Who complains about a round and perky ass? Aside from looks, glutes are important for any activity. Whether you’re walking or sitting comfortably on a toilet seat, your glutes work hard to make sure your hips and lower back are stable. You can strengthen your glutes by exercising. Of so many glute exercises, two names often pop up. One is squat and the other is hip thrust. In fact, many people wonder if hip thrusts are better than squats for strengthening the glutes. Read on to find out which exercise is better for glutes.
Health Shots reached out to fitness expert Varun Rattan to find out if hip thrusts will help or squats will work for strong glutes.
What is a hip thrust?
If you’re looking for a strength workout that focuses on the glutes, go for the hip thrust. Those looking to build strength, power, and size in their glutes often go for hip thrusts, says Rattan.
How do you perform a basic hip thrust?
• Sit on the floor with a bench right behind you.
• Hold a loaded dumbbell across your legs. You can put foam on the bar if you want to reduce the discomfort caused by this exercise.
• Raise the bar directly above your hips and press your shoulder blades against the edge of the bench.
• Cross your feet and extend your hips vertically. Your weight is supported by your upper back and feet as you go up. Then return to the starting position.
The expert says that while doing this glute exercise, your chin should be tucked in and you should look forward, not up. This would help maintain a neutral spine. Your feet should be flat on the floor and about shoulder-width apart, and your knees should not sag or go out. You have to drive through your entire feet and not just your toes. Make sure you don’t overextend your lower back at the top of the movement.
What is a squat?
A squat is one of the fundamental movements that mainly targets the quadriceps, adductors (inner thighs) and glutes. It seems like you sit down and get up.
How to perform a squat?
• Stand with your toes pointing slightly out. The stance width would vary depending on a person’s anatomy.
• Keep your back straight and tense your upper body, as if you were about to receive a punch in the abdomen.
• Descend by bending your knees and pushing your hips back as if you were sitting in a chair.
• Lower your body as low as you can comfortably go.
• Push through your feet to return to the starting position.
• Maintain a stable position throughout the movement.
Rattan says to warm up and stretch before doing squats to avoid injury. You can start with bodyweight squats or use a chair for support if you’re new to this exercise. Make sure you don’t round your back or let your knees sag.
If you’re ready for more, try squat variations too!
1. Goblet Squat
Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell close to your chest as you perform the squat.
2. Forward Squat
Rest a dumbbell on the front of your shoulders as you perform the squat.
3. Sumo Squat
Broaden your stance and point your toes out significantly to target your inner thighs.
4. Jump Squat
Explosively jump up from the crouch position.
Hip thrust vs squat for glutes
When it comes to glute hypertrophy, both hip thrusts and squats are effective exercises, the expert says. But they target the muscles in slightly different ways, which can affect their effectiveness depending on your goals.
Squats work multiple muscle groups, including the glutes, quads, adductors, and core. That means they can help improve overall lower body strength and stability. However, the glutes are not the primary muscle group used in a squat. On the other hand, hip thrusts primarily target the glutes, with secondary involvement of the hamstrings, lower back, and quadriceps. This isolation of the glutes can make hip thrusts more effective for people specifically seeking larger buttocks.
Both exercises are effective for increasing gluteal muscle thickness, but there are differences in their effects on maximal strength. While performing squats leads to greater improvements in maximal squat strength, hip thrusts lead to greater improvements in maximal hip strength.
Both squats and hip thrusts can be effective for glute hypertrophy. So you can safely incorporate both exercises into a glute development routine.
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