Dumbbell Hip Thrust

Dumbbell Hip Thrust

The dumbbell hip thrust is a popular accessory exercise that strengthens and develops the posterior chain. 

In addition to building an impressive butt, the exercise promotes core stability and leads to better athleticism.

Read on to learn more about this excellent exercise and how to perform it.

What Is The Dumbbell Hip Thrust?

The dumbbell hip thrust is an accessory compound exercise where the objective is to extend your hips repeatedly.

To perform the exercise, you must position your upper back over a sturdy object, such as a gym bench or plyo box, and keep your buttocks in the air. 

The range of motion isn’t huge, but the exercise allows trainees to overload their glutes with more weight.

What Muscles Does The Dumbbell Hip Thrust Work?

The primary muscles involved in a dumbbell hip thrust are the ones making up the posterior chain:

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Lower back 

Your glutes and hamstrings work together to produce hip extension, whereas the lower back contributes to torso stability and spinal alignment. 

In other words, dumbbell hip thrusts are excellent for visual improvements and the development of the buttocks. 

Secondary muscles involved in hip thrusts include:

  • Quadriceps
  • Calves
  • Abs
  • Obliques
  • Shoulders

These muscles mainly serve to stabilize your body while performing the exercise.

Hip Thrust

How to Perform Dumbbell Hip Thrust (Step-By-Step)

  1. Set a dumbbell on the floor next to you, sit down, and place your upper back against the edge of a flat gym bench or plyo box.
  2. Grab the dumbbell and position it comfortably over your hips. Hold it with both hands.
  3. Bend your knees and plant your feet flat on the floor.
  4. Take a deep breath, engage your abs, and press through your heels, driving your hips toward the ceiling. Your knees should be aligned with your shoulders and directly over your ankles at the top.
  5. Slowly lower your buttocks to the floor and exhale.

What Weight is Best for Dumbbell Hip Thrusts?

Hip thrusts are a compound exercise, which means you can safely use heavier weights so long as you maintain proper technique. For instance, barbell hip thrusts allow trainees to routinely use 200, 300, 400, or even 500+ pounds for their working sets. (1)

The issue with dumbbell hip thrusts is that it is more challenging to set yourself up for a set, especially when using a heavier weight. In addition, it can be trickier to maintain stability, and a heavier dumbbell can lead to hip discomfort.

Because of these things, it would be better to use a lighter dumbbell that allows you to perform at least 10 to 12 slow and controlled repetitions.

Safety And Final Suggestions

First, avoid using too much weight. As discussed above, doing so makes it more challenging to set yourself up and can lead to discomfort in the hip area. Use a barbell if you want to go heavy, and wrap a pad over it to prevent bruising. But always start with a very low weight, and slowly progress as you get more comfortable with the exercise. 

Second, warm up well before your sets. Do cardio to raise your core body temperature and perform dynamic stretches to mobilize your hip area. Once done, do one or two sets of bodyweight hip thrusts before using a weight. (2)

And while you’ve got the dumbbells ready, here are some additional dumbbell exercises:

Click to return to more dumbbell workouts, and check out our glutes exercise videos.

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David Williams

A diet and fitness enthusiast, David is an ex-Army Airborne Ranger and Infantry soldier with decades of fitness and wellness experience. A West Point graduate with a degree in engineering, he focuses on technical research related to fitness, nutrition, and wellness. He loves the beach and working out, and spending time with his wife and daughters.

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  1. Kechijian, D. (2020, April 17). ‘science’ and the barbell hip thrust. SimpliFaster.
  2. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, October 6). The right way to warm up and cool down. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20045517#:~:text=A%20warmup%20gradually%20revs%20up,heart%20rate%20and%20blood%20pressure.

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