How to Do Hip Thrusts with Dumbbells: Video Guide & Benefits

by Chris Pruitt

woman doing hip thrust with dumbbell feature image_hip Thrusts with dumbbells.webp

Hip Thrusts are a powerful exercise to build hamstrings, calves, and butt.

Are you struggling to boost your lower body strength and get that sculpted look? We understand the frustration of hitting a plateau in your fitness journey.

That's why we recommend incorporating dumbbell hip thrusts into your routine.

This powerful exercise is your ticket to firmer glutes and hamstrings, promising not just strength, but also an enhanced appearance.

We're here to guide you through the process, ensuring you master the perfect form to avoid common mistakes.

Moreover, our carefully selected range of dumbbell sets is designed to complement your efforts, helping you achieve the best results.

How to Do Hip Thrusts with Dumbbells

To effectively perform hip thrusts with dumbbells, follow these streamlined steps:

  1. Setting Up: Locate a sturdy bench of knee height. Sit on the floor with your back against the bench and place a dumbbell on your hips, using a protective pad or towel for comfort.

  2. Positioning: Plant your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Ensure your back is leaning against the bench, with your shoulder blades near the top of it.

  3. The Movement: Hold the dumbbell firmly in place. Push through your heels to lift your hips upward. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees at the top of the movement.

  4. The Descent: After reaching the top position, carefully lower your hips back to the starting position without resting fully on the floor.

  5. Repetition: Perform the desired number of repetitions, maintaining a controlled and steady movement throughout.

woman doing hip thrust with dumbbell_hip Thrusts with dumbbells

Ensuring Proper Form Is Key in Doing Hip Thrusts

Achieving the best results from your hip thrusts with dumbbells requires attention to form. Here are key pointers to ensure proper technique:

  • Spine Alignment: Keep your spine in a neutral position throughout the movement. This means avoiding any excessive arching or rounding of your back.

  • Core Engagement: Engage your core muscles to provide stability. A tight core helps in maintaining balance and protecting your lower back.

  • Hip Extension: Be cautious not to overextend your hips at the top of the movement. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to knees, not pushing past this line to avoid strain on your back.

  • Weight Selection: Choose a weight that is challenging yet manageable. It should allow you to complete each set with good form. If you're unsure about the right weight, consider seeking advice from a fitness professional or refer to resources like this guide on selecting the appropriate dumbbell weight.

By focusing on these aspects of form, you can ensure a safe and effective workout with hip thrusts, maximizing their benefits while minimizing the risk of injury.

5 Benefits of Hip Thrusts with Dumbbells

Hip thrusts with dumbbells are a versatile and effective exercise, offering numerous benefits for enhancing your fitness regimen:

  1. Butt Sculpting: They are exceptionally effective for targeting and toning the gluteal muscles, essential for sculpting a well-defined butt. For an in-depth understanding of muscle anatomy and function, the National Center for Biotechnology Information offers valuable insights.

  2. Lower Body Strengthening: Beyond sculpting the glutes, hip thrusts strengthen the hamstrings and core muscles, contributing to comprehensive lower body strength.

  3. Boosting Athletic Performance: Incorporating hip thrusts can markedly enhance athletic performance by improving lower body power and strength. This is further evidenced by research highlighted in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

  4. Improving Posture: By strengthening the lower back and core muscles, hip thrusts also play a significant role in improving posture and spinal support.

  5. Promoting Bone Health: As a weight-bearing exercise, hip thrusts are beneficial for maintaining and improving bone health, potentially reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

By integrating hip thrusts with dumbbells into your exercise routine, you can achieve significant improvements in strength, posture, and overall physical health, making it a valuable addition to any fitness plan.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Man holding is lower back from back pain

When performing hip thrusts with dumbbells, it's crucial to be aware of common mistakes to ensure a safe and effective workout:

  • Arching the Back: Many people mistakenly arch their back during the movement. To avoid this, focus on maintaining a neutral spine by engaging your core and glutes throughout the exercise.

  • Using Incorrect Weights: Selecting weights that are too heavy can lead to poor form and potential injury. Conversely, weights that are too light may not be challenging enough to provide effective results. Find a balance by choosing a weight that allows you to complete each set with good form but still challenges your muscles.

  • Lifting Feet Off the Ground: Keep your feet planted firmly on the ground. Lifting them can reduce the effectiveness of the exercise and put unnecessary strain on your lower back.

  • Rushing Through the Movement: Speeding through the exercise can reduce its effectiveness and increase the risk of injury. Focus on performing each rep with control, paying attention to both the upward and downward phases of the movement.

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can maximize the benefits of hip thrusts with dumbbells and enjoy a safer, more effective lower body workout.

Incorporating Hip Thrusts into Your Workout Routine

dumbbell workout plan in a notebook

Incorporating hip thrusts with dumbbells into your workout routine can be tailored to suit different fitness levels and goals:

  • For Beginners: Start with lighter weights, focusing primarily on mastering the correct form. Gradually increase the weight as your strength and confidence grow.

  • For Strength Building: If your goal is to build strength, include hip thrusts in your regular lower body or split training routine. Gradually increase the weight and the number of repetitions as you progress.

  • For Athletes: Athletes can integrate hip thrusts into their power training sessions to enhance lower body power and performance. Consider incorporating variations and heavier weights for added intensity.

By adapting hip thrusts to your specific fitness needs, you can effectively enhance your lower body strength, improve your athletic performance, and achieve your fitness goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I do hip thrusts with two dumbbells?

Using two dumbbells for hip thrusts can provide a more balanced and challenging workout. By holding a dumbbell in each hand, you distribute the weight evenly across both sides of your body.

This symmetry ensures that both sides of your glutes and hamstrings are engaged equally, promoting muscular balance and preventing imbalances that might occur when using a single weight.

Additionally, two dumbbells can increase the overall load, intensifying the exercise and potentially leading to more significant strength gains.

It's crucial to start with manageable weights and focus on maintaining proper form to maximize the benefits and prevent injury.

What is the recommended weight for dumbbells during hip thrusts?

If you're a beginner, you might want to start with bodyweight hip thrusts or use dumbbells that weigh 5 to 10 pounds.

As you form stronger glutes and get more comfortable with the exercise, you can gradually increase the weight and even use other equipment such as weight plates.

You may incorporate progressive overload and heavy weights into your routine.

What muscles do dumbbell hip thrusts target?

Dumbbell hip thrusts primarily target the gluteus maximus and the gluteus medius. They also work your hamstrings and core muscles. With the right form, hip thrusts can be a powerful exercise for strengthening and toning your lower body.


Incorporating hip thrusts with dumbbells into your workout routine offers significant benefits for lower body strength and conditioning. This exercise is a practical choice for enhancing muscle tone and overall fitness.

For additional suitable equipment to support your hip thrust exercises, feel free to check out our selection of glute & hip thrust machines here.


  1. Contreras, B., Vigotsky, A. D., Schoenfeld, B. J., Beardsley, C., & Cronin, J. (2017). Effects of a Six-Week Hip Thrust vs. Front Squat Resistance Training Program on Performance in Adolescent Males: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 31(4), 999–1008.

  2. StatPearls. (2021). Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Gluteus Maximus Muscle. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

  3. Pestaña-Melero, F. L., Haff, G. G., Rojas, F. J., Pérez-Castilla, A., García-Ramos, A. (2019). Effects of 7-Week Hip Thrust Versus Back Squat Resistance Training on Performance in Adolescent Female Soccer Players. Sports (Basel, Switzerland), 7(4), 93.

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