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Progressions From Glute Bridge to Hip Lift to Hip Thrust

By Professional Baseball Strength and Conditioning, 02/26/19, 12:00PM CST

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Avoid over-extending hips as this can increase the pressure in the lumbar region, especially when performing weighted bridges.

Research indicates that the weighted horizontally directed hip thrust is an effective exercise for the muscles of the posterior chain – glutes, hamstrings, calves and back – that can be used to improve performance in the weight room and on the playing field. Hip thrusts have been shown to improve lifting performance in the squat and dead lift in the weight room and enhance acceleration when sprinting across the gym, around the bases and to the ball. As effective and important as hip thrusts are, most beginners should not start with such a difficult exercise.

A safer and more effective approach is to start with a low-intensity, high-reward exercise that targets the same muscles in a similar movement pattern such as the glute bridge and gradually progress through a series of more difficult exercises.