How To Do Single Leg Hip Thrust

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The glutes are a set of three muscles that make up the buttocks and are among the body's largest muscles. Strong glute muscles help you maintain a well–balanced physique and perform a variety of critical tasks, like maintaining your trunk upright, standing from a seated posture, and climbing stairs, to mention a few.

The single-leg hip thrust, which gives the finest glute isolation, is one of many exercises that adequately target the glutes. This page explains how to perform the single-leg hip thrust, as well as some of the advantages, muscles it activates, typical errors, and a few modifications to enhance or decrease the difficulty level.

How To Do Single Leg Hip Thrust


The glutes, a set of three muscles that make up the buttocks, are among the body's largest muscles.

Strong glute muscles contribute to a well–balanced body and perform a variety of critical tasks, like maintaining your trunk upright, standing from a seated posture, and ascending stairs, to mention a few.

Many exercises, including the single-leg hip thrust, adequately target the glutes.

This page explains how to perform the single-leg hip thrust, as well as some of the benefits, muscles involved, typical errors, and a few modifications to enhance or decrease the difficulty level.


To carry out

  • Begin by leaning on a bench with one knee bent at 90 degrees and the foot of the same leg flat on the floor - this is your working leg.
  • Raise the second leg, bending your knee until your hip and knee are at a 90-degree angle.
  • Bend your elbows and put your head on your hands, or lay your arms flat on the bench. Instead of using your elbows to create force and drive the movement, focus on using your upper back as a pivot point.
  • Lift your hips till they're in line with your torso by contracting the glute of the working leg.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds while continuing to squeeze your glute, then return to the starting position.
  • Rep these instructions for the second glute until you've reached the appropriate amount of reps and sets.


The advantages of a single-leg hip thrust

There are various advantages to executing the single-leg hip thrust on a regular basis.


Strengthens the hip-extension muscles.

Hip extension is when the torso and thigh form a greater angle, or when the thigh moves away from the torso. It entails moving your leg backward and behind your torso from a standing position. This action is vital in everyday activities like getting out of a chair, ascending stairs, or even just walking.

Hip extension is also important in a variety of sports that demand explosive sprinting or jumping.

Because it isolates the glutes, the key muscle group responsible for this movement, the single-leg hip thrust is an excellent exercise for improving hip-extension strength. In fact, a study involving 13 trained males discovered that the hip thrust was superior to the barbell and hex bar deadlifts in terms of glute activation.

This suggests that the hip thrust, especially the single-leg form, is more likely than other exercises to lead to increased hip-extension strength and glute development. As a result, the single-leg hip thrust is an ideal alternative for improving hip-extension strength for daily tasks or sporting goals.


It has the potential to boost athletic performance.

To run, jump, change directions, and come to a swift stop, many sports demand explosive strength and power. It's crucial to have a strong lower body, including well-developed glutes, to perform these motions successfully.

In a study involving 17 female National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) soccer players, researchers discovered that those with stronger lower bodies performed better in a variety of speed, power, and agility measures.

Resistance exercises such as squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts, weighted stepups, lunges, and sled pushes are beneficial for developing lower body strength.


It is possible that it will aid in the prevention of injuries.

Injury is always a possibility, whether you're a dedicated athlete or just enjoy being active for fun. However, the more the stress placed on your body, the greater the chance of harm.

Regular resistance exercise to build your muscles, bones, and connective tissue is typically recommended to prevent injuries. Because exercise strengthens the hip extensors and surrounding connective tissue, the single-leg hip thrust may help avoid hip and groin problems.

However, for more specific workout programming advice, it's always preferable to visit a competent trainer.


The single-leg hip thrust worked muscles.

The main movers

The glutes, which are the principal movers in hip extension, are primarily targeted by the single-leg hip thrust. The gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus are the three muscles that make up the glutes.

These muscles are largely responsible for hip extension, but they also help to balance the pelvis, perform hip abduction (spreading the legs apart), and perform hip adduction (bringing the legs together).


