The Hip Thrust exercise has become very popular in the Strength & Conditioning world thanks to the work done by Brett Contreras. I have found that this exercise is also a valuable intervention in the rehab world. Here are three reasons why you should have your patients hip thrust:
1) For Glute Activation
- Isolates glute activation in the sagittal plane
- Places hip extension perpendicular to the resistance (gravity)
- Max Glute EMG occurs at 0 degrees of hip extension
- Removes hamstring influence (active insufficiency)
- Can be used for post-activation potential prior to more complex exercises (hip hinge, squat, etc.)
2) For Hip/Lumbar Dissociation
- Most hip and back patients live with their butts in their backs (substituting lumbar extension for hip extension)
- The Hip Thrust takes out distal influences and can be used as an assessment and intervention for hip/lumbar dissociation
- Palpate the patient’s lumbar spine as they perform the exercise, make them stop once it goes from hip extension to lumbar extension (patient education)
3) It’s Safe
- It’s an unloaded, bodyweight movement
- It’s a simple movement – less complex than the hip hinge or squat
As with all exercises, the success depends on a thorough assessment and proper patient selection. If your patient needs glute strengthening or needs to work on hip extension movement patterns, then the Hip Thrust may be a great choice.
Here is an example Hip Thrust progression I use with my patients.