside. These muscles support your spine and stabilize your pelvis, so it's well worth giving them some attention.
To do a hip thrust, you lean your shoulder blades against a chair, plant your feet on the ground, place a dumbbell across your pelvis then drive your hips to the sky.
How to do a hip thrust properly
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1. Ankles under knees
At the top of the movement, your ankles and feet should be directly under your knees. If your feet are too far forward, then you'll engage your hamstrings at the back of the thighs. If they're too far back, you'll target your front-thigh quads. Get your feet in the perfect position and you'll hit those gluteal muscles.
2. Shoulder blades across a raised surface
When you place your back against the raised platform, Williams says your shoulder blades should rest across its edge. This ensures that you can hinge correctly. Using a platform that's too high or low could also place unnecessary strain on your back.
3. Head looking forwards
It’s tempting to look to the sky during hip thrusts, particularly when your glutes start to burn. But Williams says you should lift your head and tuck your chin to look forwards throughout, to avoid straining your neck.
4. Drive with the hips
When you’re performing this exercise, think about driving your hips to the ceiling. This will make sure you're hinging correctly and recruiting the glute muscles to drive the movement.
Need some new weights? Take a look at our guide to the best adjustable dumbbells.
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Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.
Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.