The Hip Thruster is a specialized piece of exercise equipment that does exactly as the name suggests – it was built to hip thrust, baby.
This baby was specifically designed to grow glutes, as you’ll find out in this review. We’ll take a more detailed look at what the Hip Thruster is, how to use it, what it can do, and who it will and won’t suit in this review.
Hip Thruster Review – The Specialized Glute Trainer
Product Name: Hip Thruster
By: Bret Conteras
Jolie’s Rating: 4.6 out of 5
The Hip Thruster Exercise Machine: An Overview
Bret Contreras (AKA The Glute Guy) invented the Hip Thruster specifically for doing hip thrusts with a weighted barbell or resistance bands, or both. If you haven’t heard of hip thrusts before, they are arguably one of the most effective exercises for rapidly growing your glute muscles in both size and strength.
This patented design is a stand-alone exercise device that consists of a padded flat platform and stable foot mat to support your body when thrusting, and resistance band pegs for use with resistance bands.
To use it, the user lies facing up with their upper back supported on the padded platform and knees bent with feet flat on the mat. It provides the perfect platform for performing hip thrusts with weights or resistance bands in a safe and stable manner.
Here’s what it looks like in action (albeit on an earlier version of the machine):
What You Get
The Hip Thruster is a single unit with few moving parts for stability and reliability and includes:
- Padded back rest
- Rubber foot mat
- Metal pegs for supporting resistance bands
- Two wheels for moving the equipment around
The Good & The Bad
- Highly stable for performing hip thrusts without equipment shifting
- Allows use of a resistance band for extra difficulty at the peak of the exercise
- Sturdy and solid great-quality build
- Back rest height is not adjustable
- No padded mat (between the back rest and foot mat) is provided to sit on
- Specialized equipment is not overly versatile
- You need to supply your own resistance bands and weights
Who Will Enjoy the Hip Thruster?
Anyone who is serious about building their glutes with the hip thrust exercise will surely love the Hip Thruster machine. If you’ve ever tried to do barbell hip thrusts at home or at the gym using a flat bench, you’ll know that it’s all to easy for the bench to move or slide across the floor (especially when you start doing heavy lifts). Not only is this distracting, but it’s also potentially dangerous.
Enter the Hip Thruster – it makes hip thrusting safe and much more comfortable. The best part about it though, may well be the ability to add resistance bands to your hip thrusts which we’ll look at in more detail soon.
Startup gyms or even more well established gyms should definitely consider this piece of equipment seriously though, especially if they plan to attract female clients (hip thrusts are fast becoming a popular exercise amongst females looking to enhance their booty gains) and the Hip Thruster works particularly well as a stand out piece of equipment that can really help a business differentiate itself from others.
Resistance Bands on Hip Thrusts
Why would you need to add resistance bands if you’re already doing weighted lifts? It’s a logical question, but wait til you hear the answer, because it’s genius!
Quite simply, a resistance band has a varying resistance. It’s easy at the start, but gets proportionally more difficult as you stretch it. This means that the resistance it provides when it’s near full extension is a lot more than when it is just near the start of its stretch.
Taking advantage of this for glute training when doing hip thrusts, is more advantageous than you would think. To train your glutes effectively, you really want to load them up at the most difficult part of the exercise – for the hip thrusts, that’s when your hips are up at the top.
If you’ve added resistance bands, the top of the exercise when your hips are elevated is also where the most resistance is added by the bands. You can see, then, how they’re perfect for making an already weighted barbell hip thrust even more effective.
Who Isn’t it For?
Of course, the Hip Thruster isn’t for everyone. it is quite a specialized machine meaning you can’t use it for many other exercises (although foot elevated lunges, foot elevated glute bridges, and seated band abductions can be done using the elevated padded rest – but arguably, you could do these with a simple flat bench or step too).
Similarly, if you’re shopping for equipment to build out your home gym, space may be at a premium. The Hip Thruster does have a small footprint, but it’s still something to consider if you’re dealing with a smaller area.
To appreciate why the Hip Thruster may be worth considering, we take a look at some of its features:
Resistance Band Pegs
One of the main features of the Hip Thruster that makes it so handy is the ability to add resistance bands to your thrusts. There are two sets of pegs on the side rails of the machine, to allow for using long bands either with a barbell or without. Here’s an example of them in action:
Padded Back Rest
The back rest is fixed to the foot rest pad area, which means no shifting when you’re thrusting. This makes it much safer and also allows you to concentrate more fully on great form.
It would be great if the height were adjustable to allow for people with different sized torsos; but according to the FAQ, the design criteria for few moving parts (for durability) took priority. To be honest, this isn’t that big of a deal and can be somewhat adjusted for by sitting a thick piece of foam or matting where the user’s butt will fall anyway to allow for shorter people.
Rubber Foot Mat
Foot slippage is something you don’t want to have when hip thrusting a heavy load, so the rubber foot mat provides enough friction to keep your feet planted when thrusting.
Solid Assembly & Wheels
The Hip Thruster is bolted together, but has very few moving parts. The disassembled machine can be seen in the assembly instructions. It looks sturdy enough and Bret the creator has been known to hip thrust over 700 pounds, so I’m sure it would have been designed to withstand this kind of ridiculous loading. There are wheels on it as well so a single person can maneuver it around when needed.
What The Reviews Have To Say
When considering any new purchase, I think it’s always worthwhile to get an idea of what other people are saying about it. When I did some digging on the Hip Thruster, all I found were glowing reviews.
Here are just some of them:
How To Use the Hip Thruster
Here’s how to properly hip thrust using one of these hip thrusting machines – from the inventor of the equipment himself!
Other Things To Consider
If you’re planning on getting or using a Hip Thruster, then don’t forget that you’ll likely need a few accessories to get the most out of this equipment.
A weighted barbell can be a great way to add resistance to hip thrusts, and you’ll most certainly want to include these if you plan on doing heavy hip thrusts.
Of course, there are alternatives like weighted workout bars which have a fixed weight, but an olympic barbell or similar will give you full expandability if you want to increase weights (which you should if you want to train for glute growth by using progressive overload).
Because a heavy barbell over the hips is definitely not comfortable, it’s necessary to have some kind of padding here. You can improvise with a rolled up yoga mat like this thick one, or better still a wide barbell pad like this:
The bands that work best with the Hip Thruster seem to be the thick, large bands, such as the assited pull up type ones below. You’ll want to get yourself one (or a pair of the same strength, if you plan on using it in combination with a barbell) of these to make your workouts more effective.
Ergonomics-wise, it’s a bit of a shame that the Hip Thruster doesn’t come with a piece of foam like you see in some of the earlier videos, so if you’ve got hard flooring, something like a yoga balance mat can be great to add some comfort when sitting before loading up your weights.
The Hip Thruster machine is simple yet effective. It allows for loaded hip thrusts to be done in a safe and comfortable manner, and banded hip thrusts are so so amazing for targeting and working the glutes.
I would say that every gym should get one of these machines, and it’s definitely worthwhile considering for home setups if you plan on hip thrusting a lot.