Want a bigger bum? Stop making this common workout mistake

Stop wasting time in the gym.

Want a bigger bum? Stop making this common workout mistake
Woman doing hip thrusts
Hip thrusts are the holy grail of glute exercises (Picture: Getty Images)

If you’ve ever asked the question ‘how do I grow my bum muscles?’ or, in simpler terms ‘how can I get a bum like Kim K?’ you’ll have heard of the holy grail of glute exercises: the hip thrust.

While getting a bigger bum has become a core fitness goal for many (mostly) women in the last five years or so, it’s important to note that growing your bum is just as good for your health as it is for your thirst traps.

The muscles in our bums are known as the glutes, which are made up of the gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus and gluteus medius — the biggest muscle group in our body — and they help with everything we do, from standing up, walking, picking up your child or running for the bus. Work on your glutes and you might kiss goodbye to lower back pain.

Benefits of hip thrusts 

The hip thrust — also known as a glute bridge — is the ultimate exercise if you want stronger glutes.

‘The barbell hip thrust gives you the most activation through the glute max of any other exercise,’ Ali Malik, personal trainer and founder of Fit Labs Kensington,  tells Metro.co.uk.

‘Incorporating the exercise move into your workout routine also benefits your lower back. 

‘Having a strong posterior chain and strong hip flexors goes a long way in the prevention of lower back pain. 

‘The hip thrust also builds strength and stabilisation through the lower back, which results in a healthier, more functional, and pain-free body.’

The most common hip thrust mistake — and how to fix it

 According to Ali, the biggest mistake people make when performing hip thrusts — just like with planks — is overarching their lower back. 

Not only does this take the emphasis off your glute muscles (negating the point of the exercise) but it also places strain on your lower back, increasing the risk of getting injured.

‘This occurs when individuals lift their hips too high at the top of the movement, arching their lower back excessively,’ says Ali. 

‘Another common reason for this happening is people throwing their head back against the bench on each rep causing the upper spine to curve which leads to the rest of the spine following suit.’

It’s vital that when you reach the top of a hip thrust — when your hips are high off the ground — you squeeze your glutes, brace your core and make sure you maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. 

How to perform a hip thrust correctly

You can perform a hip thrust using a barbell, a dumbbell, a resistance band or bodyweight, depending on your abilities.

  1. Place your back against a bench or chair, with the bench hitting just under your shoulder blades — keep your feet shoulder width apart 
  2. Lift your hips towards the ceiling until your thighs are parallel to the ground, making sure to engage your core and squeeze your glutes — your legs should form a 90 degree angle
  3. Pause briefly at the top of the movement, making sure to maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your knees
  4. Throughout the entire exercise, keep your eyes focused on the wall in front of you and your chin tucked to your chest — resist the urge to look up at the ceiling
  5. Lower the weight down, keeping your core engaged, and repeat.

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