Muscles that provide support

Other muscles assist in keeping the body in place while the action is being performed. The following muscles are among them:

  • Erector spinae. These muscles in your mid- and lower back maintain your spine straight.
  • Hamstrings. The hamstrings are a group of muscles on the back of the thigh that help you bend your non-working leg and support your working leg.
  • Quadriceps and hip flexors are two of the most important muscles in the body. On both legs, these muscles on the front of the thigh provide support, particularly in controlling your fall.
  • Adductors. The adductors are muscles on the inner of the leg that help maintain your legs straight.


The single-leg hip thrust can be done in a variety of ways.

Alternatives to the classic single-leg hip thrust may be used by those with varied degrees of experience or aims to raise or decrease the difficulty level. To get you started, here are some of the most popular versions.


Single-leg hip thrust with weight

The weighted single-leg hip thrust is identical to the standard hip thrust, but with the addition of a weight for added resistance.

To perform this activity, start by following the instructions above, then place a dumbbell, kettlebell, or weight plate on top of the working leg's hip after step 1. Depending on your desired amount of resistance, you can raise or reduce the weight. Some people like to use a dumbbell because it straddles the hip joint and keeps it in place.


Single-leg hip thrust with a band

Another effective variation is the banded single-leg hip thrust, which uses band tension instead of a weight for resistance.The difficulty of the workout can be increased or decreased by using bands of varied resistance.

While in the beginning position, wrap a band around your legs, right behind your knees, to do the banded variation.

The exercise is then performed in the same manner as the traditional movement, with one leg being lifted, the working leg's hip being extended, and the working leg's hip being In a controlled move, I returned to the beginning position.

To get the optimum benefits, maintain your knees aligned and oppose band tension throughout the movement.


A single-leg descent with a two-leg hip thrust

The two-leg hip thrust with a single-leg descent is another version of the single-leg hip thrust. The descending component of this movement is designed to be slightly easier than the typical workout because it just requires you to utilize one leg.

When working up to doing the standard single-leg hip thrust, this exercise is a good place to start.

Start the same as you did before, but this time with both feet on the ground. Lift your hips by contracting your glutes, then bring one leg into the air at a 90-degree angle. Return to the starting position slowly and steadily, then place the elevated foot back on the ground to begin the next rep.


Some common blunders

To get the most out of this activity, proper form is required. As a result, there are a few frequent blunders to avoid when conducting this activity.


Your back should be hyperextended.

While executing the single-leg hip thrust, hyperextending your back or neck by dropping your head back inhibits you from properly extending your hips, preventing the glutes from reaching their maximum contraction.

To avoid this, slightly lower your chin to keep your spine straight and your rib cage in a neutral position.


Using your elbows to push

When performing the single-leg hip thrust, another typical mistake is to push with your arms and elbows instead of your glutes.

This shifts some of the weight away from your glutes and onto your arms, reducing the exercise's effectiveness. Lay your arms flat on the bench and focus on using your upper back as a pivot point to avoid pushing with your elbows. Throughout the action, keep your hands relaxed.


Muscles that aren't fully contracted

The single-leg hip thrust is a glute-focused isolation exercise, which means it targets the glutes alone. It's critical to concentrate on generating a full contraction in the muscle being worked when conducting solitary exercises.

You may be missing out on some of the benefits of the single-leg hip thrust by not fully tightening the glute or overcompensating with the muscles of the lower back or hamstring, which might lead to injury. Place your hand on the working muscle at the peak of each contraction to guarantee a complete contraction (step 5 above).


Last Word

A glute-focused isolation exercise, the single-leg hip thrust, is often utilized to promote hip-extension strength and glute growth. This exercise has various potential advantages, including increased hip-extension strength, improved sports performance, and injury avoidance.

Depending on your strength and expertise, you can use a variety of single-leg hip thrust variations to raise or decrease the degree of difficulty. When completing this exercise, be careful of certain typical faults, such as hyperextending your back, pushing with your elbows, and not properly contracting the muscle.

The single-leg hip thrust may be an ideal addition to your training plan if you want to boost your hip-extension strength and shape up your posterior.

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